With our nation coming into a 21-day lock-down extroverts everywhere immediately began to panic. Then again so did some of the introverts! Sports and other entertainment industries around the world have taken a knock amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The good news is: board gamers are still able to have their weekly board game evenings online! Whether you are a casual party-gamer or an avid role-player, there is a solution out there for you.
In this article I am going to outline some of the online options available for board gamers to resume their regular gaming activities. It is important to note: each option presented here should allow for each player to actively participate in the session. There are other amazing board games that allow you to play as a group remotely using only one copy of the game. These approaches are intended to maximise participation. Let’s begin!
Being the ultimate digital sandbox for board gamers, Tabletop Simulator opens up a world of possibilities for every type of Tabletop fanatic! The simulator is mostly supported by the community who create mods in the Steam workshop. Each title has its components digitally crafted and integrated into the module which can be booted up inside of the simulator. Invite your friends and have a bash at your favourite board games, Tabletop role-playing games, miniature games, and card games!
Wingspan was just released as official Tabletop Simulator DLC. You can find it here: https://steamcommunity.com/games/TabletopSimulator/announcements/detail/1705113157892509366.
Please note that Steam is required and that Tabletop Simulator needs to be purchased for R219.
As one of the leading board game publishers in the world, Asmodee took the plunge into the digital sphere by founding Asmodee Digital. This branch of digital gaming sought to translate the Tabletop experience into an accessible and user-friendly digital experience. Notable titles are:
- The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
- Terraforming Mars
- Ticket to Ride
- And more!
These digital titles are available on Steam (PC), mobile (Android and iOS), and consoles! Pricing varies from title to title and all information can be found here: https://www.asmodee-digital.com/en/. If you are looking for players to play with, post your username in the #PlayAtHome group and I am sure there will be others that are excited to join!
The creators of Catan designed a completely digital version of Catan for you to be able to enjoy in your browser, on your mobile device, or on your computer! In contrast to the Asmodee Digital version, Catan Universe is completely free-to-play (this is if you want to stick to the base game). Additional add-ons and expansions can be purchased to expand your experience. It is also set apart as being browser-compatible, which will make your more technologically-challenged friends and family more willing to participate.
All information can be found here: https://www.catan.com/game/catan-universe! Trade, Build, Settle (but socially distant settling, of course).
If you are a role-player, it is highly unlikely that you haven’t heard of Roll20 yet. If you haven’t and you are itching to get a role-playing session in, I would highly suggest taking a look at what is on offer. Roll20 is an all-inclusive platform that plays host to a digital role-playing experience. You can host your own campaign across multiple different role-playing titles or simply join another campaign. You are able to design and implement your own maps, track player turns, and have digital rolls happen live in front of your audience. This service is best used alongside a video-calling service such as Discord in order to increase immersion.
Go and pop-in at https://www.roll20.net and try out their tutorial. There are great tutorials available on YouTube by independent creators! May the rolls forever be in your favour.
An all-time classic, UNO, is available as a digital video game on Ubisoft’s platform UPlay. The game encapsulates the betrayal, thrill, and satisfaction of its Tabletop counterpart. All information on the game is available at https://www.ubisoft.com/en-us/game/uno/. It is now on sale for €3 which is a 70% saving! Encourage your friends to get it and relive the fast-paced action that is UNO.
While this is technically not a board game, nor even a digital version of it, Jaxbox.tv has established itself as one of the best party-with-your-friends games! What makes it so great is how accessible it is. One person hosts the games on their computer or console and others join via a browser (web or mobile) using the unique party code. There are tons of great games to play that will be enhanced by hosting a video conference alongside! Only one person needs to purchase the base games to be able to allow their friends to join. Check it out at https://jackboxgames.com/.
Ever fancied a game of Pictionary? Skribbl.io is a free, browser-based drawing game which hails from its classic ancestor. Upon creating a lobby, multiple players can join and take turns drawing and guessing what is being drawn. Well-drawn images get more points and quick, correct guess also get more points! Give it a whirl at www.skribbl.io.
With that being said, there are tons of alternative digital gaming options out there. What are your favourite? Comment yours in the comment section of the social media post and let us know! If you are looking for people to play with, head on over to our #PlayAtHome group to engage and share your experiences: https://www.facebook.com/groups/playathomeza/.