The coronavirus pandemic is forcing us to get creative. Board gaming is no different.
We’ve previously relied on game nights and meetups to play with friends, but now we are finding ways to meet and play virtually.
So having spent a few weeks experimenting with playing online, here are the tabletop games that I think work well via videoconferencing.
Roll (or Flip) and Write Games
Games in which everyone is using a communal dice roll or card flip but writing on their own paper, work really well. If the game uses regular dice, you can ask Google to roll some for you or use a website like VirtuWorld.net. Share your screen so all players can see the dice. If the game uses custom dice, hold them up if you can, or set up your webcam to show the dice, rather than your face. Games that require custom game sheets can be scanned and emailed for players to print at home.
- Trails of Tucana
- Railroad Ink
- Beach Life and Castaway – original Dark Imp Games – buy in the shop.
Party games that involve a box of cards containing clues or questions can be adapted to work via videoconferencing. The player that has the cards in her home will either have to be the question master or get creative about sharing the information on the cards, without looking at them herself. When the card holds a single word or two, just holding it up to your camera while some people have their eyes closed works well. If there is more information on the card, other players may need to be able to take quick screenshots to refer back to to keep the flow of the game going.
- Just One
Abstract Strategy Games
Set up the board and set up a good camera that shows the board. Remote players communicate what moves they’d like the player with the board to make on their behalf. here are no cards to read, no hidden information. Just minds pitted against each other.
Pencil and paper games
Grab a piece of paper and a pencil. What could be simpler? Adapt games that would normally be played on a board, so you can play without the need for the components.
- Battleships (or Salvo – see our blog post about how to play)
- Bulls and Cows (similar to Mastermind)
- Black Box
Games with a standard set of dice or cards for each player
Each player needs a collection of dice at their disposal (or they can use virtual dice if it is easier) or access to the set of cards each player needs to play the game. Scan, download and print sets of cards, if necessary. NB: You can’t play card games where a single set of cards are dealt out between the players.
- Perudo (or Liar’s Dice)
Cooperative (or semi-cooperative) games modified to ensure that all information is open on the table, may work for you. The crucial element is to make sure the player with the board is not making decisions for other players. This player will need a really good camera set up and must avoid telling other players what to do to ensure they still feel connected and properly involved in the game.
- Forbidden Desert
- Scotland Yard (with Mr X typing what transport he is taking in the chat)
If you’ve been playing other games successfully via videoconferencing, do let me know! I’m always looking for more ideas for my next game nights 🙂
Don’t forget, if you’d like to play games with the Dark Imp team, join us at 4pm on Tuesdays to play one of the Dark Imp roll & write placemat games! Register here.