In a day and age where social distancing has become the new normal, traditional board game nights might seem like they’re a thing of the past…unless you only play them with a few people in your household.
What if you want to continue to enjoy board games with your friends and family from a distance? The good news is, that’s still entirely possible.
With this list of the best board games for video calls, you can continue to play board games even if you’re social distancing.
Best Board Games for Video Calls
This is easily one of the simplest games to modify for video calls. In Pictionary, each player pulls a prompt card, and then they try to draw the prompt. The other players must guess what the prompt is based on the drawing.
One person will need to pull the prompt cards and show it to the person who’s going to be drawing the prompt. As long as each person has a piece of paper and pencil at their own homes, they can then draw whatever prompts they were shown in the video call.
It’s a hilarious game, especially if most people involved aren’t good artists. The drawings produced will be wacky and will have everyone laughing in no time.
- One of the easiest board games to modify for video calls.
- Simple rules for all ages.
- You’ll get to laugh at each other’s drawings.
- Games are quick, so you won’t have to spend hours slogging through one session.
- The gameplay might be a little too shallow or basic for adults.
- It comes with erasable boards, but some feel they’re a little hard to erase on.
We think Battleship is another game that would be perfect for video calls. You’re not supposed to see the other person’s board, anyway, so it works fine from a distance.
Ideally, each person playing should have their own Battleship board. Once they’re set up, all everyone on the call needs to do is try to guess where each other player’s battleships are.
The downside is that it’s designed generally for two players. You could adjust it to have more, but the rules will need to be reworked a bit, such as leaving marks when you make guesses that allow you to differentiate whose ships you were guessing for.
- Extremely easy to learn.
- Includes two different battle cases so you can share with one person you want to play with.
- Games do not take too long to play.
- The small battle cases can be played on comfortably anywhere.
- The game is traditionally designed for only two players.
Playing a board game over a video call is ultra-simple with Yahtzee, the old classic. It’s technically not a board game, because it’s not played on a board, but it does need score sheets, so we’re counting it, anyway.
All each player will need is their own dice and something to write their scores on. If you’re concerned about using Yahtzee scoring sheets, you can easily find them online and have the players fill their score cards virtually. You can even roll dice virtually if the other players don’t have enough.
- The rules can be swiftly picked up with little explaining.
- All components can be used virtually if players don’t have their own dice or score cards.
- Suitable for people of all ages, so you can bring the whole family in.
- You can use it to sharpen your math proficiency.
- Some owners noted that you don’t get a shaker that doubles as a storage container, like in the pictures – you just get a standard dice shaker.
This was a game that might as well have been born for video calls. In Boggle, the rules are easy: one person shakes up the box of letters. Once the letters are settled, each player tries to make as many words as they can from the letters facing up on the dice in the box.
When the timer runs out, each player compares their lists. The player with the most words no one else came up with wins that round.
To make it friendly for video calls, all you would need to do is show each person on the video call the letters and set the timer. As long as everyone has something to write on, they can play.
Want to make it extra challenging? There are so many ways you can modify the rules. One idea is to come up with a category, such as food, and require all players to find as many words relating to that category as they can before the time runs out.
- The rules can be easily modified for virtual playing.
- You can come up with new game modes to shake up the routine a little.
- It’s family-friendly, so you can get everyone involved.
- The game can feel repetitive after awhile.
Hasbro Gaming Trivial Pursuit Master Edition
Looking for a way to get everyone scratching their heads with thought on the video call? Trivial Pursuit is exactly what you need.
Everyone knows how this classic trivia game works: players land on different parts of the board that tell them which category of question to answer. A card is drawn, and the player must answer the question on the card from that category. They get a wedge representing the color of that category, and must collect wedges for all the other colors.
Since everyone isn’t likely to have their own Trivial Pursuit boards, you’ll need to run the game for everyone else on the call. But if you’re willing to move the pieces around for the other players and read the cards to them, this is one game that will have everyone testing their knowledge.
- Excellent brain-teasing game.
- Comes with a timer to make everyone feel like they’re on the hot seat when it’s their turn.
- Includes 3,000 questions, so you won’t learn all the answer too quickly.
- You can use the game as a way to learn interesting facts.
- Some players have noted that some of the questions seem too hard, and others too easy.
Chess Armory Wooden Chess Set
Like Battleship, Chess is a game that’s designed for two players. Unlike Battleship, though, it doesn’t come in two boards that you can share with others.
That means whoever has the Chess board will need to control the pieces for both players. However, if both players know the names of the tiles, then you can easily dictate which piece you want to move and where you want to move it on a video call.
Plus, this Chess board is beautiful. It’s made entirely from wood with alluring walnut inlays. Even if you don’t play it often, you can use it as decoration for your home that’s worthy of being photographed.
- Understandable rules.
- Gorgeous design that you’ll love looking at.
- The interior of the board has straps in it to the store the pieces in between games.
- Each piece is made by hand for an extra personal touch.
- The color of the board looks a little bit lighter in person.
Features to Consider
For any board game you’re planning to play on a video call, the pieces required to play are crucial. Is everyone going to need specific equipment to play? Or can they do their parts with objects they already have at home?
Games like Yahtzee, for instance, are perfect in this regard. Dice and paper are easy to find. On top of that, even if the players don’t each have enough dice or paper to use, you can easily find these components online and continue to play together virtually.
In a nutshell, the less specific equipment your players need, the easier it will be for you to run the game on a video call.
Does everyone want to play the same game for hours, or are you looking for something fast? Not everyone has the patience to play a board game that goes on for more than hour.
Because of this, make sure you check out the length of the game. Generally, this can be used as a way to measure the learning curve of the game, too. Shorter games are typically less sophisticated, and are therefore easy to learn.
Complexity and Moving Pieces
Another thing to factor in is how many parts of the board need to be manipulated by players. Some board games have tons of parts that each player needs to be able to control, such as hands of cards, dice, and figurines. These would be much harder to do on a video call, because you’d need to be controlling all these things for everyone.
Games with fewer moving pieces will be easier to play from a distance. You won’t need to spend as much of your time constantly controlling different aspects for everyone, which means you’ll have more time to enjoy the game.
When we say “modifications,” we mean how easy it is for you to adapt the rules for video calls. Some games are simpler than others when it comes to adjusting the rules.
Games with a large number of rules and interactions will, by nature, be harder to change. Beginner-friendly games with shallow learning curves will be easier to adjust for video calls. You won’t need to spend hours combing over all the rules to figure out what needs to change.
No matter how much distance is between you and your friends and loved ones, you can still keep up with that weekly board game night tradition. With a group video call and the right board game, you can have a fun evening at home while still feeling like everyone is with you.
Our overall recommendation for a video call game would be Boggle. You won’t really need to tweak any rules, and everyone will be able to get the hang of it fast. At the worst, it might become a little repetitive, but you can add your own house rules to make the game even more interesting.
Stuck at home with one other person? You can use any of these RPG board games for 2 players to help you pass the time.