10 Board Games You Can Play Online While Stuck at Home

6 min read
Board Games

You don’t have to have friends over to keep yourself entertained during the coronavirus pandemic. You can actually play board games online with your family and friends. All you need is video conferencing software or just your cell phone. That being said, here are ten board games you can play online right now.

10. Monopoly

Source: Pixabay

This popular Hasbro board game is available on the App Store. You can play by yourself or with family and friends. There’s even cross-platform play, meaning you can connect and play together on tablets and mobile devices. Or, if you want to play with people all over the world, you can use the online multiplayer mode.

-An issue with the in-game buttons has been fixed.
-Improvements have been made to all multiplayer modes so online games run smoother.

9. Yahtzee

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Virginia State Parks staff / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Playing Yahtzee online requires a video conferencing platform like Zoom. The maximum number of players is six, although the game allows up to ten but will go really slowly if you play with that many people.

According to The New York Times, there are some special hacks to make the game even more fun:

Hack 1: Tilt your screen to show your expressive face(s) while other people are rolling the dice and also when it’s your turn.

Hack 2: Each household joins from both a laptop and a phone. Angle the laptop toward the people and balance the (muted/sound off) phone camera-down on something high to show the dice.

8. Pictionary

Source: Wikimedia Commons

You can play Pictionary over multiple time zones and split up teams over households. The maximum number of players is eight, and you’ll need a video conferencing platform and thick pens (e.g., Sharpies) for drawing. Only one household needs the game.

Here are some special hacks noted in an article published by The New York Times:

-Eliminate the “All Play” round.
-Get rid of the board. Instead, draw a card, roll the die, and pick the word on the card that your number corresponds to (six is wild).
-Alternate play between teams and score one point for each correctly guessed word.
-The drawer in a household without the game can generate a word randomly.

7. The Game of Life

The Game Of Life
Source: Wikimedia Commons By 松岡明芳 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

In The Game of Life, it’s all about choices — attending college, accepting a job… you get the idea. And, depending on the choices you make, you can either get paid or lose everything! It’s up to you. You can, “match and play against other online players as you all spin and race in the direction of the last yellow tile of life’s road,” according to Google Play. You can also watch your board piece character come to life and make its way through the various stages of the game.

-Play with up to three friends on one device
-Play in fast mode
-Play minigames
-Chat with other players during online matches

WHAT’S NEW: The makers of this game have added a new theme called Bright Lights, Big City, in which you can explore high-rises and choose to live the life of a DJ, an architect, or a superstar.

6. Dominion

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Moroboshi / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

For those of you who may not be familiar with this game, Dominion is a deck-building card game. Each player starts with the same 10 cards, and as the game progresses, everyone tries to rack up money and points.

The online version of this game lets players see how many actions and buys they have each turn, and it itemizes every card played in a long thread. Players can also right-click on any card to see its abilities. You can play for free with the base set of cards, but you will have to pay for upgrades. Once you’ve done so, you can then customize your settings to get the cards you prefer and filter out the ones you don’t like.

5. Battleship

Source: Wikimedia Commons By KaiBorgeest / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

This two-player, naval-themed game can be played on a video conferencing platform or over the phone. Both players will need to have the game, and you can choose a random opponent, or you can play against a friend. You can also create a tournament using Challonge, a free online tournament management, and brackets tool. The instructions for playing the online version of Battleship are very simple: arrange your ships, wait for your opponent, then start playing. Oh, and don’t forget to yell, “Hey, you sank my battleship!”

4. Splendor

Source: Wikipedia

According to the App Store, Splendor is a tactical, fast, and addictive game where you are a wealthy Renaissance merchant. You can invest in mines, create a commercial empire of diamonds and gems to attract nobles and earn prestige, and recruit artisans to help you become the most influential Renaissance merchant. But, beware: when it’s your turn, you are only given one chance to get it right. Therefore, you will need to carefully watch your opponents, anticipate their moves, and save your best cards for just the right moment.

-You can have anywhere from one to four players, and according to The Philadelphia Citizen, Dave Stufflet of The Basement Board Game Cafe says that Splendor is best suited for friends and roommates.
-You can challenge your friends in local multiplayer or battle guilds from all over the world in online mode.
-Available in English, French, and German

3. Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars
Source: Wikimedia Commons By BiblioteKarin / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

As you might have guessed, Terraforming Mars is a game that lets you build colonies on Mars. And, if you’ve got nothing but time on your hands, which is likely the case since many of us are quarantined, then this is the perfect game for you as it takes several hours to play. You can direct massive construction projects, create cities, forests, and oceans, and use and manage your resources. You can receive Victory Points for building cities, infrastructure, and other projects. But, watch out for rival corporations who will do everything in their power to slow you down!

-Play against the computer or challenge up to five players in multiplayer mode.
-Try the Solo Challenge and finish terraforming Mars before the end of generation 14.
-It’s available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Swedish.

2. Survive: Escape from Atlantis

Survive Escape From Atlantis
Source: Wikimedia Commons By JIP / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

If you’ve got bored teens in your house, you may want to suggest to them that they play Survive: Escape from Atlantis. Here’s the object of the game: You’ve stumbled upon the mysterious island of Atlantis and have gathered up treasures and artifacts to take home with you. There’s just one problem: the island is sinking — albeit slowly — into the ocean. Your task is to get your ten people off the island before it sinks. Simple, right? But, there’s a catch: you’re not going to be able to rescue all of them! Some of them are more valuable than others, and you will have to decide which ones to save and which ones to sacrifice.

1. Dixit

Source: Wikimedia Commons By JIP / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Dixit is a fantasy association game that’s best suited for families with young children. It can be played for free on iOS and Android and is for a maximum of four players. Each player is dealt six cards and takes turns guessing the picture the player designated as the Storyteller has uploaded. After guessing, the player then lays his or her card number face down in front of them. The players who earned points for guessing correctly get to move their crawl chip forward. The game is over once the deck of cards runs out. The player with the most points wins the game.

-Play anywhere with people from around the world
-Learn new cultures
-Play for free


Your turn! What online board games, if any, have you been playing to pass the time during this nationwide lockdown? Let us know in the comments.

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