Do you want to play some online board games with your friends? The most significant benefit board games have over video games is the ability to reach across the table and hit your buddies when they inevitably betray you. Naturally, if you can’t throttle a dear buddy minutes after they declare victory, you might conclude that online board games have little to offer.
While the physical part of board games – even slaps – is missing, online board games are still a fun way to bring your favourite boxes to the (virtual) table more frequently. They also don’t require you to entertain other people in your home, saving you money on snacks, drinks, and the time it takes to clean up afterwards. Furthermore, most online board games are far faster to set up and play, and you can play versus AI if you’re missing a friend or two. We have a separate list for you if you don’t care about the internet component and want to play some of the finest PC board games on Steam.
If you want to give them a shot, we’ve compiled a list of the finest online board games so you can get your analogue dose in the digital world.
Popular online board games include those listed below:
- Simulator for Tabletop
- The Galaxy is on your side.
- Mars is being terraformed.
- Hitler’s Dark Side
SIMULATOR FOR THE TABLETOP
Tabletop Simulator (TTS) can conjure up practically any box you can think of, like a decidedly limp monkey’s paw of board game wishes. What is the cost? Some clumsy controls and botched execution.
On the surface, TTS appears to be a great thing: an engine jam-packed with fan-made and official mods for all of your favourite games. Players can manually move components and cards around on a virtual table in this simulator, and it can feel like you’re swinging a dead cat over your monitor in practice. There are a lot of remote controls to understand, and it’s not commonplace for players to throw parts into the air or even flip the table over (there’s a key dedicated to this good move). That’s true, and it even creates the illusion of a damaged ego.
Two teams compete over a grid of words in Vlaada Chvátil’s Codenames. Only the spymaster of each team knows the words their team must choose to win. The spymasters must lead their horde of idiots to the correct answer by giving them single-word hints and a series of associations. It’s difficult enough to connect clues, but it’s even more important to avoid tying in opponent and neutral alternatives, as well as the game-ending Assassin card.
Assemble, strategy game nerds! RTS games may have fallen out of favour on the PC, but the analogue world is now seeing some of its brightest days for tactical players. Scythe may be turn-based, but it’s the closest thing you’ll get to a board game RTS. Players compete to control a beautifully painted map by constructing employees, buildings, and steampunk mechs to gain the most influence and popularity.
What’s the bad news? Your friend was assassinated. Fortunately, their ghost will assist you in determining who did them wrong. One player assumes the role of a long-dead spirit in Mysterium, a co-op experience. In the hopes of discovering their killer, they’ll send visions to a group of psychic mediums — the other players. Mind you, communicating from beyond the dead is difficult, and the spirit can only express through abstract and surrealist art. Collaborate to figure out who did it, where it happened, and how it happened so they can finally rest in peace.
GO FOR THE UNIVERSE!
There aren’t many games where you can use an intergalactic disco to rule the stars. Roll for the Galaxy, on the other hand, isn’t your typical space-conquering adventure. Rather than battling directly, players secretly roll and assign dice to duties such as world settlement, money generation, products production, and delivering precious wares for victory points. Each new globe adds additional powers and dice, allowing you to develop a powerful manufacturing engine throughout the game.
Here’s one you can play with several buddies over a Zoom call if you’re looking for a decent social deduction game. Spyfall is yet another hidden role game, but it seems unique, unlike many others on this list. The spy is one of the players, while the rest of the gang are regular folks. Every ordinary person is assigned the same location from a huge pool of possibilities. On the other hand, the spy has no idea where they are and must figure it out.