Online board games to relieve quarantine boredom

Everyone is missing our regular socialization activities right now, but if you are a board gamer like me, there are actually still plenty of online options for playing some of your favorite games against friends, strangers, or even bots.  So check these out if you are looking for something more interactive than drinking with your friends over Zoom (though to be honest, that sounds great, too).

Town of Salem

https://www.blankmediagames.com/

If you are familiar with the party games Werewolf or Mafia or any of their variations, you will love this version.  Upon joining a game, you are randomly assigned a role, either one of the townspeople with various abilities, like Sheriff or Doctor, or a villain like a werewolf or a member of the mafia.  (There are dozens of roles in all, but the base version has about 15 options.) Every night, the evildoers will kill one or more townspeople; the next day, the town members accuse and try to lynch the evils.  There’s obviously some strategy involved, and each role requires different tactics.

You can play with a friend if you queue together or with strangers; there are also ranked games if you want to get competitive.  It can be played on mobile, through Steam, or in your browser. Also, I actually find Town of Salem just as fun to watch as to play.  There are many players that stream their games if you want to see some gameplay; here are three of my favorites from YouTube:

Dominion

https://dominion.games

Dominion is a staple of Euro-style board gamers; it is a deck building game that can be played with 2-4 people and is fairly easy to learn.  The online version is remarkably good and can be played for free (the game’s many expansions can also be purchased by subscription at €3.90/mo).  You can create tables for your friends, play with random strangers, or sharpen your skills against bots like “Lord Rattington.”

Suck it, Lord Rattington!

 

AsoBrain: Xplorers and Toulouse

http://games.asobrain.com/

Well, you can copyright names and images, but you can’t copyright gameplay.  So AsoBrain has developed online versions of some Eurogames that probably will seem very familiar, though they are not official licensed versions.  Xplorers involves four players settling an island with various resources that can be traded between players. Toulouse involves laying tiles to create cities and farms that are then populated by meeple.

asobrain

I have been playing on this site for nearly 15 years now; there are a few hoops to jump through, but it is worth it. To play, you will need to download Java on your computer, and register with a limited domain email address (use your college email; accounts like gmail and yahoo are not allowed to prevent banned players re-registering).  The site allows you to make games for friends only, play with strangers (even ranked games), or play against bots that are named after Friends characters (I beat Ross all the time).

 

Board Game Arena

https://en.boardgamearena.com/

For even more options, this website has dozens of classic games like Yahtzee and chess as well as popular Eurogames like Puerto Rico, 7 Wonders, and Jaipur.  The majority of them are free to play in your browser, and can be played with friends or strangers. A premium subscription (€4/mo) gives you and your friends access to the most popular games and expansions and lets you integrate voice and video chat.

 

Apps (various)

There are plenty of board game apps available on mobile, but most good, official ones cost money.  Asmodee Digital, for example, sells app versions of popular games like Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, and Splendor for around $5 each, which you can then play with others online.

How are you guys filling your time at home?  Did any of these games sound interesting?  Are you now watching Town of Salem videos on autoplay on YouTube?

 

6 thoughts on “Online board games to relieve quarantine boredom

  1. Krysta April 16, 2020 / 1:37 pm

    These look like a lot of fun! A friend recommended Board Game Arena to me, but I’ve heard the pandemic means the site is seeing a lot of traffic and being overwhelmed, so I haven’t tried it out yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei April 16, 2020 / 11:00 pm

      Yes, I think it has gotten quite a bit more popular right now! No surprise if they are having some issues.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Krysta April 17, 2020 / 8:36 am

        I might try it out this week on an off-hour. We shall see!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Louise Brady, Author April 19, 2020 / 9:08 am

    We’ve been playing Dominion online because it’s quicker than setting up the board game ^_^”
    I’ll check out board game arena later, looks interesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei April 19, 2020 / 11:43 pm

      We’ve done the same thing with Ticket to Ride! Not having to set up all those cards/pieces really helps speed it up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Louise Brady, Author April 20, 2020 / 8:49 am

        The Ticket to Ride App is great, we bought it to play the last time we travelled by train 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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