Options For Online Board Games
It’s assumed that for most of these games you’d run a video or voice chat service simultaneously (e.g. zoom, discord) for the best connective experience. Prices mentioned are in AUD.
As said, this is not an exhaustive list. So many random sites facilitate games, it’d be too much to list them all! When you want to play a specific game, you either must do the research and discover if it exists online already, or get creative, and say, work out how to play over video chat!
Happy Board Gaming!
Notes collated by Evan Leed 2020
Wordmine on Cyberspaces features video chat for 8 people, join easily with shared link.
OneWord.games. (3-7) Share room name. Don’t have to sign up.
Fishbowl / The Hat Game
Fishbowl-Game.com. (4+) Share game code. No sign up involved.
PlayTaboo.com. (2+) Everyone visits same site, no connecting. Just generates new words.
Anagrams. (2-8) Not really bananagrams, close enough. Create room and share link, sign up to have a name.
International Scrabble Club. (2-4) Sign up, send game invites. There’s many options for online scrabble!
Out of Context
OutOfContext.party. (2+). Features various “Build the Story” type games (read the rules for each one). Share game code, no sign up involved.
Skribbl. (2-12) Create room, share a link, no sign up involved. Similar include Sketchful.io (2-64) and Drawasaurus (2-20). Sketchful and Skribbl can have custom words, Drawsaurus has other slightly unique settings.
Fake Artist Goes to New York
Fake Artist Online. (3-10) Share game code. No sign up involved.
Drawphone. (4+) Simplest and best, just share game code. Can adjust timer, can’t draw in colour.
Broken Picturephone. Simple, share room code. No timer, people’s “books” visibly backlog.
Cosel.io. Simple, share a link. 90 sec timer.
Drawception. (6, 12, 15) Sign up first. Create private games and share a link. Can only have 10 min or 90 sec turns, can’t have simultaneous goes. This site is good for displaying drawings.
Decrypto. (3-8) No connecting, only gives new codes. Screen share and digitally note take elsewhere.
codewords (4+) is the best. Share link. Cyberterms on Cyberspaces has video chat for 8 people. Likes of Codewords.tv and HorsePaste.com are simpler and feature custom words, but allow for easy cheating.
Isolant.Games. (3-16) Register and sign up, then share room code.
Skull.games. (3-6) Just enter room, no sign up involved.
Sites Used For Card Games
Simplest card game site! Has 9 different trick- based card games. Share room code, don’t have to sign up. Also available on app for iOS.
- Oh Hell
Sign up or play as a nameless guest. One of the best classic games sites, more games to come.
17 classic board games:
- Checkers (few variations)
- Mahjong (Solitaire)
- Paper Soccer
14 card games:
- Gin Rummy
- Oh Hell!
Need to sign up. Add friends to play together. Has 22 different card games.
Solitaires: FreeCell, Klondike, Seahaven Towers, Spider, Yukon
Trick Games: 325, Barbu, Euchre, Hearts, Oh Hell, Pinochle, Rung, Sergeant Major, Spades, Whist
Rummies: Canasta, Gin, Rummy, R. 500
Others: Crazy Eights, Durak, President
Has a few games (Go Fish, Match Up, Crazy Eights, Checkers). Just share a link, no sign up involved. At this site you can easily design or set up and run whatever card game you want with the “custom game” option. It gives you a deck of cards to play with, as well as the option to make your own cards. Manual dealing though. You can even set up games with game pieces, spinners, and checkers boards!
(CIV). (2-8) Sign up, then add friends and create a game.
Play-Agricola.com. (1-5) Join the same game room, don’t have to sign up.
Backstabbr. (2-7) Sign up, create a game and share a link to join.
Dominion.games. (2-6) Sign up and join “table”. Pay for expansions.
Dominoes.PlayDrift.com. (2-4) Just share a link, don’t have to sign up. Features Draw, Block, All 5s, All 3s.
Hanabi.Live. (2-5) Sign up and join game from lobby. Simply laid out.
Webopoly.org (2-4) Share game ID or game name. No sign up involved. Pogo.com (need to sign up) and Rento (don’t have to sign up) are both more complex with joining up, but have traditional aesthetics.
Set With Friends. (1+) Just share a link, no sign up involved.
QwiqWit (3-12) is virtually just Quiplash from Jackbox. It’s free, and can have more players than Quiplash. Share room code, no sign up involved.
Warzone.com. (2+). Need to sign up. Can customize maps and rules. ConquerClub.com and WarGear.net are among similar sites, though none of these are as simple as playing on Steam/mobile or Pogo.com (2-6).
PlayTak.com. (2) At least sign up as guest. “Join game” to play with friend.
UnoFreak.com. (2-10) Just share a link, don’t have to sign up. Most sites don’t allow the game to be played with friends. Can otherwise use Uno app or Facebook app.
Site features 4 classic games. Just share link. If the host signs up you can play tournaments. (2+)
- Gomoku (2)
- Battleship (2)
Game also found at battleship-game.org, just share link
- Tic-Tac-Toe (2)
Variation of game also found at bejofo.net, just share link.
- Connect 4 (2) Game also found at c4arena.com, just share link.
Online Board Game Platforms
These platforms house multiple games all together. You need to sign up and create an account to play, this generally isn’t much of an obstacle to overcome.
This website has 175 different board games. The games are well set up and simple to follow. Very good site! Some games include:
- 6 Nimmt!
- Colt Express
- French Tarot
- Quarto & Quoridor
- Red 7
- Stone Age
$ There are better games available for Premium members (roughly $6.50 per month). Only one person in the party needs premium for all to play. Premium games include:
- 7 Wonders
- Love Letter
- Puerto Rico
- Sushi Go!
- Terra Mystica
People on the same wifi network can’t play with each other unless someone in the game has a premium account. Can currently bypass this if an account is just initially created on a different IP network (e.g. create an account on mobile data).
Can sign up or play as a nameless guest. Has 6 games:
- 7 Wonders: Duel
- Century: Spice Road
Steam is a free gaming platform. Some board games are free, most you’d need to pay for. When playing online, everyone needs to acquire the same game. Therefore if it’s a paid game, everyone needs a paid copy of the game.
Some free games:
- Simply Chess
- Catan Universe (A bit glitchy, also on mobile)
- Risk: Global Domination (Pay $18.50 to be able to play whenever you want without wait times. Also on mobile)
$ Some paid games:
You can get most of these games cheaper on mobile. Prices usually range from $10-$25 excluding sales. Games include:
- Axis & Allies 1942
- Galaxy Trucker
- Game of life
- Labyrinth: W.O.T.
- Monopoly Plus
- Terra Mystica
- Terraforming Mars
- Ticket to Ride
Costs around $30, but has an excellently vast selection! Over 30 thousand various games and RPG’s! Can even create your own games on the Steam workshop. Much like Tabletopia it just provides a simulator for you to interact with the pieces. Just slightly harder than Tabletopia with regards to understanding the functionality. Can play some games locally on the same computer.
Not the simplest website to wrap your head around at the moment. Lots of ads also. The “early access experience” has fewer games. Has 14 very common multiplayer games including:
Has over 800 board games! The games aren’t set up and run for you, instead it provides you with a simulator that has all the pieces you need for the game on a virtual table. You need to actively move, turn over, and shuffle all components of the game yourself (which takes a bit to learn). Just interacting with pieces can take a little while as well. Can play some games locally on the same computer. Some games require the premium account. Tabletopia has lots of lesser known games, including:
- Terra Mystica
- Railroad Ink
- Secret Hitler
- Sub Terra
- Quips about Christianity
158 mostly lesser known games. Includes: Castles of Burgundy, MachiKoro, Puerto Rico, Red 7, Stone Age, Terra Mystica, and 2 variations of Carcassonne.
Features 84 mostly abstract games, including Euphoria, Khet, Hive, Raj, and Container. Must download a game client. There’s a small learning curve to knowing how to join others online.
Old game client that simulates board games. Bit to learn with how to download the client and games, how to run games, and how to join with others. Benefit to Vassal is that there’s over 2000 games available, though many are removed due to copyright. Used lots for playing War games.
Board Game Apps For Android & iOS
- Classic Games: For the likes of Backgammon, Reversi, Go, Chess, etc. search for the developer “al factory ltd”
- Werewolf and Mafia
- Catan Universe: Free, but glitchy. Also on Steam
- $ Catan Classic Roughly $8 per person, also glitchy
- Houseparty: Video chat app with a few games — Trivia, Heads Up, Pictionary, Apples to Apples
- Risk: Free to play, pay $18.50 to play without wait times. Also on Steam
- Trickster Cards: iOS only, also on web
- Hive: Android only, uses BGA account
|Castles of Burgundy||$9|
|Game of Life||$4|
|Puerto Rico (iOS only)||$4|
|Race for the Galaxy||$10|
|Ticket to Ride||$9.50|
|Through the Ages||$15|
Collections of different party games. The host pays for it (ranges $12-$30 per pack, different per pack). Platforms include Steam and consoles. Someone with the game streams. Other players don’t need to sign up or buy anything, instead they simply watch and join game with their devices to jackbox.tv.
Similar to Mafia/Werewolf. There’s a bit to understanding with how it runs. Was free, now costs $5-$10 depending on platform (Steam, web, mobile). Classic is free on mobile (limited free goes per day).
Website with many different knock-off board games and video games. Players join with their phone as a controller, going on the app or the site. This site functions best with everyone in the same room, but if you can withstand the lag then the host can stream the screen and others can join and play.
Fun co-op game that involves one person describing a bomb and others instructing how to defuse. Platforms include Steam, mobile, and consoles. Only the host with the bomb buys the game (ranges $12-$22 depending on platform). Other players just need the bomb manual found at bombmanual.com. Anyone playing remotely can’t have turns with the bomb unless they also buy/install the game.
Online Collectable Card Games
There’s so many different options for online CCG’s. Some, like Magic, require payments to be playable. Some, like MTG Arena, require clients to be set up. It’d take another list of it’s own to name all options (there’s a few good lists online). Here are just 5 CCG’s played for free on browsers (after sign up).
Host signs up and streams screen, players simply connect with their devices to catlab.tv. Need to pay $44 to play with more than 6. Can create your own quizzes. Various question types.
Host just needs to stream screen and other players watch and play along. Don’t have to sign up. Can create your own jeopardy games.
Host signs up on Kahoot.com and streams screen, others connect with their devices to Kahoot.it. Can create your own quizzes. Used a lot for education, but does feature general trivia. Only multiple Choice.
Players need to sign up. Share link to join private game room. Type in written answers. Simply laid out, but as of the release of this list the site is still in beta and lacks features such as choice of categories.
Create room and share link. “Buzz in” and type answers to the questions being read.