Board gamers are also facing a challenge these days: game meetings are falling asleep, trade shows are being canceled, and private gaming sessions are being reduced to the circle of closest friends or family members. The Corona crisis forces us to keep our physical distance – is it still possible to pursue the hobby of gaming?
Apps, game websites, and software have a huge offer ready and there you can even play with your usual friends. Just click, turn on Skype or Discord, and the physical separation doesn’t become a social one.
Playing board games digitally, that is, online with and against others. Can that be as good as sitting across the table from each other in the real world?
The great classics have been available as digital editions for a long time, and newer board games, too, of course. From Monopoly to Mahjong, from dice games to card games. If you want to play board games all by yourself, apps are a good choice. The game itself, or the computer, smartphone/tablet takes over playing the opposing parties. Online board games are therefore also something for singles.
Round-based or live?
Round-based games are particularly well suited for asynchronous implementation as an app: A message appears as soon as it’s your turn again. So everyone can play when they want and the other players are automatically notified when it’s their turn again.
Everyone plays in their browser, regardless of the device. Computer, cell phone, tablet, even the console – everything works that has an Internet browser. If the other players are also online, then everything goes pretty fast – but everyone can also play at their own desired pace. So if you can or want to look into your game only once a day, nobody rushes you. Of course, everyone has to agree, otherwise playing too slowly leads to frustration.
But sociable live rounds with friends work amazingly well, and thanks to the headset, no one has to miss out on the conversations at the table. Most of the board games can also be played online – against other real people. By chance, players can be found who also want to play the same game online at that moment, or you can connect with friends specifically to play for a short round or an evening.
Nice gimmick, but sometimes annoying: animations. Something moves on the game board. Running, fighting, jumping, bouncing. This spices up the gaming experience, but often reminds us more of a computer game than the original board game.
The great thing is that you can really get stuck into a game and achieve true mastery. Or meet new players. Or even try out games that you find so great afterward that you buy them right away, to be served at your home gaming table when the Corona crisis is over again.
Best online board games
Catan is like the granddaddy of board games at this point, a titanic success that has never really slowed down and is a staple in living rooms and lounges around the world. It’s no surprise that there are a number of apps and websites where you can play Catan online.
Another great board game that can also be played online is Monopoly. Playing Monopoly online could potentially be even more fun because everything has great animations and looks cooler than the normal Monopoly-board.
Another classic game is chess. Not only chess but also other classic games like checkers and backgammon can be played online and are a lot of fun as you can earn scores and play against higher ranked people.