As cases rise and temperature get colder, it seems we are once again destined to be stuck inside without our friends and family. So how, as board game addicts, are we supposed to get our fix? Luckily, there are many ways to have a safe and socially distant board game night.
- Play games with those already in your Covid bubble.
Do you already have a group of friends, family, or coworkers you spend a lot of time with? Play games with them! This isn’t an option for everyone, but if you already have a group you eat with, live with, or spend a lot of time in close quarters with, that’s as close as you can get to safe in-person gaming. Mask up, respect everyone’s personal bubble, (maybe don’t play Twister) and have fun!
2. Use an app!
Some board games have apps that you can download on your phone and play with others. Games like Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, and Monopoly all have licensed apps- plus you can always find dozens of apps for games like Chess or Checkers. Get on a call with friends to bicker to your heart’s content over settlement or train placements.
3. Play on your computer.
Steam has a slew of board games in its library- as well as Tabletop Simulator which allows you to, well, simulate playing your favorite board games. You can even flip the table when you’re done and with online games you don’t even have to worry about losing your pieces under the couch! Jump into Discord and play some tunes while you play some games.
Tabletopia is also a really cool resource too; it’s an online cornucopia of game demos that you can play with other users, including new releases and games you can’t find or purchase. It’s a really great resource to try new games before you buy them or get a group to play if your normal board game friends can’t get together. This is not a free option, but it is a cool way to play online if you can spare a few dollars.
It’s a good way to get more space to play and gives you more options than a phone game would allow you to have.
4. Video Call it!
Speaking of Discord, you can play board games over video calls too! Using Zoom, Skype, Discord, Google Hangouts, or another video call software one player or group of players can set up a game and stream it to the other players. The other players can dictate how they want their pieces to move and how they want to play. This one’s a little tricky to pull off, and often works best with a non-player acting as game master to make sure everything runs smoothly.
This is a method that best serves RPG games like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, or Monster of the Week.
5. Use specialized game programs, like Roll20.
If you play an RPG, there are a ton of online resources and downloadable content to help you game with your group remotely. In addition to interfaces like Discord, you may find game simulators more helpful for your gaming experience. Things like Roll20, RollGate, Fantasy Grounds, or Vassal have different capabilities, like built-in map features or a modular terrain map you can build for your adventure.
Vassal is also a popular option for remote miniature war games, especially skirmish-sized games like WarCry or Malifaux.