Online games / apps for busy boardgaming dads?
June 8, 2018 8:45 AM   Subscribe

What are some engaging, multiplayer horror / sci-fi / fantasy online games or apps that have a boardgame-like feel?

I'm part of a small group of middle-aged dads that try to meet monthly to play boardgames. Scheduling even one meeting a month is proving difficult lately, though, so we've been kicking around the idea of playing something online as a stopgap between sessions. Looking for online / app games that scratch the boardgame itch and feed what appears to be our preference for games like Fury of Dracula, Dungeon Degenerates and Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu. We know zero about digital gaming, for the most part.

Bonus points for affordability, the possibility of asynchronous play, and usability on multiple devices/platforms.
posted by ryanshepard to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
How many is small? That will help with the answers I think. 3-4 consistently? Sometimes 5-6?
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:06 AM on June 8, 2018

Response by poster: 3, sometimes 4 right now.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:08 AM on June 8, 2018

How about Armello? It's a turn-based strategy board game for PC/Mac/XBox/PS4, set in an appealingly themed heroic fantasy world populated by anthropomorphic animals.

The scenario for the game is sort of Game of Thrones-lite: The board represents the kingdom, and in the center is the king's castle, where the current monarch (a lion) is rapidly succumbing to madness and corruption. You and the other players are in a race to save the kingdom by either deposing or curing the king, undertaking a series of quests and building up your character for the inevitable endgame. There's additional mechanics that add a good deal of strategy to the mix, like a rotating day/night cycle that affects your abilities, as well as a diplomacy meter that allows you to exert an influence on the king's daily proclamations.

Each game takes between 30 minutes to an hour and is very replayable, with all sorts of unlockable characters and items to enhance later play sessions. The built in turn limit prevents it from turning into an all-nighter like Talisman, and the fact that it's digital means zero setup/cleanup or keeping track of tokens and chits like with a lot of tabletop strategy games.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:30 AM on June 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

We enjoy playing Lords of Waterdeep on our iphones - so much that we have not set it up in person since we started playing on iphones. Definitely has asynchronous play, not sure about cross platform.

We also play a lot of Carcassonne on our phones.
posted by needlegrrl at 10:56 AM on June 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh - and Terra Mystica. I knew there was another.
posted by needlegrrl at 10:57 AM on June 8, 2018

I love the iOS/Android adaption of Galaxy Trucker, and there's online multiplayer available.
posted by hanov3r at 11:21 AM on June 8, 2018

The battle of Polytopia has multiplayer functionality, though personally I've only played it solo. It is great fun and available on both Android and iPhone.
posted by Athanassiel at 2:51 PM on June 8, 2018

Have you been to Board Game Arena? Literally asynchronous board games online. :-)
posted by Scattercat at 6:15 AM on June 9, 2018

Solium Infernum... amazing writeup on gameplay here on Rock Paper Shotgun.
posted by protorp at 2:28 PM on June 9, 2018

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