Fun multiplayer games for the whole family, separated by distance
March 25, 2020 12:31 PM   Subscribe

To help keep spirits up, I'm trying to get together online with family for an afternoon board game thing. We don't all use the same phone/tablet ecosystem, and a lot of card-based games we've played before in person (cribbage, for instance) require secrecy, so we can't play those types of games (without having one person manage a deck of cards and not play), or games through an iOS/Android mix. Are there reliable, secure (non-dodgy, non-gambling-focused), easy-to-use, browser-based multiplayer board games (Scrabble, for instance) that we can sign up with separate accounts, and meet up online through our laptops?

We've done other games online with boardgamer friends, like Alien Frontiers and Tiny Epic Quest, where we can share knowledge and board/piece status through our iPads. I'm looking more for games where my parents, say, could jump in quickly on their laptop, without having to buy a specialized game, need to learn a bunch of rules, and getting bored. So common and fun card and board games managed through a web interface would be more in line with what I'm looking for. Thanks for any tips!
posted by They sucked his brains out! to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
Days of Wonder has some great online games, available through tablet app stores, as well as a web browser. We've been playing the online version of Ticket to Ride for years, and it's easy to learn and fun to play for up to 5 people. (They have many online games available, but this is the only one we've played so far.)
posted by ToucanDoug at 12:49 PM on March 25


My teen is playing the app version of UNO remotely with all his friends and having a grand time of it, judging by the laughter -- it does cost $3 however.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:05 PM on March 25


BoardGameGeek has this wiki of online-playable games.
posted by the_blizz at 1:06 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


pogo.com offers many games, and you can play Scrabble with up to 4 players. i do believe it is free.
posted by ydaltak at 1:23 PM on March 25


I've been enjoying Dominion Online lately. It's perhaps a bit complex but has a lot of depth and is free if you don't want the expansions. Even if you do, only one person needs them, the host, and the subscription fee is quite reasonable.
posted by Alensin at 1:29 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


What about Tabletopia? They have a section with classic board games.
posted by cilantro at 1:56 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


You can play real Scrabble, and real Superscrabble (twice as many tiles and a larger board), with a $15-per-year (per person) membership at The Pixie Pit. It works well regardless of platform, as long as you have both email and a web browser.
posted by chromium at 2:26 PM on March 25


I've hosted two games of JackBox on my laptop. Every player needs a laptop and a phone.

I did it once through Steam (enough people had accounts) and once through Discord. Both worked fine, though some people experienced lag on Steam. Another friend had suggested screencasting the game screen on Google Hangouts.
posted by invokeuse at 3:56 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


I’ve had great success with Drawful 2 - it requires a smartphone or tablet and another tablet or computer per household to actually see the prompts and drawings. You only need three host to own a copy of the game, and then you can stream on the platform of your choice (twitch, zoom, YouTube, whatever). Think of really wacky bad Pictionary. Also it’s free on steam right now!
posted by WedgedPiano at 6:32 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


My dad and my uncle used to play cribbage together online. Try gamecolony.com
posted by SLC Mom at 8:45 PM on March 25


Words With Friends is the free social-media-based Scrabble app. I'd check that out to see if it meets your needs.
posted by bendy at 11:42 PM on March 25


My extended family is playing online BINGO using these remote cards.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:05 AM on March 26


Yeah Drawful or any of the Jackbox games are great!
posted by RajahKing at 6:24 AM on March 26


skribbl.io is a fun simple free online version of Pictionary.
posted by neckro23 at 9:48 AM on March 26


http://www.brettspielwelt.de/
posted by rmd1023 at 11:02 AM on April 10


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