The best board games to play on video calls
Bring your facetime, skype and zoom calls to life with these great versitile board games
Don't close up your board games cupboard just yet. We can still play some of these via video calls. You'll definitely need to be creative with how you play it and ideally it would be a game that you have in common with the person or people you're skyping. If you both have a copy of the game, you can synchronise the movements of the board game pieces and draw games from alternate piles. Or if only one person has a copy of the game, it would likely need to be a game where players don't keep their own hands of cards... because that won't work. As we said - it's best to pick a game and then see if you can come up with ways to make it work. Here are some ideas we've come up with:
Describe as many words as you can, as quick as you can, without saying the word you're trying to describe. Say no more!
One player draws while the others guess what they're drawing as quickly as possible! Use Zoom whiteboard or the HouseParty App to play Quick Draw, or just make up your own game using the actual board game clues or even use an online word generator.
This timeless classic is perfect for skype. One person can act out a word (object, movie, song etc.) on their webcam, while the other people on their team guess what they're acting. Use an online word generator like this.
It's almost as if this all-time favourite board game was invented for occasions such as this. Ideal for two people, this grid-based game of guessing where the other person has placed their ships, will bring some fun to your zoom call with a family member, a relative or a friend. If you both have the exact same version of the game, you could use that, but alternatively you could print or draw-up a battleships grid on paper.
All it takes is two people who both own a chess set and can make a video call to one another. Each player would voice their moves out loud and ensure their opponent has made the replica move on their own board. Alternatively, if you have the ability to position your camera so it can get the board in a useful way or have a third camera you can bring into the mix, then that could work really well too.
Checkers & Backgammon
Just like we mentioned for chess above, Backgammon and Checkers would both work over facetime or skype in a very similar way. Either use two boards or set one camera directly on the board so both players can easily see where the game is at.
One player rolls dice with letters (or uses an online generator) and once all the players know what the letters are, they all try to make as many words as possible in one minute. Points are awarded differently depending on if the word is unique or not.
Choose a selection of different categories and then choose a random letter. Each player needs to come up with a word starting with that random letter for each category as quickly as possible (within the time limit). This concept works perfectly for a zoom meeting!
One player comes up with a secret combination while the other player(s) try to guess it. A simple game that doesn't heavily rely on face-to-face interaction which suits the medium of a video chat.
If you can position a camera to clearly show all the codename cards, this game would be worth a shot over skype. The player who owns the boardgame can "host" the game and get this set up. Then the other players are divided into teams and as long as it's clear who is speaking, this board game to play via video chat would be a great idea.
The all-time favourite Hedbanz (aka. Celebrity Heads) is another simple one. Perfect for two people, although it would work for more, one player asks yes or no questions to the other players to try to guess who they are.
While it would severely reduce the battle-like competitiveness of this game, it would be possible to play with two or more replica boards where players are essentially trying to complete all their routes while racing against the clock. Could be worth trying!? Alternatively, you can go with the board game on single webcam option, ensuring players can all see the same board and voice their moves to the game "host".
There are simple ways to modify almost any board game to make it playable over video chat if you use a bit of creativity and ingenuity. Please get in touch with us to share your ideas!