Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-21-2020, 04:38 PM
TwoCarrotSnowman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: West Yorks, UK
Posts: 567

I'm looking for an online board game to play remotely with the family


Hi everyone,

My parents, my brother and his kids, and Mrs Snowman and I are geographically dispersed around the UK. Next week would have our annual holiday together, but that's not going to happen now (I forget why...) Instead of physically meeting up, we're planning a week of virtual events instead. We'll have two pensioners, three adults in our early forties, and two kids (10 and 13).

One of the ideas on the table is a virtual board game. Online Scrabble is one thought - I assume that there's a way to do that - but I'm open to all ideas.

The main requirements are:
  1. that it's suitable for the kids without being mind-numbing for the grown-ups;
  2. that it doesn't take hours to play;
  3. that it runs in a browser without needing anything being installed locally (we'll be using a variety of devices and operating systems); and
  4. that we can have a private game without anyone else joining in.
I imagine we'll have Zoom going alongside, so there's no need for the game itself to have chat or anything like that.

I've never played board games online like this before - can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks
  #2  
Old 05-21-2020, 04:56 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is online now
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 17,792
Jackbox Games has a bunch of different party games that can easily be played online this way. If you're familiar with the 1990s computer game "You Don't Know Jack," it's the same company; some of their games are definitely adults-only, but others are made for all ages.

They're not board games, per se, but I think that they're pretty well-suited for a group like yours, and most of their games aren't terribly long.

One person (probably you) would be the one to buy the actual game, and run it from your computer; you'd then share your screen over Zoom. Everyone who's playing would then use their own devices (computers, tablets, or smartphones) to participate.
  #3  
Old 05-21-2020, 04:57 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is online now
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 17,792
(duplicate post)

Last edited by kenobi 65; 05-21-2020 at 04:58 PM.
  #4  
Old 05-21-2020, 05:27 PM
TwoCarrotSnowman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: West Yorks, UK
Posts: 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Jackbox Games has a bunch of different party games that can easily be played online this way. If you're familiar with the 1990s computer game "You Don't Know Jack," it's the same company; some of their games are definitely adults-only, but others are made for all ages.

They're not board games, per se, but I think that they're pretty well-suited for a group like yours, and most of their games aren't terribly long.

One person (probably you) would be the one to buy the actual game, and run it from your computer; you'd then share your screen over Zoom. Everyone who's playing would then use their own devices (computers, tablets, or smartphones) to participate.
Thanks kenobi 65 - I'm looking at that now.
  #5  
Old 05-23-2020, 03:41 PM
Zelski is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 111
Generally, I do a lot of board gaming. My hobby, though, comprises a subset of board gaming and is often referred to by other names (German-style, Euro, Family, and more.) The folks at my meetups would not be likely to play Monopoly, Life, or even Scrabble. Probably the best selling game in this subset hobby - and the most famous - is The Settlers of Catan. If you haven't heard of that game, you probably don't know many of the games in the subset hobby I am talking about.

The hobby features a wide range of game styles, mechanics, time-length, number of features, etc. Many don't actually use a board! The game I consider to be the best entry game to the hobby for new players is called Ticket to Ride, designed by Alan Moon and published by Days of Wonder.

In the hobby, the term 'train game' has a meaning(s) that is unimportant here other than to note that train games have a theme of railroads. Ticket to Ride looks like a train game. Don't let that scare you! TtR is actually a Rummy game, which is a term I use to indicate the mechanic of Set Collection. In a Rummy card game, you might try to collect a bunch of the Queens. In TtR, you will be collecting cards that feature differently colored railroad cars. At times of your choosing, you will 'spend' a part of your collection to claim potential railroad routes on a board.

I quite successfully taught my seven year old nephew, so young people are fine. My mid-70s mother and stepfather play, so older people are fine. This game does get played at my meetup, so those types are fine. The rules are easy to understand. The base game should take 60-90 minutes.

Why do I mention all of this? Because many of the publishers in my hobby have online versions available. Here is the Days of Wonder online page for Ticket to Ride. Everyone would have to download the application to their own device but it is supported on many types.

Also, there are many sequel versions or expansions. These usually feature an additional rule or two (to mix it up or to be thematic) and a different geographical board. Most of these other versions are also available at that website (in the lower right.) The original starter board with the fewest rules is the USA board featured in the main game.

My groups think the Europe board is 'fairer' but it does come with 2-3 extra rules. One of them, the station houses, is a nice rule that makes it hard to totally screw over someone based on board position. This fairer board and the station houses might make a beginner game more fun.
  #6  
Old 05-23-2020, 09:55 PM
Leaper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: In my own little world...
Posts: 12,866
I’ve heard good things about Tabletop Simulator. Anyone have experience with it?
  #7  
Old 05-24-2020, 05:35 AM
TwoCarrotSnowman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: West Yorks, UK
Posts: 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelski View Post
Why do I mention all of this? Because many of the publishers in my hobby have online versions available. Here is the Days of Wonder online page for Ticket to Ride. Everyone would have to download the application to their own device but it is supported on many types.

Also, there are many sequel versions or expansions. These usually feature an additional rule or two (to mix it up or to be thematic) and a different geographical board. Most of these other versions are also available at that website (in the lower right.) The original starter board with the fewest rules is the USA board featured in the main game.

My groups think the Europe board is 'fairer' but it does come with 2-3 extra rules. One of them, the station houses, is a nice rule that makes it hard to totally screw over someone based on board position. This fairer board and the station houses might make a beginner game more fun.
Thanks - I appreciate you taking the time to post this. Having reflected a bit more, I think that for this particular upcoming session, I'm going to try and keep the need to learn new games to a minimum if I can - but I think that these Euro games might be something we explore more in the future when we have a bit more time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaper View Post
Iíve heard good things about Tabletop Simulator. Anyone have experience with it?
That's one of the options I've found while having a Google: this article, which I found five minutes ago, covers it. I'm off to have a look now.
  #8  
Old 05-24-2020, 06:08 AM
N9IWP is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Southeast MN
Posts: 6,551
Yucata.de is free and has hundreds of games. Las Vegas plays up to 6 and is family weight IMHO.
How many players?

Brian
  #9  
Old 05-24-2020, 06:17 AM
N9IWP is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Southeast MN
Posts: 6,551
Here is Board Game Geek's guide to distance gaming: Has some zoom playable games (one person needs the physical game)
https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/...e_Gaming_Guide

Brian
  #10  
Old 05-24-2020, 07:15 AM
Teuton's Avatar
Teuton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Plymouth, UK
Posts: 1,817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaper View Post
Iíve heard good things about Tabletop Simulator. Anyone have experience with it?
It's very good at what it does. But it's not free, and it doesn't run in a browser.
  #11  
Old 05-24-2020, 07:34 AM
DPRK is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 5,150
Last I checked, there were still free Internet servers for chess, go, backgammon, and similar, if you like old-school games. Also online Bridge if you like cards.
  #12  
Old 05-25-2020, 04:39 AM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: the Land of Smiles
Posts: 21,570
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
Last I checked, there were still free Internet servers for chess, go, backgammon, and similar, if you like old-school games. Also online Bridge if you like cards.
I like the simple interface at playok.com which has all the games you mention and more. (Bridge is problematic unless you bring your own partner.)
  #13  
Old 05-25-2020, 07:59 AM
Maserschmidt's Avatar
Maserschmidt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New England
Posts: 6,020
Wait, you have Zoom available for this? Can I talk you into just spending three minutes looking at this game, Just One? It is extremely zoom friendly, everybody we’ve taught it to has ended up buying it, and it’s very, very simple.

Also, it won a game of the year prize at the eminent spiel des Jahres.

Their website gives you a very very simple Playthrough.

https://justone-the-game.com/index.php?lang=en#

All errors voice to text, I swear. :-)

Last edited by Maserschmidt; 05-25-2020 at 08:01 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017