While we’ve had to hit the snooze button on conventions and game groups, that doesn’t mean you can’t play with friends and folks from around the world. Do it virtually! Here’s a few sites to help keep you entertained with game-y goodness AND hanging out with other gamers from the comfort of your own couch!
Featuring games like Hanamikoji, Circle the Wagons, and Lost Cities, Happy Meeple allows you to add friends or connect with folks playing randomly. There’s also meta game in which you can build your own town. There is a ‘currency’ involved in long term play, but you can generally balance this out from win and trophy earnings.
My current fave: Finito
Tabletopia is a virtual tabletop with newer, hot titles like Tang Garden, KanBan EV, Wingspan, and On the Rocks. Available online or through Steam, you can add friends or play with other gamers through Find & Play. As a virtual tabletop, you’ll need to go through the rulebook in order to learn to play, and you may need a time or two to figure out the controls. Over 600 games that are a mix of paid and free, and the ability to search by player count, age, and length.
My current fave: Chai
A German asynchronous play site, Yacata has a 100+ games with a focus on classic older Euros like Carcassone, Castles of Burgundy, and Russian Railroads. Friends must be onlin to sync up as buddies, but a quick note in the chat will also get you up and running with someone new. Have to step away? No problem! Play through Yacata is intended to be ‘as you get to a turn’ so you can play and get some work done if you need to. (Or request a fast game if you want to play in ‘real’ time.)
My current fave: Zooleretto
Triqqy allows you to request a game through its matchmaking system to play aginst people for all over. Boasts a couple dozen abstract stategy and classic board games plus faves like Tigris and Euphrates, Ra, and Shipyard. Also has the ability to be linked through your facebook account.
My current fave: Janggi
Board Game Arena
We’ve featured this platform a few times on Twitch. BGA has a couple hundred games including 7 Wonders, KingDomino, and Terra Mystica. Some games require being started by a premier member (about 24$ for a year’s subscription) but most will let you drop in for free, and many are unlocked for everyone. Easily add friends or play randomly.
My current fave: 7 Wonders, of course
BoardSpace is an app for either your PC or mobile devices. Featuring primarily abstract strategy, there area also a few classics like Viticulture and Tammany Hall. The set up is a little old school, but with the friend locator you’ll be able puzzle it out together and hop in a game. I’m not in love with the chat feature, so keeping your fave DM platform open would be helpful as well.
My current fave: Hive