Looking for a way to play your favorite games with family and friends from afar? You can have a fun virtual game night with these 15+ best board games to play on video chat!You know we love a good family game night! In fact, we have a whole list of our favorite family games here. We also REALLY love game nights with friends. Sadly, getting together in person isn’t an option in this time of social distancing. BUT, you can still have a REAL game night with friends or family via video chat!!
Obviously this isn’t quite the same as in-person fun, but it’s a great alternative during these times of separation. We are SO thankful for the gift of technology! And thanks to that technology, we’ve now had a few different game nights over video chat with friends across town as well as family in other states and countries! That was our simple set-up from our 1st time trying it! And we love it! So, I thought I’d walk you through the logistics of how we’ve done this and what games work best for remote game play (some affiliate links are included below, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).
Best Video Chat Platforms for Game Night
There’s a lot of great video chat and conference call platforms that you can use for your game night. Here’s the 4 that we’re most familiar with using for video calls:
- Google Hangouts
Obviously, FaceTime is only for people with Apple devices, so that could be a limitation depending on who you’re playing with. We’ve also found that it’s been glitchy lately. So, Zoom has been our go-to for our game nights. But each platform has pros & cons, so just go with whatever your group feels most comfortable using.
No matter which platform you use, every household that’s going to participate will need a device for video chatting – smart phone, tablet, laptop, etc. Depending on which games you’d like to play, you may also need a tripod for your device in order to show the game board to everyone. Here’s a few options:
Once everyone is set-up, then the real fun can begin! Time to play some games!!
Best Dice Games to Play Remotely
Various dice games can be good because they usually require few materials. Plus, dice are something that you might have around the house anyway, making it an easy things to do remotely. Here are our top picks of dice games to play via video chat:
Tenzi – is a fast, fun dice game that encourages fast reactions and is super easy to play in-person or remotely. To play, each player just needs their own set of 10 dice. You really could have unlimited players for this one and it’s high energy so one the kids really enjoy playing with their friends over video chat. This Tenzi Card Add-on Pack really adds to the fun with 77 different ways to play – many of which you can do while social distancing and playing remotely!
Yahtzee – Everyone household playing just needs 5 dice, a pencil, and scoresheets to play. You can get a free Yahtzee score card here.
Farkle – Similar to Yahtzee, you just need dice (every household playing will need 6), a pencil, and scoresheets to play. Click here for Farkle Instructions and scoresheets.
Qwixx – This is our new favorite dice game! We love it and have played this multiple times remotely. Each household playing will need their own dice and Qwixx scoresheets to play. But as long as everyone playing has these materials, this is a great one to play remotely. Each player just takes their normal turn and you rotate through all players remotely as you would if you were all playing together. So easy.
Games You Can Play with Only One Set
One of the limitations to the remote game play set-up is that many games will only be workable if BOTH households playing have the game. So, we’ve tried to come up with some options where only one household needs to game to be able to play – and we’ve come up with a few! My personal favorite game tops the list!
Boggle – I love this game!!!! It’s basically a head-to-head word search game, in which you try to find more words on the board than your opponents. This works SO well remotely! Only one household needs the game and is the boardmaster. For playing this, the boardmaster will need some sort of tripod or a way in which to tilt a screen so that all players can clearly see the Boggle board. Then, everyone else just needs paper and a pencil/pen. We’ve played this with friends & family over video chat multiple times now (both as the boardmaster and the ones looking at the board through the screen). It works SO well with any version of Boggle. If you don’t have the game already, we recommend going with a bigger version like Big Boggle or Super Big Boggle (my personal favorite).
Scattegories – This game lends itself very well to playing remotely. As long as one household has the game, you can play this one easily. You’ll just need to snap photos of the category cards you need to play (just one card for each round of play) and text everyone in the group. We haven’t tried this method yet, but there is also an online version of Scattegories. In that case, one member of the video chat group would just need to screenshare that online version with the rest of the group.
Double Ditto – Similar to Scattegories in a way, this would be a very easy (and fun) game to do remotely where really only one household would need a physical copy of the game to play!
Pandemic – Yes really! 😉 Lol! Given our “science nerd” status around here, Pandemic is actually one of our very favorite games. Different from many board games, this one is actually cooperative. That means, you and your teammates are working together to try to beat the game (in this case, solve a global pandemic). It does take on a little different tone in the midst of an ACTUAL global pandemic though.To play, you’ll need one household to be the boardmaster and keep one device overhead of the game so everyone can see the board. The boardmaster household will need to take care of drawing cards for everyone else playing, but that shouldn’t be too much to keep track of as everyone is supposed to see all the cards and moves anyway.
Pictionary – The classic drawing game is one you could do over video chat even if just one household has the actual game. Now, it would be a bit easier if every household playing had the game (just for drawing cards). But there is a certainly a way you could work the teams and work drawing the cards to where only one game would be necessary. You could also try this one using Zoom’s Whiteboard feature for make things extra interesting! Lol! So this one is a little trickier, but definitely doable and can be great fun!
Codenames – Now, truthfully we haven’t tried this one remotely yet, but it’s one we think could work with a few modifications. Namely, you would need to be strategic about how the teams work. And the boardmaster (and spy master) would need to send a picture of the play card to one of the members in the other household. But theoretically this one could work well with just one board needed. We especially love Disney Codenames!
Games with 2+ “Boards” Required
So, we’ve already been through a list of about 10 physical games you can do already with just one household needing the board or a few additional supplies for everyone (like dice). There’s even more fun to be had if eery household you’re playing with has their own copy of the game.
So, the following games are all good remote play options if BOTH households (or more if you’re doing a big group) have copies of the game. A few of the games may require some adaptions (for instance, you may need to be strategic about teams or play with less pieces, etc.) But all should be workable and fun games to play on video chat!
- Guess Who
- Colorbrain or Disney Colorbrain
- World of Disney Eye Found It
Another idea would be physical games where each household could be playing the same game over video chat and competing against each other. So Jenga or Suspend would work well for that sort of play. For Jenga, it could be the first family to topple their tower loses. Or the first family to stack their tower “x” inches tall wins or something. With Suspend, it could be the first family to successfully hang all their rods wins.
So, hopefully that gives you some good ideas for connecting with friends & family even when you can’t be together. Having a virtual game night played on video chat is definitely a great option!
Did we miss any games that would work well? Let us know your favorite games to play on video chat in the comments below and be sure to pin this one for later!
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