Top 10 Online Board Game Platforms

[Even for Post-Pandemic Life]

In a lot of ways the pandemic feels like it is winding down, but I’ll be the first one to tell you that certain patterns I’ve developed are simply better for my time management and mental health. One of these patterns is daily board gaming with my fiancé and our friends. They have been key to keeping my short and long distance relationships going.

So I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Board Game platforms out there for you to try if you still haven’t.

  • BrettSpielWelt.DE
    • Pros:
      • The downloadable app makes it easy to connect with friends once you learn some server specific commands.
      • Structured community with rules and guidelines
    • Cons:
      • Overzealous and impatient strangers
      • Some buttons and instructions in German (but Google translate can help with that)
      • No undo button…
  • TableTopia
    • Pros:
      • Free platform with 3D capabilities that make games like Santorini, Azul, and Dragon Castle that have creatively shaped pieces playable.
    • Cons:
      • Long wait time to get into your chosen game.
      • No ascertainable community guidelines
  • HanabiCards.Com
    • Pros:
      • Simple and efficient interface
      • Easy logic game to pick up for all ages!
      • Cooperative
    • Cons
      • The AI…. Just…. The AI… So make sure you’ve got a full group of 3-5 Humans.
  • Board Game Arena
    • Pros:
      • Well structured
    • Cons:
      • The premium version has many cool games behind a pay wall
  • Tabletop Simulator – On Steam
    • Pros:
      • Nerd made. Nerd approved.
    • Cons:
      • Costs $$ on Steam, BUT there are lots of sales!
      • Have to take time searching for your favorite games that are fan made, and some are better than others
  • Ticket to Ride App + Steam
    • Pros:
      • Cross-Platform play for on the road or cozy play
      • Low cost base game
      • Possibly the best “gateway game” for those graduating from party games to Euro Games
    • Cons:
      • The AI’s will whoop your butt, but that’s actually a pro and a con if you’re up for a challenge
      • All expansions are behind separate paywalls. (Don’t quote me on this but I’m sure there are bundled options)
  •  Skribbl.Io
    • Pros:
      • Can play with just friends or hop into an already running game
      • Adorable avatars
    • Cons:
      • Limited word list makes replay value decrease overtime UNLESS you compile your own “Custom Word” list
  • Code Names
    • Pros:
      • The world’s favorite spy-based word association game for free
      • Play with far-away friends
    • Cons:
      • It just isn’t as fun as in person. The heart flutter when a teammate hovers their finger over a word you did not pre-approve is unreplaceable
  •  Roll20
    • Pros:
      • Nearly limitless possibilities
      • Potential for meeting new people
      • It does all the math for you!
      • Measuring tools and Compendiums make comprehending TTRPG specificity easier
      • Get your old “band” back together if you’re separated by IRL world responsibilities
    • Cons:
      • Hard to learn/unintuitive platform
      • Stranger danger…
      • Feels like applying to jobs
      • Voice-only groups will often talk over each other
  • Yucata
    • Pros:
      • Undo button!
    • Cons:
      • Old timey/clunky interface… I can practically hear the AOL connection sound every time.

Now go kick some butt!

Published by JenngaD

Educator. Gamer. Writer.

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