Five Online Games to Play With Friends
Source: Unsplash - Afif Kusuma Board games aren't just for kids. Nor are they only for people who are bored. After all, a good board game can certainly liven things up if you are stuck at home with nothing to entertain you other than the TV. Of course, there are always mobile casino games that offer a very good alternative to attending gaming houses in person, but if you want to socialize with your friends while enjoying some online games, what can you do? Helpfully, many of the most popular board games suitable for adults are now available online, too. Read on to discover more about our top five online board games you can play with your friends once any children in your household have gone to bed.
Games for online get-togethers:
1. Cards Against Humanity
1. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is an extremely lively game that will bring out the worst in you. Don't worry if you think that is the last thing you need during the current crisis, though! The game concept relies on you coming up with the most offensive or off-colour phrases you possibly could. As such, it actively encourages you to think or say outrageous things. That said, it is all in good humour, especially if your idea of what is funny veers away from the politically correct from time-to-time. In other words, this is a game to play in the company of good friends but you probably wouldn't want to start a game with your in-laws!
The game actually began as a commercial release following a Kickstarter campaign nine years ago. In the physical version, you are dealt your phrases – printed on the back of cards – by the card Czar and you then have to link them together to make offensive phrases. The online version is much the same but you don't have to fall foul of the social distancing rules to be issued your cards because you simply deal them to yourself. Up to six players can take part in any game you set up and, what's more, the server that hosts the game for you is available for free. Head to PlayingCards.io if you have the game and want to hook up with like-minded friends to play it. Or watch the video below to see how celebs are playing the game in The Ellen Show.
The real estate game of competitive entrepreneurs was first published in 1935 and it has remained popular ever since. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of editions of the game with differing sets of properties and themes although the basics of the game remain the same. Part of Monopoly's success is that it relies a great deal on chance but you can also invoke your skill as a business trader by striking genuine deals with other players to exchange money for properties and vice versa. One of the big drawbacks with the board game version, however, is just how long it takes to play. This is because you are constantly counting out the banknotes the game uses for its currency.
With the online version of Monopoly, you can speed things up dramatically so it is a more engaging version of the game. Dice rolls, piece moves and financial transactions are all automated so you can get on with the fun parts of the game instead. At pogo.com, you can set up an account and add up to four other players to your game – more than enough for a bit of online socialization amongst your group of buddies. Of course, you will have to approach the game in the right spirit if you want to continue being friends at the end of the proceedings. No one likes going bankrupt, after all – even if it is only with Monopoly money!
If you like the idea of world domination more than buying up all of the real estate in a city, then the ever-popular Risk is likely to be more your thing. Like Monopoly, this board game has been adapted for the online world by pogo.com and you can sign up and invite your pals in much the same way. It is free to play but you and your friends will have to put up with adverts interrupting the gameplay from time-to-time. That's a small price to pay for the chance to enjoy this strategic game but you can always pay and, if you choose to do so, then the game will run without this annoyance.
In Risk, you play on a game board that is a map of the world. The globe is split up into different continents and at the sub-continental level, there are individual regions. You will initially be awarded regions at random with troops placed on each of them. The idea is to build up your troops with reinforcements that are awarded with each turn you take. If you feel lucky, then you can try attacking neighbouring regions which will result in you taking them over if you are successful. Risk relies on you balancing the desire to attack with defence. Players who are too aggressive soon come unstuck. All of the troop deployment and issuing of bonus cards is run by the server which means that game management is much easier with the online version than it is with the board game. Battles in Risk are decided by dice rolls. When you have lots of troops in an engagement, deciding the outcome of a battle can take a long time. However, this is not the case with the online version so it makes for a much speedier and more sociable game all round!
At first glance, Catan is a board game that resembles Chinese Checkers with its honeycomb appearance. However, the hexagonal design of the game is not what makes it so enthralling – it is the fact that you will pit your wits against up to four other players in a battle for supremacy as your civilization fights it out against its neighbours. Back in 1995, Catan won numerous awards for its originality as a board game that took the concept of many computer games and adapted them for gameplay you could enjoy around a table. In Catan, you must build a settlement, make roads and exploit the natural resources of your homeland.
Today, Catan has gone full circle and been newly adapted for the internet age. Players can now enjoy it with friends and family members who are in different locations around the world. What's more, although the game relies on trading strategies and tactical skill – as well as a little good fortune – it is just as good being played by older children as it is with adults. One of the positive things about playing Catan online is that it is a turn-based game. This means that if something distracts you or you need to put the game on hold for a while, no one will miss out. Newcomers to Catan may find the rules a little complicated to begin with but after a couple of turns most people get to grips with it without too much trouble.
Maybe it says something about human nature, but there has been a noticeable upward trend in people playing games to do with contagious outbreaks and global viral crises since COVID-19 started to dominate the world's headlines. There has only been one board game that has catered for this fashion – most of the alternatives are single-player video games. This is Pandemic which was first released in 2008. Like Risk, Pandemic uses a world map for its game board. It is designed for between two and four players who each take on a specialist role, such as a medic, a scientific researcher or an operations expert. One of the key things that marks Pandemic out from nearly every other board game on the market is that you do not play against one another. Rather, this strategy game means that you have to pit your wits together, as a team, to try and thwart the contagion.
In the online version of Pandemic, the gameplay is much the same as it is with the physical format. You still have to limit outbreaks of the disease to fewer than eight and you must always ensure there are remaining player cards to draw upon. This is the game for you and your friends if you don't want to be competitive with one another but to work as a cohesive unit. One major difference with the online version is that you can play with up to five players – ideal if you are missing your weekly five-a-side soccer mates.