Top 10 Cooperative Board and Card Games You Can Play Online

Over the last few months, my normal game groups have changed character quite a bit … because we can’t get together to play!  We have played around and discovered a number of ways to play card and board games “online”!  By “online”, we usually mean “over the Internet”, but we could mean with just a three-way call over the phone with audio only! Even “over the Internet” takes a on a few meanings because we discovered a number of ways to “play online”!  So, this Top 10 is organized by “how we play online” rather than by our favorites.  Below, we categorize the games into several ways to play.

 

Physical Games That Have Components That Need to Be Shared Beforehand

Requirements: These games have physical parts that need to passed out to all participants before the games begin online.

IMG_6090

Baker Street Irregulars
How to Play? Over Discord/Zoom (or multi-way phone call) with audio (video helps, but not required)
Video Feed? Not required, but helps non-verbal communication
Requirements? Physical Copies of the book must be passed out (the base game comes with 4 books, so you can share those): Each player must have exactly one book to play
Chat Necessary? Will be useful for Episode 2, otherwise not necessary

This is a fantastic game in the Sherlock Holmes universe that we reviewed very recently here and here!

IMG_4250(1)
The Crusoe Crew!

Crusoe Crew
How To Play? Over Discord/Zoom (or multi-way phone call) with audio (video helps, but not required)
Video feed? Not required, but helps non-verbal communication
Requirements? Physical Copies of the book must be passed out (the base game comes with 4 books, so you can share those): Each player must have exactly one book to play
Chat Necessary?  Not necessary

This game started the Cooperative Graphic Adventure game, and to be honest, this game has gotten better the more we have played it.  We have reviewed it here and here, and this game made our Top 10 Cooperative Games of 2019 as well!

Games over BoardGameArena

Requirements: Someone must have a BoardGameArena (boardgamearena.com) account to invite everyone to play

Box front of the English first edition of Hanabi.
Hanabi
How To Play? Inside your browser (BoardGameArena.com)
Video feed? Not required, but helps
Requirements?  One player must have paid to have a board game arena account.  That person can invite others to play.
Chat Necessary? Either Zoom/Discord or chat for communications can be useful, but not required.  Since this game is all about “limited communication”, it may make sense to ONLY use the browser (each play has his own browser) and have no external comms.

Games You Can Play Over Tabletop Simulator

Requirements: Someone must have bought a Tabletop Simulator License (played over Steam).  That player must share their screen with everyone over Zoom/Discord. That player ends up doing all the maintenance to run the game in Tabletop Simulator while the other players talk over Discord/Zoom (and communicate what to do via Discord/Zoom).

To get steam, go the https://store.steampowered.com/  From there, you can get Tabletop Simulator.

Note: These games (below) CAN ALSO BE PLAYED WITH PHYSICAL COPIES OF THE GAME! Just One player just has to share a copy of the board/cards over a  feed (like he would be “sharing the screen” of Tabletop Simulator over Zoom/Discord). To do this streaming, you may have to be clever to stream the video over a different stream than your discord/Zoom set-up: it depends on your set-up/equipment. Similarly, the person with the physical copy will have to do all the maintenance of the game over the stream while the others tell him what to do.

Just One, Repos Production, 2018 — front cover (image provided by the publisher)
Just One
How To Play? Over Discord/Zoom
Video feed? Required
Requirements? See below
Chat? Can be Essential: depends on how you play

There are two ways to play.  In both ways, the beginning plays the same: The guessing player looks away as the other players look at the card/word over video.  The players then think of Just One word as an answer.  From here, how you play changes:

  1. If you are playing completely electronically,  then, chat is essential: when people write their  “Just One” word, they write them in chat! The guessing player doesn’t look a chat until players have cleaned up the chat and written ONLY the non-matching words.
  2.  You can write answers on paper, chalk boards, etc. if you have multiple
    copies of the game, those players can use the built-in pens/boards.  Then, share answers (as appropriate) just like Just One in person!

There’s almost no maintenance if you are the player running the game: the player with the physical copy just shows a card to the video feed every so often.

(If you want to be very clever, you could play this only via texting, where you text clues and answers exclusively over your phones.)

Yggdrasil, Ludonaute, 2018 — front cover (image provided by the publisher)

Yggdrasil
How To Play? Over Discord/Zoom
Video feed? Required
Requirements? Share video over Discord/Zoom
Chat? Helpful, not required if you have audio

This game works up to 6 players: we have played 4 in chat and it worked extremely well. The amount of maintenance by the player “running” the game wasn’t too bad.  This game made our Top 10 Cooperative Games Off The Beaten Path some time ago!

Box art for Burgle Bros.

Burgle Brothers
How To Play? Over Discord/Zoom
Video feed? Required
Requirements? Share video over Discord/Zoom
Chat? Helpful, not required if you have audio

The game only plays up to 4: we have played 5 in chat and it worked decently (one person was the “the consultant” and “the cheerleader” and each other player took the role of character). The amount of maintenance by the player “running” the game isn’t too bad.

Games You Can Play Over the Internet Where You Have a Physical Copy

Requirements: At least one player must have a physical copy of the game (multiple copies among other players helps).
Legacy of Dragonholt, Fantasy Flight Games, 2017 — front cover (image provided by the publisher)

Legacy of Dragonholt

How To Play? Over Discord/Zoom or possibly multi-way phone call
Video feed? Very, very nice to have, you strictly only need audio
Requirements? A glass of water: there will be a lot of reading!
Chat? Can be very useful for sharing info, but not required

This is an adventure game with a lot of text! This game works because it’s mostly reading from the books, and each player maintains their own state (each character in the game will actually be maintaining quite a bit of information for the character they play). You will get sick of hearing the same person read the books over and over, but multiple copies of the game can help alleviate that.  This game made our Top 10 Cooperative Storytelling/Storybook Games!

Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, Z-Man Games, 2018 — front cover (image provided by the publisher)

Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger
How To Play? Over Discord/Zoom or possibly multi-way phone call
Video feed? Very, very nice to have, you strictly only need audio
Requirements? A glass of water: there will be a lot of reading!
Chat? Can be very useful for sharing info, but not required

Like Legacy of Dragonholt, this is an adventure game with lots of text, but much simpler. We played with my friend’s niece for her birthday!  It worked really well because we all picked up a copy of the game (it’s like $25 at Target) and that way we could all read text.  This is a fun, silly choose your own adventure game.  See the Top 10 Cooperative Storytelling/Storybook Game here!

Adventure Games: The Dungeon, KOSMOS, 2019 — front cover (image provided by the publisher)

Adventure Games: The Dungeo
How To Play? Over Discord/Zoom
Video feed? Required to see the board
Requirements? A glass of water: there will be a lot of reading!
Chat? Required

This is the only game I haven’t played online (I have played it with friends before the Pandemic): my friends assume me this works well over the Internet as well.  I love this game!  It made my number 2 spot on my Top 10 Cooperative Games of 2019!
This is an adventure game that’s very reminiscent of point-and-click adventure games of early days.  There’s a lot of reading, and you need to share the share of board (either via Video preferred, some other way).

Games on IPAD/Computer

Requirements: Everyone must have a digital copy of the game on their own device.

The cover art for the Enhanced Edition of Sentinels of the Multiverse, which will be released at Gen Con 2012!

Sentinels of the Multiverse
How To Play? Over your device
Video feed? Nice to have, audio is all you really need for comms.
Requirements? iPad, iPhone, or Android device.
Chat? Can be very useful for sharing info, but not required

So, all players need to buy the game from Handelabra (it’s a fantastic version of the game).   Then, everyone plays over the Internet.  The nice thing about the game is that each player can be on different kinds of devices: iOS (Apple) iPhone or iPad, or Android device AND THEY STILL WORK TOGETHER!!!   Handelabra has done a fantastic job on this app, and a fantastic job so people can play together on their own devices.

The only thing to look out for: Make sure everyone has the “same set of Heroes/Villains”: there is the base game, and then there are expansions (“Season 1” and “Season 2).  It’s better if everyone has everything, but there is some good play in the base game if you want to give it a try.

This game made the Top Spot of my Top 10 Cooperative Superhero Board and Card Games!  I still love the physical game, but the app really does make the maintenance easier (and gets rid of the fiddliness that some players don’t like).

 

 

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