Recommended games that work well over video/conference calls
Liam
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Well, community this is a right pickle we find ourselves in.

BGG is receiving a great deal of new traffic from people who find themselves isolated, distanced from loved ones, looking for something to take their minds off things or who are stuck indoors trying to keep the family entertained.

At a time like this people need board games, and we are the experts in that. So we’re looking for help for recommendations from the community to make a guide for gaming in while in people are in social isolation, as individuals or households.

This guide would take a similar form of the Festive Gift Guide and it will be primarily aimed at non-gamers or casual gamers.

Much of this information already exists, so there will absolutely be a duplicate of threads and ideas - the more the merrier. Suggestions from these Geeklists will be used in the final guide.
In particular we are looking for games where only one household needs to have a copy but also games that can be homemade that are in the public domain.

Please add your recommendations and thumb and comment on other suggestions you'd recommend.


Further, there's the opportunity for a larger project for individuals who fancy a challenge. It would be great to link to individual guides for all the major video calling/conferencing software (ideally with screen shots). Covering how to register, how to find/add your contacts, how to call, if applicable share screens, anything else simple and relevant.
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1. Board Game: Admin Test Item [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Board Game: Admin Test Item
Liam
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"Admin Test Item" is probably the easiest item to add a suggestion that's not in the database.
 
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2. Board Game: Wavelength [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:481]
Board Game: Wavelength
Mary F
United States
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I think this could easily be played via video chat, some folks have already started. Can be played either competitively on teams, or cooperatively for a group score.
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3. Board Game: Just One [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:166]
Board Game: Just One
Fernando Tsukumo
Brazil
São Paulo
São Paulo
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I have made a Youtube video but unfortunately it's in Portuguese.

Anyway, it's not that hard at all. Just use the cards and Whatsapp and it works really well.

The owner of the game is the game master, if you have more than one guy with the game even better so you won't have to use video and turn your head in order to show the word to others without you seeing.

But aside from that, you can always put the word on the whatsapp group and then all others but the guesser will read the word and write the cues in the group, without pressing send. After that, when everyone has written their cues, they all can press send.

Delete the doubled cues and the original word and then call the guesser to guess.
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4. Board Game: Black Stories [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:3241]
Board Game: Black Stories
Fernando Tsukumo
Brazil
São Paulo
São Paulo
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Any black stories work. We play this on car and plane trips why not over internet?
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5. Board Game: Academia [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:8654]
Board Game: Academia
Fernando Tsukumo
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São Paulo
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This is an old childhood game. Need whatsapp or any other messenger too. But instead of sending the cues to the group, they send to the master of that round instead.
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6. Board Game: When I Dream [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:858]
Board Game: When I Dream
Fernando Tsukumo
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São Paulo
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Ok, this will work with a minor twist. The owner will have to know the identities of the others and send them via a whatsapp or messenger. As long he doesn't tell by any means the identity of the participants, it will be somewhat fine. If two have the game, the owner can exchange from time to time.
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7. Board Game: Bites [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:2657]
Board Game: Bites
J.D. Top
Netherlands
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As long as you don't use the rules card called 'picky' this should be easy to play over any kind of connection (provided you have a camera), as it has large components and is complete-information. The game master needs to send the information and perform the moves, of course.

Similarly, Big Points should be quite playable.
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8. Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:624]
Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure
J.D. Top
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A game where everyone shares the same information. The owner needs to do the dice rolls.
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9. Board Game: Qwixx [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:772]
Board Game: Qwixx
Roll and Write games are relatively easy to do over a video conference, you just need to make sure that each location has a copy of the game. My wife and I enjoy playing this over Facetime with her brother and his wife. You just need to be loud and proud about what your white dice come out as, and then be open about any row you could potentially close off, since you can't all see each others sheets and that sometimes switched up what you start going for.

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10. Board Game: Bring Your Own Book [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:2964]
Board Game: Bring Your Own Book
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Only one copy needed - that player reads out the prompts, everyone (except the current judge) looks for answers in a book of their choice from their own home.
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11. Board Game: What's Yours Like? [Average Rating:5.10 Overall Rank:20183]
Board Game: What's Yours Like?
Huge success with this one. Probably the easiest one to do in an online chat out of my entire massive collection of games. The person who is IT closes their eyes while the prompt is shared with everyone else. Super easy.
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12. Board Game: Charades [Average Rating:5.01 Overall Rank:20355]
Board Game: Charades
Liam
Scotland
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I know this isn't really representative of the community but given the target audience we'd be remiss not to include it.

Kids doing charades for granny and vice versa is always worth a watch...

Not a commercial release.
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13. Board Game: Scattergories [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:2337]
Board Game: Scattergories
Liam
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Basics:

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In the game each player fills out a category list 'with answers that begin with the same letter.'If no other player matches your answers, you score points. The game is played in rounds. After 3 rounds a winner is declared, and a new game can be begun.

Scattergories is a commercial version of an old parlour game known as Categories or Guggenheim.
Online set up:
So thinking about the original parlour game

This can be further trimmed down rule wise.

Roll the dice and call out the letter and category (alternative use a book to come up with the letter get two numbers from the other players, first is pg number second is character). Give everyone 180 seconds.

Score either by people calling out each word and removing the duplicates or just allow every valid answer to count.

First to X wins or highest score after x turns win.
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14. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases
Liam
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Was wondering what the community would think of this?

The owner of the game is stuck doing a lot of reading and looking up of materials.

I suppose the major downsize is that the newspaper(s) and perhaps map are not really accessible... I've only played half way through of the two boxes and in some cases this wouldn't matter in some it would hmmmmmm...
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15. Board Game: Snake Oil [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1637] [Average Rating:6.69 Unranked]
Board Game: Snake Oil
Liam
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Again not a game for my groups but I'm sure it works in some groups.

Basics:

Quote:
To set up Snake Oil, each player takes six purple word cards. The customer for the round draws a customer card and announces it. Inventors quickly combine two purple word cards from their hand to form a crazy new product to sell to that customer. When ready, each inventor quickly pitches his or her product directly to the customer. The customer can end any pitch that goes longer than thirty seconds. The customer decides which product to buy and gives the inventor of that product the round's customer card as the prize. Inventors discard all used word cards and take two new word cards each.
Set up for vide calls:

The hidden information in this game really doesn't need to be hidden.

So the person setting up the game can just call out each players purple word cards for them to write down. (Alternatively, PM the player with their words or get everyone else to put their fingers in their ears.)

Then let the chaos commerce.
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16. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:93] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Board Game: Codenames
Liam
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Set up:

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In Codenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.
Set up for video calls:

The owner of the game has to set the camera up on the board... or alternatively share an image of the board.

Sharing the key is slightly more complicated:

There is an app that has ID's for each key so that's an option.
You could text/email over a picture of the key to the relevant spy master.
The spymasters could only be the people in the owners of the game's household.
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17. Board Game: Pub Quiz [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Pub Quiz
Liam
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Placeholder for any 'game' that involves general knowledge questions. (I hate these types of 'games'.)

These could be taken straight from a game box (Trivial Pursuit/Who Wants to Be a Millionaire or be home made.

I've had one enjoyable pub quiz at a family night where each member of the family had their own round which they compared but did not take part in (same number of questions in every round)... it was all going well until the small child's Paw Patrol round...
 
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18. Board Game: Balderdash [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1766]
Board Game: Balderdash
Liam
Scotland
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Quote:
A clever repackaging of the parlor game Dictionary, Balderdash contains several cards with real words nobody has heard of. After one of those words has been read aloud, players try to come up with definitions that at least sound plausible, because points are later awarded for every opposing player who guessed that your definition was the correct one.
How to play:

The owner of the game reads out the word/thing and each user PMs them with their answer. They then read out all the answers and people vote.



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19. Board Game: Welcome To... [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:127]
Board Game: Welcome To...
Liam
Scotland
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Basic:

Quote:
Welcome To... plays like a roll-and-write dice game in which you mark results on a score-sheet...but without dice. Instead you flip cards from three piles to make three different action sets with both a house number and a corresponding action from which everyone chooses one.
How to play over distance:

The household with the game call out numbers and related abilities. (alternatively these could be what their camera is trained on).

Players at distance print off (or draw or write on pdf) and mark the pdf sheet.

https://www.bluecocker.com/jeux/Welcome/Feuille_score_Goodie...
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20. Board Game: Cartographers [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Board Game: Cartographers
Liam
Scotland
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Another pen and paper... where really lend themselves to remote play.

HowTo:

Owners camera on focuses on play space. Remote players down load grid map.

As the set up the scoring card they hold each up the camera and explain it (as required).

As the owner draws the explore cards they hold them close to camera so remote players can clearly see the shape and key.

Ambush/monster cards... (normally you'd briefly swap your paper with another player) either hold up you map and let the other players tell you where to add draw the monsters.

Map:
https://www.thunderworksgames.com/cartographers.html
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21. Board Game: Flamme Rouge [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:202]
Board Game: Flamme Rouge
Noel Pollock
United Kingdom
Richmond, London
England
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This worked well last night.

Track on the main video screen

Everyone needs a copy of the game - their Sprinter and Rouleur deck and exhuastion decks; but these could also be easily mocked up by card decks/other.

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22. Board Game: Tiny Towns [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:318]
Board Game: Tiny Towns
Liam
Scotland
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So I'm trying to branching out a little.

How to Play Remote:

At it's most simple (this removes tactical screwage)

Remote players need to create the 4x4 grid board.

Then they can either go pen and paper or use proxies from other games (cubes/catan buildings/etc).

Building cards need to be viewable either via the hosts camera focusing on them/the play space or by looking them up before hand/receiving a picture.

--
How to restore tactical screwage - every player requires a device and all device cameras focus on their board.


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23. Board Game: Corinth [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1676]
Board Game: Corinth
Liam
Scotland
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Microbadge: Appreciate the little things in lifeMicrobadge: I love EuropeMicrobadge: It's not over 'til it's overMicrobadge: Thumbs up says 'I Love You' in that icky BGG kinda way.Microbadge: I love the NHS
Another roll and write. With the added sweetener that Days of Wonder is sharing the full game to keep people inside.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1juhTYboh6Qoh3ENwl07t...

How to play remotely:

The owner/host of the game or any player that can muster the correct number of D6 dice together (9 of one type, 3 of another), points their camera at the dice harbour/ play space. (They roll for the other players).

Each player prints of their scoring sheet and informs the host of what their move is.

Screwage shortfalls (really?)- It's somewhat difficult to visualise what other players are doing remotely. Either accept this or i) have players announce what they are doing or hold their score board up to the camera.
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24. Board Game: Rosetta: The Lost Language [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:9654]
Board Game: Rosetta: The Lost Language
Jakob M.
United States
Syracuse
New York
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Rosetta: The Lost Language is a cooperative puzzle game for 2+ players. The full game itself is currently open for preorders, but you can download a free print and play version of it right now and get started playing right away!

How to Play Over Video Call
The person who is acting as the Author is the host of the game. Noone else needs to have a copy of the game, unless they want to be the Author in subsequent rounds. The host just needs to point the camera at the cards, and you're good to go!
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25. Board Game: Starline Industries [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Board Game: Starline Industries
Jakob M.
United States
Syracuse
New York
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Starline Industries is a FREE print-and-play game where players take on the roles of galactic merchants seeking to make their mark on the universe (and impress their boss). Each turn players mark routes as they connect solar systems, gathering goods and credits along the way. Hoard goods for points and spend credits on valuable upgrades to your starship while dodging asteroids and pirates sent by other players.

How to play remote: Every player needs a player sheet, and one player also needs the Goal Cards and System Cards (all available on BGG). The host does game set-up on camera, and keeps their camera on the cards as they draw new system cards for each turn. A fan of Starline Industries, Adam I., also made this super helpful web app that does automatic game set-up and card drawing, so you can focus on the game!

Download the player sheet, goal cards, system cards, and rules on BGG. We have also released multiple other free print-and-play games to play while social distancing, including Rosetta: The Lost Language, Roll to Escape, and 100 Things.

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