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User: monkeyhandz

Welcome to BoardGameGeek!

We are a worldwide community of folks who love board games. We've put our heads together to make this guide about games people can play with their friends and family, wherever they are in the world, while staying safely at home.

Games are great way to relax and take your mind off things while spending quality time with family and friends. Gaming is a great way to bring people together, even while we have stay physically apart. In short, now is the time for gaming!


Gaming at Distance

User: monkeyhandz

The most accessible way to game over distance is to use video or conference calling. There are many application to video call with. We recommend Zoom and have produced a quick guide to get you started.


How to use Zoom

Playing games over video calls is a good way of spending quality time with a loved ones. Allowing you to focus on positive experience, without any pressure of having to think of something to say, when there's little news as no one has left the house.

As a general rule of thumb, games with few components, without hidden information (hands of cards) or that require physical interaction, work best. So party games, that focus on social aspects a require no components or basic ones, lend themselves to video calls.

This said games with boards or components while tricker can be played by the game owner keeping their camera focused on the board/play area. This said for these games to really shine, playing together through a boardgames website or app may give the best overall experience.

Tips:

  • Try not to move the camera. This can be disorientating for other players and is rarely worth doing.
  • Instead bring components to the camera and as required set up with the camera focusing on the play space.
  • Take time to prepare the game considering what the logistics are. Will it work remotely?
  • Don't be afraid to tweak rules to provide a better distant gaming experience.
  • Consider your audience. Be inclusive, pick the game that best fits the group.
  • Shorter engaging games often work better than long and involved ones.
  • Playing games where people can drop in and drop out is often useful.
  • Having teams allows younger, busier or less interested players to quietly slip away.
  • Consider how to keep games engaging for your audience.
  • If possible delegate physical activity, like dice rolling, to remote players.
  • Have a host who is in-charge of keeping the game moving, and responding efficiently to remote players' requests.

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Many games can be played over video calls. Here are some representative ones, we recommend but there are many, many more.
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Parlor Games

User: monkeyhandz



Parlor Games are the simplest games to play (often requiring no components), so they lend themselves to distance gaming and diverse groups of people.




Charades
20 Questions
Categories or Guggenheim

  • Players: 2+
  • How to play: Each player gets a thing that they need to act out for others to guess. Commonly, people play in teams, with a time limit and one team coming up with the answers the other team has to act out.

  • Players: 2+
  • How to play: The active player selects a thing and answers yes-no questions from the other players. Commonly, people play in teams, with points scored depending on how many questions it takes to guess the thing.

  • Players: 2+
  • How to play at: A player nominates a category (food) and selects a letter at random (often asking the group for a page and character number). Players have a set time limit to come up with as many matching answer. Matching answers are then shared with any duplicates removed and only unique answers scoring.











Host A Quiz
Reverse Pictionary
Proverbs

  • Players: 2+
  • Time: 20 minutes+
  • Ages: 8+ and up
  • How to play: Quizzes can be great fun. Simply split off into teams, with one person acting as question master. You can find lots of quizzes on the internet or even better have each participant host a round. You don't have to limit yourself just to questions - why not include a music round, family history round or pictures round.

  • Players: 2+
  • Time: 20 minutes+
  • Ages: 8+ and up
  • Price:
  • How to play: One player describes an object. The other players draw it. When you think you know what it is, shout out. If you get it wrong, you're out of the round.

  • Players: 2+
  • Time: 20 minutes+
  • Ages: 12 and up
  • Price:
  • How to play: The guesser leaves the room (puts fingers in ears). The other players agree on a popular saying with each playing in turn being given a word in sequential order. The guesser then asks each player an everyday question - the responder must answer using their word in their response. The guesser wins if they can deduce the phrase.










Social Party Games
User: monkeyhandz

Social Party Games are all about taking part. The only way you can lose is if you care about winning rather than having fun. To play these games one household needs to owns a copy.





Snake Oil
Wits & Wagers
Bring Your Own Book




Board Game: Snake Oil
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Board Game: Snake Oil

Board Game: Wits & Wagers
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Board Game: Wits & Wagers

Board Game: Bring Your Own Book
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Board Game: Bring Your Own Book


  • Players: 3 to 10
  • Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Ages: 10 and up
  • Price:
  • How to play at distance: The host calls out each players words, which they write down and cross off as they use them. Alternatively, the host can hold up each word and the other players look away.
  • Prep at distance end: Pen and Paper.

  • Players: 3 to 7
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Ages: 10 and up
  • Price:
  • How to play at distance: Focus the host's camera on the board. They read out the question. Players write down their answer and in turn hold it up to the camera.
  • The host writes down the answers and positions them on the board. Players next reveal all their bids simultaneously (1-2-3 post in chat).
  • Prep at distance end: Pen and Paper.


Review by Kotzen
Video Review by Tom Vasel
Review by EndersGame
Video Review by Watch It Played
Review by Goatcabin
Video Review by Tom Vasel





Deduction Games

User: monkeyhandz

Deduction Games challenge you to come to the right conclusion through reason, luck and sometimes sheer genius. To play these games one household needs to owns a copy.





Just One
Wavelength
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective








Board Game: Just One
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Board Game: Just One

Board Game: Wavelength
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Board Game: Wavelength

Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases
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Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases


  • Players: 3 to 7
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • Price:
  • How to play at distance: The guesser averts their eyes until told that they can look. The host holds up the word to the camera, guess givers write their answer and at the same time shares their clue. Duplicates are removed. When called the guesser returns and using the remaining clues makes their guess.
  • Prep at distance end: Pen and paper.

  • Players: 2 to 12
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Ages: 12 and up
  • Price:
  • How to play at distance: Focus the host's camera on the device. The household with the game set it as suggested by the remote players. Everyone closes their eyes when a remote player checks the scoring target segment.
  • Prep at distance end: None.


Review by Neil Thomson
Video Playthrough by GameNight!
Review by Space-Biff!
Video Review by Tom Vasel
Review by Jouslare
Video Review by Shut Up & Sit Down!










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Codenames
When I Dream
Spyfall




Board Game: Codenames
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Board Game: Codenames

Board Game: When I Dream
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Board Game: When I Dream

Board Game: Spyfall
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Board Game: Spyfall


  • Players: 2 to 8
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Ages: 12+ and up
  • Price:
  • How to play at distance:Focus the host's camera on the word grid. Share the key with a distance spymaster either by sending an image or by using the free app which has ID numbers for each grid.
  • Prep at distance end: Download the app or agree on how to share an image of the key.

  • Players: 4 to 10
  • Time: 20 - 40 minutes
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • Price:
  • How to play at distance: Focus the host's camera on the play space. The sleeper closes their eyes and the host shows each player a role card. The game proceeds as normal.
  • When it is the hosts turn to be the sleeper, if there is another player at their end they swap or they close their eyes and hold up each other players role. Then with their eyes closed mix up the remaining dream cards and play normally just with... their eyes closed.
  • Prep at distance end: None

  • Players: 3 to 8
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Ages: 12 and up
  • Price:
  • How to play at distance: Focus the host's camera on the play location grid. Player's close their eyes and look one at a time when told, as their card is held up to the camera.
  • Prep at distance end: None

Review by Dismas
Video Play Through by GameNight!
Review by Z10N X
Video Review by Zee Garcia
Review by MajaiofDreams
Video Review by Tom Vasel

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Roll and Write Games
User: monkeyhandz

Roll and Write Games see players choosing how to spend shared results to fill in their score sheet impacting future decisions and resulting in a diverse range of outcomes. To play these games one household needs to owns a copy.

Welcome To
Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
Corinth




Board Game: Welcome To...
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Board Game: Welcome To...

Board Game: Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
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Board Game: Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale

Board Game: Corinth
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Board Game: Corinth



  • Players: 1 to 100
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Ages: 10 and up
  • Price:
  • How to play at distance: Focus the host's camera on the play-space. As the host draws the explore cards they hold them close to camera. Houserule Ambush/monster cards: hold up your map and allow the other players to pick where you add them.
  • Prep at distance end: Remote players download the map/play sheet.


Review by OxfordRow
Video Runthrough by Rahdo
Review by Everything Board Games
Video How to play by Watch it Played
Video How to Play by Watch it Played
Video Playthrough by GameNight!



Games with a board

User: monkeyhandz

Typical games that focus on a board often pose a challenge in remove play but we believe with a little creativity and preparation many games can be converted to play remotely. Here are some examples. To play these games one household needs to owns a copy.




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Deep Sea Adventure
Azul
Catan




Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure
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Board Game: Deep Sea Adventure

Board Game: Azul
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Board Game: Azul

Board Game: Catan
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Board Game: Catan


  • Players: 2 to 6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • Price: $15
  • How to play at distance: Focus the host's camera on the play space. Play continues as normal but with the host moving all the pieces. Dice can be rolled by the host or remotely. If remotely with normal dice results of 1-2 are 1s, 3-4 are 2s, and 5-6 are 3s.
  • Prep at distance end: Nothing.

  • Players: 2 to 4
  • Time: 30 - 45 minutes
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • Price: $35-$45
  • How to play at distance: Focus the host's camera on the play space. Play continues as normal but with the host moving all the pieces.
  • Prep at distance end: Nothing.

  • Players: 2 to 4
  • Time: 60 - 120 minutes
  • Ages: 10 and up
  • Price: $30-$45
  • How to play at distance: We really wouldn't recommend it but to demonstrate that remote gaming is often possible.
  • Focus the host's camera on the play space. The remote players record and track what resources they have with pen and paper.
  • Other players look away when development cards are shown to the remote player(s) and carefully placed in a dummy hand of numbered cards. Dice rolls can be done remotely and simply reported. To use the robber players fan out their cards and the play declares "the card X from the right".
  • Prep at distance end: Prepare paper and pen and dice as agreed.

Review by Neil Thomson
Video Review by Zee Garcia
Review by Neil Thomson
Playthrough Video by GameNight!
Review by Elijah Lau
Video Playthrough by TableTop

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Links to more community suggestions:

Games for Social Distancing
Zoom Friendly Games
Boardgames that can be played over a video-call
Games you can easily play over video chat
GRAB Virtual Gaming
Recommended games that work well over video calls
Remote games night under covid-19 social distancing
Video the Dice Tower Top 10 Games for distance gaming

Websites and applications

User: monkeyhandz

There are many websites and applications that can help you play games with friends and family. Here are our recommendations.

Board Game Arena Website
Yucata Website
Boiteajeux Website




User: monkeyhandz

User: monkeyhandz

User: monkeyhandz


  • Price: Free but you need to make an account.
  • Games: 175 games.
  • Interface: Modern interface with tutorials for games you are not familiar with.
  • Languages: Supports 45 languages.
  • Devices: PC, Mac, iphone, iPad, Android devices.

  • Price: Free - can play games on the site as a guest but account required to unlock all functions.
  • Games: Over 150 games.
  • Interface: Dated interface. Links to rules for games.
  • Languages:Supports English and German language.
  • Devices: PC, Mac with some support for iphone, iPad, Android devices.

  • Price: Free
  • Games: More than 60 games
  • Interface:Dated interface with access to rules and some videos for each game.
  • Languages:Supports English, French and German language.
  • Devices: PC, Mac with some support for iphone, iPad, Android devices.


Tabletopia Website
Table Top Simulator Application
Vassal Application




User: monkeyhandz
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User: monkeyhandz
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User: monkeyhandz
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  • Price: Free at bronze level, silver level ($4.99 per month) unlocks premium games, gold level ($9.99 per month) unlocks all features. The design system has separate tiers.
  • Games:800 games.
  • Interface: Modern interface with access to rules and videos. 3D graphics look nice but can be more demanding on devices.
  • Languages: Supports multiple languages but varies game to game.
  • Devices: PC (does not support Linux), Mac, iphone, iPad, Android devices. Currently, mobile devices (tablets and phones) cannot play with computers (PCs and Macs).

  • Price: $19.99 (often discounted), as it's an application it must be downloaded. Licensed games have to be bought separately.
  • Games: The huge popularity of this system relies on the support of high quality community created content.
  • So while it only comes with 20 traditional games and glossy licences games can be unlocked by additional purchases, there are thousands and thousands of free community created versions of games.
  • Interface: Support for rules and language significantly varies game to game. 3D graphics look nice but can be more demanding on devices.
  • Languages: Supports multiple languages but varies game to game.
  • Devices: PC, Mac.

  • Price: Free but as it's an application it must be downloaded.
  • Games: Community driven content but over 2000 games (modules) available.
  • Low demands on the device and lends itself to screen sharing and playing over video calls.
  • Languages: Supports multiple languages but varies game to game.
  • Device: PC, Mac.

Links to other resources:

Online Boardgame Platforms
Exhastive list board game you can play online for free
List of iPhone Board Game Apps
List of iPad Board Game Apps
List of Android Board Game Apps


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Games to play and make at home

User: monkeyhandz

These are family games that should be fun for both kids and parents. This set of games require a little more thought than your standard family games but provide adventure and a sense of accomplishment without an aggressive approach.

Eat Poop You Cat
Yatzy
Santorini




Board Game: Eat Poop You Cat
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Board Game: Eat Poop You Cat

Board Game: Yahtzee
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Board Game: Yahtzee

Board Game: Santorini
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Board Game: Santorini


  • Players: 3+
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • How to Play:

  • Players: 2 to 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Ages: 6 and up
  • Score Sheets

  • Players: 2 to 3
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • Rules and Board

Review by TScott
Review by by DavidAnam
Review by psymann
Video Review by Bearded Meeple
Review by Jody Ludwick
Video How to Play by Games by Gord!


Reiner Knizia's Decathlon
Raging Bulls
Fish Cook




Board Game: Reiner Knizia's Decathlon
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Board Game: Reiner Knizia's Decathlon

Board Game: Raging Bulls
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Board Game: Raging Bulls

Board Game: Fish Cook
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Board Game: Fish Cook




  • Players: 2-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Ages: 12 and up
  • Download

Review by EndersGame
Review by nyfilmfest
Video review by Marnaudo
Review by Travalgar
Video review by Tom Vasel



Light Speed
Let Them Eat Shapes!
30 Rails




Board Game: Light Speed
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Board Game: Light Speed

Board Game: Let Them Eat Shrimp!
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Board Game: Let Them Eat Shrimp!

Board Game: 30 Rails
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Board Game: 30 Rails


  • Players: 3+
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • How to Play:



Review by chriswray84
Video Playthrough by GameNight!
Review by Gaming Bits
Video Review by Rahdo Runs Through
Review by Goatcabin
Video Playthrough by GameNight!


Links to other resources:
BGG listed Print and Play games by rank

Cheapass Games Print and Plays
Print and Play Arcade
Remix Game Kit


Free Games to stay home

User: monkeyhandz

To support the #stayhome movement many publishers and designers have kindly shared print and play games, expansions and resources to keep the community entertained and indoors. Take the pledge, download a game and stay home to play it.


Love Letter: Sender
Dixit
Bullfrogs




User: monkeyhandz
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User: monkeyhandz

Board Game: Dixit
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Board Game: Dixit Demo Deck

Board Game: Bullfrogs
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Board Game: Bullfrogs





Review by Neil Thomson
Video Review by Tom Vasel
Review by Tiffany Smith
Review by Tom Vasel
Review by CarcassonneFreak
Video Review by DriveThruReview


Corinth
Battle for Moscow 2nd Ed
Melee




Board Game: Corinth
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Board Game: Corinth

Board Game: Battle for Moscow: Operation Typhoon October-December, 1941
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Board Game: Battle for Moscow: Operation Typhoon October-December, 1941

Board Game: Melee
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Board Game: Melee





Video How to Play by Watch it Played
Video Playthrough by GameNight!
Video How to Play by Watch it Played
Video Review by TheBoardGameFamily
Review by Mistermarino
Video How to Play by Seek Out and Play


Rolling Realms
FoodFighters
Cards against Humanity: Family Edition




Board Game: Rolling Realms
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Board Game: Rolling Realms

Board Game: Foodfighters
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Board Game: Foodfighters

User: monkeyhandz
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User: monkeyhandz




  • DisclaimerThis game is for families with a particular sense of humor. They recommend you remove any card you don't like.
  • Players: 4 to 20+
  • Time: 30+ minutes
  • Ages: 8 and up (suggested by the publisher)
  • Price: Shared by the excellent Cards Against Humanity folk. small cards, small cards low ink, big cards, big cards low ink

Review by neotrunks2002
Video Playthrough by GameNight!
Review by russ
Video Review by Rahdo
Review by Neil Thomson
Video Playthrough by GameNight!

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Even more free games and resources, shared by the excellent publishers and designers

Solo Gaming

User: monkeyhandz

Solo games are the easiest to get to the table - all you need is the game and you! These games offer difficult choices and immersive play.

Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game
Utopia Engine
Deep Space D-6




Board Game: Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game
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Board Game: Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game

Board Game: Utopia Engine
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Board Game: Utopia Engine

Board Game: Deep Space D-6
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Board Game: Deep Space D-6





Review by Dubious Bryn
Video Review by Liz Davidson
Review by AFHokie
Video Review by Marnaudo
Review by carbon_dragon
Video play through by MadLads Designs


Zombie in my Pocket
Agent Decker
(Your Name Here) and the Argonauts




Board Game: Zombie in my Pocket
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Board Game: Zombie in my Pocket

Board Game: Agent Decker
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Board Game: Agent Decker

Board Game: (Your Name Here) and the Argonauts
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Board Game: (Your Name Here) and the Argonauts


  • Players: Solo
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Ages: 11 and up
  • Download



Review by Hendal
Video How to Play by Game on Board
Review by brockst4r
Video How to Play with Manuel Correia
Review by Rocketboots
Video Review by Marnaudo

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BGG 1 Player Guild

Roleplaying Games

User: monkeyhandz

Roleplaying Games (RPGs) are worlds within worlds. Each player plays the role of a character during the adventure, making decisions based on what their character would do, not what's bright or brave. Typically RPGs have one person who is the dungeon master or games master who uses the game's system to let the players make decisions, interpret dice rolls while ensuring a trilling adventure full of peril, treasure, fun and monsters.

RPGs can really lend themselves to distant gaming and gaming with people of diverse ages and backgrounds. This said the systems themselves can be rather complicated, trying to literally cover every conceivable eventuality, including dragons, so our advice is simply take a little as you need to get the adventure started.RPGs tend to have a setting, typically fantasy but you can use any system in any setting.
Component wise, most RPGs use character sheets and pencils. Some game masters supplement the experience with music, props, maps, battle boards and miniatures. Many systems also use multi-sided dice. If you don't have these to hand simply pop online or download an app.


Freeform Universal
Traveller
Dungeons and Dragons




RPG: FU: the Free, Universal RPG
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RPG Item: Traveller: Starter Edition
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RPG Item: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set
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  • Weight: Light
  • Players: 3+
  • Ages: 10 and up (really dependent on game master)
  • Price: Pay what you want.
  • We'd recommend initially playing nothing ($0) but, buying it properly if you use the system.
  • Rulebook

  • Weight: Medium
  • Players: 3+
  • Ages: 10 and up (really dependent on game master)
  • Price: Free: Starter Set



More Resources:

Recommend RPGs for first time Role-players
Free RPGs

Board Game Design

User: monkeyhandz

The boardgames hobby isn't just limited to playing boardgames. A highly creative and fun element of it is designing your own games to play with yourself, share with friends, share with the wider community or even have published.

If you're currently busy keeping kids entertained or homeschooling, sessions structured around boardgames design can provide children and young people with a unique and creative learning challenge. The board game design activity can be tied closely to any current learning topic. For example set the challenge of designing or theming a game around a text, historical event or having required game mechanics around previous learning, from mathematics to foreign language.

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BoardGameGeek's Board Game Design Forums

Teaching Resources and Examples:
Board Game Design teacher Kathleen Mercury's teaching resources
Student designs

Retail FAQ


Anything special to know about online shopping?

In some countries and locations the authorities are asking people not to use online shopping. If this includes where you are, we'd encourage you instead to look at our section about the excellent games you can make at home.

Thought should be taken when receiving parcels, ensuring that there is enough distance between your postal worker, while remembering to thank them for their dedicated work at this difficult time.

Packages should be carefully handled with outer packaging and plastic shrink safely removed and put in the bin or recycling, and then washing your hands. For added bio security packages and their contents (paper/plastic) could be quarantined/set aside for 72 hours.

Where should I buy boardgames from?

We'd encourage, when possible or appropriate, from your local specialty game store. You should use their mail order service via online or over the phone. Local game stores are going to have a really tough time during Covid-19 so BGG has waved all selling fees. Amazon is another option available in most areas.

See our full list of online vendors.

What other games does the community recommend to new gamers?

2019 Gift Guide

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