2 people playing an online board game on their mobile devices

Top 9 Online Board Games You Can Play Whenever, Wherever

Discover 9 fan-favorite board games that can now be played online, including Scrabble GO, Monopoly, The Game of Life, Clue and Catan

September 02, 2020

Who would have thought that game night with friends and family could get even more challenging? Make those games virtual and include your loved ones from across the globe because we’re about to seriously up the stakes of game night.

The beauty of the internet is that as much as it’s functional, it’s also fun. You can host a video chat version of Yahtzee, play card games over Zoom, or have fun with app-hosted games. And, if you think you won’t find digitized versions of all your favorites, think again. Even classics like Monopoly, The Game of Life, Settlers of Catan, Uno, and Clue are now in the cloud. 

If you’re an intense gamer and you want to get as close to real life board games as possible in a digital environment, try Tabletop Simulator. This is a virtual arena where you can play various board games online—solo or with the whole crew.

If you don’t know where to start, many games are available through Tabletopia, which offers more than 1,000 board games from Scythe to classic board games. You can find Backgammon, Checkers, and Mahjong for play in your web browser on Mac or Windows, as well as mobile download on Steam or from the App Store or Google Play.

You’ll want to make sure to have the proper game-night snacks and drinks on hand. Pick up classic gamer foods like Doritos, Mountain Dew, and Gummi Bears and your favorite energy drinks. You can also opt for healthier snack options like pita chips and hummus, veggies and dip, and water to give you an advantage. 

Adding prizes like gift cards or a copy of the actual board game can serve as extra motivation. A harmless bet between friends never hurt anyone. 

9 of the best online board games to play on mobile and PC

1. Scrabble GO

Cost: Free

Put the power of your lexicon on full display with this free Scrabble GO app. Whether you play with friends and family or against new acquaintances online, the digital version does the scorekeeping for you. No one will bump the board, turning your words into alphabet soup. Get out your Scrabble dictionary and prepare yourself to challenge any words that seem off to you.

Download for iOS or Android.

2. Catan Universe

Cost: Free basic version with in-app upgrade purchases available

The Catan Universe has gone digital. If you love strategy games or you’re new to Catan, look no further. The board game has been around for 25 years and translated into the digital realm in a free three-player app version. Expansion packs are available like in the physical board game. Pick up “Cities & Knights”, “Seafarers,” or “Rise of the Inkas” to change things up.  

Download for iOS or Android.

3. The Game of Life

Cost: $3

The Game of Life taught us some tough lessons as kids about money and responsibility and “adulting.” Enjoy this game as a grown up in the online version of this classic board game with way better graphics. If you need a distraction from getting your life together, create a virtual one and see what you can accomplish.

Download for iOS or Android.

4. Clue

Cost: $4

Who did it? With what? And where? You know the drill. Put on your detective hat because this version has all of the charm of the Clue board game and is a significant upgrade from previous video game versions—unless, of course, you get nostalgic for 16-bit graphics and the hypnotic beep-boops of MIDI tunes.

Download for iOS or Android.

5. Monopoly

Cost: $4

Monopoly gets a laughable rap for turning family members into fiercely competitive property developers in this classic game or going on for hours. But the point of game night is to have hours of non-stop fun with the family. 

Choose your avatar. Roll the dice. Pass GO. Collect $200. Buy your properties and flex your capital. Whether you say you love or hate this game, you always end up having fun. The mobile version of the game recreates the physical edition but with new features such as a time limit, and the digital banker is always paying attention so it’s much harder for your siblings to cheat. 

Download for iOS or Android.

6. Backgammon 

Cost: Free

Playing this checkers-based game with a physical set is best, but the app version helps us connect with our loved ones and play long distance in this digital age. In backgammon, each player starts with 15 pieces and the goal is for them to move all of them off of the board. It’s going to take a bit of luck and ingenuity (and maybe a few rounds of games) to beat your most skilled family members. Best of five? 

Download for iOS or Android.

7. Carcassonne

Cost: $4.99

This may be a new one for you, but what else are you doing this weekend? Learn how to play a new game that will get you through the coldest days of winter when you’re stuck inside and bored. You use tiles to construct cities, cloisters, farms, and roads in the game. Everyone loves a game in which they can make worlds of their own, and that’s exactly what Carcassone allows you to do. If that sounds like a relaxing activity, wait for the kicker: Carcassonne is competitive. Players earn points for activities like having a knight in a city and lose points for having incomplete roads. See if you can collect the most points in your next virtual board game showdown. 

8. Battleship

Cost: $4.99

You can now play this classic game with your friends and family, even if they’re placing their ships on their virtual board an ocean away. Just like in the version you played when you were growing up, different kinds of ships measure different lengths, and you must carefully and secretly place your vessels at the beginning of the game. Since you can’t move them again, think strategically. You and your gaming partner will try to sink each other’s ships by guessing where they are on the board. If you hit an occupied square, your opponent’s vessel goes down.

9. Codenames

Cost: Free

If you’ve ever wanted to be a secret agent, now’s your chance. This virtual game implies no actual risk, so you won’t be rappelling from buildings like James Bond or hacking into a complex computer system to save the world. Teams piece together clues to uncover secret identities in this word game. Get the whole family together, no matter where they live in the world, for a true international spy adventure. 

If you’re in the middle of an intense gaming session and run out of battery, Gopuff has your back. Order a charger to wherever you’re playing. Remember to check with Gopuff for quick and easy delivery of your favorite snacks, drinks, and the best gamer foods while you’re at it!

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