Social distancing has definitely put a damper on getting together with friends for to play games, and while there are satisfying digital versions of many board games available, grabbing a physical copy means that you can bring it with you when board game nights can start again. We've curated this collection of staff-pick favorite games to play over Zoom or Discord, and put together some quick tips to help you run each one.
The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow: This summer camp-esque favorite will require one player to moderate the group, but you'll have a howling good time with this social deduction game. The moderator should be the one who owns the game, and will need to secretly share the roles with the players that "draw" them. Then get some popcorn, sit back, and watch your friends accuse each other of being a werewolf.
The Search for Planet X: Search the night sky for asteroids, gas clouds, comets, and the biggest prize, the mysterious Planet X in this logic and deductive reasoning title from Renegade Games. Whoever owns the game needs to share a copy of the deduction sheet with each player, and the people playing remotely have to track which theories they publish on which spaces, but otherwise, game management is as simple as making sure everyone has put the right game code in the app and moving the brightly colored player pieces around the track.
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The game is afoot! Walk the streets of London on your search for clues and work together to crack the case in this game of brilliant deductions for 1-8 players. One player needs to have the base game to read the case file book, but the other assets like the maps, directory and newspapers have been made available here by the manufacturer on their website for just this purpose.
Welcome To New Las Vegas: Roll and write titles scale well for almost any number of players, are simple to learn, but aren't always the easiest to master, giving them high replay value. Welcome To New Las Vegas is the latest entry in the popular Welcome To... line, with a clever twist on the mechanics of other games in the series. One player will need to have a copy of the game and be responsible for drawing cards and making sure other players can see the details needed to mark where things go in their cities.
Just One: How well do you know what clues to give your friends to get them to the right answer- but only using one word? One player will have to manage this party game by making sure the correct people are able to see the card to give clues for the guesser, but should still be able to play and participate fully themselves.
Pandemic: It feels a little on the nose, but put on your mask and gloves, and get ready to try to save the world from four infectious diseases. To play Pandemic remotely, one player will need tomanage the board and cards in addition to their own turns. (Play with players' hands face-up on the table, the game is a cooperative effort anyway.)