If you’re missing your regular gatherings with friends and looking for ways to keep the camaraderie alive, consider diving into virtual game nights with engaging online board games. Whether you’re a fan of classic strategies, fast-paced challenges, or cooperative quests, many board games over FaceTime promise to deliver excitement and connection, no matter the distance.
This guide is your go-to resource for finding the perfect online board games to play with friends and family, ensuring your game nights remain a highlight of your week, even when you can’t meet in person. From timeless classics to modern marvels, these selections are designed to keep the fun flowing and the conversations lively, transforming your virtual hangouts into memorable events.
Games aren’t just for kids, and I think everyone is realizing this more and moving on. Children of the 80s have aged and never quite lost their love of gaming and have also raised children used to living in households filled with consoles, board games, and card tricks. It’s just a way of life.
So, if you are ready to play a few board games online with family and friends through Zoom, FaceTime, or any other online platform, I’ve rounded up various great options for you to consider. Keep fun ALIVE!
You don’t have to be alone if you can’t find time to get together. Thank goodness for technology. And listen, don’t forget about your grandparents who live across the country! They would love to participate, as well.
Fun Board Games To Play Over FaceTime With Friends And Family
Can you play games while on FaceTime?
Yes! FaceTime is the universal video chat service from Apple and while it is primarily used for conversations and screen sharing, there are a variety of different ways you can connect using this tool.
Although personal interactions come first, social distancing has thrown us all for a loop. Technologies like FaceTime have recently played a critical role in helping us all stay in contact with loved ones and now it seems there is no turning back.
What board games can you play on Zoom?
Let’s break down some of our top picks for online gaming through Zoom or FaceTime.
Pictionary is a classic family-friendly game that works perfectly online because it is all about drawing. Friends can take turns drawing their ideas online while the rest of the viewers guess about the design.
The person that owns the game can be the actual HOST and text each member the idea they have to create. Or, members can each have a copy of the board game and grab a few cards out of their boxes.
- This special edition featured above comes with 400 bonus clues!
Chess is a simple game that has stood the test of time. There are PLENTY of online versions that you can log onto with a friend. So, technically you don’t need to physically have this board game, but if you do it works!
Simply make sure to move the pieces on both boards to be able to follow along with the game. Or have one player manage every move for both players.
- This featured set includes German knight Staunton wooden chess pieces that are handcrafted and made from birch.
I don’t think there is a family in my town that doesn’t own a copy of Monopoly! This makes it a VERY easy game to play online with friends. Just make sure you are playing with HONEST friends because everyone will have access to their own bank and we all know what an extra $500 here and there can do.
- Includes gameboard, 8 Tokens, 28 Title Deed Cards, 16 Chance Cards, 16 Community Chest Cards, 32 Houses, 12 Hotels, 2 Dice, Money Pack and Game Guide
Bingo!! With Bingo, you will have to do a little legwork. The person that owns the game will have to take a photo of all the cards and send them out to the rest of the players. That way, everyone knows what numbers to look out for while playing.
OR, people could make up their own cards? That’s up to you! The Bingo caller will be the host of the game and call out one number at a time via FaceTime. As soon as someone has 5 numbers in a row, a winner is announced.
- Automatic random ball selector drops ball into base
- Perfect for ages 6 & Up
Ticket to Ride
My family LOVES Ticket To Ride, but this game needs a special set up. Whoever is the host will have to have their camera focused on the board. That way all players can watch the pieces move around and know what is happening after every turn.
Basically, you have to build train routes across the world and you get more points for longer routes. Hosts need to know that there are also cards that need to be accounted for per team player. So, drink some coffee before diving in!
It’s one of our favorite games to play during family game night. Give it a try.
- Connect iconic European cities and build train routes to earn points
Trivial Pursuit can easily be played via FaceTime. The assigned host can simply move all pieces for you. To play, try to fill your character with all 6 colored wedges ahead of all other players.
There are so many different STYLES available for this game. Are you a movie buff? Into music? Want to focus on the 90s? Pop Culture? Family Edition? Disney Edition? Want the Classic? After decades of fun, I bet there is a series out there for you.
- This Master Edition of the Trivial Pursuit board game includes 2,950 questions.
One of my FAVORITE games to play during the holidays with my family. This will become a fan favorite for you. I am sure!
To play Scattergories, you will need to text everyone a photo of the word list for every round. In order to help you understand the rules, I provided an instructional video. After one round, you will ROLL right through this game and never want to stop.
The important thing to remember is that in order to earn a point, nobody can have the same answer.
- Scattergories game is about speed and creativity
- Word game
Related: Dozens Of Apps To Play With Friends
Codename is another family game that can be played over Zoom or FaceTime and is ideal for adults and teens. It’s all about finding agents and being observant.
Here is an instructional video to describe how you can play together. Host can take photos of cards and send them around.
- 400 all new words compatible with original codenames
- New cooperative gameplay
How to Set Up a Virtual Game Night Over FaceTime
Organizing a virtual game night over FaceTime is a fantastic way to stay connected with friends and family, combining the joy of board games with the convenience of digital communication. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure your online game night is a hit:
- Choose a Date and Time: Select a date and time that works for all participants. Consider time zones if you’re playing with people in different areas. Use a poll or group chat to decide on the most convenient time for everyone.
- Select the Right Game: Choose an online board game suitable for virtual play. Consider the number of players, the age group, and the interests of your group. Popular choices include classics like Pictionary, Chess, and Monopoly, as well as newer games like Ticket to Ride and Codenames. Ensure the game is conducive to being played over FaceTime, with clear rules and manageable setup.
- Communicate the Details: Send out invites with all the necessary details, including the date, time, and which game you’ll be playing. Use email, social media, or messaging apps to reach everyone. Include instructions for downloading FaceTime if any participants are not familiar with the app.
- Ensure Everyone Has the Game: If the game requires each participant to have their own copy or access to an online version, make sure everyone has what they need ahead of time. Only the host needs to own the physical game for games that can be played with one shared view.
- Test Your Tech: Before the game night, do a quick tech check to ensure everyone’s FaceTime and internet connection are working smoothly. This will help avoid any technical glitches on the night of the game.
- Prepare Your Space: Set up your playing area with good lighting and a stable place to set your device so everyone can see you and any game components you’ll share via video.
- Explain the Rules: At the start of the game night, take a few minutes to review the rules, especially if there are any modifications for online play. This ensures everyone is on the same page and helps the game run smoothly.
- Keep Communication Open: Encourage everyone to stay unmuted if possible, to mimic the feel of an in-person game night. This allows for better interaction, banter, and clarification of rules or moves during the game.
- Have Fun!: The most important part of a virtual game night is to enjoy the experience. Encourage laughter, conversation, and a bit of friendly competition to make your FaceTime game night memorable.
By following these steps, you can seamlessly organize and enjoy a virtual game night with friends and family, ensuring everyone stays connected and entertained, no matter the distance.
Tips for a Successful Virtual Game Night
Hosting a virtual game night over FaceTime can be just as thrilling as an in-person gathering, but it comes with its unique challenges. Here are some essential tips to keep your online board games engaging and ensure a smooth, enjoyable experience for all participants:
- Set Clear Expectations: Before the game begins, clearly outline how the night will proceed. This includes start and end times, breaks, and basic etiquette, like listening when others speak. Setting these expectations helps maintain a structured and respectful environment.
- Manage Turn Times: To keep the game moving and engaging set a reasonable time limit for each player’s turn. Use a timer to enforce these limits gently. This prevents the game from dragging and keeps everyone involved.
- Use Digital Tools: Enhance your virtual game night with digital tools that complement FaceTime. Apps like digital dice rollers, online scorekeepers, or game-specific apps can streamline gameplay and add excitement.
- Ensure Clear Communication: Encourage everyone to articulate their actions and decisions clearly. This is crucial for games that involve strategy or detailed moves. Repeat or summarize key actions for clarity, if necessary.
- Leverage the Chat Feature: Use FaceTime’s chat feature for side conversations, sharing relevant links, or posting game-related information without disrupting the game’s flow.
- Incorporate Breaks: Schedule short breaks to allow participants to stretch, grab a snack, or simply take a breather. This keeps the energy up and prevents fatigue, especially during longer games.
- Keep the Atmosphere Light: The primary goal of a virtual game night is to have fun and stay connected. Encourage laughter, jokes, and light-hearted banter to maintain a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere.
- Stay Flexible: Be prepared to adapt the rules or format to better suit the online environment. Flexibility can lead to new and unexpected forms of fun, making your virtual game night a memorable experience.
It’s easier thank you think to have a game night online.
Interactive Elements for More Fun
Elevate your virtual game night on FaceTime by incorporating interactive elements that boost engagement and excitement. These creative additions can transform a standard online board game session into an immersive and memorable experience:
- Themed Virtual Backgrounds: Encourage participants to use virtual backgrounds that match the theme of the game you’re playing. Whether it’s a fantasy landscape for a role-playing game or a bustling cityscape for a strategy game, these backgrounds add a visual element that enhances the gaming atmosphere.
- Character Dress-Up: Take the immersion up a notch by dressing up as characters from the game. Whether it’s donning a detective hat for a mystery game or wearing wizard robes for a fantasy adventure, costumes can make the virtual game night more engaging and provide plenty of laughs.
- Interactive Polls and Voting: For games that involve group decisions or voting, use online polls to streamline the process. This can be especially useful for games like Werewolf or Mafia, where players need to make collective decisions. Tools like StrawPoll or in-chat voting features can facilitate this.
- Game-Specific Soundtracks: Enhance the ambiance with a game-specific soundtrack playing in the background. Music that matches the game’s theme can heighten the experience and immerse players further into the game world.
- Real-Time Reactions and Emojis: Utilize FaceTime’s features to allow real-time reactions during the game. Emojis and reaction icons can be a fun way for players to express their feelings without interrupting the flow of the game.
- Shared Digital Game Boards: For certain games, consider using a shared digital game board that all participants can view and interact with. This can be particularly useful for strategy games or games with complex setups, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
- In-Game Challenges and Side Quests: Introduce in-game challenges or side quests that players can complete for bonus points or special advantages. These can be simple tasks related to the game or creative challenges like coming up with a poem or drawing related to the game theme.
- Post-Game Highlights and Awards: At the end of the game night, highlight memorable moments or award titles to players, such as “Best Strategist,” “Funniest Play,” or “Most Dramatic Moment.” This recap can be a fun way to reflect on the night’s events and celebrate everyone’s participation.
Incorporating these interactive elements into your FaceTime virtual game night can significantly enhance the experience, making it more engaging, immersive, and enjoyable for all participants.
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Are You Ready For Some Fun?
There are endless games that can be played over a video call. Though this list isn’t exhaustive, it points point us in the right direction for some games that are the least demanding and generally fun.