5 board games to play online with friends while you stay indoors

Way of life

Who knew you could play Cards Against Humanity on the Internet?

A Cards Against Humanity game, available online. Cards Against Humanity

  • 7 board games you can play online with friends while you stay indoors

Board games are a classic way to have fun, and with some of your favorites available to play online, they’re a great activity in the age of social distancing.

Board games are also fun, the outgoing cousin of board games. Usually involving many people, board games have easy-to-learn rules and are more about having a good time than developing in-depth strategy.

After receiving so many positive reviews on our list of board games you can play online with your friends earlier this week, we decided a board game-focused sequel was in order. Here are 5 board games you can play online with friends.

(Note: Most of these games are enhanced by hosting a video chat on a platform like Zoom or Google Hangouts, but they’re still fun even if you can’t see or hear your friends while you play.)

Jackbox Games is the king of online board games, having released dozens of them over the years, dating all the way back to the 90s with its “You Don’t Know Jack!” trivia franchise. These days, Jackbox focuses on selling low-cost party games that can be purchased on video game consoles or computers and played using mobile devices. One of their most popular titles is Drawful 2, a Pictionary-esque game that the company currently offers for free on its website.

Everyone gets their own secret clue to draw, then everyone takes turns guessing based on the picture. The funniest and most accurate answers get bonus points. The best part about Jackbox games is that only one person actually needs to own the game, while up to nine other players can visit a shareable link to play, and up to 10,000 people can visit just to watch or vote on their favorite answers.

How to play: Drawful 2 is available for free on multiple platforms through the Jackbox website.

We could fill a whole list of online board games just from Jackbox, but we’ll just focus on another of its hugely popular titles: Quiplash. Have you ever played an Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity game and wished you could write your own answer? You can do this in Quiplash, which gives players suggestive prompts like “The Best Way to Blast a Million Dollars Quickly” or “The Worst Casino in Vegas: ___ Palace” and lets them fill in their own hilarious answers. Players vote on their favorite answers turn by turn, and just like Drawful 2, you can play using your mobile phone. Same Jimmy Fallon gets in on the action, inviting other celebrities to play the game with him for an upcoming episode of his home version of “The Tonight Show.”

How to play: Quiplash is available as a standalone title for $4.99 or as part of Jackbox Party Pack 2 for $12.49 on multiple platforms via the Jackbox website.

Cards Against Humanity, an R-rated Apples to Apples clone, is “a party game for horrible people”, as the game’s creators put it. While the game is definitely not for the whole family, it has been a certified hit since its release in 2011, proving that “Giving birth to the Antichrist” and “PowerPoint presentation” can be equally fun answers depending on the question. The game’s creators have made Cards Against Humanity available under a Creative Commons license, which means web developers are free to create their own versions of the game, and thankfully many have. Our favorites are hosted by Air Console, Wordner, and Pretend You’re Xyzzy, but you can find plenty more with a simple Google search.

How to play: Cards Against Humanity is available for free online.

You are in a room with a bomb, and only you can defuse it. The problem? Your friends, who do not see the bomb, are responsible for telling you how to defuse it using a long and complicated manual. Games of Keep Talking are naturally quite short, giving everyone a chance to save the world (or fail miserably).

How to play: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is available for $14.99 on multiple platforms through the company’s website.

All of the games listed above, while fun, are games that require active player participation. If you’re looking for an online activity to share with someone where you can chat to your heart’s content, can we recommend a nice jigsaw puzzle? Puzzles.io has a large collection of images that you can divide into puzzles of different sizes, and you can choose who to invite to join your puzzle team.

How to play: Communal Puzzles is a free online game.

Joseph K. Bennett