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Friends From Afar

Tabletop Games You Can Play Remotely

1 October 2016 | Asmodee Games


Both tabletop and digital games have been heavily praised lately for their ability to bring people together. Cooperative games give people a common goal to pursue, often requiring discussion on how to best achieve that goal and inspiring spirited discussion after the game's end. Non-cooperative games have different results, like healthy competition and critical thinking about various strategies. Either way you look at it, games are great, and lately, people have been turning to tabletop games to engage with their nearest, their dearest, and even the acquaintance they’d like to get to know better (games are great icebreakers!). 

We love to see people coming together over our games, but one plight of the avid gamer is how to play their favorite tabletop titles with distant friends. Video games are incredible resources in that respect, as they allow you to share a gaming experience from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. However, our favorite physical game pieces aren’t always as easy to share. Through technology and creative gameplay, though, you can still share your favorite board games with friends from across the globe. As long as you each have a copy, you could video chat, call, or message back and forth to share your gameplay experience!

The Tabletop Arcade Game

Many competitive games rely on competing resources or board space in order to create tension and apprehension. Loony Quest is a unique game in how independent players are when they’re actually on the clock. The game is more of an individual race to the top of the scoring track, like a ‘High Score’ screen on your favorite classic video games. Because of this, Loony Quest does not necessarily require you to be in the same room as your opponents to play. 

Players’ main interaction in the game is inflicting pranks upon one another, but it is only the Banana prank which actually requires both players to touch a given token. The attacking player generally throws the token onto their target’s board before the next round so it obstructs their drawing. For remote play, however, the recipient of the prank could just drop the Banana token onto their board from above. It’s fun to see just how close (or far off) your friends’ drawings are from the targets, though, so we recommend video on this one!

The Cooperative Conundrum

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is an exceptionally unique game due to its solo playability. This game is entirely comprised of content and information rather than physical components like cards, tokens, or figurines. Because of this, the game is more of a mental puzzle than a board game, and it’s an exceptionally engaging one at that. 

Played remotely, Consulting Detective can actually be made into a cooperative or competitive game. By messaging or speaking, you can dive into the many cases of the game together, discussing the clues and their possible meanings. At the same time, you could take on the various cases individually, each trying to get as close to the truth as you can. The multiple directions you can take in this game will surely lead to discussion on how you each came to your varying (or identical) conclusions. It’s like a far more active version of watching a television show with a distant friend and discussing the outcome at the end. 

The Party Pleaser

Many remote interactions occur between just two people, be they phone calls or video chats, but with today’s technology, it is possible to communicate with a whole group of people located around the world. In a group chat such as this, a more independent game experience like those above may seem complicated and time-consuming. If you’re looking for a quick, light game to play from afar, Skull is a delightful option. You can alter the game’s length easily and it’s quite simple to learn and teach. With everyone involved and invested in each choice you make, this game is perfect for including multiple players.

The Asymmetrical Murder Mystery

The multiple roles of Mysterium add a twist to any play of the game, though you can change it up even more by playing via video chat or messaging, especially if just one of your friends is in a different location. An element of Mysterium that sets it apart from most games is the silence required of the ghost player, which can be even better achieved when you can’t hear (or see) them. By sending the vision cards via message or showing them on the video chat screen, the ghost could successfully communicate with all of the psychics. You can further complicate the game by muting audio on both sides of a video chat so neither the ghost nor the psychics can rely on feedback from the other side.

Near or Far

Just because you find that your go-to teammates and opponents are miles away doesn’t mean you have to stop sharing your favorite titles together. By tweaking gameplay a little bit, you can often turn your much-loved tabletop games into the perfect method of connecting and reconnecting with people from all over the world in a way you may have never considered.