As we all know, the entertainment industry, like all the other aspects of our daily lives, has made some significant advances following the fast-paced movement of technology towards providing as much comfort and convenience for the people as possible.
Board games are no exception of this phenomenon and although commonly seen as a more traditional style of gaming, board games have also been heavily influenced by the rise of technology and in particular, the internet. Without a doubt the internet has made the lives of board game players a lot easier. Community interactions, inclusive social platforms, online shopping and PnP games etc. Are just a few of the countless reasons gamers appreciate the internet.
One of the useful features that the digital world offers is the ability to play some of your favorite tabletop titles online and on the go. This method of playing your preferred board games is faster, cheaper and much more accessible in comparison with the traditional physical copies.
While we all tend to hold some of the physical copies of our collection very close to our hearts, if you ever happen to want to start a board game session immediately and right where you are, this article will definitely come in handy.
Benefits of Playing Board Games Online
There are a multitude of reasons you should consider starting to play board games online.
Other than being financially agreeable, playing board games online also comes with incredible ease of access and it even enables you to experience playing with distant friends or even test out your skills against a random stranger across the globe.
A light alternative to physical copies that allows you to keep a wide collection of games playable on any of your mobile devices and at the same time extends the selective range of your opponents/teammates to practically endless.
1. It’s Cost-Effective
Some online board game platforms include internal transactions but the number of cheaper and free options is not few. According to MyKindofMeeple the average retail price for a single board game falls somewhere between 20$ to 40$, whereas the websites and apps aren’t likely to cost you any more than 10$ and that is only if you don’t find at least one of titles in the free selection of games to be of your liking, which is honestly unrealistic.
However, the paid services of the website are definitely worth the price and they also go on sales on a number of occasions every year including Black Friday, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
I won’t even begin to mention the more expensive games and/or expansions. For a proper collection of board games that you can feel comfortable showcasing, you might have to spend anywhere between 500$ to 1000$. Naturally, every gamer enjoys organizing (and the occasional dusting of) their own collection but I have to admit playing—at least—some board games online makes a good deal of financial sense.
2. It’s Simple and Easy-to-use
Our daily lives, nowadays, are tightly tied with the assistance of technology. Whatever the task at hand may be, we almost always find a good excuse to refer to our smartphones for help. Although we’ve all heard the lengthy lectures of why this is incredibly harmful and whatnot, the fact is that we’ve mostly become experts at shuffling through websites and making the internet bend to our needs.
The ability to locate your way and shuffle through the vast space of the internet along with the handy UI that these websites present you with, allows for a quick and swift setup of any particular game that you may have in mind and moving in between them is like eating a piece of virtual cake!
It’s never been easier to carry your collection of games around and it’s never been faster to work with them.
3. It’s Playable Over Long Distances
There might come a time in every gamer’s life that finding a good person to play board games with becomes challenging. Perhaps your gaming partner went to college or maybe your siblings don’t seem interested anymore. Well, worry not! The internet has got your back.
You can connect to your friends online over long distances (or even short distances if you decide) or find new people to play with in the same platform. The whole website is full of people who are enthusiastic about board games and are looking for new friends or new people to challenge.
Think of it as a virtual bar that’s been made specifically to host gamers. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Where Can You Play Board Games Online?
Several online platforms specialize in bringing board games to digital screens.
These websites will give you pretty much everything you’ll need in order to host your game board session on the internet. They give you all sorts of customization options as well, regarding the game you want to play, who you want to play with, and in some cases, how exactly you want to play.
Try to imagine a multi-platform digital environment with instant access to hundreds of licensed board games. That is exactly what Tabletopia is.
The initially web-based platform was first lunched in 2015. These days, however, there are multiple versions of Tabletopia available to use including the Steam/MacOS app, the desktop and mobile websites and the android/iOS application.
Tabletopia features more than 2000 board games, all of which have been handpicked or made by professionals and board game geeks who know exactly how an online board game platform should work.
This website’s unique interesting feature is that there is no AI enforcing the rules. The team behind Tabletopia is strictly and solely working on providing gamers with a virtual platform of playing board games that they can customize as much as they please. You as the player are required to know the rules and play by them and the website doesn’t force you to do anything and it doesn’t keep you from doing anything either! It’s a true sandbox experience.
2. Tabletop Simulator
Some might consider Tabletop Simulator more of a video game and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. This 3D sanbox platform was developed by Berserk Games in February 2014 for MacOS/Microsoft Windows/Linux and is basically what you’d describe as a video game in which you can play any board game you want.
What I love about Tabletop Simulator is that just like Tabletopia, it doesn’t restrict the player or their play style. Tabletop Simulator simply provides you with all the options you need to build your own virtual table and set up your own game and play by your own rules. For this reason, I have to say, I’m hoping for a VR version some day in the near future.
Exclusive to this platform is the impressing details of the physics of movement. It’s the only platform where you can express your frustration and/or anger by flipping the table over or throwing it aside and all things considered I think that greatly contributes to an immersive and realistic board game experience and it has to count for something.
1. Board Game Arena
Board Game Arena claims to be the number one online platform for playing board games online. It’s a practical website that includes forums, communities and even a news section for those who want to be up to date on the news that revolve around board games.
It features hundreds of games that you can play for free but also a paid membership that will grant you, with 5$ a month or 30$ a year, access to the selection of the premium games as well as showing game statistics, being able to choose your color, create online tournaments of your own hosting, removing all the adds and voice/video chat.
“Board Game Arena’s main goal is to promote board games to a large audience.” Says the developer and for that to be achieved, the platform as to be as accessible as they can be. Which is why all the magic happens right in your browser and there’s no need for any downloads whatsoever.
The website is available in 42 languages and more than 200 countries worldwide and probably hosts the biggest and the most diverse of all online board game communities you’ll ever come across.
Playing board games online can feel a bit odd or out of norm. particularly for people with a long history of playing them the traditional way. In my opinion though, it’s important to know how to take advantage of change rather than rejecting it.
Playing board games online comes with a number of positive factors that you should keep in mind and once you learn how to stimulate the same gaming hype from a virtual table that you get from real ones, you’ll surely realize that mobility and being affordable are underrated traits of a good board game.
Which websites are your favorites when it comes to playing board games with your friends online? Let us know your top picks in the comments!