10 Online Board Games That Are Awesome to Play With Family From Afar

These classic games available to play online with friends also happen to be perfect for staying close to grandparents and extended family as we practice social distancing.

Monopoly Board Game and Money
Photo: Ekaterina_Minaeva/Shutterstock

While we all adhere to crucial physical distancing measures, kids are looking for new ways to connect with their friends—and parents are on the market for some new fun, engaging activities for their families. While a traditional family game night with grandma and grandpa may be out of the question, there are still plenty of apps and web platforms making it easy for families to play their favorite go-to games together virtually. Whether you're into buying properties in a game of Monopoly or building everyone's vocabularies with a game of Scrabble, here are a few of our favorite board game options available online, plus a few classic card games, trivia games, and drawing games, too.

1. Jackbox Games

A popular online gaming platform that's gaining traction as people follow stay-at-home orders, Jackbox Games are available on a wide variety of digital platforms like Xbox One and Apple TV. Once you’ve bought a game, it’s yours to own and play as much as you want, and games can be played with friends and family remotely. You can choose from options like popular trivia game You Don’t Know Jack, Quiplash, which is like Apples to Apples, Drawful, in which each player gets a prompt and has to draw their prompt on their device, and Fibbage XL, which is like Balderdash.

2. Scattergories

The popular creative-thinking, category-based question game can be downloaded in app form for free from the App Store or Google Play. Kids can play against friends one-on-one or open up a room to play with multiple friends as a group.

3. Monopoly

Pogo.com, run by Electronic Arts, offers hundreds of free online games, and among them is the classic fortune-building game Monopoly, which can be played with friends once you register with the site for free. You can also grab an app version, developed by Marmalade Game Studio, for just $3.99 on the App Store and Google Play.

4. Scrabble

Kids can build their vocabularies by playing the online version of the classic word-creating game for two to four players, also offered by Pogo.com. Or there's Scrabble Go, which is available for free on the App Store or Google Play.

5. Clue

Kids can create private multiplayer games to dive into Marmalade Game Studio's classic murder-mystery board game online. It's available for $3.99 on the App Store and Google Play.

6. Mattel Playroom

From Barbie to Thomas the Train to Polly Pocket, kids' favorite Mattel characters come to life in Mattel's free and ready-to-play web games for kids. Kids can share their screens on Zoom and play together. The site will also offer free books and guides from American Girl and a tutorial for how to make your own Hot Wheels Monster Trucks arena at home.

7. Chips & Guac on Houseparty

Kids 12 and over will love jumping on Houseparty, a face-to-face social network set up to host games like Guac and Chips, which is similar to Apples to Apples. The gist: Gather at least three players, then match cards to adjectives, and hilarity ensures. Kids can download the app via Google Play or the App Store, add each other as friends, and play.

8. UNO!

The classic card game can be downloaded on Google Play or the App Store for free. Kids can join forces with friends in the app's Fun Room.

9. Jigsaw Puzzles

Kids can invite friends to join them on Jigsawpuzzles.io to join forces and put together a puzzle virtually.

10. The Game of Life

The Game of Life, Hasbro's classic board game, is available for $2.99 in the App Store and Google Play, and offers up a multiplayer game or the option to play with up to three other people on the same device. Marmalade Game Studio describes it as a "3D animated reworking of the familiar physical board."

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