Top 10 Zoom/Video Call Games
At this point, we are all pros at video meetings, parties, and calls. Whether its Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime or another video call, change up your next check-in with a virtual game night. Just make sure you have your charging cable, a drink, some comfy clothes and one of these Board Game Bandit Video Call favourites to create a great game night.
|Number of Players||2-4|
Yes, the game Pandemic is a popular game in these times, but it is also an amazing cooperative game that can be played over video. It offers a more involved experience than many of the party type games that are popular over Zoom. The host (the player who owns the game) sets up the board and plays through on camera with the other players sharing inputs for each turn. Pandemic is a cooperative game, so players win or loose together.
In Pandemic, multiple diseases have broken out all over the world! Players are disease-fighting specialists treating disease hotspots while researching cures for each before they get out of hand.
The game board is a world map, showing major population centers on Earth. On each turn, players use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards gives players these abilities but littered throughout this deck are Epidemic! cards that speed up and intensify the diseases' activity. A second, deck of cards controls the "normal" spread of the infections.
Players plan their strategy to match with their specialists' strengths to over come the diseases. For example, the Scientist only needs four cards of a certain disease to cure it instead of five. If one or more diseases spreads beyond recovery or if too much time passes, the players all lose. If they cure the four diseases, they all win!
9. Just One
|Number of Players||3-7|
|Designer(s)||Ludovic Roudy, Bruno Sautter|
Just One is an award winning game (2019 Spiel des Jahres) that is great for both families and parties. It allows for 3-7 players, takes around 20 minutes to play and is good for ages 8 and up.
To play over video call is simple. One player must own the game, the other players just require a pen and paper.
Just One is a cooperative game where you play together to find as many mystery words as possible. Find the best clue to assist your teammate. Be unique because any identical clues are discarded!
A game is played over 13 cards. The objective is to score as close to 13 as possible. Players score 1 point for each right answer. A wrong answer, they lose the current card as well as the top card of the deck. Therefore losing 2 points. If there is no answer, the players only lose the current card, and therefore only 1 point.
|Number of Players||1-100|
Cartographers is great for anyone who is a bit more experienced with board games. This game also offers some fantasy role playing instead of a light party game like many popular Zoom games, but still allowing many players to participate (1-100 players).
In Cartographers players compete to gain the most reputation stars by the end of four seasons. Each season, players draw on their map sheets and earn reputation by carrying out the queen's orders before the season ends. The player with the most reputation stars at the end of winter is the winner!
To play on a video call, one player needs the game to host, all other players need their own sheet, which can be found online for free to download.
|Number of Players||4-8|
|Designer(s)||Jan Brezina, Martin Hrabálek, Michal Požárek|
Trapwords is a light party game for 4-8 players with 2 teams, divided into two approximately the same number of players and takes about 30 minutes to play.
It is similar to the classic word game Taboo, but with an interesting twist – the opposite team is choosing the words you cannot use. With you having no idea what words are "traps", when you’re attempting to describe your chosen word to the rest of the team.
You have to correctly guess a word that one of your teammates is attempting to describe to you. Sounds easy, but it is made horribly difficult by not knowing which words you can't say. With both teams are simultaneously creating secret traps for each other, words that you can't use the further you get, the more trapwords you can expect.
In order to play Trapwords over video, you will need a host who owns the game, and because Trapwords is a team based game you will need a main channel with all players, but also separate channels for each team within Zoom where the host can show (without looking themselves) team cards. Players will need to collaborate within their channel and write down their Trapwords before returning to the main channel to play.
|Number of Players||1-4|
|Designer(s)||Adrian Adamescu, Daryl Andrews|
Sagrada is a 1-4 player family abstract game of dice rolling & placement.
Each player creates a stained glass window by constructing a grid of dice on their player board. Each board has some limitations on which color or shade (value) of die can be placed where. Dice of the same shade or color cannot be placed next to each other. Dice are drafted in player order, with the first player rotating each round, turning back around after the last player drafts two dice. Scoring is varying each game based on completing various patterns and varieties of placement, as well as bonus points for dark shades of a certain hidden goal color.
Special tools can be used to assist you in breaking the rules by using skill tokens; once a tool is used, it then needs more skill tokens for other players to use them.
To play Sagrada on a video call, each player will need a copy of the game, the host will also need to ensure their camera is set up to view the dice pool. The host will do the rolling each turn, and players choose their die from the pool (communicating their selection to everyone), while taking a dice from their own supply and completing their grid.
5. Patchwork Doodle
|Number of Players||1-6|
Patchwork Doodle is a roll-and-write version of Patchwork, where players have their own 9x9 grid to fill in during the game. The simple design makes it another ideal game to play over video calls. All you need is for 1 player to own the game, and therefore host game play, and the other players (playable with 1-6) to have a pencil and graph paper at hand.
Each player sets up by drawing a unique polyomino card from the starting deck, then drawing that on their sheet.
Each round, players lay out a number of polyomino cards in a circle, the rabbit is placed between two cards. On a turn, a player rolls the die, moves the rabbit forward, then removes the card shown by the rabbit. Each player draws the polyomino displayed on their card in their grid. Once a set number of cards have been played, the round ends, players score points, then you lay out more cards for the next round.
Each player has four unique actions available to them during the game: You can pick to draw the card before or after the selected card, you can cut a polyomino into two before adding one piece to your grid, you can fill in a 1x1 space in your grid, and you can do one of the above actions a second time. When you perform one of these actions, you mark it off as each can only be used once (except for the one you choose to use a second time).
You lose a point for each space that you don't cover, so try to pack everything in as tightly as possible!
Patchwork Doodle is a 20 minute game, that works great with adults and children.
4. Silver & Gold
|Number of Players||2-4|
Silver and Gold is quick, 20 minute playing roll and write game. To play this game on a video call each playing party will need a copy of the game, as each player will need copies of the wipeable cards.
Once game cards are set up, Expedition Cards show a pattern and when they are revealed one at a time, players mark the pattern shown on their Treasure Map Cards. This can be done by rotating the pattern if necessary. After 4 rounds, points are tallied up to announce the winner.
3. Floor Plan
|Number of Players||1-100|
|Publisher||Greater Than Games|
Another roll and write game, Floor Plan can be played with any number of players from 1-100.
This 20-40 minute game can be played fairly easily over video or Facetime, but does require all participants to own their own copy of the game to play.
In Floor Plan players act as Architects designing a home for a client. Each round, a pair of dice are rolled and players will play simultaneously, using the dice to either draw a new room onto their floor plan or add key architectural and landscaping characteristics.
The game finishes once a player has completed six client requests, or can’t use all dice in a turn.
|Number of Players||3-6|
The popular party game, Anomia, is a perfect game to play on a video call. Simple rules, very few components and lots of laughs.
Anomia works with all the random information we sort in our brains: things to eat, pop songs, websites, etc. Under normal circumstances, it's simple to give an example of a frozen food or a dog breed, but you will discover that your brain works differently under pressure!
To play, draw and show a card from the center pile. Does the logo on your card match one on another player's card? If yes, players quickly face-off with each other by giving an example of the person, place, or thing on their card before they can do the same for yours. If you cry out a correct answer first, you win their card and the drawing continues.
Wild cards allow non-matching symbols to match, expanding the number of things you must pay attention to. Face-offs can occur when you hand over a lost card, thus revealing a new top card on your play pile.
The game host will need to own a copy of the game, an ensure a set up where everyone can see game cards displayed.
1. Exit: The Game Series
|Number of Players||1-4|
|Designer(s)||Inka Brand, Markus Brand|
The escape room, Exit series of games is our favourite to play over video. It allows for a host player to own a copy of one of the many games in the series, and 1-6 players to join the game.
Exit games are cooperative party games that stimulate an escape room experience. Players need to solve a series of puzzles and riddles to gain freedom from the story line of the game. The game is timed so work together quickly to escape.
To play on Zoom the host will need to facilitate the game for all players to contribute to the team's progress. Alternatively, the Exit series of games are relatively inexpensive, so if each person has their own copy, everyone can explore and uncover clues together at the same time.
Board Game Bandit has a large selection of Exit games, such as; Theft on the Mississippi, The Stormy Flight, Dead Man on the Orient Express, or The Polar Station, as well as the two newest additions to the series: The Enchanted Forest and The Cemetary of the Knight.