If you’re reading this in the Spring of 2020, you know what’s up. COVID-19 (coronavirus) is affecting just about every country. Right now, many aspects of normal life are being disrupted and “social distancing” is a way to slow the spread of the virus.
Gaming is something that will be placed on the back burner if you or a family member are ill. But, for those who are choosing to stay out of public gatherings and are in good health, this could take a toll on you mentally and emotionally. We were built to interact with other people, and this is an aspect of our hobby that our family absolutely loves!
We’re going to share a couple of ideas on how you can still interact with others, play fun games, and not put yourself at risk. We are obviously not doctors – the PhD’s on our walls are all printed on cheap paper we found in a dumpster. If you have ideas that we didn’t cover here, just post it in the comments below.
If you’re worried about the spread of viruses, dexterity games probably need to be put out of reach. And we can probably all agree that there is no reason to play Twister during a pandemic or any other time right? We can also eliminate Drop It or Jenga if we are worried about passing germs. Passing resources and cards also seem like a poor decision which means that most of our game collection will stay on the shelf.
Finding games that give you your own cards and resources (that don’t go into a general pool or get passed around) are available. Play Me is a fast and light dice game that my kids love playing with their friends. Everyone gets their own dice and a character card. There is no passing of components and you can put some space between you and other players.
Games like Unmatched, Skulk Hollow and Monster Crunch can be great options because each player is given a unique deck of cards that never gets shuffled together or passed around.
One genre that is great for limiting contact is roll (or flip) & write games like Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game, Deadly Doodles or Welcome To…. When playing anything with dice or card flipping, just allow a single player to perform this task the whole game.
There are lots of free and low cost options for connecting with people through webcam or by phone. Games like Kokoro, Welcome To… and a good number of roll & writes can take place through video conferencing. Google Duo, Hangouts, Skype and Facebook Messenger are a couple options for connecting with others.
Over the past couple years, platforms like Tabletop Simulator, Tabletopia, Happy Meeple, Yucata, and Board Game Arena have become more mainstream. Using your computer, you can play these analog games on a digital platform with friends or strangers. While these platforms have limited libraries of games, there should be plenty here to have fun with.
Try an RPG
We usually dive into role playing games during the Summer since the kids stay up later and we have more free time during the week. Over the years we’ve played Dungeon World, Monster of the Week, Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder.
Playing an RPG using Skype or Google Duo to connect with others can still be really fun. This is definitely a type of game that lends itself to playing over the Internet really well. Chances are that you have someone in your circle of friends that has asked you to play an RPG before. Surprise them and give them a chance to run a campaign. Roll20.net is a platform for playing RPG’s online and is a great place to start for playing a campaign online.
Listen, this is not my deal. I love gaming and I love people. I am an extrovert and this idea sends chills up my spine in the same way going to a movie theater alone does. But, if you’re really missing your board game time, playing a solo game may be just what you need.
So many new games hit retail with solo rules or variants in the box. Games like Architects of the West Kingdom, Wingspan, Atlantis Rising and Tiny Towns are ready for solo play.
You can find loads of resources online for solo play from Board Game Geek and Facebook. There are lots of people who love to solo game and have tips that make the game as good as it can be without opponents.
Here’s to hoping that we make good decisions and we don’t look back at the Spring of 2020 as the beginning of the end of the world. We love our hobby and just thinking about board gaming with family and friends brings a smile to my face. As we learn more about this virus over the coming weeks and months, be smart and act responsibly.
If you or anyone in your home is sick, please seek medical assistance. We really do want to “see you at the table.” Just come to the table with a clean bill of health.
Thanks to our Patreon backers for assisting with ideas for this list. Have any other suggestions for our readers? Post them below!