The Best Virtual Board Games You Can Play with Friends
Today, both children and adults can enjoy their favorite board games remotely
Board games have been popular for generations. There can’t be many of us who don’t have fond memories of playing Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, Mouse Trap, or Operation with our friends when we were younger. Nostalgia is growing into an epidemic as the pace of life continues to increase at a dramatic rate and many people crave for a simpler time.
Whilst there’s an interesting dichotomy there, what with playing these games virtually and all, that doesn’t make these experiences any less enjoyable.
Let’s take a look at some of the very best virtual board games and how they are played in 2021!
There are several great reasons why Monopoly has stood the test of time as the world’s most popular board game. The rules were cleverly designed to cause drama, anger, jealousy, and all kinds of other emotions. That’s a fairly impressive set of feelings for a so-called simple board game to evoke!
Another reason that Monopoly has retained its popularity for so long is the sheer variety of ways in which the game can be played. Many people who meet up to play Monopoly in person for the first time are shocked to learn that their opponents play a completely different set of rules to what they do.
There’s no “Mandela Effect” going on here – the simple fact is, many of us just never read the instruction booklet fully or correctly when we were children! Others just played as their parents showed them to do, which may also have been incorrect. It can be quite a surprise when you first play the online version of these games for the first time and discover what the real, manufacturer-recommended ruleset truly is!
Monopoly started life as a London-centric game, but versions were later released based on other capital cities from all over the world. Video game adaptations have been available for over thirty years, starting with the Master System game from Sega in 1988. For the casino enthusiasts, the creator of the game even made a series of slots, which are part of the offer of casino games on the biggest online platforms on the market.
The history of this iconic word/board game hybrid began in 1931 when architect Alfred M.Butts first created his first prototyped titles “Criss Cross”. The game was later redesigned by James Brunot in 1948, who came up with the name Scrabble. The rules of the game are said to have been changed several times over the years, but most of these changes made to the included instructions were for clarification rather than making any actual changes to the gameplay.
The first virtual versions of scrabble were probably the “Words With Friends” and “Scrabulous” series of games, which rights owners Mattel and Hasbro were quick to try have taken down despite the fact no legitimate virtual version of scrabble existed at that time.
Today, “Scrabble Go” is available in both the iOS and Play marketplaces for smartphones, allowing players worldwide to compete in a true, authentic game of scrabble no matter where they are in the world. Scrabulous has had a tough time staying in the marketplace, due to being an exact clone of Scrabble. Words With Friends, on the other hand, has enough differences between its games and Scrabble that it continues to be permitted in the app stores and popular with players to this day.
Known as Cluedo in some parts of the world, Clue is a murder mystery game that has been played by hundreds of millions of people during its 72-year history. A deal was struck in 1949 that would allow original owners of the Parker Brothers to brand the game as a Sherlock Holmes game. Despite this deal being made, and advertisements from the time labeling Clue as being “The Great New Sherlock Holmes Game”, there has never been any mention of Holmes on the games box or enclosed documentation.
The original virtual versions of Clue did not allow users playing on Android to share a game with their friends playing on the iOS platform. Thankfully, this was quickly rectified as the smartphone market consolidated into just two dominant companies. The game is currently the #4 most popular title in the board games category in the Apple App Store and makes for a great evening’s entertainment with friends.
A Brief Conclusion
We have only touched on a handful of the options available in this article. If you have a taste for more virtual board games, be sure to check out the app stores on mobile platforms or Steam on PC, where you will find hundreds more virtual interpretations of popular board games.