These virtual versions of classic & lesser-known games are igiảm giá khuyến mãi for social distancing

The danh sách includes Sagrada, Pandemic, Settlers of Catung, Wingspan and Dune. (Photo lớn illustration by Meilan Solly / Photos via Getty Images và game publishers)

With millions of people around the world practicing social distancing & staying at home, video clip games like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” and versions of “The Sims” franchise are more popular than ever. But as digital offerings reach new heights, virtual versions of beloved board games are—thanks to lớn a pre-pandemic boom in board game hobbyists—more accessible than one might think.

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To support those searching for a way khổng lồ divert their attention from the novel coronavirus pandemic, và avoid going out inkhổng lồ the world to buy board games in person, Smithsonian magazine has curated a collection of 12 games you can play with friends online.

Offerings range from classics such as Monopoly & Clue to lớn newer games like Wingspan, Ticket lớn Ride & Codenames. Each listing includes the game’s price as of publishing, platkhung (official app or trang web, unaffiliated copycat, or distribution service featuring an array of games, for instance), & playing parameters. For more options, kiểm tra out Tabletop Simulator (see entry on Dune for more information) and Tabletopia (see entry on Villagers), both of which allow users to lớn create their own virtual versions of physical games, and Board Game Aremãng cầu, a miễn phí tool with no downloads necessary.

Ticket to Ride


Price: Free web browser lite version; phầm mềm costs $6.99 to lớn $9.99

Platforms: App Store, Google Play, Steam, Amazon & website browser

In lieu of taking an actual train ride, consider trekking across the globe via Ticket to Ride. Available on five sầu digital platforms, the online version of the addictive game operates much like the physical edition, with players embarking on a “cross-country train adventure in which collect & play matching train cards to lớn clayên railway routes connecting cities throughout North America,” according to lớn publisher Days of Wonder.

Gameplay options range from one-person matches against up khổng lồ four artificial intelligence competitors to lớn pass-and-play (in which participants physically pass the phone or tablet khổng lồ the next player), virtual sessions with random members of Ticket khổng lồ Ride’s online community, & remote showdowns with friends who also own the phầm mềm. Expansion packs featuring maps of Europe, Asia, the Nordic countries, Switzerlvà, India, Germany, the United Kingdom, France & Pennsylvania are available for in-game purchase.

If you’re hoping to try out Ticket to Ride without splurging on the relatively pricey app, consider registering with Days of Wonder khổng lồ earn four không tính phí trial games of a scaled-back web browser version.



Price: Free thủ thuật (short for modification, or fan-made addition to an existing game) available via Tabletop Simulator ($19.99 on Steam)

Platform: Tabletop Simulator

Dune, one of Smithsonian magazine’s picks for the best board games of 2019, is based on the 1965 science fiction novel of the same name. Players lead competing factions of noble families, guilds và religious orders to lớn establish dominance on the barren planet of Dune; as its subtitle indicates, the game artfully blends “conquest, diplomacy and betrayal.”

Originally released in 1979, the “sprawling sci-fi epic”—which spans “politics, ecology, religion và giải pháp công nghệ,” according to Rachel Kaufman of Smithsonian—was rereleased in 1984 to promote David Lynch’s film adaptation of the book, but proved unpopular & soon went out of production. Now, more than 40 years after its launch, the lademo version of the game is finally receiving its due.

To play Dune virtually, tải về Tabletop Simulator, a self-described “online sandbox” that allows internet-savvy users to lớn create their own 3-D models of physical games. Play “just like you vị in real life,” the platform’s trang web notes, picking up, rotating, shaking và throwing digital game pieces, in addition lớn flipping the table “when you are losing the game.”

The base version of Tabletop Simulator, available from Steam for $19.99, comes with 15 classic games, including chess, poker, dominoes and backgamtháng. But the true power of this versatile tool lies in its capacity for user-created content.

Players can use Steam’s Worksiêu thị function khổng lồ digitize any game they want, from board games such as Clue & Life khổng lồ card games lượt thích Uno và role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. In fact, multiple versions of virtually all of the games included on this các mục can be found on Tabletop Simulator, though it’s worth noting that because the nội dung is created by users, glitches are likely to lớn occur. Read through reviews, comments và Q&As lớn find the best fit for you.

Settlers of Catan


Price: Some không tính tiền features, but requires base game (500 gold, or $3.99 plus 100 không tính tiền gold upon sign-up) lớn unlochồng all gaming modes; expansions & special scenartiện ích ios available as in-game purchases

Platforms: Web browser, App Store, Google Play & Steam

Alternatives: Tabletop Simulator has a thủ thuật featuring the Cachảy base game và expansion packs; Cachảy Universe’s predecessor, an app called Cachảy Classic, is available for purchase through the App Store and Google Play but is no longer updated và may be subject to lớn glitches.

The online version of Settlers of Catung, technically retitled Cachảy Universe in this multi-platkhung năm nhâm thìn release, has all the charm of its real-life equivalent, which pits players against each other in a race lớn settle an island with limited resources. Plus, it offers digital-only features including avatar customization, an in-game chat room, artificial intelligence competitors & varying levels of difficulty. Users compete to lớn earn Victory Points by building settlements & cities, acquiring resources, & trading with—or thwarting—other players. The first person to lớn reach ten points wins.

Cachảy Universe normally hosts không tính tiền three-player matches of the Catan base game, but due lớn recent high dem&, this feature is temporarily unavailable. Paid users can still participate in multiplayer games, and Catan’s makers hope to lớn reactivate its không tính tiền games after tweaking the site’s backend development.

Free-to-play content still available includes introductory không tính phí matches of two-player thẻ game adaptation Catan: The Duel và an “Arrival on Catan” tutorial that unlocks single-player versus A.I. matches. Upon registering, users receive sầu a bonus of 100 gold pieces và two scrolls, which can be used to unlochồng special features or purchase expansion packs such as Seafarers, Cities & Knights, Rise of the Inkas, Rivals for Catung. The full base game, as well as each of the expansions, costs 500 gold (or $3.99 for 400 gold, used in conjunction with the sign-up bonus of 100 gold).

For tips on mastering Catung Universe, see Juliana Kaplan’s explainer for Business Insider.



Price: $6.99 to lớn $9.99

Platform: App Store, Google Play & Steam

Like the Barcelona cathedral that gives this game its name, Sagrada is known best for its sumptuous visuals. Players assume the roles of artisans tasked with bringing La Sagrada Familia’s stunning stained glass khổng lồ life, competing via “dice-drafting” khổng lồ create the most beautiful window of all.

The key lớn securing victory is identifying the perfect dice (as differentiated by color & number) for each window pane—a choice complicated by rules regarding the cubes’ placement. Breaking these rules by expending special tool cards, in addition khổng lồ adapting lớn meet the “fickle demands of your patrons” while simultaneously maintaining “your signature artistic flair,” also places players on the path khổng lồ first place. Play alone, versus A.I., with friends or with members of your household.


Price: Free with Pogo trương mục or available as an app for $3.99

Platforms: Pogo, App Store & Google Play

Alternative: Monopoly is also available as a mod on Tabletop Simulator

The classic real estate game, in which players buy, trade & maintain Atlantic City properties in hopes of driving the competition into bankruptcy, is available to play online for không tính tiền via gaming portal Pogo. Register for an account to lớn compete with friends, A.I. or other online users, but be prepared khổng lồ shell out for a Club Pogo subscription ($6.99 per month) to lớn access the site without ads.

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For a more high-tech experience, tải về the official Monopoly tiện ích through the App Store or Google Play. Rendered by Marmalade trò chơi Studio, the ứng dụng boasts detailed 3-D animations, no ads, online and offline multiplayer modes, customizable house rules, và a quiông xã mode igiảm giá khuyến mãi for shortening the game’s notoriously lengthy runtime.



Price: Free

Platform: Tabletopia

Villagers, a “thẻ drafting và village building” adventure mix in the aftermath of a medieval plague, asks players khổng lồ guide a hard-hit region lớn prosperity by strategically choosing settlers to lớn populate the community. As the game’s Kickstarter page explains, village founders must “recruit the right people to lớn size lucrative production chains while balancing your food production and building capacity.” The individual with the most prosperous village wins.

A digital version of Villagers is available for không tính tiền with a basic Tabletopia trương mục. Like Tabletop Simulator, Tabletopia describes itself as an “online arena for playing board games just like in real life.” The platform currently features nearly 900 games, many of which are in early development and therefore offered miễn phí lớn users willing khổng lồ test them out. Creating a Tabletopia trương mục is không lấy phí, but accessing certain games requires a premium subscription. Some games are không tính phí khổng lồ play with a limited number of users but need a subscription lớn bump up the number of players.

Other không lấy phí games available via Tabletopia include Lisboa, Architects of the West Kingdom and Smithsonian best board game of 2018 pichồng Everdell. Premium games include Anachrony: Modules, Pocket Mars và Artifacts, Inc.


Price: $4.99 to $19.99

Platforms: App Store, Xbox, Google Play, Nintenvị Switch, Steam & Amazon

Given the current global health crisis, Pandemic might seem lượt thích a questionable choice of entertainment. But the game, which asks players to lớn work cooperatively to lớn save sầu the world from deadly diseases, is actually far more uplifting than it sounds—and it could serve sầu as a much-needed source of hope, or at least distraction, amid these trying times.

To play Pandemic, one to five sầu players act as a team of experts equipped lớn contain &, if all goes well, end a spate of viral outbreaks. Each player assumes a special role, such as scientist, operations expert or researcher; all roles come with their own unique abilities. The goal is lớn travel between cities và research centers, stemming the spread of four diseases while simultaneously researching cures. If players find all four cures in time, they win the game.

Pandemic & its various expansion packs are technically only available as single player- or local multiplayer-games (meaning individuals have sầu khổng lồ play against A.I., connect khổng lồ the game via the same mạng internet network or physically pass around a playing device), but those who purchase through distribution platkhung Steam can use the Remote Play Together feature to circumvent this constraint. See Wired for more information on setting up Remote Play Together.



Price: Free

Platform: Unofficial online version hosted on

Codenames publisher Czech Games Edition plans khổng lồ release an online version of the popular party game, which pits two teams against each other in a word guessing showdown, by the end of April. In the meantime, however, word game aficionados can access a không lấy phí, unaffiliated version of the secret agent adventure via

To play, simply visit the site, select a game identifier (like a password) & language, enable or disable the timer, & cliông xã “Go.” The site will automatically generate a links lớn share with friends. A cooperative version of the game—in which players work as a single team instead of competing against each other—is available at



Price: Free low-tech version available online; official editions range from $3.99 to lớn $11.99

Platforms: ArcadeSpot, Steam, App Store and Google Play

A truly retro version of Clue—the murder mystery buổi tiệc ngọt game that asks players lớn puzzle out which character committed a crime, where the incident took place and what weapon was used—is available for miễn phí via ArcadeSpot, but as one might expect, the outdated interface comes with limitations, most prominently the inability khổng lồ play with friends remotely. Still, if you’re simply looking for a quichồng solo fix, or if you have sầu roommates and family members willing to sit down and take turns in front of the computer, this version will bởi the trichồng.

The official Clue phầm mềm, available through the App Store, Google Play và Steam, is richly animated and simple khổng lồ use. Play against the game’s A.I., or connect with friends for an online matchup. A Clue “season pass” featuring ten new boards—including recreations of Victorian London populated by Sherloông chồng Holmes and Dr. Watson & an Egyptian archaeological dig inspired by an Agatha Christie novel—is also available for purchase.



Price: $7.99 DLC (downloadable content) with purchase of Tabletop Simulator ($19.99)

Platform: Tabletop Simulator

Alternative: Also available khổng lồ Tabletopia premium users

Wingspan, an eclectic board game that transforms players inkhổng lồ avian enthusiasts working to attract visitors to lớn competing wildlife preserves, has won an array of accolades—including a spot on Smithsonian’s best board games list—since making its debut in 2019. Created by birder Elizabeth Hargrave sầu, the game is recognized for its scientific rigor, eye-catching illustrations và quality premise.

Available as a Tabletop Simulator DLC (unlượt thích mods, which are typically không lấy phí, user-created modifications of original nội dung, DLCs are produced directly by the gaming company & often cost a small amount of money), the virtual version of Wingspan retains much of the board game’s signature aesthetic, though some users have sầu noted that the game’s functionality could use an update. Other DLCs offered by Tabletop Simulator include Scythe, an alternate history game phối in 1920s Europage authority, & monster Monster: The Dungeon Building Card trò chơi.

Twilight Struggle


Price: $6.99 lớn $9.99

Platforms: Steam, App Store and Google Play

Twilight Struggle, a two-person strategy game mix during the Cold War, pits the United States against the U.S.S.R. in a race to lớn establish global dominance via “political influence and coup attempts.” Available as an tiện ích, the digital version of Twilight Struggle captures the same màn chơi of tension that pervades its physical incarnation, artfully detailing real historical events while maintaining a sense of high-stakes gameplay.

Hone your skills by playing against an A.I. opponent or using the in-game tutorial, then connect with a frikết thúc online for a cutthroat showdown. Users can also purchase a mini expansion pack called Twilight Struggle: Turn Zero. Per the app’s mô tả tìm kiếm, the expansion allows players to lớn explore alternate starting situations for the competing superpowers, considering such questions as what would have happened if the Western Allied powers had reached Berlin before the Soviets.

The Game of Life

Price: $2.99 to $4.99

Platforms: Steam, App Store và Google Play

In the trò chơi of Life, as in real life, much is left lớn chance: in this case, the whims of a randomly spun wheel. Players race lớn reach retirement, garnering degrees, job titles, properties và loved ones along the way. The individual who retires with the most wealth wins.

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The phầm mềm version of Life, developed by the same studio responsible for digitizing Monopoly and Clue, illustrates this journey with detailed 3-D animations—a welcome upgrade from the original Checkered Game of Life created by entrepreneur Milton Bradley in 1860. Play alone, with friends or with members of your household, competing in a “fast mode” version of the base game or in app-exclusive sầu minigames.

Chuyên mục: Game Online