I’ve shared this information with the local meetup group I organize and a few other folks, but it probably is the sort of thing I should try to share more widely. So for my fellow board gamers in need of a fix during this time of social distancing and self-quarantines, you may want to check out some of the great free boardgaming websites I’ve found over the years.
My username on all of these sites is mitcharf. Send me a message with your username if you are looking for a game. (Or add me as a friend or start a game with me)
I think all of these sites are geared toward turn-based play (with time limits for each turn that can range from hours to days) except for Boardgamearena, which has both turn-based and real-time options..
- https://boardgamearena.com – Has a big selection of games including: Terra Mystica, Through The Ages, Race For The Galaxy, Tzolk’in, Puerto Rico, Russian Railroads, Troyes, Keyflower, In The Year Of The Dragon, Caylus, & Madeira. The site is free but some games are “premium games” which you can only play if you’re a premium member or a premium member invites you to a game. Premium membership costs a few dollars a month. I’m a premium member and am happy to start a premium game with you, if it’s one I like.
- http://www.boiteajeux.net – A free site (there is premium membership that gives you some perks but you can play everything without it) with a lot of games including: Ginkgopolis, Castles of Burgundy, Dungeon Lords, Dungeon Petz, Trajan, Concordia, Agricola, & Tzolk’in.
- https://yucata.de – A free site which can be a little confusing to navigate at first, but has a good selection of games including: Terra Mystica, Glen More, Castles of Burgundy, At The Gates Of Loyang, Carson City, El Grande, Egizia, Macao, Luna, Navegador, Pax Porfiriana, Russian Railroads, Saint Petersburg, Oracle of Delphi, & Voyages of Marco Polo.
- https://terra.snellman.net – The original online implementation of Terra Mystica. It isn’t flashy and the interface takes getting used to. That said, I think it does a better job of concisely conveying the game state than any other digital implementation I’ve seen. It is completely free.
- http://play.boardgamecore.net/main.jsp – Totally free and dedicated to only 4 games: Antiquity, Food Chain Magnate, The Great Zimbabwe, and Wir Sind Das Volk.
- https://www.slothninja.com/ – A free site which has a small selection of games: Indonesia, Tammany Hall, After The Flood, Confucius, and Guild of Thieves.
And here are a couple others that I’ve only just started to use, so I cannot yet endorse them as confidently as I can the ones above:
- https://pente.org/ – As you perhaps guessed from the name, you can play Pente here.
- https://triqqy.com/ – Free site which has a number of games, including Shipyard and a lot of Reiner Knizia titles (Lost Cities, Ra, Tigris & Euphrates, Samurai, and Through The Desert).
If you know of any other good places to play, please share them in the comments.
Stay home, stay safe, and stay gaming!