WILD TIGER FAMILY SIMULATOR

These virtual versions of classic and lesser-known games are ikhuyến mãi for social distancing

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

With millions of people around the world practicing social distancing & staying at trang chính, video clip games like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” & 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 khổng lồ 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 to lớn divert their attention from the novel coronavirus pandemic, và avoid going out inlớn the world to lớn 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 và Clue to lớn newer games lượt thích Wingspan, Ticket to Ride và Codenames. Each listing includes the game’s price as of publishing, platform (official app or website, unaffiliated copymèo, or distribution service featuring an array of games, for instance), và playing parameters. For more options, kiểm tra out Tabletop Simulator (see entry on Dune for more information) & Tabletopia (see entry on Villagers), both of which allow users to create their own virtual versions of physical games, & Board trò chơi Aremãng cầu, a không lấy phí tool with no downloads necessary.

Ticket to Ride

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Price: Free web browser lite version; app costs $6.99 khổng lồ $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 sầu game operates much like the physical edition, with players embarking on a “cross-country train adventure in which collect and play matching train cards to lớn clalặng railway routes connecting cities throughout North America,” according lớn publisher Days of Wonder.

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

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

Dune

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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 khổng lồ establish dominance on the barren planet of Dune; as its subtitle indicates, the game artfully blends “conquest, diplomacy & betrayal.”

Originally released in 1979, the “sprawling sci-fi epic”—which spans “politics, ecology, religion and 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 lakiểm tra version of the game is finally receiving its due.

To play Dune virtually, download 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 lượt thích you vày in real life,” the platform’s website notes, picking up, rotating, shaking và throwing digital game pieces, in addition khổng lồ 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 & backgamtháng. But the true power of this versatile tool lies in its capacity for user-created content.

Players can use Steam’s Workshop function to digitize any game they want, from board games such as Clue và Life lớn thẻ games like Uno & role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. In fact, multiple versions of virtually all of the games included on this list can be found on Tabletop Simulator, though it’s worth noting that because the content is created by users, glitches are likely lớn occur. Read through Review, comments and Q&As to find the best fit for you.

Settlers of Catan

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

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

Alternatives: Tabletop Simulator has a gian lận featuring the Cachảy base game and expansion packs; Cachảy Universe’s predecessor, an ứng dụng called Catung Classic, is available for purchase through the App Store and Google Play but is no longer updated và may be subject khổng lồ glitches.

The online version of Settlers of Cachảy, technically retitled Catung Universe in this multi-platkhung 2016 release, has all the charm of its real-life equivalent, which pits players against each other in a race to lớn settle an isl& with limited resources. Plus, it offers digital-only features including avatar customization, an in-game chat room, artificial intelligence competitors and varying levels of difficulty. Users compete to lớn earn Victory Points by building settlements and cities, acquiring resources, và trading with—or thwarting—other players. The first person to lớn reach ten points wins.

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

Free-to-play nội dung still available includes introductory free matches of two-player card 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 and two scrolls, which can be used to lớn unloông xã special features or purchase expansion packs such as Seafarers, Cities & Knights, Rise of the Inkas, Rivals for Carã. 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 Cachảy Universe, see Juliana Kaplan’s explainer for Business Insider.

Sagrada

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Price: $6.99 lớn $9.99

Platform: App Store, Google Play & Steam

Like the Barcelona cathedral that gives this game its name, Sagradomain authority 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” lớn create the most beautiful window of all.

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

Monopoly

Price: Free with Pogo tài khoản or available as an app for $3.99

Platforms: Pogo, App Store and Google Play

Alternative: Monopoly is also available as a gian lận 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 khổng lồ play online for không lấy phí via gaming portal Pogo. Register for an trương mục khổng lồ compete with friends, A.I. or other online users, but be prepared lớn shell out for a Club Pogo subscription ($6.99 per month) khổng lồ access the site without ads.

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

Villagers

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Price: Free

Platform: Tabletopia

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

A digital version of Villagers is available for miễn phí with a basic Tabletopia tài khoản. Like Tabletop Simulator, Tabletopia describes itself as an “online aremãng cầu for playing board games just like in real life.” The platkhung currently features nearly 900 games, many of which are in early development và therefore offered không lấy phí to users willing to lớn test them out. Creating a Tabletopia account is miễn phí, but accessing certain games requires a premium subscription. Some games are không lấy phí to lớn 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 và Smithsonian best board game of 2018 pick Everdell. Premium games include Anachrony: Modules, Pocket Mars & Artifacts, Inc.

Pandemic

Price: $4.99 khổng lồ $19.99

Platforms: App Store, Xbox, Google Play, Nintenbởi vì Switch, Steam và Amazon

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

To play Pandemic, one khổng lồ five players act as a team of experts equipped khổng lồ 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 khổng lồ travel between cities & retìm kiếm centers, stemming the spread of four diseases while simultaneously researching cures. If players find all four cures in time, they win the game.

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

Codenames

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Price: Free

Platform: Unofficial online version hosted on Horsepaste.com

Codenames publisher Czech Games Edition plans lớn release an online version of the popular các buổi party game, which pits two teams against each other in a word guessing showdown, by the over of April. In the meantime, however, word game aficionados can access a miễn phí, unaffiliated version of the secret agent adventure via Horsepaste.com.

To play, simply visit the site, select a game identifier (lượt thích a password) and language, enable or disable the timer, and clichồng “Go.” The site will automatically generate a liên kết lớn share with friends. A cooperative sầu version of the game—in which players work as a single team instead of competing against each other—is available at Codenamesgreen.com.

Clue

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

Platforms: ArcadeSpot, Steam, App Store & Google Play

A truly retro version of Clue—the murder mystery các buổi party game that asks players to puzzle out which character committed a crime, where the incident took place và what weapon was used—is available for không lấy 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 quick solo fix, or if you have sầu roommates và family members willing khổng lồ sit down & take turns in front of the computer, this version will vày the trichồng.

The official Clue app, available through the App Store, Google Play và Steam, is richly animated and simple lớn 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 Sherlochồng Holmes và Dr. Watson và an Egyptian archaeological dig inspired by an Agatha Christie novel—is also available for purchase.

Wingspan

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

Platform: Tabletop Simulator

Alternative: Also available to Tabletopia premium users

Wingspan, an eclectic board game that transforms players inkhổng lồ avian enthusiasts working lớn 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 unique premise.

Available as a Tabletop Simulator DLC (unlượt thích mods, which are typically không tính phí, user-created modifications of original nội dung, DLCs are produced directly by the gaming company và 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 set in 1920s Europa, và Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game.

Twilight Struggle

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Price: $6.99 to $9.99

Platforms: Steam, App Store & 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 và coup attempts.” Available as an phầm mềm, the digital version of Twilight Struggle captures the same cấp độ 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 description, the expansion allows players 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 & Google Play

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

The app version of Life, developed by the same studio responsible for digitizing Monopoly & Clue, illustrates this journey with detailed 3-D animations—a welcome upgrade from the original Checkered trò chơi 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 minigames.