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Gaming This Christmas...

For this week's blog (sorry there was a little break while we worked out what was happening in the world!) we are focusing on board games you can play via Zoom, Discord or any kind of video call app this Christmas. For many of us we won't be joining our families around the table so this will be a good way to have fun with them, without sitting through another quiz written by your uncle (though one of my suggestions may be a quiz game...)

Codenames (Any version)

Codenames is a great game to play via video call.

How do you play?

Split into two teams (red and blue), and one person from each team becomes the Spymaster. The Spymaster will have a code sheet which indicates what all their words are from a grid of word cards and they must give one word clues that relate to one, or more of the words in their code. Find all your words for your team to win, easy as that!

How do you adapt it for a video call?

Easy! Simply have the people who own the game point the camera at the board of words, and have those people be the Spymasters. You lose a little bit of the fun because you can't share the role of Spymaster BUT if you have multiple copies of the game across several households you could take turns doing this set up. Then play as you normally would and enjoy a great evening of arguing "well how was I meant to know atmosphere was a board game?!"

Pandemic (Any version)

Another classic we've seen played by video call time and time again on different forums!

How do you play?

Pandemic is a cooperative board game where you all take on one role to eradicate the 4 diseases plaguing the world. You do this by collecting cards matching the disease colours, and researching cures. BUT! There could be an epidemic that means the diseases spread, and begin to get out of control, how will you contain them before it's too late?

How do you adapt it for video call?

This one is a bit of a stickler for adapting because it's easiest played if everyone has a copy of the board so they can mimic the disease tokens on the board, also so they can have access to the city cards everyone has to suggest actions. You would then also set up a camera pointed at the main game, this would be the game from which you are actually playing and copying from for your board. Then tell the people with the main deck how and where you would like to move and continue as though you're playing normally. It's a little more expensive, if you didn't already own Pandemic, but a great way to spend the day as you try again and again to beat this amazing game of strategy. It is possible to play with only one board but may prove a little more difficult as you try to read the city names and plan actions.

Obviously, you can adapt many games with this method but Pandemic is one we know plays well in this style over video call.

Weird Things Humans Search For

Quiz territory time, but a silly one where general knowledge doesn't always win!

How do you play?

One person is the quizmaster and they have a deck of questions, the teams will then give two answers to the questions to score points. You can score 4 points if the first answer is the top answer, or 2 points if the answer is anywhere else on the list, and 2 points if your second answer is on the list.

But what are the questions? Well they're a culmination of the top 10 google completes when you type into a google search bar and you're trying to complete the sentence! Very good fun, and often you don't expect the answers.

How do you adapt it for video call?

Well, like any other quiz you get on video call, pick your teams and assign your quizmaster. It's as easy as that!

Welcome To

Rolls & Writes are an amazing category of games to play over the festive period, mostly because as long as one person owns the game you can access the sheets to print for everyone else free online, and we'll suggest a couple we love!

How do you play?

So not so much a roll and write but a flip and write. In this game you are building your perfect neighbourhood, each flipped cards will have a number and type of card, for example a pool leading to tough decisions as you pick where to play that number on your neighbourhood sheet. Each, pool for example, you cross off could lead to more points at the end of the game and score you the best neighbourhood but it could also mean you can't complete the street as you put the number in the wrong space. With tough decisions to be made can you plan the best neighbourhood?

How do you adapt it for video call?

One person would need a copy of the game, so they have access to the decks of cards. You would then set up a video call pointed at the decks of cards for everyone to see, it would also be handy to have a PDF of the rules for everyone, so they remember what actions can be taken with different cards. Finally, print out the print and play sheets so everyone can join in and get on call. A light, fun game that keeps conversation flowing while you let your Christmas pud settle.

We'll even include the print and play friendly sheet for you:

Other examples of roll and writes which would be played in the same style are:

We've included the print and play sheets above for you as well.


A little more fiddly but worth it for the fun!

How do you play?

One of you has been murdered, and it is up to the rest of you, the paranormal dectectives, to unravel the ghostly clues left behind in the form of cryptic dreams. Each round you will receive visions (dream cards) from the ghosts and you must decipher the clues that point to the murder weapon, location and the murderer. Work together to help each player decipher their clues and put your ghostly friend to rest.

How do you adapt it for video call?

This would be a little more fiddly but as with all these games, one person must own the actual board game and that person would need to be the ghost so they can draw their hands of dream cards. A camera will need to be pointed at a table where the locations, weapons and murderers are laid out for everyone to see. For handing out the dreams you can either use a good camera and show the cards to each player or use the scans of the cards which can be found in the link below to send to each player via Discord (for example) to treat as their clues. Obviously this becomes much easier if each group playing owns a copy of the game but this is the best workaround we've found. Once you've got through the fiddly set up you can have fun while the ghost proceeds to mute and unmute themselves as they think their clues are foolproof!

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

If you're a group who love mysteries why not check out one of the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective games and see if you can best Sherlock and uncover the culprits!

How do you play?

Using newspaper clippings, the London Directory, a map and a case book you'll travel around interviewing suspects, checking crime scenes and finding evidence that will help you answer questions at the end of the case. Once you feel ready to answer the questions you compare your score to Sherlock and see if you managed to beat him in unravelling the clues! It's as simple as that (though the cases aren't, trust me!)

How do you adapt it for video call?

The best way to play this game via video call is have one person read the case book, maybe get into character and treat this as a roleplaying experience where one person takes on the role of GM (games master), except they also don't know what lies ahead. You would then sit on video call with copies of the newspaper clippings, London Directory and map on a tablet or device which can be read from easily as one person reads from the case book. It's nice and easy and the print and play files are available at the link below: (so no need to strain and zoom into a map on a video call!)

There you have it, that's our round up of games we have adapted to play via video call at Christmas! Send us your snaps of your set ups this year and make sure you're all having fun!

Much love!


Resident Coffee Addict of Meeple Perk


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