Gaming by Skype: Distance no barrier!

26 11 2012

How do you get your boardgaming fix when you have no-one around to game with?
There’s plenty of boardgames available on and offline via mobile and Pc/Mac/consoles so you could do that, I guess. There’s also Play by Email/Post options if you don’t mind slow gaming. Or you could always crack open Agricola or Snowdonia and have a solo game?

However, for those who want to get that real-life gaming night experience but with people in different locations, you may want to consider a Skype games night.

Basic requirements
We’ve taken part in multiple successful Skype games evenings now as we have gaming friends who live over 150 miles away. Put simply, both parties need access to a Skype account (free at www.skype.com) and a device with a webcam so your friends/family can see you/the game. The better the webcam and Internet speed, the better your experience will be (far easier to game with clear, non-blocky images).
Also, trust is key so you want people who are honest!

Game selection
Of course, you’ve probably already worked out that not all games lend themselves to a good experience via Skype. For instance, forget games with card drafting: no matter how hard you try you WON’T pass those 7 Wonder cards through the screen!
Party games such as Scattegories and Taboo work well, but this doesn’t mean you’re limited to this genre. For example, we’ve had a successful game of Hamburgum!
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Hamburgum? How?
This was a little trickier to organise but we had a successful 4 player game of this a while back (this was 2 people my end and 2 people the other). Both households had a copy of the game set up exactly the same. This would be in a similar way as a play-by-mail game of scrabble/chess.
Each player announces their move and the opposing players make the same move but on their board. For full transparency, resources/cards, etc, are also dished out to ‘dummy’ players representing people in the other house. This allows for error checking to take place so that the game doesn’t suffer at the hands of a forgotten/wrong manoeuvre!

Other games we’ve played
We always tend to start these evenings with a game of Perudo/Liar’s Dice. This game is very easy to play via this medium and can play in a matter of minutes.

Taboo is another game that works well. Again, another party game, but a lot of fun over Skype. The way we do it is to pair up with remote partners rather than stay in our natural household pairs. This way, one of us can check the banned words aren’t being used.

Tichu
. Ok, so this is a bit of a cheat, but still kind of works. We each sign into an online Tichu game (we use TichuIQ.com) and pair into two teams accordingly. This enables face-to-face play, but card management is managed via the software. This game wouldn’t work on Skype any other way.
Continuing on the Party game theme, Scattergories is also a winner and simple to set up. In the same vein, Balderdash and Pass the Bomb have also been played, albeit with slight rules modifications to take into account the medium used.

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In Summary
We are still looking for more ideas of non-party games to play via Skype. We feel we have a nice mix of party and non-party in Hamburgum/Tichu, but of course would like to keep it board rather than software-based gaming. So, please feel free to post suggestions or let me know what has or what you think would work well over Skype.

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our iPad Skype setup

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10 responses

26 11 2012
Steve

Hive or Hive Pocket would work well if there were only two of you as the pieces are quite big and graphics large.

How about Finstere Flure with the RU, BU type lettering combinations for moves on the board?

Would be a bit fiddly for setup and play, but there is also Samurai, although you might feel the tile drawing is too open to abuse.

Forbidden Island lends itself to this due to the clear graphics of the tiles. Clearly, the turning over of the cards would have to happen at one end only.

My suggestion is to start a Geeklist on BGG with these items mentioned so far and see where it leads.

Happy gaming! I read more about people playing games then actually playing myself, but there is enjoyment in that also.

27 11 2012
fluffy

Enjoyed playing Hamburgum with you over Skype. Taboo works great and doesn’t lose any of its fun over video link.

Finstere Flure seems like a game that would suit Skype, but I’m unlikely to go to all that bother with something that’s available to play online anyway.

Good idea for creating a geek list.

27 11 2012
BoxFart

Thanks for the reply Fluffy. I did think beforehand that Hamburgum may be too laborious, but it definitely worked well and was worth the effort!
With our sessions, the lighter party games work really well. I know it’s not Mrs Boxfart’s first choice, but I suggest a Wits and Wagers at some point to mix things up as this seems like one which would be a success. Fancy it?

27 11 2012
BoxFart

Thanks for the suggestions, Steve.
I agree re Finstere Flure as a suggestion which could work. The BrettSpielWelt factor, though would mean we would generally go for the online version rather than crack open the board, as Fluffy suggests.
I like the idea of a Geeklist and I’m not sure I haven’t checked on this a good while ago. You’ve inspired me to take a look!
In fact, a Skype gaming evening might be a way forward for us guys to overcome the difficulty in diary coordination if you and the good lady fancy it sometime?
Will post back re Geeklist follow-up…

27 11 2012
jeffinberlin

My game, Piece o’ Cake, would work on Skype.

27 11 2012
BoxFart

Well, the title of your game certainly speaks of promising times ahead! I will have to give it a go once the post-Essen funds have been fully replenished! 🙂

27 11 2012
Mrs Boxfart

Mrs Boxfart here…. Liking the idea of the Geeklist Steve and also agree with Sir that a bit of Skype with you guys would be great too.

Fluffy, we should definitely go for a rematch of Skypeburgum at some point, it worked really well. I will also do my part of the bargain and stomach a Wits and Wagers too!

10 01 2013
Sam

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19 07 2014
eshailaja

Personally I love my awoken huntress. Even playing the same content again with the same character as from alpha, I immensely enjoy playing the hunter because it seems almost like a “hard mode” for the game especially when playing alone on difficult missions. I’m not saying the other classes are better, just that playing Hunter seems to be for more advanced players. The way I play is reminiscent of the MGS games.. cuz i’m all tactical n’ shit. cat mario online

6 04 2015
Yael Quintin

I am playing using LOL boosters they help me to reach my goal using skype.

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