Check out this big list of fun board games to play over FaceTime with a friend or family member! You don’t need to be together to play board games!
A couple weeks ago I wrote up a list of 50 creative activities to do over FaceTime and you guys LOVED it. That list has a million great ideasfor crafts and other fun things to do with kids when you can’t be in the same place.
But today we’re JUST talking about board games to play over FaceTime with kids. We are so so lucky to be living in a time when video calls are an option and when you can’t be with your friends and family you can still see them and talk to them regularly. It’s not a hug, but it’s something!
I have also found, if you happen to have more than one kid and one need to do schoolwork but the other(s) is too young, FaceTime board games with a grandparent (for example) is a great way to occupy them for a while!
It’s also a wonderful way for your kids to have something to do if you need to get some of your own work done.
How do you play board games over FaceTime?
You might think at first that board games can’t be played when you’re not in the same room as the other players but as long as you have the RIGHT KIND of game, you can totally play board games over FaceTime. The key is picking the right board game. I found a whole bunch of board games to play via video call that work just as well remotely as in real life!
If there are any modifications needed to make the game work via FaceTime, I’ll make sure to note it. I also will note whether both people playing need to own their own copy of the game or not.
In most cases this is necessary, but these are common games and you’ll probably find that your friend or family member might already own a copy of several of them! If not, board games are super easy to order and you can easily get one copy for you and one for your uncle in a day or two! So here we go, let’s talk board games for FaceTime!
Fun Board Games to Play over FaceTime!
Guess Who is my kids’ current favorite game and it works perfectly over FaceTime. Each player has a game board with little flaps showing a bunch of people and then you draw a card with one of those people on it. The object of the game is to guess, one yes or no question at a time, which person’s card the other player has. The game is fun because as you rule people out you get to knock down the flap with their picture on it! Each player needs their own game, and draws their own card from their deck. Then take turns guessing just like you normally would!
Modifications: The only thing to note is that in the FaceTime version of Guess Who, it is possible (though not that likely) for both players to have the same person. So if you’re the kind of player who starts off by putting down the card you yourself have, don’t do that!
Battleship is another great FaceTime board game that works because each player needs to hide their board anyway! Just set up your battleships and take turns guessing on the grid where the other player has their ships hidden. Miss! Hit! Just make sure each player has their own copy of the game.
Tenzi is a fun game we recently discovered that can be played by two or more people perfectly over FaceTime. It’s a super easy dice rolling game. You each need your own set and each player gets 10 dice of the same color. Then when someone says, “go!” you keep rolling your dice until all of your dice are showing the same number. The game also has tons of other ways to play, like first one to have 5 and 5 etc. that are just as fun. This is a noisy and quick game that kids love!
Apples to Apples
Each home needs their own set of Apples to Apples cards. Apples to Apples is a game where there is one category card and then each player has a hand of word/phrase cards and they have to choose which one of their cards fits the category best and a “judge” chooses the winner for that round. The answers are often very very silly. For example, if the category is “slimy” someone might use the card ” worm” but someone else might choose “used car salesman”. To play on a video call, have one person pick the category and show it to the camera and each player can pick whichever one of their cards fits best. The judge picks the winner.
Modifications: Players will have to hold cards up to the camera for everyone to see instead of laying them all out on the table, but otherwise play it the same way you would normally!
Trivial Pursuit is perfect for video calls! You only need to own one copy of Trivial Pursuit to play it this way. There are all kinds of fun themed Trivial Pursuit games that you can try depending on your interests!
Modifications: Whoever owns the board game will have to read the questions and move the pieces for everyone. Otherwise play as normal!
Since Pictionary is a visual game, it’s perfect for FaceTime! If you own the actual game, only one person needs to have a copy. When it’s the turn of the person who doesn’t own the game, the game owner can close their eyes and hold up the word card to other player so they know what to draw! If you’re playing more casual Pictionary (“non-branded drawing guessing game”?) without the actual game, you can each just decide what to draw on your own.
Modifications: You need clip boards, white boards, or some hard vertical surface to draw on that’s positioned so the camera can see the entire page while you’re drawing!
In Mastermind, one person secretly puts 4 colored pegs in a specific order and the other person has to try and guess the sequence of colors. For each turn, the guesser is told how many pegs they have in the right color and how many are the right color AND the right sequence (this is indicated with tiny white and red pegs off to the side)
Modifications: Both players really need to own the game to play this remotely. The person guessing will have to hold up their board or move the camera for each turn to show the guesses and the person who is fielding the guesses will have to show them how many they got right for each turn on their own board.
I looooved Scattergories as a kid. To play everyone gets the SAME list of 12 categories. Then you role a letter die and each person has to write a list of words that start with that letter and fit into each category. At the end you compare answers and get a point for any answer you came up with that is unique (no one else has the same answer). Both sides do need to own the game.
Modifications: You need to make sure you both own the same version of the game and have the same category lists for all players for each round. Also, you might consider using a kitchen timer instead of an hourglass timer so that everyone can HEAR when the time is up.
To play Taboo, one player has a word card and has to give clues to get the other player(s) to guess the word. The trick is there is also a list of “taboo” words you CANNOT use in your clues! You really only have to have one copy of this game, you can just hold the word card up to the camera for other player (with your eyes shut) if they don’t have a copy of the game!
Mad Libs isn’t technically a board game but it would work just as well over FaceTime as in person! One person has a story with missing words and the other players supply the missing words without knowing the story. Then you read the story at the end and it is usually hilarious.
Modifications: none! Even better, if both players own different versions of Mad Libs and want to take turns, that’s totally fine!
To play Yahtzee over FaceTime each player needs to have their own game. Then take turns rolling your own dice and writing down your scores to see who wins!
Modifications: none! But it might maximize fun if you position the cameras so each player can see the other’s dice!
Only one person needs to own a copy of Boggle, just shake the cubes around and then position the tray so the camera can see the whole thing and players all write down as many words as they can make with the letters in the grid before the timer goes off!
Modifications: none! Just make sure all the players can see the cubes!
Headbanz is perfect for FaceTime, each person needs to own the game. When it’s your turn, you wear a word card facing out on a headband so the other players can see it but you cannot. Then you have to ask questions to try and guess the word that you’re wearing on your head.
Modifications: Make SURE to hide the little FaceTime rectangle showing your own picture when you’re playing this game or it won’t work! I recommend sticking a sticky note over yourself on the screen.
My kids LOVE Q-bitz. You have a bunch of cubes in a tray with various patterns on them and then you all see the same card with a design and have to race to reposition and turn all the cubes to make that same design as quickly as you can. First person to do it wins that round! Both players/teams do need to own the game.
Modifications: none! Just make sure you’re all working on the same design at the same time!
As long as each person/family has their own set of Bananagrams you can definitely play it via FaceTime! It’s a perfect game because you already each play it individually. Each player gets a certain number of letter tiles and you have to race to make a word grid and use up all of your tiles.
Modifications: Since each side is working with the full bag of letter tiles, the game might go on longer than normal. Consider setting a limit or certain number of tiles that each player needs to use up to win.
The beautiful thing about Spot It, is that every single card has a match with every single OTHER card. I don’t know how they do that. So as long as both players have the same version of the game, you can easily play it over a video call! Just have one person aim their camera at the center card and then you each try and find a match between that center card and the card you’re holding. If you find a match with your card, yell out what it is, (“lion!”) and you get a point. Then turn over a new center card.
Modifications: Normally, when you find a match you collect the center card and add it to your pile. Then you turn over a new one for the next round. At the end, the person who collected the most cards wins. But because you’re on FaceTime, one person can’t touch the center card. Instead, you can just use a piece of paper and mark down a “point” every time someone finds a match!
You can purchase a BINGO game but there are also TONS of online printable versions of BINGO (including a bunch right here on my site!) Each person gets their own game board and you play just like you normally would!
Modifications: If you’re playing this with an adult (maybe Grandma) on one side and one or more kids on the other, have the kids print only the game boards and Grandma print only the calling cards.
We all know how to play Twister, if you both own the game, why not play it via FaceTime?? Trying to look around to see your opponents on the screen while you try to put your left hand on green will only make it more hilarious!
Modifications: Only that you each play on your own Twister mat!
Other Types of Fun Games to Play Over FaceTime
- Role player games like Dungeons & Dragons
- Two Truths & a Lie
- Truth or Dare
- 20 Questions
- Would You Rather
- Simon Says
BONUS: What board games are NOT good for FaceTime?
Some games would be really really hard, boring, unpleasant, or just plain not work to play over a video call. Bad ideas (slightly tongue in cheek) would include:
- Mouse Trap
- Hungry Hungry Hippos
- Ouija Board
- Connect 4
- Settlers of Catan
- Ticket to Ride
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