Now when we do everything from booking our holidays to ordering our shopping online, it’s no big surprise that the world of games is now available online too.
But it doesn’t mean that we’ve lost the communal experience of playing together, quite the opposite. In many instances, it means we’re able to reach out to even more fellow players. And they’re not just in our own country, but all across the world.
So these traditional sources of fun have been given a whole new lease of life, not to mention gaining many new fans in the process.
Obviously, some games are more suited to online play than others. But there have also been some very clever adaptations to tweak the ways all are played. And, from the incredible success of Wordle, we’ve been able to see exactly how much appetite there is even for online games that you can play solo.
Looking for a new game to play? Here are seven favourites that are all waiting for you online.
It’s incredible to think that a game developed in China in the 19th century would still have a huge worldwide following today. But that says a lot for just how much fun mahjong is to play. For the uninitiated, it’s a game usually for three or four players featuring a set of 144 tiles with different Chinese symbols or characters on them.
The objective is to create pairs by drawing tiles and even “robbing” them from opponents. It’s a great example of just how a very complex and fast-moving game has been simplified to broaden its online appeal.
Monopoly may seem to be a far more modern kind of game than mahjong. In fact, it first saw the light of day back in 1906 when it was known as The Landlord’s Game. It wasn’t until 1935 that it was renamed Monopoly and it soon became a family-favourite played on rainy days and holidays.
The online version of the game means that you can choose to play featuring properties almost anywhere from the streets of New York to Victorian London. You can also still choose which one of the iconic player pieces to use from the top hat to the Scottie dog, and even the old-style iron.
You might imagine that there are many aspects of poker that it would be hard to recreate online – and you’d be right. For example, there’s no way to bluff your opponents into thinking your hand is better than it is, or concealing it when it’s especially strong.
But that hasn’t stopped the invention of video poker. It still relies on creating winning hands. The difference is that it acts more like a slots game when you play. Take a look at how to play video poker and you’ll see that the pay-out you receive is directly related to the hand you’ve put together. As in real poker, it’s the Royal Flush that’s the big money-winner.
While Monopoly might all be about becoming the dominant landlord in a particular city or area, Risk players have even greater ambitions. They want to become world rulers by conquering as many of the 42 global territories as possible.
It’s a game whose combination of aggression and diplomacy works very well online. And the fact that you can even play against others from all over the world adds an extra international edge to the competition too.
5. Trivial Pursuit
At just 40 years old, Trivial Pursuit is one of the newer games on the list and the only one that has a quiz element. It was a game of Scrabble with missing tiles that led to its invention and no one could quite have predicted how popular it would become.
It’s lent itself to being turned into many different versions suitable for all ages to play. Anyone worrying that the online version won’t include the excitement of putting your pie together, slice by slice, can be reassured that you still do this virtually.
Almost as much of a classic board game as Monopoly, who wouldn’t relish the prospect of revealing Professor Plum as the murderer in the Billiard Room with the lead pipe? In fact, it’s a game with such a riveting narrative that they even made a film of it.
Unlike the real board game in which you have to enlist several other people to play – ideally five of them – an advantage of this version is that you can play solo. Alternatively, you can challenge friends and family from far and wide to try and crack the crime.
Chess is one of those games that looks incredibly simple in theory. But, in fact, it is one of the most complex and intellectually challenging of all. That’s why so few people in the world rise up to become grandmasters.
Chess computers are nothing new and Big Blue hit the headlines back in 1996 when it out-thought Garry Kasparov to become the first-ever instance of a software program outwitting a master. The games you’ll play online won’t be quite as challenging, but they will be truly testing and all the more enjoyable for it.
So next time you feel like a game online, any of these seven will guarantee to entertain. And playing them might help you to become even better next time you try them for real.