Asynchronous multiplayer games?

Dear game friends,

i was about to type a long heart-felt post, instead, i’ll just pose this question:

what’s a good asynchronous multiplayer game to play? particular genre really doesn’t mean much. i’m down for tic-tac-toe or an intense strategy game. i’m about to be a father, and my regular gaming time schedule will be destroyed. i’m looking for something meaningful that i can still play with my old gaming partner as we live on in absurdly different time schedules. any suggestions would be helpful. thanks!


I really enjoyed playing Wargroove asynchronously when it first came out. If you haven’t played it, it’s basically an homage to Advance Wars. The multiplayer maps can be a little hit or miss, some are definitely lopsided in favor of the first player without any compensation for second, but it’s been a while since I played so maybe there are more better maps.

Twilight Struggle is a board game you might have heard of but there is an excellent digital adaptation which supports multiplayer with correspondence play. It’s a Cold War themed card driven game, where each card will have a historical event on it, that either the US or USSR have to make the most of. It’s very good and deserves it’s reputation.

Just in case wargames might be your cup of tea, I would be remiss if I did not mention Empire of the Sun. It’s another card driven game like TS, this time about the Pacific War. There is no digital adaptation but there is a stupendous Vassal module which has the designer’s blessing, and the experience of playing it via email is probably the best asynchronous multiplayer experience I’ve ever had. It’s a bit tough to get into but there are a lot of good tutorials out there. Rob Zacny talked about it on a WPR and 3MA.

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I believe Civs II through IV support play-by-email asynchronous multiplayer, which were a blast to play back in the day. Highly recommend trying that.


Came to recommend Civ as well!

There’s also high score type games or beating someone’s time record in a racing game.

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thanks for the recs yall, i’ll look into all of these. civ is a series i’ve never played but have been wanting to get into.

i assume there are a fair amount of digital boardgames that can be played asynchronously, might look further into that…

Through the ages: A new story of civilization has a really good app and steam version. I’ve played that a lot over the past year.

Frozen Synapse (I think only the first one? 2 is kind of a different thing) has a play-by-email system thats pretty good. Since the game is about each side setting up their moves independently and then moving simultaneously it requires literally no overhead in terms of having to be online at the same time. You just set up your moves and then it sends an email to your opponent, they do the same, and then you log in on your own time to watch the Turn Outcome.

I also second finding a driving game you connect with and trying to beat one another’s times. Back when arcades were a thing I would do this in Initial D with my brother and it was really fun.

I’m a big fan of, online implementation of a bunch of designer board games. Completely free, and it even kinda works on your phone browser. I basically just use it to play Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers online, but it has a pretty decent selection.

It works out really well, I generally play at a pace of one move a day.


that site looks great, i’ll have to dig through and see what i can find. thanks!