Good Multiplayer Game for "Work"

So, one of the activities that we have at my workplace is an (approximately) bimonthly boardgame night, were those of us who feel like it (mostly the nerds from the development department, but with occasional visitors from other departments) gather together to play various boardgames - stuff like Terraforming Mars, Azul, Seven Wonders, Power Grid, Through the Ages, and similar. Pizza and drinks sponsored, which is nice.

That has of course been scuppered by these corona times, since everyone is now working from home. Today, the boss suggested that we should instead try to organize a multi-player game night. One of the purposes of the boardgame night is to foster a good social atmosphere in the teams (which is why we get food and drinks sponsored), and we’ve spoken a bit about how WFH makes maintaining social contact harder.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done any MP gaming other than Blood Bowl, though, so I’m kind of at a loss. What would be a good on-line MP game for a fairly diverse group of people, that is suitable in a work context? I’d expect we’d be maybe 8-12 people.

I wouldn’t rule out a shooter, though I think that might be a turn-off to some of the people who join the boardgame group on and off. so I don’t think it’s an ideal choice. It should probably also not be a massively multiplayer thingy - the purpose is to set up a little on-line socialization and banter with colleagues, so playing Fortnite with 80 other people would be rather pointless.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?

What kind of games do you usually play?

Also, see this similar thread: Digital Boardgaming opinions?

If you do go for a shooter, I’d recommend something that pits you as a team against AI, as that way no-one is having a bad time getting ganked constantly. Insurgency and its sequels (Day of Infamy, Insurgency: Sandstorm) might work well for up to 8, or something like Left4Dead or Vermintide 2 if you have 4.

I was going to say Overcooked, but that’s too many players.

Check out Killer Queen Black. It’s a great two-team multiplayer arcade game. A team game seems handy so you can split up the more competent players and balance out the sides.

Jackbox Party Pack is one we are rolling out at work. Drop in drop out, needs one central computer, probably use Teams, Slack, or some type of video conferencing to do today. We use Bluejeans at work so you could just have the person running the game stream it while everyone else uses their mobile to play along.

Maybe something like Throne of Lies?

Not enough to make a whole private room, but I think you could all join together and then fill up with randos (if nothing else all hitting “Join” at around the same time generally works).

First thing that comes to mind for a group that big. Low system requirements, etc, etc.

The other end of the spectrum is something like Stellaris/Hearts of Iron 4, but that’s a much bigger ask for most people, though you could get everyone in a game at once easily (HoI4 handles up to like 20 or 30 pretty well).

Can you set up a multiplayer private game of KQB? It wasn’t obvious from the Steam page but it seems like an obvious thing.

We just had our first online meetup with the work board game group and Jackbox worked out great. Everyone had a blast. The only real issue is I had to turn the sound down in the game quite a bit so I could hear everyone talk through MS Teams.

I’d recommend some of the digital board games like 100% Orange Juice, Gremlins Inc, Armello, etc.

Yeah the steam page says:

* Custom Match Create a private game and invite up to seven other players to battle for bragging rights or challenge a team of bots!.

These are free on Steam: Formicide, UniBall, Realm of the Mad God.
Co-op building games come to mind: Terraria, Factorio, Mindustry, Minecraft.
Slower RTS games might work for boardgamers: Northgard, Driftland, Sins of a Solar Empire.

Dota Underlords is worth a look.

The Jackbox games are great, because they scale fairly well, and they’re short. Not quite as ideal for drop-in/drop-out; for that, I suggest something with a persistent server, like Minecraft or Terraria. Or Factorio, but that has a pretty hefty learning curve.

Thanks for all the recommendations: many of these I wouldn’t even have thought of. Knew I could count on the community.

For others who might check in here, other games we’ve been discussing (showing our age on that first recommendation, I guess):

  • Quake III Arena
  • Rocket League

Definitely also considering some of the digital boardgames that @JoshL suggested; some of the games that we play f2f are available, I see, so that’s definitely an option we will consider.

ARMA 3. Dont be scared of the hardcore exterior, it’s a recipe for endless shenanigans. Multicrewing helicopters and tanks never gets old. Some guys built a vehicle that seats 16 gunners, q genuine battle bus. That should be hilarious.

This is such a good answer that will probably be ignored because of the fact that it is intimidating (and a fairly demanding game computationally, with a gigantic install size).

If they’re okay with sports games then I’d highly recommend Regular Human Basketball. It’s super cheap and co-op versus for up to 10 players. Frequently hilarious, always brilliant. Also, one of my favourite trailers:

BlazeRush is like Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing meets Micro Machines. The relative-to-camera controls means it’s super easy to pick up but the modes, pick-ups and enthusiastic physics and pyrotechnics make this a really exciting racer for groups. Good price too.

I’ll second @rho21’s L4D2 versus recommendations. That’s a blast with 8 of you.

The Ship: Murder Party is one of my absolute favourite party games but it takes some setting up and running these days (if you need help, let me know). The more the murderier.

There’s Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes which is a co-op bomb defusing game. My head isn’t fast enough for this but it’s fantastic with groups all trying to work out and articulate clearly what the bomb defuser has to do. Super clever and tense team puzzler. We played this over Discord and it worked a treat.

ShellShock Live is an update of ‘The Mother of All Games’ Scorched Earth, but with the vast arsenal locked away behind levels and XP. Booo! That’s a killjoy, but the core gameplay remains and there’s still a lot of stuff to fire at each other. We always come back to this. It’s a lot snappier than Worms with just the single tank each and simultaneous turns. Up to 8 players. Very cheap.

I’ve only played Human: Fall Flat once but it was very funny and it supports up to 8 players. It’s a loose physics-based sandbox puzzler where you all have to co-operate to overcome different levels. Lots of room for hijinks and things to go wrong.

And finally there’s Golf With Your Friends which is janky and ugly and there’s weird collisions/physics and lag at times, and some of the holes are pure nonsense, and that ‘Your’ in the title bugs me, but… it’s crazy golf and a simple pleasure that’s so much better with friends. Up to 12 players and also cheap.