By now, we’ve all had to grow accustomed to spending time with our friends and family members virtually. Even as stay-at-home orders change and restrictions loosen, coming together online for a video call has become part of our new normal. Though our weekends might look a little different than they used to, there are still ways you can make your next video call feel more fun and engaging with a little help from technology. We’ve rounded-up 10 games you can play on your next video call:
House Party games
Have you heard of the Houseparty app? Well, now you have. The House[arty app is a video calling app that helps you connect with up to eight friends and play games. Let friends know you’re “in the house” and invite them to join you for one of House Party’s four games that work directly within the app: Chips and Guac, Head’s Up, Trivia, or Quick Draw.
Chips and Guac operates similarly to card games “Apples to Apples” or “Cards against Humanity” where you select a descriptive card to pair with a statement card. Head’s Up was popularized by Ellen DeGenerous and requires you and your teammates to describe a noun to one person, who cannot see the word. The trivia game allows everyone to answer the same questions and keeps score of who gets the most correct. And finally, Quick Draw is a version of Pictionary, where each person in the chat takes turns drawing and everyone must guess what it is.
Speaking of “Cards Against Humanity,” if you’d like to play this card game with your friends, there’s a virtual version called Remote Insensitivity (for copyright reasons). The creators of this game make it incredibly easy for you to share a link with your fellow game players and drag and drop card selections. Be prepared for some wildly inappropriate but laugh-inducing card combinations. You might even forget for a second that you’re playing across countries or time zones.
Those very same creators of Remote Insensitivity also allow you to play any sort of card game virtually through their platform, PlayingCards.io, including non-card games like Checkers and Backgammon. You can play traditional card games like Crazy Eights, Cribbage, and Go Fish, among many others. Plus, you have the option to create a custom game. Who knows – maybe you’ll be inspired to create your own game!
Okay, so you might have already devised a way to play Pictionary through the use of good old-fashioned pen and paper, but let technology do some of the work for you. Skribbl.io is an online platform that facilitates this drawing and guessing game, allowing you to play with up to 12 players and create your own custom words.
Everyone’s favorite game (or is it just mine?) is now available virtually. Again, this is certainly something you can recreate with pen and paper, but the online platforms make it considerably easier to time the game and come up with categories. If you’re unfamiliar with Scattergories, it works like this: you get a list of categories and a letter. You’re then tasked with coming up with a word or term that starts with that letter for each of the categories listed in the time allotted. For more information on the rules, or to play on your next virtual call, try one of these sites: Scattegories Online or Scattergories List Generator.
Jackbox has a whole collection of games that are essentially designed to be played virtually. For many of its games, all you need is for one person to own the game, share their screen, and then share their room code. You then go to jackbox.tv to enter the room code and your name, and you get access to the game you’ve chosen to play. Some personal Jackbox game favorites include: Fibbage, Quiplash, and Drawful.
Fibbage is a version of trivia where you have to fool your friends with your answer to the trivia, while still guessing the correct one. Quiplash asks participants to answer a prompt, and those participants then get to vote on the best answer. Drawful is very similar to Pictionary but with a twist: people have to submit their guesses for what the drawing is, and other players have to figure out which guess is correct. Jackbox has so many other games too, so take a look on their site for your next game.
For anyone looking for something that involves an element of mystery, might we recommend Codenames? Though this can be played as a physical board game, it’s another one that’s been converted into an online platform at horsepaste.com. To play, you must guess which words in a set are related to a hint-word given by another player. There is a bit more to it than just that, so we recommend reading the rules first, and then inviting your friends to play.
Yet another classic has made its way online and ready to be played among you and your friends, no matter where you are. Catan, or Settlers of Catan as it’s also known, is a multiplayer game where players take on the roles of settlers, to try to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. You can play this game online with friends through a variety of platforms, which you can find on the Catan website. Put your strategizing hat on and escape into this world for a while.
Fishbowl is a great party game that’s easy to play over video chat. It’s like a combination of Charades, or Taboo (if you’ve ever played), where people have to give clues to a teammate or teammates to help them guess a word or term. With Fishbowl, everyone writes down a few phrases or terms that will be guessed, and then the group is split into two teams. From there, there’s three rounds. The first round, players must use words to describe the word or phrase on the card. In the second round, players must act out or use gestures to describe the word or phrase. In round three, players can only use one word to describe the word or phrase. Head to the Fishbowl website and you can get started with your friends and family.
The “actor/movie” game requires no virtual game board — nor does it even really require video. For this game, all you need is some familiarity with actors and movies. The premise is simple: one person starts by naming a movie or an actor. If that person names a movie, the next person must name an actor from that movie; if the round starts with an actor, the next person must name a movie. Traditionally, you go around in a circle, but you’ll have to decide the order if you’re on a video chat. You continue making those connections “around the circle” without repeating an actor or movie until someone breaks the chain. There are some more rules to determine how to “challenge” someones answer, but this game can be especially fun, as with all of this time spent at home, you might be more on top of your entertainment knowledge.