You might not be able to gather ’round your game table for an evening of friendly competition (and probably plenty of snacks), but self-isolation doesn’t have to mean the end of all group games. From virtual trivia to titles that test your artistic skills, here are seven fun and funny games to play from afar with your go-to game night crew.
1. Remote Insensitivity
Among the various virtual card games on PlayingCards.io is Remote Insensitivity, which is basically a free online version of Cards Against Humanity. When it’s your turn, you choose a prompt card, and the other players must fill in the blank(s) or answer the question on that card with one of their own response cards. You pick your favorite response, and that person wins the round. After you hit “Start Game” on this page, you’ll be given a unique link that you can send to your friends, so they can join your game. The maximum recommended number of players is six, but you can technically add more by clicking on the briefcase icon on the left side of your screen. Further instructions can be found here.
Kahoot! is a great platform for educators who want to post online quizzes for their students—or even host live quiz sessions—and it’s also a fantastic way for you to keep your weekly trivia tradition going while bars are closed. A basic Kahoot! account is free and allows you to host a trivia game with up to 10 people. There are tons of existing quizzes to choose from, which you can filter by subject and grade level, or you can create your own. After you click “Play,” “Host,” and then “Classic,” you’ll be given a number code to send to the other players, who can enter it at Kahoot.it or through the Kahoot! app. Your friends will submit their answers on their own devices, but the questions will pop up on your (the host’s) screen, so you’ll also need to video chat with your friends and share your screen with them.
Similar to Kahoot!, Quiplash involves sending your friends a code (which they’ll enter at Jackbox.TV) and then sharing your screen with them via video chat so they can see the prompts and submit their responses on their own devices. Players are given a silly prompt—"an inventive way to get rid of head lice," for example—which they answer in the goofiest, most creative way possible. Two answers are then anonymously displayed on the screen, and the other players vote for their favorite. Quiplash costs $10 on Amazon, accommodates three to eight players, and guarantees at least a few laughing fits. (Jackbox has a variety of other hilarious games available for individual purchase or in party packs, which you can check out here.)
Skribbl is essentially digital Pictionary—and since players have to draw with their fingers rather than actual writing utensils, it might be even harder to recognize what any given object actually is. In other words, you’ll probably end up giggling a lot. To start a game, head to Skribbl.io and click “Create private room.” There, you’ll get to decide how many rounds you’re playing and how long each turn is (i.e. how many seconds each drawing session lasts), and you can even enter a list of custom words for the system to choose from. Then, copy the link to your private room and send it to however many friends you’d like to invite. When it’s your turn, you’ll pick a word from three options and begin drawing it on your own screen. Other players will see your work on their screens and submit their guesses in a chat box along the right side.
From the makers of Heads Up! comes Psych!, a free game where you try to outsmart your friends by making up fake answers to real trivia questions in categories about animals, entertainment, and more. You don’t need to share your screen in order to play, but video chatting with your friends during the game will give it a more authentic game-night atmosphere. Download the app for Android here or iOS here.
You can definitely get your Scrabble fix with the Scrabble GO app, but there’s also a desktop version of the game that you can play with up to three friends through Pogo.com. After you and your buddies all create free accounts, head to your account page, hit “Friends” in the top menu bar, and enter your friends’ screen names to create a friends list. Then, when you start a Scrabble game, you can add your friends to your game.
In Pandemic, you and up to four friends race around the globe preventing the spread of malignant viruses while trying to discover their cures. If that description hits a little too close to home right now, that’s totally understandable. That said, it could be a productive—and fun—way to give you a sense of control during a time when you might feel like you have less than usual. Prices for the game range from $5 to $20, depending on what device you’re playing it on. It's available on Amazon, major gaming consoles, the App Store, and on Google Play. Check out all the options here.
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