10 Great Games to Play Online With Friends and Family
In the internet age, you don’t all need to be in the same room to enjoy a group game. From virtual trivia to titles that test your artistic skills, here are 10 fun and funny games you can play from afar with your go-to game night crew.
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For virtual charades, forgo the bowl filled with paper slips in favor of an online word generator. Random Word Generator lets you choose the number of the words and the difficulty level. With GetCharadesIdeas, you can select certain categories; and there are even separate generators for kid-friendly and Christmas-themed terms.
Codenames is a word association board game that involves dividing into two teams and trying to guess which codenames on the board belong to your team’s spies. Basically, there’s a spymaster on each team who has all the answers, and they suggest words that’ll help their teammates uncover their own spies. To play the online version, just create a room, send the link to your friends, and hop on Zoom to strategize in real time.
3. Among Us
In Among Us, up to 15 players (who don’t all have to access the game via the same platform) try to accomplish a bunch of tasks so their spaceship can take off—while one or more imposters try to kill everyone on board. If the imposters outnumber the other crew members at any point, the game is over. If you ID the imposters or complete all your take-off tasks first, you win. Learn more and download it here.
Whether you’re taking it easy on your favorite out-of-town niece or ruthlessly making your far-flung BFF draw four, UNO! can be just as fun when you’re playing over video-chat. Learn more and download the app for iOS or Android 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 get a weekly trivia tradition going among friends. 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. Once your quiz is ready to go, 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.
6. Gartic Phone
Gartic Phone, which you can play with a select group by logging in to Discord or Twitch, is a fun fusion of telephone and Pictionary where everyone wins. The first person in the chain comes up with a sentence, which the next person draws; the third person guesses the sentence based on the image, and the fourth person then has to illustrate that sentence. The pattern continues until everyone’s had a turn—and you get to laugh and laugh at how far off everyone was from the original sentence. There are also a number of variations you can choose within the game, which you can learn about here.
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. Learn more and download the app 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.