LIVE

Close the distance with fun games you can play from the comfort of separate homes.

By Lindsay Tigar
April 27, 2020
Advertisement

One of the unexpected silver linings of having more idle time at home is picking up the phone to call our loved ones. Whether it’s more frequent FaceTime chats with your best friend or a weekly Zoom dinner with your family, you may find yourself connecting with others more often. But since most days are spent within the confines of our homes or short walks through the neighborhood—at a six-foot distance, of course—there may not always be something new to discuss. For when you crave human connection but you don’t have much to say, consider a little friendly competition instead. From digital takes on classic games we all love to digital gatherings for all, try these 10 virtual game ideas.

Houseparty

This free app allows you to play games you typically enjoy while at a house party, but from the comfort of your couch. After everyone downloads Houseparty, you can choose from a variety of various games, including trivia and Ellen DeGeneres’ Heads Up!. It’s often called the "face-to-face" social network, since the only way to interact is to show yourself. Choose your competition of choice, dial in, and enjoy the laughter.

Jackbox.tv

Even before the pandemic, many groups were enjoying Jackbox’s plethora of activities. But now, fans are even more grateful for this virtual game option that is cleverly designed and easy to use. Though one person of your friend or family group does need to purchase a party pack or a single game, the whole group doesn’t have to fork over change. To join, the host starts a game and all players go to Jackbox.tv to enter the four-letter code. Whether you play Drawful, an adult version of Pictionary, or Fibbage, where you detect lies, you can expect to have a fun and creative time.

Watson Adventures’ Virtual Hunts

Though you see them via Zoom daily, you miss the coffee runs with colleagues that gave you a break from the office. Boosting corporate morale when you aren’t in the same space can be difficult, but this may be a way to get through the hurdle. In response to social distancing recommendations, Watson Adventures adapted many of its live scavenger hunts into virtual games. You can join a public game or start a private one, starting at $45 per team. The options are many: Trivia Slam, Escape to the Museum, and many others. Learn more here.

Snap Games

If you’re a Snapchat user, you’re in luck, since you can start playing Snap Games…right now. Without downloading anything new, open Snapchat, click on the rocket icon on the right side of the chat bar and you can choose from various options. With Snack Squad, you try to be the last one standing amongst your friends, while Ready Chef Go!, you compete in a virtual cooking competition against other Snapchat user teams. Talk about variety!

Cards Against Humanity

Pour yourself a potent cocktail and prepare to get cheeky with Cards Against Humanity—the digital version. Thanks to PlayingCards.io, which took this popular adult-only card game and made it virtual, you can now play via your phone or video chat. Though it’s technically called ‘Remote Insensitivity,’ the idea is the same, and to get started, you message everyone a link to a personal, private game room.

Pictionary

For family gatherings with school-aged kiddos, this might be a better option than some of the racier virtual games. After all, though you’re the cool aunt, your sibling probably won’t appreciate it if you introduce their child to PG-13 themes. Fun for all ages and a way to challenge your inner artist, this Pictionary word generator is played via your phone or desktop. The no-brainer steps make it simple to dial in: choose the team to play first and appoint the drawer. The generator randomly gives you something to draw in a minute or less. Let’s just hope your touch-screen scribbling skills are up to par.

Psych!

We all tell little white lies on occasion, right? Mostly harmless and meant to boost your pal’s ego when they need reassurance, sometimes fibbing is a necessary evil. Especially if you want to win Psych!, a virtual game where you’re encouraged to lie. After downloading the app, all team players are asked a trivia question. You make something up as an answer and then everyone votes on what’s the truth. If you convince people your lie was the truth—thus, ‘psyching’ them—you win points.

UNO

The beloved card game you used to play on summer vacations and in the backseat of the car during long road trips has been given a digital upgrade. All of the same rules apply, but you pick and draw cards via the UNO app rather than in person. Might we suggest having a video call at the same time so you can gloat when you’re about to win?

Mario Kart Tour

Yep, you’re reading this correctly: Mario Kart is back—no game station or arcade token required. While it might not be as much fun as sitting in the driver’s seat and turning the wheel, you’ll still get your heart rate up as you try to beat out Luigi or the Princess for first place. Download the app, invite up to seven other friends, and floor it!

Monopoly

There’s something about Monopoly that is timeless and ageless. But while you won’t be gathering around the dinner table for hours, you can connect similarly via this app. We recommend also having a video chat open so you can see one another while you roll dice, buy property, and try your best to stay out of jail. This version only allows four players, so choose carefully.