From Marie Claire
Zoom has probably become your most-used app—besides Netflix and Hulu, of course—during the past few months. Whether it’s a meeting for work, a catch-up call with family, or a happy hour with your BFFs, we’ve all been using the video chatting service during coronavirus quarantine.
If you’re like me, you have a specific night of the week you set aside for some one-on-one time with the people you care about the most. Sure, those first few minutes are probably great for catching up—but after some back-and-forth, the conversation dies down, and you and your Zoom backgrounds are left to look at each other. Therefore, to pass the time and so my friends don’t have to hear me go on and on about Sweet Magnolias anymore, here are 12 games sure to inject some fun into your next virtual hangout.
Channel your inner spy with this game, which has a nifty online version for virtual play. Here’s how it works: There are 25 secret agents who can only be identified by their codenames, and you have to identify and make contact with your agents before the other team does, using clues given by the “spymasters.”
If you have a larger group, Mafia might be the game for you. Developed by Russian psychology students, it’s a complicated game that involves a high level of social deduction—but that’s the fun of it. You split into two groups, the villagers and the werewolves (so, not the Mafia at all, confusingly), and each player is secretly affiliated with one of the two teams.
The classic party game, Pictionary is perfect for a long-distance dinner party or night in with friends. With Zoom’s whiteboard feature, you can play virtually—Bustle has instructions here—or you could play separately and hold up your drawings for the other team.
Growing up, I spent hours filling out Mad Libs to recite to my mother in a fit of giggles. Now, thanks to JackBox Games, my childhood memories have grown up. Quiplash asks players to respond to prompts with the wittiest answers they can come up with; the group then votes on the best response. Up to eight players can play, but one person needs to own the game.
This is a great family game, because it’s fun for people of all ages. Basically, you’re assigned a character, and others have to guess who you are—the rules can differ a little depending on the size of the group and your preferences—using a series of “yes” or “no” questions. This is one that always leaves everyone laughing.
Classic games like Checkers, Go Fish, Crazy Eights, etc. are all available at the click of a mouse on PlayingGames.io. The website allows you to select a card game, invite as many people as you please to your link, and get ready to play. Best of all, it’s free and requires no spotty screen sharing.
Think of it as Family Feud, but without Steve Harvey and his mustache. Split all the players on your call into two teams and pick a host. This timed board game’s objective is to write as many items down that apply to a certain category, like “Things in a Home.” The more you have that are on the game host’s list, the more points you get!
Divide your Zoom party into two teams, take turns sharing screens, and choose someone each round to be clue-giver. This person will help their team guess the main word using one word at a time or by picking two words total from the list. Just make sure you don’t say anything over Zoom except the words on your list!
Matthew McConaughey might not be calling out the numbers, but don’t let that stop you from playing. Using the website Bingo Maker, create a virtual game with as many players as you please. They all just have to have the password from you to log into the game. Best part? You can enjoy the game from any device.
Purchase one of their party packs (some are on sale for under $20 right now!) and enjoy a selection of games, ranging from ones that will test your artistic abilities to one that requires you to fill in the blanks. It’s a lot of fun, and the games can quickly transfer to other gaming devices, like your Playstation or Nintendo Switch.
Get everyone in your online party to download Psych, and let the fun begin. Each player makes up fake answers to real trivia questions, and it’s your job to find out the real answer. It’s from the same creators of Heads Up!, so you get an idea of what fun is in store.
Your 5th-grade art skills are put to the test in the free multiplayer game Skribbl. Create a private room with your party, choose a word from their list, and try your best to create a masterpiece in 80 seconds. As you sketch, players will type what they think you’re drawing into the chat. The quicker a person guesses correctly, the more points they get.
It’s everything you love about the game Categories, but online! Set up your game by choosing from topics like TV shows, things that can found in a desk, or even pizza toppings (can you tell I’m hungry?). Create the game and send a link to all the players to join. If you’re the last person standing with words to add to the category, you win!
Up to four players can try to serve diners in this virtual cooking game. It’s a lot like Diner Dash, where you seat customers, wait on, cook, and serve all kinds of guests but with weird twists. It’s chaotic, fun, and will fill the void where dinner parties once stood.
Consider this the online version of the word game Boggle. Players have two to three minutes to find as many words as they can from a selection of 25 words. Whoever ends up with the most words at the end of the game wins! Be careful, though, because if you submit a word that’s not in their database, you’ll lose 10 points.
The Alphabet Challenge
If you ever went on a long road trip as a kid, odds are you probably played this game. Choose a category like celebrities or fiction books and try to name something for each letter in a certain amount of time. You can easily make this into a drinking game and have whoever can’t name something take a drink.
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