The word of the year according to the Collins Dictionary is “lockdown” — and who are we to argue with that? Nonetheless, we think the second in command should be “Zoom”. And, while the circumstances that made the software a regular part of our vocabulary are untoward, it has become far more fun and a bigger part of our lives than we could have ever imagined.
Birthday parties, anniversaries, dinner dates, family get-togethers and even weddings have graced the screens of our computers over the past nine months and it seems festive events are next in line. While it’s tempting to have a virtual Christmas dinner, there are ways to make the big day more exciting than just a simple meal including a selection of online team-based games that can get you all together in a way that is almost as enjoyable as if you were actually in the same room. Best of all, you can make out your connection is playing up if you’re not doing so well – but you wouldn’t!
Best virtual games to play at Christmas
1. Fill your Pants
This is a scavenger hunt style game where players race to collect random things described on the game cards. Once said items have been located they are stuffed into giant pants included with the game. So, remote players need to find themselves some pants that’ll sit over their clothing and await instructions from the person with the cards. First back to their place with items in-situ wins. From something furry or long to shiny or floppy, quickest back to base with pants filled wins.
2. Herd Mentality
£20, Big Potato
This one is all about being part of the herd and being part of the majority: answer questions that are in-line with other players’ answers and win. One person needs to own the physical game and read out the questions and everyone else (including the quiz master) can write down their answers then reveal them one by one. They won’t be able to have the physical cow tokens or the pink squishy cow, but it’s easy to keep track of points and who is holding the virtual cow.
Read more: Best Christmas family board games
3. Exploding Kittens
The aim of the game is to avoid being blown-up by a kitten. Obviously. One of the best funded Kickstarter titles of all time has created Quarantined Kittens for virtual game nights. You’ll all need a pack of the cards to play this feline based Russian roulette game. Just set out your decks as illustrated on the website and get shouty and animated as you try to avoid going BOOM.
Almost 200 question cards, each one asking players to give their very best guess on the numerical answer. This game gives players of all ages a chance as it is looking for a range rather than a specific number. From “How fast can a kangaroo hop” to “When was the bikini invented”, answer in your range and win. The closer you are to the actual number, the bigger the win.
Free, Bingo Baker
If you’re looking to keep it super-simple, then go and download some online bingo cards and install a number generator for one of your players to shout out the numbers. Please ensure you study the bingo slang for added fun, from the non-PC Legs 11 to top of the shop 90, just add your own 80’s game show voice for added effect. Do make prizes available to tempt players to join you for a single line or full house.
Sounds simple enough. Draw on a piece of paper what the question card tells you to, right? That’ll depend on the skillset of the person’s artistic abilities largely. One player could own the game and host it with others holding pens/paper and the host gets involved with players creating their own bespoke cards for them to get involved too.
The classic “make others embarrassed” game. You can pre-define categories if you wish, such as classic films, actors and actresses, places or just keep it wide open. Players select their own charade to undertake and then begin to act it out, you might well want to put a time-limit on each round as some of your nearest and dearest might be afflicted with acting inability.
8. Five Second Rule
You’ll need a host for this one, fast and furious fun and superb for all ages. You might think it’ll be easy to name three breeds of dogs right? But with five seconds only to do so the pressure is on. The Game host reads out the questions, tracks the timer and keeps a tally on the scores. FYI, this game is not associated with the dropping food on the floor myth!
9. Poetry for Neanderthals
You’ll be missing out on the inflated NO! stick by playing online but the game will have you itching to get back out of lockdown, so you can add this element in when normal play resumes. So, you might draw a word such as broccoli and you’ll have to describe the other players without using any big words such as vegetable. So, this one might go something like “green thing you eat for live long and have good health” – Added accents of prehistoric people are optional.
Turn any room in your abode into an escape room with this new Trapped series. Each household involved will need a copy of the same game and it is a bit more complex than our other “at home online plays” but well worth the effort. Set up your rooms, tune in online and compete to see who can complete the game in the quickest time.