Stay social in quarantine: Play these online games with friends tonight
The coronavirus pandemic forced all of us to shelter at home and avoid enjoying times with friends & family. We long for the days we can hang out with friends in person. We miss going into someone’s home to watch movies, play games, and enjoy the company of others.
Our favorite way to spend time with friends is playing games. It’s an easy way to entertain friends for hours. But now we’re apart, and hosting game night becomes very difficult. Luckily there are plenty of ways to enjoy game night with friends virtually.
Virtual game nights are super easy to host, even for the most technically challenged individuals. But finding the proper tools & sites can be hard. Here is a complete guide to the world of virtual game night. After reading this, you’ll be a game night super host and asked to continue hosting way past the pandemic.
First off, you need to get a great tool to talk with friends & family. In a world with a plethora of social media platforms with a messaging app that offers video chat, it might be hard to know which one to choose. The only app you’ll ever need, though, is Discord.
No matter what your playing, the video chat is far superior to any other messaging app. You can stream a screen right into the video chat, making games like Jackbox Party Packs super easy to play. It also can be used just like FaceTime and see everyone while playing Among Us. There is also very little lag time compared to Zoom, making it perfect for virtual movie nights.
You’ll also never need any other messaging app because the text chat is also phenomenal. However, the best way to use Discord is on a desktop or laptop, so make sure you have one handy along with your phone.
You had to know Among Us was going to make the article. Not only is it the most popular game right now, but a lot better when playing with friends. You can play the way InnerSloth intended or try a fan-made game mode.
Among Us is a simple murder mystery game, like One Night or Mafia, and isn’t hard to teach. You’ll get the hang of it after a few rounds. It’s also free on the App Store & Google Play, making it a cheap way to stay connected with friends.
If you and your friends are into tabletop games, Tabletopia is the place to be. They have classic games like Poker, Chess, and Checkers and newer games like Secret Hitler & Roll Camera. There are well over 1,500 games with something for everyone. Because there are so many games, you can search by the number of players & playtime. Learning to navigate the game room comes with a learning curve, so be patient. Make sure everyone understands the controls before playing.
Many of the games come from small independent game companies, but Tabletopia has a great community. It has a Discord server for gamers to meet other players & learn games. The server has premade voice & video chat rooms. So, if making your own Discord server sounds like a daunting task, you can use one of Tabletopias when playing one of their games.
Jackbox Party Packs
You’ve probably played Jackbox in person, but with the help of Discord, you can still play with friends virtually. Someone just streams their screen straight into a video chat and play with your phones.
If you’ve never heard of Jackbox, it’s a collection of party games you play with your phone. You buy a party pack with about four or five games and use your phone to play the game. There are some great games like Quiplash, Fibbage, and Earwax. They’re super quick, so you can get through multiple games in an hour. We recommend starting with Party Pack 2 because it has all the company’s best games for one low price, $25.
Houseparty is an all in one virtual game night experience. It has games like Uno, Head Up!, and trivia. Then there is the app’s version of Pictionary called Quick Draw! and its version of Card Against Humanity called Chips and Guac. The app is great for friends who want a simple way to stay connected while playing fun games. There is no need for additional messaging apps like Discord.
However, you’re limited to the nine games on the app. If those games work for your friends, then for sure use it, but if you’re looking for more options consider Jackbox & Tabletopia. There are also better virtual Cards Against Humanity experiences out there.
Evil Apples is the best virtual Cards Against Humanity experience out there. It even has expansion packs you can unlock from winning games. You also don’t necessarily need to use Discord or Zoom because of the built-in chat, but it helps you feel a lot closer to your friends when you use a video chat app.
Another great thing about Evil Apples is you don’t need to play in one go. You can start a game and come back to it. The app notifies you when all the cards are in and when the judge makes a decision. It’s a great option for friend groups with busy schedules, and finding a time for everyone to sit down and play is hard.
Dungeons & Dragons
We are well aware that Dungeons & Dragons is a dice-based role-playing game, but D&D Beyond has many resources to help play online with friends. There are character & campaign builder tools, free premade campaigns, and digital dice. All you need is your imagination and a voice chat to start playing. There are also plenty of resources on the site for new players.
Are you hosting virtual game nights during quarantine? Do you have any other tips or sites you use? Let us know in the comments.