Board games are a classic way to have fun, and with some of your favorites available to play online, they’re a great activity in the age of social distancing.
Also fun are party games, the extroverted cousin of board games. Typically involving lots of people, party games have rules that are easy to learn and are more about having a good time than developing in-depth strategy.
After receiving so much positive feedback on our list of board games you can play online with your friends earlier this week, we decided a sequel focused on party games was in order. Here are 5 party games you can play online with friends.
(Note: Most of these games are enhanced by hosting a video chat on a platform like Zoom or Google Hangouts, but they’re still fun even if you can’t see or hear your friends while playing.)
Jackbox Games is the king of online party games, having released dozens of them over the years, going all the way back to the ’90s with its trivia franchise “You Don’t Know Jack!”. These days, Jackbox is focused on selling low-cost party games that can be purchased on video game consoles or computers, and played using mobile devices. One of their most popular titles is Drawful 2, a Pictionary-esque game that the company is currently offering for free on its website.
Everyone receives their own secret clue to draw, then everyone takes turns guessing based on the picture. The funniest and most accurate responses get bonus points. The best part about Jackbox games is that only one person has to actually own the game, while up to nine other players can visit a shareable link to play, and up to 10,000 people can visit just to watch or and vote on their favorite answers.
How to play: Drawful 2 is available for free on multiple platforms through the Jackbox website.
We could fill an entire list of online party games just from Jackbox, but we’ll only focus on one more of its extremely popular titles: Quiplash. Ever played a game of Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity and wished you could write your own answer? You can in Quiplash, which gives players suggestive prompts like “The best way to quickly blow a million dollars” or “The worst Vegas casino: ___ Palace” and lets them fill in their own hilarious answers. Players vote on their favorite answers round by round, and just like Drawful 2, you can play using your mobile phone. Even Jimmy Fallon is getting in on the action, inviting other celebs to play the game with him for an upcoming episode of his at-home version of “The Tonight Show.”
Cards Against Humanity, an R-rated Apples to Apples clone, is “a party game for horrible people,” as the game’s creators put it. While the game is certainly not for the whole family, it’s been a certified smash ever since hitting shelves in 2011, proving that “giving birth to the Antichrist” and “A PowerPoint presentation” can be equally funny answers depending on the question. The game’s creators made Cards Against Humanity available under a Creative Commons License, meaning web developers are free to make their own versions of the game, and thankfully many have. Our favorites are hosted by Air Console, Wordner, and Pretend You’re Xyzzy, but you can find many more through a simple Google search.
How to play: Cards Against Humanity is available for free online.
You’re in a room with a bomb, and only you can defuse it. The problem? Your friends, who can’t see the bomb, are in charge of telling you how to defuse it using a long, complicated manual. Games of Keep Talking are naturally quite short, which gives everyone a chance to save the world (or fail miserably).
How to play: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is available for $14.99 on multiple platforms through the company’s website.
All the games listed above, while fun, are games that require active participation from players. If you’re looking for a an online activity to share with someone where you’ll be able to chat at your leisure, may we recommend a nice puzzle? Puzzles.io has a large collection of images that you can break into different-sized puzzles, and you can choose who to invite to join your puzzle crew.
How to play: Communal Puzzles is free to play online.