Socialising via Skype or Zoom is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but hanging out aimlessly online can feel awkward. Just like online casino games offer great entertainment, classic board or card games are the perfect way of banishing that awkwardness when connected via your video-calling app.
The emotional give-and-take of a physical reunion still goes on in the comments as you play, but it’s a more casual way to interact, rather than constantly waiting for someone to speak next.
Here are 10 of the best games to play over Zoom or Skype:
Choose a book, film, song or play title and send it via direct message (DM) to the opposing team’s designated player. Then watch as they act it out for their teammates to guess, using standard Charades rules.
You can play digital Battleships on gaming sites while Skyping or Zooming your opponents, but this old-school favourite can just as easily be played with a pen and paper. Agree on a grid size, how many different ships each player gets, and how many squares each type of ship covers, and a low-tech version is simple.
3. Pub Quiz
Several local pub quizzes and other trivia games are hosted via WhatsApp and Facebook at designated times, so get a team of family and friends together on Zoom or Skype to play together. Or you can devise your own, with a designated quizmaster at each meeting, and the other players divided into teams.
There are websites that provide free bingo cards, so you can play in teams against a virtual caller, or you can devise and run your own games. They don’t have to be number-related, either: certain events, words and physical actions are predictable in awards ceremonies or reality shows. Devise your own bingo cards, distribute them among the players, and add extra zest to watching shows together.
Pretty easy to organise get all the players to search YouTube for karaoke versions of their favourite songs, share your screens via Zoom or Skype, and let rip…
6. Heads Up/Guess Who
The guessing game in which one player holds a word or name up to their forehead, while other players give them clues and ask leading questions to make them say the word, is available in online app form. All players need both a smartphone and a desktop/laptop to play them properly, though.
Another great game option that’s always a laugh, Pictionary is fun even if your artistic skills are limited. Players have their own pads and pens to draw secret words in picture-form for their team-mates to guess, and the opposing team delivers each player’s secret word by DM.
Each player in turn gets to pose a trivia question or a word for definition, and all answers are sent via DM. The questioner for that round then displays all answers, including the correct one, and players vote on which is correct. Players get points if their answers are chosen, or for guessing the right answer, while the questioner gets points if no one picks the correct answer.
Choose five categories, pick a letter, and all the players must list something in each category that starts with that letter. Unique answers score more points than answers shared by two players, which score more than those shared by three, etc. A different player gets to pick the letter in every round.
10. 60 Seconds
If everyone playing has their own version of the game, they can simply select their own random cards and try to explain the 5 words on it to teammates in 60 seconds. Or you can make your own lists of 5 names each and transmit them to players via DMs.