Getting together with friends is always a fun time, but with everyone in isolation, people are coming up with new ways catch up and hang out with their friends. Apps like Webex, Zoom, Skype, Discord and Messenger all offer a way to audio or video call your friends so you can still hear or see each other and play games.
I have recently started doing this myself and have played a range of games with mates to pass time and have fun, so here are some suggestions of different games you and your friends can play while keeping your social distance.
Skribbl – Skribbl is the classic Pictionary style that is free and multiplayer. On Skribbl, you can choose between a public game where you join internet strangers, or you can create or join a private game with your friends. The task is simple – you’ll be given a prompt of something to draw. The sooner someone guesses your drawing the more points you get. The others get points for guessing as well. First to get it right gets the most and so on. However, there is a timer so you don’t have forever!
TagPro – TagPro is a fun capture the flag game that takes place as a 2D ball game. You can play as a guest known as a ‘some ball’ but you can also create an account and register via your Google account. There’s a handy video explaining the game on the homepage, but the basic premise is that it is 4v4 and you’re trying to get the other team’s flag and bring it back to yours. Public games are 6 mins and there’s a win-by-3 mercy rule, but the team leading when time is up can also be the winner. There’s also overtime in the case scores are even, then it’s first cap wins, a bit like ‘golden goal’ in soccer. If you want to play with friends, I suggest creating a group and making a private game. It’s easy to learn (all you need to use is arrow keys or WASD to move) but hard to master. The local Oceanic server is usually most active in towards late afternoon/evening so that’s the best time to jump on if you want to play a public game or ‘pubs’ as the community calls it.
Cards Against Humanity – Often described as the party game for horrible people, Cards Against Humanity is a popular card game where players fill in the blanks of black cards with words and phrases from white cards that are typically offensive, risqué or politically incorrect. Each round there is a ‘card czar’ who reads the prompt and then picks their favourite response, the owner of the winning card gets the point. It’s usually most fun to play in person, but there’s an online version meaning you can still play as you normally would. There are public games to join, but it’s usually best to play in a private game with friends. I suggest getting together a group of at least 4 mates and jumping in a call to share in the laughs that this game is bound to bring.
Jackbox Party Packs – The Jackbox Party Packs are a pack of games available on the Steam store. There are 6 different packs with a bunch of different games in them. The games are local multiplayer but can be enjoyed via remote play if one player (typically the host) streams. This means only one person actually needs the game. You can play on phone, tablet or computer at https://jackbox.tv/ when you open any of the games and type in your room code and name. There is usually at max of 8 people allowed, but some games allow more. It’s worth going through the different packs and seeing which one sounds the most interesting to you. Jackbox Party Packs 5 and 6 are currently $42.95 on the Steam store, but the first 4 are slightly cheaper at $35.95, so they might more affordable.
Board Game Online – Board Game Online really is a board game, it’s just online. In this race to the finish, you’ll be confronted with a variety of weird and wonderful options to help and hinder your efforts to get to the end, but you’ll also be able to try and stop your friends from doing the same. Each turn, after you roll the dice, you’ll have choices to make and these actions will influence what happens next, like if you or the others will even get a turn next round. There’s also an in-game jukebox to play a variety of songs as the game goes on. It’s free to play too, so create a game, send the link to your friends and enjoy the wackiness that is Board Game Online.
Golf With Your Friends – Golf With Your Friends is a super fun and challenging golf game available on the Steam store for $11.95 at the moment. It’s a great game to play by yourself or online with friends, but they will also have to own a copy. If you’re feeling generous, you can gift a copy to someone at checkout. There are a bunch of different courses and you can customise the game to include all sorts of different features like jumping, different ball shapes (your golf ball can be a cube!) etc. Also, the game rewards you with add-ons to your ball like hats, trails and rafts just for playing, so you can pimp out your ball in-game to have a unique looking golf ball and show off to your friends.