Everybody loves a games night: unleashing your inner competitive side and really letting your hair down is a great form of stress relief. Now that much of the world is in lockdown, we are all trying to stay connected with friends, colleagues and loved ones to ensure we can continue somewhat of a normal routine. There are many ways to keep in touch, and a games night is a fun option that can easily be played remotely in a group on a video call. If you’ve already had your weekly quiz night and are in need of something a bit different, peruse our list of the most exciting games for a virtual games night, set a date and indulge your inner kid!
1. Psych! Outwit Your Friends
Psych! is the ultimate online virtual game to play with friends: think Cards Against Humanity but with questions about each other and expect to hear some just as controversial answers. Psych! is a free app that each person in the group needs to download, you each join a private game with a unique game code then the game creates questions about individuals in the game. “Charles has been arrested, what is his crime?” – each player answers the question as truthfully or absurdly as they like, then without knowing who has said what, each votes for their favourite answer. The aim of this virtual game is to gain as many votes as you can, so the funnier the answer the better!
Charades is a classic for a reason: it’s hilarious and even more so as a virtual game over a video call. Either use a random charade generator or write your own and get acting! Charades is funny at the best of times at a family gathering or night in with friends, so on a video call when there’s the occasional lag or poor camera quality, prepare for things to get heated with a lot of laughs and friendly disputes. This is a great one to play with older members of your family who may not be confident enough with technology to download and use an app as all you need is a webcam, yourself and no fear of looking silly.
3. Jackbox Games
The Jackbox Party Pack is available to buy on Amazon and includes five hilarious party games made for between one and one hundred players. Comedy trivia, bluffing and drawing are among the focuses of the five virtual games that are guaranteed to provide endless hours of fun. Simply download the party pack to your phone, ask friends to join and enjoy this perfect, modern board game equivalent. Expect a lot of laughs.
Buy on: Amazon
4. Heads Up
From the same creators as Psych!, Heads Up is another hilarious online virtual game to play with friends over a video call. You will need to allow time to get used to playing this game remotely as you will need to work out how it works most effectively, but when you get started you might not be able to stop. Each player downloads the game to their phone, choosing a category of anything from celebrities, to accents and one player holds their phone to their head showing the screen to the others. Words will pop up on the screen and the group must act out the answer until the phone holder guesses correctly and flicks the phone back for a new word. Over a video call, Heads Up may work best with fewer players as with many more than four or five things could get chaotic.
Bingo is a great game for a virtual games night as you can set prizes unique to your group of friends or colleagues: an IOU drinks voucher for when you can next meet up, a care package, or a takeaway. Websites like My Free Bingo Cards do all the work for you to deliver a classic bingo experience; or alternatively you could make your own bingo card about your favourite film then watch the film together and look out for all the moments to cross off your card.
6. Treasure Hunt
Another simple but effective option, a treasure hunt is a good virtual game to play with a family of many ages. This is a game of speed that can get pretty competitive – all you need is to come up with the most random household item you can think of, one that might be buried at the bottom of the ‘bits and bobs drawer’, and whoever can find and bring it back to the screen the quickest, wins. A treasure hunt is a great way to get younger children involved in a virtual games night and doesn’t involve anything other than your imagination and things you already have in your home.
However you choose to spend your virtual games night with friends or family, be sure to treat yourself to a homemade snack to fuel your competitiveness, and perhaps have a book on standby for when the call is over and it’s time to wind down. Being on lockdown needn’t mean we compromise our normal routines, instead it should encourage us to form new ones and make the most of the free time to spend ‘with’ loved ones. Connecting with others is vital to promote positive mental well-being, so however you choose to do this, make the most of it.