So you’re stuck at home. So you and your kids can’t visit friends and family. Now what?
Well, you could break out the board games. You could break out the arts and crafts. I’m sure you have already.
Your teenagers have probably had their faces buried in their phones, and there’s a good chance that they’re playing some kind of online game. They just might be on to something. These games are a great way to pass the time.
But a lot of digital games can also be played with more than one person. And best of all, you don’t need to be in the same room to play them together.
Here’s a list of remote games you can play with other people:
From Uno to Funemployed to Cards Against Humanity (or my favorite, a CAH clone titled Pretend You’re xyzzy), there are lots of online versions of card games, and many of them are free. I guarantee that there is a teenager in your house who can help you find and set up these games.
There are online communal jigsaw puzzles to complete with friends – you can either work together or compete to see who puts the puzzle together the fastest. It’s not quite the same as working a puzzle at your dining room table, but it’s a nice way to do something with someone who is not in your house.
Now is a good time to bust out those two-player word games that are available as free apps. Players need to download the app, and then it’s game on. I loved these games, but I haven’t had an excuse to play in forever. But now is the perfect time to play a game of Words with Friends, Scrabble, or Scattergories to name a few. If you want to spend time with someone far away, just call them up, pull up this app, and it’s almost like you’re playing scrabble together in your living room! They’re also a great way to slip in some educational fun with your kids.
Interested in some problem-solving games where you have to use strategy to win? How about Battleship online?
I play Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (I actually did before the quarantine, but it lends itself perfectly to these times). The best part about this game is that it hinges on not being near each other.
One person is named the Bomb Defusing expert, and the other is “in a room with a bomb.” The bomb expert (or experts) receives a manual (online) with directions for defusing the bomb that includes diagrams and step by step instructions, but never actually gets to see the bomb. The other player (or players) can see the bomb, but cannot see the instructions on how to defuse it.
Thus, the expert has to walk the other player through defusing a bomb they have never seen, giving instructions from a diagram the other player has never seen. Neither player has the whole picture, and it’s all about communicating.
To play with another family, one household can get the instructions free online, and the other household download the game itself, which does cost money. You also need to create a free Stream account.
The Jackbox Party Packs are a personal favorite of mine. They each come with five different games. And all you need to play is a phone (or tablet or any other handheld device). You do need to purchase and download the game, and it is easy to share with others as long as they have internet access.
Each game has its own rules and plays completely differently. I love Quiplash, where you submit answers to their prompts and judge the best ones. Warning: Quiplash is definitely for older teens as some of the questions are more mature in terms of content. (Each game in the pack has its own rating. Pay attention to the family friendly icon that will appear in the bottom corner.)