For most of us, Zoom is a new staple of everyday life. We use it for work, for socializing, and for catching up with family.
With many people forced to stay at home, Zoom hangouts are a lifeline. It’s easy to set up regular video chats with family and friends. The trouble is, they can quickly become stale. After a couple of video calls, we’re all caught up on the latest gossip. Now what?
There’s a simple solution: Games night!
There are plenty of games apps that can spice up a Zoom video chat, as well as DIY games, quizzes, and icebreakers. With no further ado, let’s talk about 15 of the most popular and fun games to play on Zoom.
The easiest and possibly most versatile option is to use a popular game app. There are dozens of different apps to try, and you can easily find one that’s perfect for you and your group. Even better, they’re designed to be used by multiple users in different locations.
If you’re looking for fun new games with plenty of variety, look no further than Jackbox. This game requires one person to buy a game package, and the game host provides a code for each player to log into on their mobile device. There are currently seven basic game packages, as well as multi-buy offers, package deals, and even the option to buy individual games.
There are so many great games to try, such as Quiplash, which involves each player creating a witty, funny response to a word prompt. There are word games, drawing games, trivia games, and more. There’s something for everyone on Jackbox.
Created by Ellen DeGeneres, Psych works on the same basic principle as Jackbox – a game host gives the other players a code to use on their own mobile device. However, there are free games available on Psych, so if you’re working to a budget, this might be the cheaper option.
The aim of the game is to create a clever answer to a word prompt or question, and fool (or psych!) your friends into thinking your answer is the correct one.
3. Among Us
It’s a rare gamer who hasn’t heard of Among Us. This game is easy to play over Zoom, providing everyone has a different device to play and one device to video chat. If you don’t mind sitting through a few ads, Among Us is also free!
One player creates a game, and other players use the code to join. The aim of the game is for most of the players, the Crewmates, to finish their cute, satisfying little puzzles on board a spaceship, thus winning the game. But one player, the Imposter, is tasked with sabotaging the spaceship and bumping off the other players one by one. As the game goes on, the players try to figure out which of them is the Imposter, and the Imposter tries not to get caught.
It’s a simple and fun detective game and can be played with up to ten people.
4. Card and Board Games
You might have thought that there was no way to play card and board games over Zoom, but you’d be wrong about that. At CardGames.io, you can use an app to play games like chess, checkers, backgammon, whist, rummy, and more.
And, of course, there’s the classic solitaire. That one might not work so well over a video chat, unfortunately!
Would any discussion about a games night be complete without mentioning quizzes? Kahoot is a great way to create a personalized quiz specifically for your Zoom video chat. The game host can set up their own topics and questions, then gives the other players a code to use on their own devices. The app takes into consideration who answers first, as well as who gets the right answer.
If game apps aren’t your thing, there are plenty of classic or DIY options. These are easy to set up yourself and can be altered to suit virtually any number of players.
Pictionary is a classic, and most of us already know how it works. One player chooses a topic from a set list and tries to draw it well enough for the other players to guess. It’s really an opportunity to unleash your inner artist. Or not.
If you’re feeling confident, you can use Zoom’s whiteboard feature, which will allow each player to take turns drawing on the shared screen. If not, holding up a paper and pen to the screen should work just as well.
This is another party game staple, and there are a few different ways you can play. The basic way involves the players coming up with a word that begins with a particular letter in several categories. Add a time limit and a few tricky words, and you’re ready to go!
This is another timeless party game that translates surprisingly well to Zoom. The game host can send out individual words to each player to act out when it’s their turn, or you can use a charades word generator app. If you think charades is an outdated and old-fashioned game, think again. What could be funnier than watching one of your parents frantically trying to act out “manhole cover” on a Zoom screen? (Based on real events)
4. Murder Mysteries
You really can’t go wrong with a good old-fashioned murder mystery. If your Zoom chat group enjoys playing Among Us, this could make for a fun evening. You can buy murder mystery game packs, or you can even have a go at crafting your own story, complete with clues, characters, theme, and a complex plot!
This kind of game might need a little tweaking to work over Zoom, but it can lead to an unforgettable game night.
5. Two Truths and a Lie
How well do you really know your friends and family? Two Truths and a Lie is a good party game that requires little or no preparation. Just like the name of the game suggests, each player tells three facts about themselves, two facts being true and one being a lie. The other players must guess which fact is a lie.
It’s most fun to pick three truly ridiculous facts.
Let’s face it, Zoom video chats can get a little awkward, especially if you’re meeting new people or loose acquaintances. A simple but fun party game can help to loosen everyone up with minimal effort on your part.
1. 20 Questions
Another classic game, 20 Questions involves just that – other players taking turns asking a player up to 20 questions about themselves. It’s a good way to get to know new people and can even work in semi-formal business settings. If you’re chatting with strangers or in a business setting, it might be a good idea not to let the questions get too personal. However, if you’re playing with family or close friends, the sky’s the limit.
2. I Spy
Would you be surprised to know that you can still play I Spy over Zoom? Remember, you’ll be able to see at least some of a player’s background. Or you can use the share screen feature to put up a picture, if you want to make things interesting. It’s a classic game that everyone knows how to play.
3. Camera Roll
This game involves each player showing the group the most recent picture on their camera roll and telling the story behind the picture. This game can offer something of a mixed bag; there’ll be some funny stories, some sad, and some that are just plain odd.
4. DIY Quiz
If you’re not a fan of game apps, you might not want to use Kahoot for a quiz. An old-fashioned DIY quiz takes a little more time to set up, but it does give you a lot more freedom. Do you want to include a round of Pictionary, or a quick game of I Spy? A good way of including everyone in the quiz-making process is to assign everyone five questions to ask on their chosen topic. This can lead to something of a rollercoaster quiz!
5. Combination Games
Everyone has their favourite party games. When it comes to Zoom game nights, it doesn’t seem fair for one person to bear the responsibility of the game host. A good way to create a fun, varied, and totally unique game night is to have everyone choose their favourite party game. You can incorporate Two Truths and a Lie into 20 Questions, then take a break to play a few rounds of Among Us. This keeps game night fresh and interesting.
Now more than ever, we need each other. For some of us in isolation, Zoom games night could be a lifeline. With a little creativity, you can turn an awkward video chat into a fun and laughter-filled evening with friends. It’s a good idea to take turns hosting Games Night so that everyone has a chance to play their favourite game.