Even the biggest introverts might be having a tough time with less social interactions lately, especially if it means missing out on seeing family and friends. Social distancing is still very much a reality for most of us, so we’re all looking for creative ways to connect with others. One easy way to do this is through virtual apps and online games with friends. Not only are these a welcome distraction and great for socialization, but research shows games are actually good for the brain, too.
Personally, I like the app-based games because I find it easier to add friends and start playing. Sometimes web-based games are a little confusing as to where to find the “join me” link, which you’ll need to email your friends to play directly. While many of these games have chat functionality, I’d recommend actually calling up your friend on the phone, through Skype, or another video-based chat service. This way, it truly gives you the best back-and-forth experience while you play.
Here are some of the best games you can find both online and in your phone’s app store to enjoy along with friends.
You can find many different versions of Yahtzee online and in the app store. Yahtzee Party is a nice option because you can have several different friends play together. Warning: The website can get a little annoying with ads. If you just want to play someone one on one, you can choose from a few options on Google Play.
Cards Against Humanity
If you’ve never played before, it’s like a snarky, grown-up version of Apples to Apples. PlayingCards.io is one of the better web-based options with an online version of the card game. You create a room and then invite others using a code. It makes it easy, and they have several other games to choose from, like Go Fish, and Crazy Eights.
Tabletopia has hundreds of board games to choose from, and chess is one of their most popular. They have it available to download as an app, too. If you love chess but don’t know who to play with, don’t be afraid to put out a call on social media. Maybe you’ll find your perfect opponent to battle against until checkmate.
This online version of the classic game is not a fancy platform at all, but it’s one of the easiest ways to play Battleship with a friend. You can choose to play with a random opponent or click the friend button to get a quick link to share. You can go back and forth online for this one, but it’ll be much better to hear one another’s voice — especially when it’s time to say, “You sunk my battleship!”
If Spades is your all-time favorite card game, then the VIP Spades website is where you need to be. This isn’t just a game, but a community of Spades players. They have options to play with their online community to improve your game or create your own with friends. If you’re not feeling it with this online version, check out the app store on your phone to find at least a dozen more options.
This card game with pegs and a wooden board tends to be one that people either know and love… or they’ve never heard of. It’s a great two-person game, and Cardgames.app makes it easy to play and connect with others. They list easy-to-follow directions right under the game.
This trivia-based game continues to trend on app stores. You can play it on your own or challenge a friend. Each turn, you spin the wheel to reveal a category. With seven categories total, it really is any person’s game to win.
Stop is a mix between a trivia challenge and a word game. You spin the wheel to get a letter, and then you try to answer as many prompts as you can before the other person. When you’re leading the round of play, you can choose to stop the timer anytime you want (hence the name). Your main goal is to answer more than your opponent in order to win. This is a back-and-forth game, but you can still sit down and play live.
Words with Friends
This spin on Scrabble continues to be one of the most downloaded games in most phone’s app stores. If you’ve never played, it might be time! Chances are, you already have a few friends who play, so this can be a great way to connect with them again. The game has a chat function in it, but you can also call a friend and have a nice chat over coffee, tea, or a drink while you get through a game.
This is the card game that broke all sorts of records when it was first on Kickstarter. It started as a small start-up, and now you can find the game in just about any store as well as on the app store. The game has a loose tie to Old Maid, but it has a lot more layers with cards along the way that can both help and hurt you, depending on the timing. This one is really quick to learn and play. When you sit down with a friend, you can get in four or five games in half an hour.
This game had a surge of popularity several years ago, but it’s still a good go-to app to download today. It’s a different take on Pictionary, encouraging you to draw something specific for a friend. It’s both challenging and rewarding to draw the occasionally elaborate scenes with just your fingers. It’s also a great way to connect with friends, especially if they’re artsy.
You never know what the next turn of the cards will bring when you’re playing Uno. Just as you think you’re about to win, you’ll get a setback. Do a search, and you’ll see there are several different versions of Uno out there both online and as an app. If you have an iPhone, the Apple version is one of the best because it has a mode where you can work together with another friend to play against others. You’ll be socializing, bonding, and making memories all at the same time.
Mario Kart is a popular game from Nintendo, so they created an app version called Mario Kart Tour. You don’t have to be that great at racing games to have fun with this one and compete against friends. With just your phone or tablet, you’ll be able to pick a character and zoom through the racetracks for the chance at victory. If you have younger kids in your life, download this and challenge them to a game. It’ll make you quite popular!
This classic game has been around for decades, and now you can challenge your friends to play through an app. They have several different game modes available, including finding a friend on Facebook and sending them a challenge. This is another one where it really is anyone’s game, depending on the topic.