Most of us are at least a couple weeks into social distancing. While some have found the isolation cathartic, others of us are dying for social interaction. When all your days have become pretty much the same, it can be hard to think of new things to talk about. Games can be a great way to interact with friends and family, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out which games can work for groups remotely, especially when everyone might not have the same game console or one at all. In this article we’ve put together a list of games you can play remotely from a phone or PC that are (almost) all free.
Quiplash isn’t free (about $5) but it’s so worth it! Similar in concept to Apples to Apples, each participant is given a prompt on their phone which they are supposed to come up with a clever response to. Then everyone votes on their favorite responses to the various prompts. The results are hilarious! If you’re still not sure how to play, no worries! The game tells you exactly what to do.
In order to best facilitate this for a remote group, I’d recommend having the person who owns the game share their screen on Zoom, Google Hangouts, or some other conference call software and then turn down the game volume in settings so you can all still talk to each other while you play.
This isn’t a game by itself, but it’s a website with a bunch of online versions of board games that you can play for free when you set up an account. Other than chess and checkers, a lot of the selection is fairly obscure, but it’s worth checking out to see if there’s something that intrigues you. You can play by yourself against the computer or with friends who have also set up an account.
Psych is a great free game you can all play from your phones. It’s similar to Quiplash in that you try to come up with clever responses, but this time the prompts are about the members of your group! Get ready for hilarity to ensue!
This app based version of Scrabble is fun and absolutely free! It only allows 2 people per game but you can have multiple games going on at the same time. It’s the perfect way to cultivate the wordsmith in each of us.
This app based game allows you to play Mario Kart with your friends on your phone. The basic game is free, though some features are locked behind a subscription fee (about $5). Don’t let social distancing prevent you from throwing red shells at your friends!
6. Heads Up!
Made famous on the Ellen DeGeneres show, Heads Up is a classic guess that word game. It’s a free app that you play on your phone. One person holds the phone up to their head and everyone else tries to help that person guess the word. You can split up into teams or even play with just 2 people. Use Zoom, Google Hangouts, or some other conference call software in order to play remotely with friends.
7. Drawful 2
From the creators of Quiplash, Drawful 2 is a hilarious take on pictionary. Each participant is given a prompt they are to attempt to draw. Then everyone else has to guess what you drew. The results are hilarious. Play this one remotely just like you would Quiplash. Have the person who owns the game (usually about $10 but they’re having a sale right now where a lot of the platforms are free) share their screen via Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. and then everyone participates from their phone.
If you haven’t heard of this game, you’ve probably been living under a rock. This very popular battle royale game is free to play on your game console or PC. Gather some friends together and see who can be the last one standing. If you get really good at it you might be able to cash in. The last kid who won the Fortnite World Cup walked away with 3 million dollars. And Mom said video games were a waste of time.
The classic first-person shooter franchise finally has a free version for PC. The game features a single massive map and has two different modes: Plunder and Battle Royale. You can play with friends in games with 150 people. All the classic Call of Duty fun for $0.
The free app lets you play the classic card game from your phone with friends. You can play classic rules, set up your own house rules, or play a 2v2 mode where you play as teams. This is a classic game that is easy to play and appropriate for every member of the family.