If you're looking for fun games to play with your friends remotely, there are plenty of ways to approach it. Although it may be difficult to plan a game night if you can't all be in the same spot at once, you can try a virtual game night using a video conferencing platform, such as Zoom. Here are 6 games you can play on Zoom for long-distance fun.
Playing games together from afar isn't as hard as it sounds. To plan a game night, make sure everyone has a reliable internet connection and a video-conferencing service like Zoom or Google Hangouts. Next, make sure you know the requirements of the game or platform. For some games, you'll want to start the game on your laptop and share your screen. For instance, to play Jackbox Games on Zoom, you'll have to have one person start the game, share their screen, and play that way.
Gameplay software and consoles are a great way to start playing games remotely over Zoom. Steam is a particularly good choice for remote play using its Steam Remote Play feature. If you use Steam Remote Play, only one person has to own a game copy in order to start, but you'll all need to make free accounts to play together. While Steam takes care of the game screen sharing, keeping Zoom open offers an easier way to socialize while you're playing.
There are several games that are easy to start playing with your friends on Zoom.
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1. Jackbox Games' Drawful 2
Through April 11, 2020, Jackbox Games is offering Drawful 2 is free if you download it with the Steam code here. The game is similar to Pictionary, except you and your friends will be challenged with ridiculous drawing prompts such as "cotton candy hair" or a "creepy tiger."
2. Pictionary With Zoom's Whiteboard Feature
Zoom has a whiteboard sharing feature that is just perfect for playing Pictionary with your friends. You can play with the actual game or make up your own prompts. To use it, you'll need to make sure you have at least a 3.5.1 or higher of the Zoom desktop client for PC or 3.5.2 for Mac. If you are using your iPad, you'll need a 2.5.3 or higher.
To use Zoom's whiteboard, you'll want to click the share screen button located in your meeting toolbar, select the whiteboard, and click share. You should then see annotation tools that will let you use your mouse to draw as you would for Pictionary. You can take turns sharing the screen's whiteboard depending on who's turn it is, and you can put some in charge of keeping time for the person who is drawing.
3. Jackbox Games' Fibbage XL
Fibbage XL on Jackbox Games is a fun game to play with as many as eight players. The game involves bluffing and fooling your friends while you all try to figure out the correct answer to a question out of a pack of lies. To play remotely, share your computer screen on Zoom while one person streams their game, and let the fun begin.
Jackbox has a Steam code offer for this game right now at half the usual price.
One of the great things about playing charades is that you barely need any materials to get a game going, and you can play with as many people as you want. Just gather your friends together over Zoom, choose your teams, and consult with each other in individual chats to get the rounds going.
5. Zoom Bingo
Playing bingo over Zoom is an easy way to hold a game night. Have each of your friends print out the same style of bingo cards (make sure they aren't identical), and have one of you as a designated caller. One way to approach this is to write out the numbers on cards, shuffle them, and pull them one at a time.
There are also online bingo options that allow for multiplayers to join, such as Facebook Instant Games' bingo option in Messenger or GamePoint Bingo from Youda Games.
6. Personalized Trivia Game
A fun, interactive idea is to use an application such as TriviaMaker.com to create your own trivia games. Anyone can create their own game once they have a TriviaMaker account, and once you've created a game you can share it and play with your friends while video chatting on Zoom. The best way to do this is to make the file downloadable, share screens, or use the Web presenter link for friends playing together.
If you want to play a trivia game that doesn't require as much work, there are fun options like this Sporcle Trivia Bingo room. You can start a personal room and share your personalized link with friends to play together. Or, one person can share their screen to have everyone guess together. You can also find fun trivia games on Facebook and Snapchat which you can play with Zoom if you share your screen.
Bonus: Risk: Global Domination
You don't technically need Zoom to use this one since it's a free multiplayer option you can play remotely using Steam. Steam only shares your game screen, so keeping Zoom open at the same time offers a better experience for a full-on hangout.