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Maintaining your relationships with people when you can’t physically be with them is difficult, but with a little creativity you can make it a lot more fun. Our phones, tablets, and computers all have built-in webcams, which you can use for more than just a simple video chat. You can take things up a notch by hosting a digital game night.
We collected 10 games that can be modified to work just as well over video chat as they do in person. For instance: a score keeper can keep track of the game board, or you can eliminate it entirely without and move to a points-based system.
In some cases, the game works best if everyone has a copy, but we also picked ones that a group of players can share. Nothing will fully replicate sitting around a big table with a bunch of friends and snacks, but playing these games over video chat can get you part of the way there.
1. A Deck of Playing Cards
Ages: All ages.
Players: Depends on the game.
A deck of playing cards opens up a world of game night possibilities. Whether you’re playing classic casino games like Black Jack or Poker, or showing off a new magic trick, the opportunities are virtually limitless. This deck is has a cyberpunk aesthetic complete with a wire-filled background on the numbered cards, and robotic versions of the face cards. So you know, perfect end-of-the-world stuff.
Age suggestion: 13 and up.
Number of players: 4 or more.
Taboo is a riff on the classic game show $24,000 Pyramid, where one teammate has to describe a keyword to another one without using that word. But, there’s a twist. There are also a list of “taboo” words, which you can’t use in your description. If you use them, an opponent hits the buzzer, and the turn is over. This version of Taboo has 450 cards, including some in the food and drink categories, which are exclusively available here. We can’t all share a buzzer over FaceTime or webcam, but you can get your own game buzzer/answer button-hybrid here, or just use your voice and shout every time a player says a forbidden word.
3. Rolling Stone Music Trivia
Age suggestion: 14 and up.
Number of players: 4+.
Pub trivia is a staple of many people’s lives, but if you can’t make it to the bar, game maker Big Potato and our editors here at Rolling Stone have you covered. This musical trivia game is played in paired teams and has two stages: First, two players face off against one-another in a 15-second quickfire round where the object is to sing songs that pertain to a certain category. The winner of that round selects six artist cards, and gets to choose which three get handed off to the opposing team.
Round two is a spin on charades: One person has to act out the musicians or bands on the artist cards using quotes, descriptions, and by humming their popular songs. The winner of round two gets a golden record, and the first team to get eight wins. The 150 artists featured in the game became famous between 1960 and 2019, so this isn’t just fans of classic rock. In fact, it’s a great game for parents and kids to play together because having different music tastes works to your advantage.
4. Mad Libs
Ages: 8 to 12.
Number of players: 2+.
Mad Libs may be designed for children, but let’s face it, they’re also really fun for adults (Jimmy Fallon even has an entire recurring segment dedicated to Mad Libs on his show). How it works: one player reads out a pre-written story with blank spaces for nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. The stories, which start out pretty normal, quickly go off the rails as other players throw out suggestions to fill in the blanks. This version of Mad Libs comes with over 40 stories, which should keep kids (and adults) satisfied for a long time.
Ages: 13 and up.
Number of players: 4 to 12+.
If you have enough space, Charades is a classic party game that can also double as some light cardio. One player picks a card with five words on it, and it’s their job to act out each word for their teammates to guess. The actor cannot speak or mouth the word; if they do, they forfeit a point. The first team to guess four words wins that round and earns a point. The first team to score 10 points win the game.
6. Cards Against Humanity
Ages: 17 and up.
Number of payers: 2+.
Self-described as “a party game for terrible people,” Cards Against Humanity tests your willingness to embrace your inner chaotic evil. The dealer plays one black card from the box, which contains a sentence with one or more blank spaces.
Other players fill those blanks with white cards. The dealer then decides which of the answers is the most heinous, and awards that player a point. The winner collects the black card, so it’s easy to keep track of how many points they have. The first player to get a predetermined number of points wins.
7. Crossword Companion
Ages: 5 and up.
Number of Players: 2+.
Let’s be honest, how many of us have actually completed the crossword puzzles we’ve started? Rather than slogging it on your own, turn it into a group activity. Crossword puzzles are kind like trivia, except everyone is working together rather than on separate teams. You’re given dozens of numbered clues, which you must answer in the corresponding vertical or horizontal boxes.
The answers overlap, which offer clues to help you answer more difficult questions. The Crossword Companion includes 48 puzzles, with varying levels of difficulty.
8. Never Have I Ever
Ages: 21+ (lower without drinking).
Number of players: 4 – 8.
Never Have I Ever lets you peer seep into the hidden life of a close friend or family member to reveal things you never expected.
One player picks up a card with a series of “never have I ever” prompts, and rolls a die. They choose another player, and ask that person a question in a category determined by how the die landed. If the player that’s asked the question responds that they have, they’re asked to drink; if they haven’t they get a point and advance up the board. The first player to answer “I have not” 10 times wins.
This game can be modified to work better over a video call by eliminating the die, and just asking their friends deeply personal questions in an agreed upon category. This game is considered 21+ because it was designed as a drinking game, but it can be played with younger players without alcohol.
Number of Players: 2+.
If you and your friends think you have a quick wit and can think on your feet, few games will test you as well as Scattergories. One player lifts up a card revealing a word, like “Vacation,” and a theme, like names of cities.
It’s each players job to come up with different cities that begin with: V,A,C,A,T,I,O,N within two minutes.
Each player is awarded a point for every correct answer unless another person has the same one, in which case neither of those players gets a point. Double points are awarded for multi-word answers that both start with the same question (example: Crescent City).
The game comes with 125 double-sided cards for a total of 250 categories, so you won’t overlap for a long time.
10. Wordplay Family Edition
Ages: 14 and up.
Number of Players: 2+
Ages: 14 and up.
Number of players: 2+.
A word game with a twist, Wordplay limits your options to test your vocabulary.
One player flicks a spinner three times to select two letters and one category. Players then have two minutes to come up with words that contain those two letters — each word has to start with the first letter that was selected.
Players earn three points for each word that uses both letters within the category, and two points for each word that uses both letter but is not part of the selected category. Each player advances on the game board based on the number of points they won, and the first person to make it completely around the board wins.