We believe that small groups can and should be fun. We were designed by God to enjoy life and the people around us. Why would we not include it in a weekly gathering of friends in our groups?
You can judge how healthy a small group is by how much laughter there is during a group meeting. Make sure there’s something to enjoy at the meeting. Hosting a virtual game night with your small group is fun and easy to execute.
Thanks to a variety of video conferencing services like Google Hangouts, Skype, smartphone apps, and interactive websites (Houseparty), it doesn’t take much effort to play traditionally in-person classics like Monopoly and Scrabble digitally. And, if you’re looking for something a little different, there are a host of new and interesting virtual games, too. Here are a few of the most fun virtual games if you are looking to host a virtual game night with your small group anytime!
From the creators of the once wildly popular trivia game called You Don’t Know Jack comes a subscription service that gives you and your friends access to a host of party games—trivia, drawing, word games, and more—for as many as eight players at a time. Each player simply needs a phone or other web-enabled device (Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV) to use as their controller; pricing starts from $12.49.
Read My Lips
While on video chat with two or more people, take turns turning off your microphone and speaking a short phrase or sentence. Whoever can correctly guess what you’re saying first gets a point. The first person to 10 wins.
Though you traditionally use a single smartphone for this popular game by Ellen Degeneres, you can play with friends from afar via the Houseparty app, a social video chatting service. The premise is simple: All but one player gets access to a randomly selected word each round. The one player who cannot see the word tries to guess the word via a series of hints from the other players; expansion packs start from 99¢.
Since you don’t really need any game pieces, Charades is a great option for video chatting. Simply agree to only act out simple words or phrases, then take turns having one person try to explain that word or phrase to the rest of the group. Remember: The person acting out the word or phrase can only use gestures and facial expressions—no words. Tally up the points to see who gets the most correct.
Similarly, Pictionary is a good option. The rules are nearly the same, but instead of acting out the word or phrase, you draw it and the other players attempt to guess what you’re drawing. This one just requires a bit more of a setup, since each player will need to prop their phone or computer up in a way that the other players can see what they’re drawing.
A musical bingo game. Musical Bingo—a game that’s easy to play virtually Musical Bingo is just like traditional Bingo, where the goal is to mark off 5 boxes in a row—horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. But instead of listening for numbers, players listen for songs.
An online trivia game. Want to play an online Trivia game with your small group? It requires very little preparation from the group leader and no preparation for the group members. (They just need to be able to access the internet from their phone or computer.)
More detailed instructions found here: https://kahoot.com/blog/2019/03/04/how-to-get-started-with-kahoot/
Totally free. A race to gather specific items from around your house. Two ways to play:
- Tell the group members the instructions ahead of time, find your items before the group starts, and then play the game when the group begins.
- Wait until your group begins, tell everyone the instructions, go find the items and then come back to the screen.
More details here…
Totally free. A creative-thinking, category-based game online. Set it up:
- Leader goes to: https://swellgarfo.com/scattergories/
- Leader shares their screen
- Everyone will need a piece of paper numbered 1-12 (and a pen!)
More details here…
The free online gaming services Pogo has a roster of over 100 games from big-name brands like Hasbro and PopCap Games. Choices include puzzles, sports, and word games, including favorites like RISK, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Chess, and Bejeweled; upgraded subscription available start from $6.99 per month.
Another easy game to play through video chat service such as Zoom. To do this online, everyone gets on zoom, so you can talk to each other, and play the game online from your computers or phones. It’s an absolute hoot. One of our groups played this two weeks ago for about 2.5 hours. https://www.drawasaurus.org/
Download Catan Universe, a digital version of the celebrity-favorite game Settlers of Catan. The free version, available online or for both iPhone and Android, lets you play the basic board game in multiplayer mode with up to three friends.
Words with Friends
Just like Scrabble, but better, Words with Friends allows you to play in real time via fast-paced “lightening duels” or take turns making moves as time allows.
Play all of your favorite card games, from classic kid-friendly options like Go Fish to spicier options like Cards Against Humanity for more mature audiences—on a virtual table (all players see cards moving in real time) just for you and your friends.
On Houseparty, an app that’s similar to zoom or skype, you can play built-in-games with friends like Ellen Degeneres’ “Heads Up!”, “Quick Draw,” and even trivia. To get started, simply download the free app, tell your friends to download it too and click the dice icon in the right-hand corner.
This free online portal Tabletopia gives you access to over 800 licensed games. Options, which include both board games and strategy games, can be filtered by a variety of factors, including age, number of players, and overall play time; pricing starts from $4.99 for premium features.
For the Gaming Rookies:
Everybody knows the rules: You have to guess the word your team member is acting out from a pool of suggestions they pick from at random. Whoever guesses the most words correct wins it all. You might want to put one trustworthy person in charge of keeping score. How will you choose the words over video chat? There are multiple word generators online that specifically exist to help you out with that.
Would You Rather
There are no losers in this game, and it can be tailored to all ages. Would you rather drink Coke or Pepsi? Would you rather fly or be invisible? Would you rather lose your car or all of the pictures you’ve ever taken? It’ll surely spark some debates, and you can get creative with it.
You can only ask someone how they’re doing so many times when everyone is confined to their homes all day long. So if there’s nothing left to say, turn to this question game. Not only will you learn more about whomever you’re playing with, but the convo will keep going strong!