9 Games to Play Online During Lockdown

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Many countries have been placed on some degree of “lockdown” in recent months. Although some of us are slowly returning to a new normal, social distancing measures are still in place. Which means that we’re not always able to see our loved ones as much as we’d like to.

Thankfully, today’s technology makes staying in touch easier than ever. Video calls mean we can still see each other, albeit on a screen. We can even host “events” and group chats, using multi-way video conference calling software such as Zoom or Skype.

To mix things up, why not organise an online games night for your friends and family? Games and quizzes can add a bit of structure to your group video chat, making it easier to get that all-important social interaction. Below you’ll find some of the best games to play online during lockdown.


1) Host a Virtual Quiz

One of the most popular online games to play throughout lockdown has been the humble quiz. Perhaps because it’s so easy to do on a video chat, and there are so many variations to keep things fresh. One person acts as quizmaster, while the others can play in teams or individually to compete for the highest score.

You can find plenty of quiz questions online from a wide range of sources, or write your own. If you need some inspiration, this guide rounds up some unique virtual quiz round ideas. Make it a weekly event and have a different quizmaster each time, so that everyone gets a turn to host. This also helps keep things fresh as everyone will think of very different questions.


2) Charades

It’s easy to recreate the popular party game of charades online. For those unfamiliar with the rules, players have to silently act out the title of a popular TV show, movie, or book. The rest of the players must guess what they’re acting out. You can also play using general words and phrases, or even names of famous people.

To make it trickier, you can use an online charades generator like this one, so players don’t get to choose what they act out.



3) Pictionary

Another popular party game that translates well to video calls is Pictionary. All you need is a pen and paper. Players have to draw their assigned word within a time limit, for the other members of their team to guess. You’ll need to find a way to hold the paper up to the camera as you draw – but the challenge of this will add to the fun!

You can use an online Pictionary generator such as this one to assign words. Alternatively, there are a few apps and online tools that offer a digital version of the game. Skribbl.io is fairly basic, but it does the job well and has proven a popular online game during the lockdown period.


4) Houseparty

The Houseparty app launched in 2016, but it’s had a huge spike in popularity since lockdown started. Essentially, the app allows a virtual video chat “party” of up to 8 people at a time. It comes with a selection of games to play within the app, including trivia, and a version of Heads Up.


5) UNO

Fans of the super competitive card game UNO will be pleased to hear there’s an online version of the game. Download the official app and play while you’re video calling your friends. If you’ve never played it before, this is a simple, colourful card game where the aim of the game is to get rid of your cards by matching colours and numbers. The rules sound a little complicated at first, but it’s easy to pick up – and very hard to put back down!



6) Board Game Apps

As well as UNO, there are digital versions of many other popular board games. Although you can play them whenever, wherever, it’s a lot of fun to do at the same time as a video call – as you can enjoy a bit of friendly banter at the same time! Monopoly, Cluedo, Catan, and many others all have app versions you can play on your phone. You can also play Scrabble using the popular Words With Friends app.


7) Scattergories

Scattergories is a really simple game that can easily be played on a video call. Players simply have to list as many answers to a given category before the time runs out. The options for possible categories are endless; examples include US states, names starting with the letter “E”, 90’s pop bands, science fiction movies. If you’re stuck for inspiration, you can use this online tool to generate some ideas.


8) Psych!

From the creators of the popular “Heads Up!” phone game, “Psych!” is a new app where the aim of the game is to be the best faker possible. Players have to write the most convincing answer to a piece of trivia in order to fool the other players. You get points for choosing the correct answer, as well as for every person you trick into choosing yours! Although you don’t need to play this whilst on a video chat, it certainly adds to the fun.


9) Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons could be a fun way to get everyone together for an immersive online games night. D&D is a fantasy roleplaying game in which a Dungeon Master acts as storyteller and referee, while the other players work together to complete their quest. Although it’s best when played in person, this guide lays out how to play D&D online while we’re unable to get together.