Looking for a fun way to play games with family and friends from afar? Here are over 30 awesome and fun games you can play on FaceTime, Skype, Zoom…whatever! There are options for all ages.
There will probably come a time in everyone’s life where they are separated from friends and families.
This might be due to being separated by distance, because of illness, or maybe because of social distancing.
Thankfully, we live in a day and time where there is a lot of technology that makes it easier to connect with people.
I started thinking about different games you could play with people over FaceTime or Skype or whatever video chatting service you want, and there’s really a lot of fun ones.
Below is a list of the ones I came up with – some are just ones where you will sign in and start playing, others are board games, and others are digital games. But I think there’s a nice variety that would be fun for various ages.
There are websites where you can play board games virtually – Tabletopia and Table Top Simulator are a couple – but I tried to focus on options where you can just get on your video chatting serving and get to play!
Which Group Video Chat Service Should I Use?
There are a lot of services out there that you allow you to group video chat with others, however, the main ones to consider are:
- Google Hangouts
These all have their pros and cons – for instance, with Facetime, you would be limited to people who have Apple devices. You can have up to 32 people.
Zoom is really nice, but it is limited to 40 minutes per session. You can logout and then log back in, but it’s kind of a pain. You can have up to 100 people on the free plan.
I find that Google Hangouts is a little glitchy and slow, especially the more people you have. However, it has the highest limit for a free chat at 150 people.
Skype has a lot of great features on their free plan – it can have up to 50 people. People say it has better call quality than Zoom, but it tends to be more glitchy.
Little to No Materials
These are games that you can do without a lot of materials. Just login and play!
Most of these are pretty common games that you probably know how to play – but if it’s one that I feel needs explaining, I’ll share more details. If you don’t understand how a game is played, just let me know, and I’ll write specific instructions for it.
Going on a Picnic
This is a pretty common road trip game that my family loves! You start by saying, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m going to bring a …” and you name something that starts with the letter “A”. Then the next person goes, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing…” and they say what the previous person said, and then something that starts with B.
And so on and so forth – it’s really fun and gets tricky the more items you have!
You select a category for the game. The first player names a word in that category. Then the next person names a word in that category that starts with the last letter of word the previous person said. You keep going until you are stumped!
I don’t know what the real name is for this, but it’s what we call it in our house. It’s a big hit!
It is trickier to play online, and the way I figured out how to play would require cell phones or private messaging of some type – so better for older groups.
Everyone needs to select the name of a person (fictional or real – famous people usually work best) and then texts it to the “game master”. This person will read all of them off, and all the participants try to remember the names.
You go around and everyone gets a turn to guess who picked what name (you get one guess per turn). If you guess someone correctly, they are on your team. The goal is to get everyone on your team.
Since it does take some collaboration with your team to win, you would text or message each other (making a group chat on Facebook would be a simple way to add new people) to figure out who the other people are!
Add a Letter
The first player says any letter of the alphabet. The next participant adds a letter (at the beginning or end of the letter) to make a new word. You go until someone can’t come up with a word.
To make it more fun, you can allow people to try and make up words and see if anyone notices.
What’s the theme?
This is definitely not the name of this one, but it’s a game that some of the young women at church have played a few times at activities, and it’s super fun.
Someone leaves the room (or in the case of playing it virtually, turns their computer on mute), and the remaining players come up with a theme – for instance, you could do “words that start with the letter s”.
The person who turned their computer on mute turns the sound back. You go around and each person says something that goes along with the theme (so for this example, one person might say apples, the next might say bass, etc). And the “it” person has to figure out what the theme is.
Never Have I Ever
Each person takes a turn saying, “Never Have I ever…” and list something they have never done. If someone else has done it, they put their finger up. The first person to get 10 fingers up wins!
You obviously want to try and prevent people from putting their fingers up, so try and think of things that a lot of people in the group would have in common. So if you have only lived in Colorado your whole life, and you are with a bunch of people who live/have lived in Utah, you could say, “Never Have I Ever Lived in Utah.”
Two Truths and a Lie
Each person thinks of two truths about themselves and lie and everyone tries to figure out who is fibbing.
Board games can get tricky, but if you can navigate it correctly – they can be a lot of fun.
Some of these games would require one person being in charge of the board and moving pieces OR you can each have the board game in front of you.
If you are playing with children, I would recommend having the board game for the child, at the very least 🙂 I have linked to all the games on Amazon.
For many of these games, it would be ideal to have a separate video feed over the top of the board game so everyone could easily see it.
Each player would need to have a Battleship board in front of them, but this would be a very easy game to play over Skype.
This is one of our favorite games – and there are so many different versions. My kids especially love the Disney version.
This would require some modifications – you would probably need to send a picture of the play card to the person who doesn’t have the board.
Another game where you each will need a board. Simple to play across the web!
This would need to be set up on just one end with just one person flipping cards for everyone. I could see this being a fun one for grandparents to play with grandchildren!
This is a family favorite in our home. While you can buy sets (we love this Farkle party set), you just need everyone to find six dice, and it can easily be played over video chat with any number of people!
This one might be a little clunky over the web, but it’s not impossible. I love the family version especially.
There are some app versions of this (that aren’t just for children) that might be fun to do – though it would require you not using your phone for video chatting and a computer instead.
If you play the actual Headbanz, I would recommend having it for each player.
Most versions of Monopoly would be too tricky to play over video chat, but this version is doable! You don’t have actual cash to worry about, and it’s pretty easy to just watch the board and make decisions.
One of my all-time favorite games!
My cousins played this over zoom and it seemed fun. They had one video feed over the board. And someone who wasn’t playing dealt the cards and sent a picture of them to each person. They said it was fun! I also found this digital version of clue that sounds fun.
This is a more recent game we’ve been playing, and it’s a lot of fun. Easy to do over video.
I always loved this game growing up, but there don’t seem to be a lot of versions of it for sale anymore!
I think you could pretty easily mirror this one if each player had their own board (one person could draw and move everyone, but I can’t imagine that would go over well if you have more than one child playing).
You’d probably have double cards, but that’s okay!
This one might be a little tricky – you can’t really grab the card unless you are the one with it in front of you. So I would just say whoever says the item they see first wins. Make sure everyone’s playing cards are in view!
I have shared my favorites below, but you can see the rest of the best family friendly games on JackBox TV here.
This is a game you can buy from JackBox TV. If you are playing with children, make sure you get Drawful 2 so you can enable family-friendly mode.
We LOVE this game, and if you have Steam downloaded on your computer, you could easily share the screen over video chat and everyone can login and play.
This is another one from JackBox TV that we love. It also has family-friendly mode that you can enable. Same as Drawful – just share your screen on your computer!
Kathoot is often using in educational environments, but it’s a lot of fun to play. We did this over Zoom, and I just shared my screen and everyone played from their device. You can make up games, use games other people have made, etc. on pretty much any topic! My eight-year-old LOVES this!
Did I miss any? Be sure to chime in below with any games YOU like to play over video chat!