You Can Play These Party Games Without Leaving Home

Samantha Henman

We’re all spending a lot more time at home, but sometimes you’ve still gotta scratch that social itch. When you’ve exhausted your energy at catching up over FaceTime—“What have you been up to?” “Not much, you?” “Same”—you’ve gotta spice it up a little. Thankfully, there’s a wide range of fun party games that you can play online with friends—but which ones actually work well, which ones are worth it, and most important—which ones are the most fun?

At Home Party Games Review

Heads Up! On Houseparty

Anyone who has the Heads Up! app on their phone—or who watches Ellen—knows how much fun it can be. This is a great one for anyone who prefers their smartphone to their computer, because while Houseparty can be used on both, games can only be played on the phone. Heads Up! comes with three free decks on Houseparty. Perhaps the funniest is the #trending deck, which chooses of-the-moment topics that get updated regularly.

The name might sound like it’s just a site for card games, but it has so much more—backgammon, checkers, and cribbage are just three examples. You sign in with a room code to play with friends, and decks are synchronized. There’s no built-in video or chatting feature, so take advantage of Discord and start your own channel. If you have a favorite card game you play with friends, there’s even an option to start a custom game.

Scattergories Online

The classic game of Scattergories (or Categories, or Guggenheim) is available online for free, with categories like Movies, Music, and Animals, as well as wackier choices like “things that are illegal” and “things you keep hidden.” You can choose multiple categories to keep people on their toes, and there’s a built-in chat feature so you can chirp your friends when they totally mess up.

Monopoly and More on Pogo

Pogo has been the place to play classic games online for awhile now, and if you were used to having weekly game nights, they have some favorites on offer, like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit. Simply sign in, add your friends, and get going. They’ve got plenty of other fun games too.

Pleasure in Other People's Pain facts


When it comes to playing games with friends using the powers of the internet, Jackbox has been, and continues to be, the cream of the crop. Hilarious games like Quiplash and Fibbage have been available on AppleTV for awhile now, but if someone in your clique buys a version on their laptop, they can screenshare in a Zoom room and give everyone the opportunity to play on their phones. They also have a drawing game named Drawful that’s provided hours of fun, among tons of others.

No matter what your speed is, from a casual card game to a hilarious, competitive game of Split the Room on Jackbox, there’s an online game for everyone. By combining the amazing array of games online with services like Discord, Houseparty, and Zoom, game night takes on a whole new meetings—just make sure you go for cribbage or something instead of Quiplash if you choose to invite grandma.

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