Times are incredibly different these days. We are all stuck in our homes, trying to flatten the curve and stop the spread of the coronavirus. It’s forced us to discover new and creative ways to connect virtually with friends and family – after all, FaceTime can get old.
We compiled a list of the best ways to stay in touch virtually while keeping things exciting.
Virtual game night:
Since forever, playing board games and cards has always been a staple pastime for friends and family. But as we wait out the coronavirus pandemic, not everyone has access to their favorite Rummikub competitor.
Fortunately, unlike like any other pandemic before, we have internet that offers a wide range of classic games that can be played with far-flung opponents. All you need is a mobile device or a web browser with many options being free or sold at discount bundles during this time.
Some of our favorite include:
- Online Monopoly
Monopoly is a classic rainy-day game, and it wouldn’t surprise us if it became a classic quarantine game as well. The app allows up to four players, but other than that, the game is the same. Who knows, maybe with all this extra time we have, we’ll actually finish a few games.
This classic game is available to play online for free via gaming portal Solitaire Paradise. Register for an account to compete with friends or other online users. For a more high-tech experience, download the official Monopoly app through the App Store or Google Play.
An excellent virtual card game can do a lot to make you feel like you’re having a fun night in with your friends. While the game itself is pretty straightforward, the app takes the classic card game to the next level with tournaments, adventures, and new ways to play. Buddy up with a friend in 2v2 mode and use teamwork to win the game. If you have a little more time, get a tournament going.
This one’s good for those that have terrible poker faces. Similar to the game Balderdash, you make up answers to a question and hope that your friends believe your answer is the real one. The more friends you convince, the more points you get.
Virtual happy hour:
Missing your sister outings? Shopping sprees with your mother-in-law? A happy hour is a perfect way to make up for it. Choose a platform, create a meeting time, and send out invites to friends or loved ones. Then, gather together with a snack and catch up – from across town, or across the world.
We strongly recommend having a structure or theme so all attendees will want to participate and have fun!
Virtual book club:
Don’t let social distancing get in the way of good books, good friends, and good wine.
Bookclubz is a free website perfect for all your book club management needs. It offers an impressive range of features, including messaging, meeting schedules, polling, and even RSVP tracking. It keeps track of your reading history, file uploads, and reading recommendations.
The app has over 50,000 members in 12,000 book clubs around the globe. A book club is the perfect way to keep things interesting during this time.
Although you might not be going to parties anytime soon, Houseparty brings the party to your house.
Houseparty is a video chat app with loads of features to enhance your experience. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play and create your account. Add your best friends, use the chat feature, and start your own party. You can choose to ‘lock the room’ and have a private conversation or leave your party open for friends. The facemail feature lets you record a highlight of your party to send to friends who missed out. If you love a game night, trivia, Pictionary and Heads Up are available to play as a group.
Get competitive with mobile games:
- Trivia Crack
Trivia Crack is currently available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. It’s a trivia quiz where players answer questions in subjects including entertainment, art, science, history, and geography, chosen by spinning an on-screen wheel.
- Words With Friends
A favorite for a reason, Words With Friends, allows you to show off your vocabulary skills. Players take turns building words crossword-puzzle style. Play with friends or join a random game with other app users.
- Fight List
In fight list, players compete against other gamers to think of as many answers as possible to a category (“things that come in the mail,” “US presidents”). Whoever wins three out of five rounds wins the game. You have the option of playing against real-world friends or competing with strangers.
It’s crucial to remember that just because we have been instructed to physical distance doesn’t mean our connection with others has to disappear. In 2020 there are so many ways to stay social and in touch with those we love; we just have to get creative!