Screen time in the age of Coronavirus is up more than 70 percent globally. If you’re reading this, you’re probably contributing that mind-blowing statistic. And if you’re like the rest of us stuck inside and going crazy, mobile games have become your best friend. With lock-downs in effect pretty much everywhere, we’re all united by that essential little device in our hands. People are using games to stay connected with each other instead of just relying on the old social media standbys. Ludo King, for example, has reported daily active users in the millions. So if that’s one of the multiplayer app games you’re addicted to (and tired of losing every time), you might be in the market for something new to play with your friends while you’re all stuck in quarantine.
If you’re looking for a free game to play with your friends, look no further.
If you haven’t downloaded Houseparty yet, you’re going to want to do that right now. The most popular app in the App Store and Play Store since Corona hit, Houseparty does just what the name implies. You can connect with any number of friends in a large-scale video chat, much like Zoom, and have a virtual party. However, what makes Houseparty so great are the games you can play with your friends during your video chat. It has a few different games to choose from, like a Pictionary-style drawing and guessing game, Heads Up! (a virtual spin on the party classic where one person describes the word so that the other players can try to guess), and more. Houseparty is the perfect way to stay connected.
Othello is a strategy board game for two players, where the goal is to reverse the majority of the pieces on the board to reflect your color. It’s incredibly easy to learn, but you won’t ever run out of ways to play. Strategy is key here, so learning new tricks and tips will make you an Othello force to be reckoned with. The official app version does this classic strategy game justice, and within no time you’ll be hooked. Hone your tactics and work on thinking long-term about each move, and you’ll work your way onto global leader-boards. Or just earn bragging rights among friends and family.
Here’s a classic turn-based strategy game that’s sure to heat up competition with your friends. For those of you who’ve never played before, the goal of Risk is simple: world domination. No big deal. The classic table-top board game can take hours, but this multiplayer app game version is a perfect casual, turn-based game to play with your friends in your own time. Place troops, send them to battle, and conquer countries and continents to grow your army and defeat other players.
Thinking long-term is key to your strategy, and there’s nothing more satisfying than loading up on troops, dropping them on one spot, and setting out on an epic battle through country after country, wiping your opponents from existence. Your friends will probably hate you, but you’ll feel super proud of your global takeover nonetheless.
Uno! is a classic card game we all know and love. Try to be the first to lay down all of your cards and use special cards to keep your opponents from doing so. The app version lets you play with friends online using the classic mode or any of the other game modes available on the app, like Buddy Mode, where teams of two try and work together to win. Perfect for virtual game night, Uno! is just what your quarantine has been missing.
The inventors of scrabble didn’t know this when they invented it, but Scrabble was made for the digital age. It’s the ideal app for taking turns at your leisure so you can at least pretend to be productive while playing. The goal is simply to score the most points by playing words, and you can optimize each score by placing tiles on multiplier squares that will double or triple your total word score or the value of individual letters. Show off your extensive vocabulary and impress your friends with triple digit scoring words. Or just get lucky with a strategically placed “X” or “Q.”
If you’ve never played Carrom, you should really consider giving this app version a try. It’s like pool meets air hockey. The goal is to land as many of your pieces in the pockets by shooting a striker coin at other coins on the table and aiming for one of the four pockets in the corners, with the goal to sink as many as you can in the time allotted. The app lets you play in Classic Mode with CPUs or human players online. Flex your geometry muscles by using angles to your advantage. Maybe practice a few times against a CPU and then hustle your friends. Either way, you’re definitely going to get addicted.
Dots and Boxes
A time-honored board game, dots and boxes is fun for literally everyone. Just draw lines between boxes and try to close more boxes than your opponent. It’s seriously so easy a monkey could do it. And playing it with a monkey would probably make you TikTok famous. But if you don’t have a monkey on hand, just face off against friends online. It’ll be the best time-suck you didn’t know you needed.