As the workforce shifts online during the pandemic, video conferencing tools are a key part of the digital office, however, these platforms are also great for gameplay and connecting with friends and family members.
1. Zoom Bingo
Bingo is one of the more popular video conference games at the moment. That’s because the game transitions well to the virtual setting and is conducive to both small and large groups. It’s easy enough to make a bingo card at home with common household items, although there are bingo cards available on Amazon for those so inclined. There are a surprising amount of online bingo number generators to help streamline the process and some of these apps provide a recap of numbers already called to minimize confusion.
The classic dice-rolling game is perfect for Zoom due to its simplicity, although you will of course need five dice to play. Yahtzee is very easy to pick up on the fly and is a tremendous option for all ages, especially larger families with mixed ages participating. The original scorecard is fairly straightforward for tallying points and making a simplified version should only take a few minutes to finagle.
Chess has been the long-distance game of choice for centuries. In the days of yesteryear, chess was a popular game many friends played via mail, penning letters with an individual move included in each correspondence, the game slowly playing out over the course of months. Fortunately, with modern tools like Zoom individuals can play and socialize in real-time. Chess translates rather well to Zoom compared to some other classic board games and there are many options for online head-to-head chess play.
Scattergories is not as well known as the other options on this list, but this multiplayer game is a cult classic in some gaming circles. Gameplay all revolves around a template sheet with a series of general clues and categories. Players must use a pre-selected letter of the alphabet (this letter changes every round) to start each answer to the given clues. A timer adds a little pressure to mix.
Charades is one of the livelier options on this list for those looking to add a little energy to their game night. In Charades, one player draws a card then pantomimes this clue, and their teammates attempt to guess the mystery word. Each correct guess scores a point and these points are tallied after a predetermined number of rounds. There’s a free Charades app available in the App Store and Google Play to assist, but it’s just as easy for each team member to have a timer and word generator open in a separate tab during play.
Playing Pictionary can get a little tricky without the traditional gameboard, but there are a few digital hacks to upgrade the overall experience. Nonetheless, it is possible to forgo the traditional play without too much trouble. First, teams will need to determine a point goal rather than traversing the traditional Pictionary board. Zoom has a handy whiteboard feature to help with sharing real-time drawings.
Farkle is another lesser-known dice game for Zoom. To start, you’ll need six dice, scratch paper, and a pen to track point totals. Scoring is fairly straight forward. Different dice combinations award various point totals with rare dice combinations tallying more points. Additionally, if a player scores with all of their dice on a roll, they can roll again. This is called being “hot” and this feature makes it possible to rack up points in a hurry. Scoring is cumulative, so players will need to agree on a point threshold before the game begins. Farkle is also one of those games that everyone seems to play differently.