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You can turn your home into an office space, a workout studio, or a professional kitchen, but I reckon the thing you wish you could turn it into right now is a social gathering. While that may not be possible to do physically as things currently stand, there are plenty of resources out there to help you do just that virtually. So put on those headsets, turn on your monitors, and dive right into our selection of the best virtual games you can play right now.

Board Game Video Call

Without getting too technical with consoles, subscriptions, or network sharing, the simplest and most effective way to host a game night is to host a game night. Meaning, you can dig up a board game and play with friends virtually over a video call as if they were right there with you. Services like Skype or Zoom will let you host video conference calls for free, so you can set up your monitor, phone screen, or even the TV screen in front of the board game table and commence the night’s festivities! Of course, your friends will have to trust that you will move their game pieces accordingly…but that’s a discussion for a different kind of post.

If you don’t have the ability to set up a video call, there’s still a way! TextNow will allow you to set up a conference call with up to four other contacts (for free!), so your game night can easily turn into a trivia night without sacrificing any of your budget.

Jackbox

A popular option for real-time interactive games—if you have the resources— is Jackbox. The premise is simple: buy a game, set up a private game room with a code that you share with your friends, who then join on their phones (no app download necessary). Everyone plays the same game at the same time. The games range in variety and difficulty, and in prices as well. Some start at $0, and can go up to $20.99.

If you want to make it a truly interactive experiences, start the game on your laptop, hop on your favourite video conference tool and use the screen share function to share the game’s screen with your friends. From there, you can all react in real-time and keep tabs on who’s who, and who’s secretly trying to cheat. Quiplash is quickly emerging to be a favourite of the TextNow team’s virtual game nights, and we highly recommend that you try it if you can!

Quiplash
Some of us went all out on their home office, it would seem

Mobile Games

Well-organized game nights are fun, but perhaps you’re feeling the need to stay connected with less restrictions. Inviting friends to challenges on mobile games such as Words With Friends , Trivia Crack, maybe even just a classic chess match can make the time pass a lot quicker. You can play anytime you have a free moment, and leave whenever you need to without losing any progress. While some games may require purchase, most will be available on your PlayStore or App Store for free. And if you feel the need to rub a particularly spectacular win in your opponent’s face, TextNow’s free unlimited texting can fulfill it anytime, anywhere.

If you’re on the lookout for more social distancing tips, check out our list of the best free fitness apps, and recommended wellness apps.

 

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