This photo is used for illustrative purpose.
Gulf Today Report
Finished all your puzzles? Played those board games 10 times each? Learned a new skill? Baked up a storm in your kitchen?
Still feeling bored and don’t know what to do next? How about turning your attention towards the online world which has a near-endless array of chat and gaming apps that can help keep you connected while in isolation.
Staying social while social distancing has never been easier. Even the World Health Organisation is urging everyone to stay at home and play games, so here’s our pick of the best.
Alongside simultaneous video calls, Houseparty comes with in-app games to play while chatting. There are also separate virtual “rooms” that users can switch between, just like at a real house party. It does have some annoying features — like constantly bombarding users with notifications — but these can be fixed by fiddling with the settings. The social video app is free to use, requiring just an email address and phone number to set up an account.
Facebook’s Gaming tab is one of the key reasons it continues to attract and keep hold of users, as it offers a way to play games with contacts or the more than two billion users of the platform. It comes with classics like Pac-Man and Space Invaders, alongside more modern games like Farmville and Super Dash.
Classic board game apps
Almost all classic board games have an online equivalent, often with identical gameplay adapted for playing on tablets and phones. Among those that have achieved this include Risk, Uno and Monopoly, though unlike many of the other online games listed here they often come at a cost.
Words With Friends 2
Words With Friends was already well established long before coronavirus forced people indoors, having ridden one of the first ever waves of viral game apps in 2009 alongside the likes of Angry Birds and Doodle Jump. Essentially a Scrabble clone built for phones, it comes with an interface designed for interacting online.
It is also possible to join a random game with other app users, so despite the name you’re not actually limited to playing just with friends. The 2017 sequel offers a familiar sanctuary for millions of people who are already acquainted with the franchise.
The biggest trivia app in the world features 1,200 topics containing more than 600,000 questions to challenge people on everything from general knowledge to basic maths problems. Quiz Up offers the chance to play head-to-head battles against friends of start entire tournaments against people. This app is also built to help connect people who share the same interests — and there’s millions of people using it on both Android and iOS.
The selection of party games offered by Jackbox Games includes the wildly popular drawing game Drawful 2, the witty word challenge Quiplash, and the bluffing game Fibbage.
These games are built for online streaming play, with one person capable of firing up a game for up to 10,000 (!) guests. Helpfully, Jackbox has also provided a complete guide for how to play with friends and family remotely.
It involves setting up a video conference through apps like Zoom or Google Hangouts — so requires a decent internet connection — but once set up it might be as close to a real-life party that it’s possible to get.
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