10 classic games you can play on video chat

Emily Voneman

While you may not be able to visit your friends and family for game night, there are plenty of fun games that are compatible with Zoom meetings and Skype calls. Whether it’s a group favorite or a new adventure, here are 10 classic games that you can have a blast playing with others online.

  1. Trivial Pursuit – This classic board game tests players’ knowledge of pop culture. The object of the game is to move around the board by correctly answering tricky trivia questions. All you need is one person who owns the board game; the trivia cards can be shown to the other players over video, and the designated person can move each players’ respective game piece around the board as necessary.
  2. Pictionary – Another timeless classic, this game involves guessing what another player is trying to communicate through pictures that they draw. Correct guesses allow you to advance on the game board, and the first to make it to the “finish” square wins. All you need is a writing utensil and paper, and one player who owns the board game.
  3. Trophies – This game is a quick and simple game to play that can accommodate as many as 30 players. The premise is very easy to understand: A judge holds the deck of cards with a topic and a letter, and the first to shout a word that both starts with that letter and relates to the topic wins a trophy card. Be the player with the most trophy cards at the end of the game to win – you guessed it – a trophy!
  4. Charades – This easy-to-play and entertaining word-guessing game is always a crowd-pleaser. Set a timer, act out a secret word or phrase, and try to get your team to guess what the unknown term is before time runs out. As long as you have a working webcam or camera, this game can be seamlessly transitioned to video chat.
  5. Wits and Wagers – This is another trivia game with an interesting twist: no one is supposed to know the real answer to the question, but you and your group can have a blast seeing who makes the closest guess. Over video chat, all you need to do is have the players write their answers on a piece of paper and reveal them at the right time. Then, the host of the game copies those answers down on papers of their own, rearranges them, and shows them on screen to allow the players to call out their bets.
  6. Yahtzee – As long as every player has their own set of five dice, this game works well on video chat. You can find scoring sheets with a simple online search. Players take turns rolling the dice, trying to rack up the highest score by the end of all 13 rounds. Each turn, you can roll up to 3 times and choose which outcome you want to keep.
  7. Scattergories – Scattergories, similar in concept to Trophies, is a creative-thinking game where players race against time to write down as many terms as possible that start with a certain letter and relate to each topic on a list. As long as someone has a timer and everyone has a way to write their answers, this game works well on a video chatting platform.
  8. Bingo – There are several creative ways to play this classic game of chance with your friends and family. For example, combine it with movie night if you have a way to broadcast a film to everyone. Come up with a bunch of terms or topics that may come up in the movie or show you’re going to watch, have each player create their boards, and press play. Whoever is the first to have five terms on their board in a row that are mentioned in the show or movie wins.
  9. Heads Up! – In the original game, players fastened a card to their foreheads with a word on it. Only the other players know what the word is, and your goal is to guess your own word and help the other players guess theirs using hints. Over video chat, the only thing that players need is a phone and another device, such as a computer or tablet. On the cell phone, download the Heads Up! app, and use the other device to join the video chat. Players put the phone to their foreheads with the screen facing out, and the phone will display their hidden word. Once they’ve guessed it, they put the phone screen-down and then back on their forehead, and the app will display a new word.
  10. Things – In this fun group game, the “caller” calls out wacky categories, such as “Things you shouldn’t chase” or “Things that don’t swim”. Players privately message their answers to the caller, who then reads them out without revealing who sent them. Everyone then gets to guess which one of their friends or family members sent in each answer.

Remember that social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time with your friends. Stay safe and have fun!