Technically now people can go outside in a lot more cities across the U.S. but why would you? As a philosopher once said about the great indoors, “Everything I could ever want is right here.”
SpongeBob is right. You could go outside, but that requires actually putting pants on and we’ve all gotten pretty lax on that. Still, the best part about venturing past the confines of your bedroom usually means that you get to see your friends but it’s the 21st century. Flying cars exist and you can see your friends virtually.
Houseparty | Download it here
This app allows friends to video chat and play games at the same time. You can choose from an Apples-to-Apples knock-off, trivia, and even a Pictionary-type game. Some of the activities can get a bit repetitive in the free version, but there are so many different things to choose from that you rarely feel bored.
Roll 20 | Find it Here
This one requires a little bit more work and a friend who’s willing to lead your world.
Now is the perfect time to play that game of Dungeons & Dragons that you’ve always wanted to try. You’ll need to dedicate one of your friends as the Dungeon Master and they’ll create a world. You’ll create your character to go into it. There are a ton of resources online but D&D and Beyond is a good place to start learning.
You’ll also need an avatar to show off your character. Not to brag, but I’m a level one druid elf and I am flawless. Rinmaru Games works really well for creating mystical creatures because it allows you to customize every detail right down to birthmarks.
Bunch | Download it here
Don’t let the models in the picture throw you off (no one is that cheerful in a video call), this brings real fun. It’s pretty similar to Houseparty because you can chat on the screen while you play, but offers different games. You can play pool, almost defeat Flappy Lives (it’s like Flappy Bird but not in a way it can’t get sued!), and race to the top of Mars.
Tabletopia | Find it Here
Recreate your favorite board game-themed bar (I miss you, Brooklyn) by spending $50 on two beers and pulling up a classic like Backgammon or a random RPG. Your friends will all have to create accounts for free and there isn’t a way to talk while you play, but you can always pull up Zoom in the background.
Some of the more than 900 games on Tabletopia do require you to pay a fee, but plenty of them are free or have free trials. Free games to check out include Trust Me I’m a Doctor (you all play as old-timey doctors curing folks with cocaine) and Sub-Terra, a cooperative survival horror game.
If you can’t find the perfect game for your friend group, there’s even a feature that allows you to create your own.
Netflix Party | Download it here
This one’s not a game, but offers movie nights from miles away. Netflix Party is a chrome extension that allows friends to watch films in synch. It doesn’t offer a video call feature, but does have a chat box for discussing all the twists and turns of the latest dramatic content. It’s great if you haven’t caught up on Riverdale and need someone there with you to vent to.
Club Penguin … Kind of | Find it here
Your childhood is back. This fan-made version is a recreation of the classic game but not associated with Disney. It has all the chats, games, and puffles your little, cold heart could need.
Exploding Kittens App | Download it here
The description says it all: “Exploding Kittens is a multiplayer card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.”
The physical game raised almost $9 million in 2015 and now it’s available virtually. It’s basically Russian Roulette with cats and you can play with up to five total friends at once. The app features card types that aren’t in the physical game, so it’s even good for those who have been kitten around for the past five years.
Catan Universe | Find it here
For friends who miss their RPG game nights try journeying into the world of Catan online. The digital game offers a new look at the classic with the basic board game right on your screen.