The pandemic has inevitably changed the way we socialize. A social gathering with friends and family, a friendly reunion at a local pub, a date night at a favourite restaurant seems to be a thing of the past now. They’re continuing to replace Zoom meetings, video calls on WhatsApp, and Facetime. But it’s bound to get monotonous over time. How long can a group of people go on with just watching each other on tiny boxes on a mobile screen? So, here’s a fun list of games to play on Facetime that is sure to enliven your digital meet-ups.
A list of games to play on Facetime:
This classic party game is the first on the list of games to play on Facetime. It’s simple to learn and easy to play. Since the game has heavy resources, it’s not all that hard to adapt it to a digital format. Charades are the ultimate test of compatibility like it’s always been.
How to play:
The rules are fairly similar to the original version. You’ll first need to divide yourselves into teams of two and decide on a topic. For instance, if the topic was movies, the first team decides on a movie and messages it to one of the members of the opposite team. This person will then try to act the movie and hopefully make his/ her teammate guess the film within a specified time period. This cycle continues as the second team suggests a movie to the first. Whichever team gets the most answers correct is declared the winner and wins the ultimate bragging rights.
Like Charades, Pictionary is a cakewalk to get started off with because it only needs a piece of paper and a pen. Contrary to popular belief, you need not have to be good at drawing in order to play this game. It’s more about imagination and lateral thinking and hence makes for a great facetime game.
To make up for the fact that you aren’t going to be seeing your teammates in real life, you can always draw the clues on a piece of paper and hold them in front of the camera. In case you think it’s cumbersome, you can always use a web application like Skribbl.io, where an algorithm takes care of sorting out the clues and points of the contestants. You could also end up installing the Houseparty application on your phone, which comes with a wide variety of games, including Pictionary.
How to use Skribbl.io
Log into the webpage and pick a character of your choosing. When it’s your turn to draw, pick one word from a choice of three. Start drawing using the picture board present on the screen. Your friends try to guess the word within a specified time period, usually a minute. You’re awarded points based on the number of people that got the answer right. The same rule applies when you’re trying to guess an answer. The quicker you guess an answer correctly, the higher are the points you secure. Whoever scores the maximum points after the end of all the rounds is declared the winner.
3) 20 questions
20 Questions is a popular facetime game to many who’re looking for games to play on Facetime. While it was primarily played during a laborious, long drive, it’s now being taken over by Zoom or Cisco WebEx.
How to play?
The objective of the game is trying to make others guess the object or a person by only having them asking yes/no questions. Whoever uses the least number of questions to get to the person or object wins. So, for instance, if the personality is Steve Jobs, you’d probably start off with the gender of the person. Then, move into their field of work and whatever demographic they cater to. You can then fixate on a specific niche and see if that takes you closer to the answer.
4) Two Truths and A Lie
Akin to the other games mentioned in the list, this game can also be played on Facetime, thanks to its simplistic gameplay. The rules are pretty straightforward. Every playing member comes up with three statements about themselves, out of which two are true, and one is false. The rest of the participants try to guess the wrong statement. Try to remember to maintain the same tone when listing down all the statements. But you can always throw your fellow participants off by intentionally deviating from the tone while stating something that is, in fact, true.
Two Truths and A Lie is a fun way to know people around you. It’s light-hearted, exciting, and always helps to loosen up people and get rid of their social inhibitions.
5) Would you rather?
‘Would you Rather?’ is a great example of a fun game to play with friends over Facetime. It can serve as a great ice-breaking activity, especially when working with large groups of unfamiliar people.
How to play?
As the same suggests, the game’s objective is to present two options to a person and see what they end up picking. You can then tell them what you’d have picked and have a conversation about why they chose the specific option.
For instance, you can ask them, “Would you rather stay in and get cozy with a book or go out and party with friends on the weekend?”. This answer reveals a lot about someone’s personality. The questions can get progressively absurd to make things more fun once you’re both comfortable with each other.
In case you can’t think of any questions on your own, there are a number of websites on the Internet that offer to help. ‘Would you rather?’ works great for first dates when you’re trying to find more about your date without coming across as too intrusive.
Geoguessr is a relatively new addition to this list of games to play on Facetime. A significant amount of resources might be required for this and will take time to get used to. But, if you were a major geography nerd in school, this is the perfect activity for you.
How to play?
You’ll first need to create an account on Geoguessr. Once you’ve logged in, there are multiple options to choose from. Country streak is probably the easiest mode for beginners.
The game will show you a satellite picture of a place, and the objective is to determine what country it could be. Use the arrows on the screen to navigate and look out for any clues that might indicate its location. Signboards, license plates of cars, flags are the obvious ones. Once you’ve figured out the country, click on the map on the right bottom corner of the screen and choose the right place.
Once you’ve mastered this mode, you can then move on to the distance battle. Here, you’re not only required to guess the country but pinpoint the exact location of the country. The closer you are, the more points you earn.
Geoguessr also offers a real-time online battle mode where you fight against other players trying to guess the place. However, you will need a premium account to enjoy this feature. You can only play a single game per day with a free account.
Tips to perfect your game
- Look out for which side the cars are driving. You can then start eliminating countries based on whether it’s right-hand drive or left-hand drive.
- Try to pick up scripts and languages. It’s a valuable trick that helps you narrow down to a few countries. For instance, if you’re looking at the Cyrillic alphabet, you’re likely to be in Russia, Bulgaria, or Ukraine.
- Pay attention to the street signs. Some of them are extremely specific to a region or a country. In Brazil, the roads usually have a prefix of the state. So, if you see RJ on one of the signs, you’re likely to be in Rio de Janeiro.
- Be on the lookout for any mentions of email addresses on shop fronts or trucks. They’re usually specific to a particular country.
While all of this sounds like a lot of effort for a game, it actually does get easier as and when you play.
7) Cards against Humanity
Cards against Humanity markets itself as a game for horrible people. Originally a card game, it involves choosing the most offensive card in response to a prompt. Unlike other games, Cards against Humanity incentivizes being inappropriate.
Fortunately, they now have an online version that you can play with friends on Facetime. So, get ready for an outrageously fun session with your besties.
Psych is a ridiculously fun game to play with your friends. It consists of participants trying to come up with fake answers to an actual trivia question.
You can get points by two methods- by either choosing the right answer to the question or by fooling your fellow participants into choosing the answer that you’ve entered. The one with the maximum points at the end of a stipulated number of rounds wins.
Be mindful of the fact that it is a freemium game. So, you’ll need to pay actual money to unlock more features. Some of the other categories include “And the truth comes out,” where there is no real answer, and “Movie buff,” where you’re required to describe the plot of a movie as creatively as possible.
9) Never Have I Ever
Though originally a bar game played over multiple shots of alcohol, this game can easily adapt into a format that you can play over Facetime or Zoom.
The shots are replaced with a show of hands. Like the original game, one person states something that they’ve never done before. Like, for example, “Never have I ever flown out of the country”. Those that have raised their hands and the format continues on.
The fun with Never have I Ever lies in the question that progressively gets raunchier. You begin to slowly realize that your somewhat decent friend may not be one after all. It combines the spontaneity of Truth or Dares with the insight that Two Truths and a Lie offers.
Battleship for years has been the gold standard of a fun, easy to play strategy board game. The great thing about Battleship is that you don’t need to own the board game to play. A pen and a piece of paper should do. This aspect makes it a great option to play over a video call.
How to play?
The objective of the game is to sink your opponent’s ships before they sink yours. There are essentially five different types of ships. They are:
- Aircraft carrier- occupies 5 spaces
- Battleship- occupies 4 spaces
- Cruiser- occupies 3 spaces
- Submarine- also occupies 3 spaces
- Destroyer- occupies 2 spaces
You place these ships over your field in any manner you please, either vertically or horizontally. Some prefer to stick to the edges of the board, but others prefer the center to throw off their opponents.
Once you’re both done placing your ships on the board, you start calling out positions from the battlefield. Your opponent will tell you if it was a hit or a miss. You get to continue until a miss. Once you get a guess wrong, your opponent switches to calling out positions and so on and so forth. The first one to destroy all the ships is declared the champion.
In case you’re confused about designing a grid, there are multiple websites from where you can find a pre-made grid. You can just take a printout of it and use it as a reference for all your games.
11) Complete the story
The game is fairly self-explanatory. Creativity and spontaneity are put to the test in this activity. The rules are pretty simple. You start off with a single line, and the next person continues the story by adding another line and so on. There aren’t any limitations to the number of participants.
What makes this game so enticing is that the story can change in an instant. What starts off as a heart-warming story of star-crossed lovers could soon transform into horror when they get locked up in an abandoned building or a frantic thriller where they’re desperately trying to escape from the clutches of a serial killer. It’s almost impossible to predict how the story will end.
12) What if?
This game also requires loads of creativity. The entire game hinges on coming up with imaginary scenarios like being shipwrecked alone on an island or being the only survivor of a fatal air crash.
‘What If?‘ offers a rare opportunity to insert yourself into situations that you’re unlikely to face in real life. You also end up getting an insight into how someone’s mind functions in the time of a crisis, even if it’s something that’s heavily simulated.
13) Last Letter
This road-trip favorite can also be played over Facetime, thanks to the less/no resources required to play the same. It’s something that is likely to appeal to everyone irrespective of how old they are.
How to play?
You’ll first need to pick a category. This category could be something broad like places or something relatively specific like scientists.
Assuming that the topic was scientists, the first person would probably call out Albert Einstein. The next person will need to think of a scientist whose name starts from the last letter of whatever the person before them said (n in this case). This continues until one person is unable to guess another person/object that belongs to the predetermined category.
14) What’s missing?
If you’re someone who takes pride in your ability to memorize things, then this is definitely the game for you. Grab about 9-10 objects from your room and place them in front of your laptop or computer screen. Make sure that the objects can be seen clearly by your opponent.
Once you’ve ensured that all the objects are visible, ask them to take a close look at all of them. Start a timer and give them a minute or so. After this, ask them to close their eyes and remove one object from the bundle of stuff in front of them.
Your opponent scores a point if they correctly guess the object you removed. Next, the roles switch, and you’ll be the one guessing the objects. You can make things progressively harder by shortening the duration of time that each of you gets to take a close look at the objects.
15) Sell it to me
Sell it to me is a classic improv game that is the benchmark of spontaneity. You’re given a seemingly random object, and it’s up to you to pitch the product in a manner that appeals to everyone on the video call.
Once you’re done pitching the product, your friends will need to give you a score out of 10 based on how convinced they were by the product pitch. These scores are tabulated, and the one with the most points at the end of all the pitches wins. He/she will get to enjoy the fruits of their labor and get the title of a master salesman.
So, that was a nearly exhaustive list of the games to play on Facetime. These games are more important given the current situation. Two truths and lies, Charades, and Complete the story, are all excellent options if you don’t want to spend money or your precious time on resources. But, if you’re willing to, then try giving games like Geoguessr a try. Either way, there’s loads of fun waiting for you!