The best games to play on Zoom
This page was translated using AI and machine learning.
(Pocket-lint) – We’re all turning to video conferencing to stay in touch with people. Less time going out, more time online, with many choosing Zoom for entertainment.
There are plenty of reasons why Zoom has floated to the top of the video conferencing pile, not least because in its basic form it’s free to use – although Google Meet may offer a handy alternative that’s also free.
But what can you do on Zoom? Here are some ideas to entertain you.
The classic quiz
We’ve written a lot about how to host a quiz on Zoom, but it’s a perfect use of what was originally a business tool. Being able to share a presentation from your computer, including music, means you can run a quiz very easily – with the benefit of being able to reach many people at the same time. It’s great for 15-20 people in different teams to get involved, so don’t be afraid to think big!
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A classic board game, you can really take advantage of video conferencing to make Charades work. You’ll need some performance space – and lots of light so the video isn’t too grainy – but using something like a Charades generator on your phone you can easily ask the performer come up with an idea and act on it for the rest of their team to guess. Those on the video call can watch, keep track of time, and make sure there’s no cheating! If you both have a deck of Charades cards at home, even better. It’s a great game for bringing the two halves of a separated family together, and great for getting kids involved.
Another simple game that works great through Zoom, which has a built-in whiteboard feature. To access it, just start Zoom and press the Share Screen button and you will see the option for Whiteboard. There’s a lot of functions out there and you’ll have to decide exactly what you can use (don’t just write it down…), but there’s room for a little more fun while you draw your responnse. You can either draw for everyone to guess, or work as a team on each side in different houses. It’s great fun for kids and adults alike and you can either use the cards from a Pictionary set at home or use an online word generator on your phone.
If you really want to get the kids excited, scavenger hunts work great. You will need a large group, or many children in several different homes, and one person as a host. The host simply calls out what he needs to find, sending the kids running around the house to get what’s been asked for – a spoon, something pink, your duvet. It’s best for parents to stay away – just let grandma call out the treasures for the grandkids to find.
Oh yes, if you have around 20 people, then Zoom is perfect for playing Guess Who? You must have access to the Gallery view for this to work. It also works very well with the treasure hunt above and now we will explain why. You will need someone to control the game, everyone else being participants. To make sure people look different, it’s good to have hats, glasses, scarves and other accessories – that’s where the scavenger hunt comes in (hunting can be find a hat, sunglasses, etc.) before making sure you have all the participants looking slightly different.
The game controller then chooses the person the others are trying to guess – but doesn’t tell anyone. Then you play through the game as you normally would, with each participant taking turns asking these common questions – is it a girl, is it a boy, do they have beards, do they wear a hat, etc. . The controller answers these questions yes or no. To eliminate people from the game (like flipping the picture card in Guess Who?), they simply turn off their camera, leaving the remaining characters still in the game. Through a process of elimination, you can go down to the last character.
When someone is eliminated they can still guess their turn and the controller just has to make sure the right people have their cameras turned off for the game to continue. This is a great game for groups of children.
Another fun family board game, Articulate! sees players describe words for others to guess. Of course you can’t tell what the word is, you have to use your language. This works well when you have lots of people in different locations, with the host or game master able to send the words either via direct message in Zoom (using the Chat function) if people are in different houses, or if you have groups of people in one place, through their phones. It’s really about involving everyone.
For something a little calmer, Chess is an easy game to play on Zoom. Sure, you can already play chess online, or via any form of messaging, but sitting down to spend time talking to a distant loved one, both with a chessboard, will bring you closer. Don’t forget to move the pieces on both boards to find out what happens. Even better, you can play over multiple days – just leave the board setup with all those pieces in place. This at least gives you time to plan your winning strategy.
It’s interactive, it’s fun and it’s (almost) easy for all ages. Just make sure you both have a printed grid so you know what you’re shooting, then just read the reference of the square you want to hit and mark it. The best advice here is to keep track of where you shot the enemy so you don’t hit the same square more than once!
Probably the most popular board game, almost everyone has Monopoly. Like Chess above, all you have to do is set it up, create space for the computer to be a shared experience, and play. Of course, you’ll need two bankers, one in each room, who will also need to make sure there aren’t people on either team trying to buy Mayfair, and make sure those remote transactions between players work. You will also need to move around the board in both locations and extinguish these houses as they are built. Yes, some chance cards and community chest cards will be duplicated, and some parts of the game won’t quite work – but who cares?
Written by Chris Hall.