Best online games and multiplayer apps to play with friends

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that much of England will be subject to tighter restrictions from Thursday, December 31, with Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle among cities moving to level 4, meaning that gyms, restaurants and bars will close; and that indoor socialization is prohibited.

With three-quarters of England under these ‘stay home’ orders and almost everything else down to strict Level 3, that means many of us will have plenty of evenings and weekends ahead of us.

As these strict restrictions continue to be enforced to tackle the rapid rise in coronavirus cases in the UK, you are likely to be feeling a bit agitated by the lack of social interaction looming on the horizon. .

Fortunately, staying social while distancing yourself has never been easier thanks to an almost endless array of chat apps and online games that can help you stay connected while being isolated.

Even the World Health Organization urges everyone to stay home and play games, so here’s our pick of the best.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commissions from some retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real world testing and expert advice. These revenues help us fund journalism through The independent.

Houseparty didn’t have much of an impact when it launched in 2016, but since the isolation measures took effect, it has become a cultural phenomenon.

As the name suggests, it offers a way to hang out and party with friends while being cut off at home.

Houseparty’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent weeks

(House party)

In addition to simultaneous video calls, Houseparty comes with in-app games for playing while chatting. There are also separate virtual “rooms” that users can switch between, such as at a real house party.

It has annoying features – like constantly bombarding users with notifications – but these can be fixed by playing around with settings.

The social video app is free and only requires an email address and phone number to create an account.

Despite Facebook’s disastrous reputation for protecting people’s personal information, it remains – by far – the most popular and feature-rich social network.

Facebook’s Gaming tab is one of the main reasons it continues to attract and retain users as it provides a way to play games with contacts or the over 2 billion users of the. platform.

The feature migrated from Facebook Messenger last year, where it was previously hosted in the Instant Games section of the messaging app.

It includes classics like Pac-Man and Space Invaders, as well as 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 suitable for playing on tablets and phones.

Not all of them have been completely successful in transitioning from the table to digital, as some do not allow players to join their friends online.

Unlike other online games, you will have to pay to play Monopoly

Among those who have achieved this are Risk, Uno and Monopoly, although unlike most of the other online games listed here, they often come at a cost.

Words With Friends was already well established long before the coronavirus forced people inside, having surfed one of the very first waves of viral game apps in 2009 alongside Angry Birds and Doodle Jump.

Essentially a Scrabble clone designed for phones, it comes with an interface designed to interact online.

Words With Friends is so addicting that once Alec Baldwin was thrown from a plane

It is also possible to join a random game with other users of the app, so despite the name, you are not limited to playing only with friends.

The 2017 sequel provides a familiar sanctuary for millions of people who are already familiar with the franchise.

The world’s largest quiz app features 1,200 topics with over 600,000 questions to challenge people on everything from general knowledge to basic math problems.

Quiz Up offers the option of playing head-to-head battles against friends or starting entire tournaments against people.

This app is also designed to help connect people who share the same interests – and there are millions of people using it on both. Android and ios.

Players can adjust their settings to find other people to test themselves again, while each topic comes with its own community where members can post to their favorite quizzes or even create their own.

The selection of board games offered by Jackbox Games makes this collection without doubt the best option to organize a good game night.

Its catalog includes the very popular drawing game Drawn 2, the challenge of the witty word Quiplash, and the game of bluff Fibbage.

These games are designed for online streaming, with one person able to launch a game for up to 10,000 (!) Guests.

Drawful 2 has been compared to an improved version of Pictionary

(Jackbox Games)

In 2015, Jackbox Editorial Director Steve Heinrich wrote in a blog post: “Our goal is to continue to create board games that anyone – and maybe one day, literally anyone – can play. just by pulling out his phone. “

As part of a Covid-19 promotion, Jackbox Games is offering Drawful 2 for three weeks. Helpfully, Jackbox has also provided a comprehensive guide to 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 can be as close to an actual party as it is possible to get. .

For more ways to keep yourself entertained, read our A roundup of all the streaming services you need to know

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions we earn income if you click on the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to distort our coverage. Reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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