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Gaming is one of those great activities you can do with people without having to physically be in their presence. And since we’re all physically distancing ourselves from one another right now, there’s no better way to help keep each other amused than by playing some games together.
So here are a few games you can play with your friends, each from the comfort of your own homes.
Keep in mind, I’m going with games that can be played online, but not all of these are free. I get that you might not want to spend money on a game you’re only going to be investing time in for a brief period, but some of these games are too good to pass up.
Online multiplayer games
As always, video games bring people together. Depending on your tastes, there are any number of online-based multiplayer games that you can enjoy with your buddies. If you’re feeling some battle royale fever, Fortnite is around as always. I’ve been quite enjoying Call of Duty: Warzone as well — and considering the game accrued more than 30 million players in 10 days, I’m apparently not the only one. While I wasn’t in love with it when it launched, Sea of Thieves has become a fun first-person pirate game.
There’s no time like now to get into a massively multiplayer online game. Some of the best at the moment include Final Fantasy XIV and Grand Theft Auto Online, and my dark horse candidate is probably Red Dead Online. Depending on whether you want fantasy, chaos, or cowboy, there’s an MMO for you. Heck, World of Warcraft Classic is still pretty fresh, and that’s something a lot of MMO newcomers can cut their teeth on.
There are games out there that don’t require you to throw yourself into a massive online multiplayer environment. For example, the delightful Stardew Valley now has a multiplayer component in which your friends can essentially become itinerant workers on your farm. Similarly, the relaxing Animal Crossing: New Horizons has just come out for the Nintendo Switch. Minecraft is, as always, a staple for friendly multiplayer.
If you’re feeling a little humorous, you can play your friends at Jackbox Party Pack, which you can get on just about every console and PC gaming store out there. You can partake of some pretty absurd party games with up to 10 participants. If you’ve ever played You Don’t Know Jack, you’ll get the gist of it. Jackbox Games published a tutorial explaining how to play its games over Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Discord.
Board and card games
If you’re feeling old school, there are several online board and card games that can be played with friends — not everything has to be a “video game” in the modern sense. You can play games like Monopoly on Pogo, though you have to create an account in order to start a game. I wouldn’t recommend playing it if you want to keep your friends, however — Pogo also has more placid, less rage-inducing games like Yahtzee Party and Scrabble. You can also find a Chess game online thanks to Tabletopia.
As for card games, both UNO and Cards Against Humanity are available online — a family-friendly option and a raunchier one, for a little variety. PlayingCards, the site that hosts the latter, also has a few other cards games, such as Go Fish and Checkers.
If it’s a tabletop RPG you want, Roll20 offers a virtual setup for everything from Dungeons & Dragons to Call of Cthulhu. RPGs are a bit of a time investment, but I can’t think of any other resource we have in abundance at the moment.
Hopefully one of above games will help keep you and your friends occupied. Good luck!