Playing games together as a family isn't only a great way to spend quality time together - it's also a brilliant way for children to bond, learn important social lessons, and above all, have fun! Even though the lockdown period is making it difficult for families to meet up, thanks to technology there are loads of ways for families to get together and play fun party games. With this in mind, Kidadl has chosen our twelve favourite games to play as a family using your phone.
QuizUp is a fantastic free trivia app which allows you to connect with friends and family. With thousands of topics and questions to test yourself against, this game ensures hours and hours of fun. Although the individual quizzes on the app only support two players at a time, QuizUp allows you to set up tournaments, meaning that everyone in the family can play along and find out who is the top trivia expert! QuizUp is available on iOS or Android and can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play.
This award-winning team game certainly offers one of the most unique experiences you'll have on a family games night! Spaceteam is a cooperative game for up to eight players, in which everyone works together as a team to try and stop your spaceship from exploding. Players are assigned a control panel on their screen, with mind-boggling switches and buttons which you will have to use before the time runs out - however, the instructions you'll need to follow are sent to one of your team members, so you'll have to work together to get your ship out of danger! Spaceteam is free to download from the App Store and Google Play.
Who Am I?
If you are wanting to host a family games night but not everyone in your family has a smartphone, then you can always improvise! An old favourite party game such as Who Am I? can be played without the need for an app to help you out. All you need is someone to be in charge of assigning the names of famous people to each player - if you're on a video call, you might be able to do this with pieces of card as you usually would, but you could also do this with online messages or texts to each player. Then, take it in turns to figure out which celebrity you have been given by asking only 'yes' or 'no' questions. Don't be afraid to get creative or think outside the box with your picks. This classic (and free!) game promises loads of fun for everyone in your family.
Words With Friends 2
One of the most popular smartphone games, Words With Friends will test your family's vocabulary skills! The free-to-play game is similar to Scrabble, as you are given a group of letters to form words with, getting higher scores for more unusual words! The app allows you to go head-to-head with friends and family, so this is a great way to have competitive fun while spending time with family. Although the game only allows one person to play another at one time, why not team up and play as a team against other family members? If you're looking to hone your skills, you can also play through the solo challenges. Words With Friends is available for iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded for free through the App Store or Google Play.
Drawful is one of the best party games out there if you're looking for a game packed with laughs, making it a perfect game to lift the spirits during this uncertain time. Players get a ridiculous prompt - for example, 'cars with ears and feet' - and then have to draw it for the other competitors. If people manage to identify your artwork correctly, then you win points, but a wrong guess which receives most votes wins that player points. No matter your artistic abilities, this is a fantastic party game - it might even be more fun if your drawing skills aren't the best! It's suitable for between three and eight players, but if you are on a video chat then more people can join in. What's more, you can also turn on family-friendly settings to make sure that the game is suitable for any young ones playing along. The game is available through Steam for £6.99 and will need a computer and Steam account to initially set up. Alternatively, you can find other ways to purchase the game at this link.
Houseparty Heads Up
Houseparty has been hugely popular with people wanting to remotely hang out with friends and family in the past few weeks. But as well as being a great app for spending time with loved ones, Houseparty also comes equipped with fun party games to play together! While you're on a call with others, just hit the dice icon on the right of the screen to pick a game to play, and away you go. One of the best to play as a family is Heads Up, in which players have to guess a word based on other players describing it. You can play with up to eight members, and the app itself is free. However, Heads Up includes in-app purchases, which allow you to expand the pool of words you can play with. Houseparty is free on iOS and Android and can be downloaded onto your device through Google Play or App Store.
This version of the classic family game allows you to enjoy all the fun of the original through your phone. If you've never played this brilliant party game before, you're sure to enjoy trying to scheme your way to riches through selling, buying and (hopefully) avoiding jail! In this online version of the game, you can set up a private multiplayer game with others, making it a perfect activity everyone in your family can join in with. Monopoly supports up to eight individual players, and once you have purchased the licence you can share with up to six family members. It's available through Google Play or the App Store and currently costs £3.99. In-app purchases are also available if you feel like customising your board or introducing new features to the game!
This virtual mini-golf game for iOS and Android devices offers a chance to have fun on the golf course from the comfort of your home. The game includes a real-time multiplayer mode, so it will be as close to a real game of mini-golf as you can get through your phone. The controls are really easy to learn, making this one of the best party games to play with all members of your family, no matter what level your golf skills are. Golf Battle is available for iOS and Android through the Apple and Google stores and is suitable for all ages.
Mario Kart Tour
This outrageously fun driving game is sure to bring out the competitive side in everyone! The game allows you to race around all kinds of wacky racecourses, as well as including fun features such as being able to throw bananas and shells onto the track to gain an advantage. Racing against members of your family in multiplayer mode is easy with the online multiplayer feature, allowing you to race against up to seven others. Best of all, the main game is free, and available to install on iOS and Android devices - just follow the links to the Apple Store or Google Play to install.
Name, Place, Animal, Thing
For family members without a smartphone, Name, Place, Animal, Thing is a great game if you're looking to test your general knowledge. Although this game sounds simple, it's sure to have you scratching your head at some point - just have one person pick a letter of the alphabet, and then every player must name a Name, Place, Animal, and Thing starting with that letter. The first person to name a complete set then wins that round - you can either do this while on a video call such as Skype or Zoom or simply whilst on a group phone call.
Ticket to Ride
This digital adaptation of a classic board game is a fantastic way to spend an evening with your family. In this game, the objective is to build your own train network and connect famous cities across the world. Whoever can cover most of the map wins! This version of the board game allows you to set up a game with family through the private online multiplayer mode, supporting up to five players. It can be purchased for £6.99 on the App Store and Google Play, as well as other gaming platforms such as Steam.
Made by the people behind Heads Up, Psych! challenges you to get as creative as possible to come up with fake answers to trivia questions. See which members of your family you can fool into picking your answer - if they choose your fake answer, you get points, but if they answer correctly, they win points. It's great for a remote family party, and with loads of categories and content to choose from, promises endless laughs. Download the game for free from the App Store and Google Play.