Since the in-place shelter began, most of us have been limiting our time outside our homes to hopefully flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus.
Whether you’re trying to keep in touch with friends and family, going to business meetings, or trying to take your classes online, Zoom is the place to be.
While most people seem to use the software productively, there are those of us who are just looking to have a good time with friends while being locked away at home. If you’re tired of changing your virtual background over and over again, here are some games to keep your Zoom calls up to date.
This browser game has been a staple in internet culture since April 2015. If you’ve played Agar.io before, you know it’s highly addicting and the urge to get on the leaderboards can be hard to ignore. Invite your friends to the Zoom call by clicking Party Mode and sending them the link.
You play as a small colored circle and eat smaller circles until you are big enough to try to swallow other players to add to your growing mass. As your circle grows, you move up in the leaderboard. If you make it into the top 10, everyone on the server can see you and be jealous of your magnitude.
Don’t get eaten by another player until you’ve reached the top.
As Californians begin the second month of sheltering in place, some are starting to get a little crazy. What if you and your friends could visit anywhere in the world without leaving your computer screens?
Geoguesser is a browser game that challenges you to guess where you are in the world using landmarks in Street View via Google Earth. Using Zoom’s screen sharing feature, one person can launch the game and everyone can help guess. Most of the features are free with ads, and there is a fairly cheap paid account option if you just can’t stand it.
Cards Against Humanity Online: Imagine You Are Xyzzy
If you’ve never played Cards Against Humanity, a steamy card game that’s not for the faint of heart, now is the time to learn. It’s about filling in the blanks with things that will make your friends laugh and maybe less of you.
This site makes it easy to play online with up to 20 people. You can either join someone else’s game or create your own personal chat room, with many expansion packs, and send your friends the browser link to join.
The site creator added additional servers as the original few were unusually busy due to the shelter-in-place order. If the main server is full, go back and click on the server list on the main page before entering your nickname.
The mobile version of this easy-to-learn card game is an updated version of the classic. With a few new rules and an option to customize your own game 99 times a day, you and four other friends can take turns shouting “Uno!” each other.
The game has an upgrade system that allows you to earn coins to buy powerups and unlock more game modes. It also inexplicably has a story mode that is unlocked after reaching level 6.
No ! is free and available on the App Store and Google Play.
Create your own games
If your friends are creative like mine, try making your own games. Browser-based flash games are back, and before Adobe removes Flash Player for good, you can create your own challenges. For example, here is a dress up challenge game that my friends and I created. It works best with at least four players.
First, collectively develop four challenge requirements: a color, a garment, a mood, and a time limit. Each person takes turns judging and everyone has to create an outfit using any dress up flash game, like the ones in girlsgogames.com, in the allotted time. Ask applicants to submit their outfits by submitting photos via Zoom.
The outfit that the judge judges the best, wins. After everyone has judged once, have the top two or three scorers fight for the top spot with the challenge requirements written collectively by the losers. Everyone who is not in the final battle votes for their favorite and the highest vote wins.
Bonus: online darts tournament
If you own a real dart board and dart board, you can play with other people online using webcam on this site. You can organize tournaments and invite your friends or fight random people across the world.