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25 Best Games To Play Over Facetime and Zoom (2021)

 

 

It’s tough being far away from loved ones.

Fortunately, whether you want to connect with grandma, a best friend, your favorite cousin, or a long-distance significant either, Facetime and Zoom calls have made it easier than ever to connect with each other even across long distances.

Playing games is a tried-and-true way to break the ice, make you laugh, strengthen your bond with others, learn about each other, and connect you even closer with your loved ones. In the midst of a rousing game of Charades, you may even forget that you’re a thousand miles away.

So fire up your laptop, do some pre-game stretching, and level up your Facetime and Zoom calls with one of these fun and simple games:

Jump To:

Charades
Boggle
Would You Rather?
Pictionary
Two Truth And A Lie
Truth Or Dare
Trivial Pursuit
Never Have I Ever
Yahtzee
20 Questions
Battleship
Read My Lips
Hangman
Build A Story
The Alphabet Game
Clap The Song
Rainbow Race
What’s Missing?
Category Race
Virtual Hide & Seek
Storyteller Pass-Along
Last Letter
Origami Competition
True or False
Rhymes Only

1. Charades

Charades is classic game, beloved by generations for its simplicity and ease. It requires almost no supplies, and can be played by almost anyone. It does require quick thinking and a little creativity. It’s easily played over FaceTime because no items or materials are required in order to play it. And best of all, there’s no mess or clean-up.

How to play:

First, use your imagination to choose a person, place, or thing. You can easily choose basic things if you’re playing with a child (alligator, brushing your teeth, banana, etc.) or you can make things more complicated if you’re playing with another adult.

Here are some examples:

Examples of People:

1. The Incredible Hulk

2. Oprah Winfrey

3. Harry Potter

4. Security Guard

5. Doctor

Examples of Places:

1. Aquarium

2. New York City

3. McDonalds

4. Australia

5. The North Pole

Examples of Things (books, food, instrument, etc.)

1. Piñata

2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid

3. Corn on the Cob

4. Trombone

5. French Fries

 

Examples of Actions:

1. Doing laundry

2. Cooking pancakes

3. Skiing

4. Shooting a Bow & Arrow

5. Surfing

Next, you’ll take turns acting our the word or phrase to help the other player guess what it is. There are some universal Charades gestures that can get you started acting out your word or phrase:

For a book, put your hands together and then open them like a book.

For a movie, pretend you are cranking an old-fashioned movie camera.

To indicate how many words you’ll be acting out, hold up the number of fingers.

To indicate which word you will be acting out in this moment, hold up the number of fingers.

To indicate you will be acting out a small word, hold your forefinger and thumb close together.

To indicate that a word “sounds like”, tug you ear.

Work together to earn as many points as you can!

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2. Boggle

Boggle is a simple word game that requires concentration, focus, and the ability to read, write, and spell.

How to play:

If you or your long-distance friend has the classic Boggle game at home, you can simply position the Boggle board so that your long-distance friend can see it, too. You can share your screen if you are using Zoom.

Then, set a timer. Each of you tries to find as many words as you can. Start with easy two-letter words such as “is” and “he”, and gradually build from there. A word has to appear in the dictionary in order to count as a word.

When the time is up, one player reads their list aloud. If your opponent has the same word, you both cross it off your list. You get a point for every word you identified that your opponent did not. The person with the most points wins.

For this reason, it pays off to find words that are rare and not commonly used. As you get more experienced and play more rounds, you’ll identify less commonly used words that your partner is less likely to find.

If you don’t have a boggle board, you can easily find one online, or you can order a physical boggle board on Amazon Prime.

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3. Would You Rather?

Playing “Would You Rather” is a great way to spark discussion and laughter, and get to know someone better. It’s fun to pose questions that require the other person to choose between two great options, but sometimes it’s even more fun to make them choose between two terrible options.

How to play:

Use your imagination or google the term “Would You Rather Questions”, and choose a few that appeal to you. If you’re playing with a child, you’ll want to make sure the questions are age-appropriate.

Here are some examples:

1. Thought-Provoking queries: “Would you rather live in a house shaped like a circle, or a house shaped like a triangle?

2. Silly questions: “Would you rather only be able to walk backwards or only be able to walk on all fours?

3. Gross questions: “Would you rather eat a slug or take a bath with a spider?

Need some help coming up with questions? This book on Amazon has some ideas for you:

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4. Pictionary

Similar to Charades, Pictionary is a beloved classic game because it is so simple to understand and virtually anyone can play. It requires quick thinking, and contrary to popular belief, it does not require superior drawing skills. All you need is a piece of paper and a dark-colored marker.

How to play:

First, each player should gather their materials. You’ll each need a large piece of paper and something to draw with. It will be best to have a dark marker that can easily be seen over the screen.

Next, you can use this Random Word Generator to choose the word or phrase you are going to draw. You can also think of something on your own by using your imagination or looking around the room for inspiration.

Then, set a timer for 30-60 seconds. Without saying a word, try to draw your word or phrase. Be sure not to say a word or you lose your turn.

See if your partner can guess what you’re drawing!

Then, it’s your partner’s turn to draw something and you will guess. This is a collaborative game so there are no winners and losers. You are both trying to work together for as many points as you can.

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5. Two Truths & A Lie

Two Truth & A Lie is a tried-and-true ice-breaker in groups of people who don’t know each other well. But it’s surprisingly fun to play even with close friends and family. Even the closest of friends don’t know everything about each other, and learning something new about the other person is what keeps a relationship new and exciting.

How to play:

Take 1-2 minutes to write down three facts about yourself. Two things should be completely true, and one should b e should be completely false. Try to choose a lie that is not obviously false, and try to choose true facts that might surprise the other person. You want it to be difficult for the other person to know which items are true, and which are false.

For example:

1. I’ve seen Beyonce live in concert three times.

2. I’ve played the piano since I was seven years old.

3. I can twirl a baton in my toes.

Next, read your lists aloud to each other, and try to guess which one is the lie. If you get it correct, you get a point. Play as many rounds as you’d like!

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6. Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare is a great way to get to know someone better on a personal and intimate level, because they either have to share something about themselves or complete a dare of your choosing. Be careful with the dares you impose on others, because soon it will be your turn!

How to play:

Ask your friend if they want a “Truth” or a “Dare.” If they say Truth, you can ask them anything and they have to answer truthfully. You can come up with a question on your own or find a list online.

Examples of Truth Questions:

1. “When is the last time you lied?

2. “What is a secret you kept from your parents?”

3. “Who is the last person you creeped on social media?

4. “What is the most embarrassing music you listen to?

5. “What is your biggest regret?”

If they choose Dare, you get to dare them to do something silly or embarrassing!

Examples of Dares:

1. Do a free-style rap for the next minute.

2. Act like a chicken until your next turn.

3. Talk in a British accent until your next turn.

4. Do 20 pushups.

5. Dump out your purse, backpack, or pockets and do a show and tell of what’s inside.

Important Note:

It’s important to stay safe both emotionally and physically. No one should ever be physically or emotionally hurt during this game.

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7. Trivial Pursuit

Are you a trivia buff? It’s easy to play Trivial Pursuit over FaceTime or Zoom, as long as one person has the board game on hand. Trivial Pursuit is a classic board game in which player’s progress based on their ability to answer general knowledge and popular culture questions.

How To Play:

The designated host can set up the board for everyone, read the questions to the person whose turn it is, and move everyone’s pieces for them. The goes is to fill your game piece with all 6 of the colored wedges before any of the other players. When it’s your turn, roll the die and move your piece that many spaces. Then, answer a question that corresponds with the color you landed on. If you’re right, collect the wedge in that color.

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8. Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever is an entertaining game that combines the get-to-know-you aspect of Two Truth & A Lie and the shock factor of Truth or Dare. No matter how close you are with someone, you may be surprised at the new things you find out about them during this game.

How to play:

Each player puts two hands up where everyone can see. One player starts and says “Never have I ever…”, finishing the sentence with something they have never done. For example, “Never have I ever swam in the ocean” or “Never have I ever kissed someone.”

If the other players have done the aforementioned thing, they have to put a finger down. If they have not done the aforementioned thing, they do nothing.

Depending on how you look at it, the first person with all fingers down wins, or the last surviving person with a finger up, wins.

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9. Yahtzee

Yahtzee is a dice game that is easy to learn and great for kids ages 7 and up. The object of the game is to roll certain combinations of numbers with five dice. Part of the game is luck, but part of the game is strategy.

How To Play:

Each player will need dice and a Yahtzee sheet to track their progress. If you don’t have those supplies, use an online dice roller and an online sheet like this one.

The host starts by rolling their dice on camera, playing their turn. The next player can then either take a turn by rolling their own dice on camera or getting the host to roll for them.

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10. Twenty Questions

Twenty question is a guessing game that almost anyone can play, and it doesn’t require any materials at all. It’s a go-to for long car rides (and long lines at the amusement park), but it also works for long-distance FaceTime and Zoom calls.

How to play:

Think of any person, place, or thing. For inspiration, look at your surroundings. (i.e., Diet Coke, a dog, headphones, a couch, etc.) For accountability, you can write it down if you choose.

Set a timer for your partner to guess what you are thinking about.

Then, your partner can ask you up to 20 yes-or-no questions in order to gather information. For example, they can ask “Is it an animal?” or “Is it yellow?”. You can only answer “Yes” or “No.”

See if they can guess what you’re thinking of before they run out of questions!

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11. Battleship

Battleship is the ultimate game of strategy and war. I used to be a high-school Spanish teacher, and my students used to love playing a version of this game to learn verb conjugations. Needless to say, I didn’t own 25 Battleship game boards. I simply created my own board and made photocopies for each student.

You can also play Battleship, even if you don’t own the actual board game (no verb conjugations necessary).

How to play:

You both need a gameboard to play over Facetime. You can download my version here.

First, hide your ships on your grid by shading in the appropriate number of squares. Be strategic in where you hide them.

Then, take turn trying to hit each other’s ships by guessing the location of each of their shaded squares (or “ships”). The object of the game is to sink your opponent’s ships before they can sink yours.

Download my long-distance Battleship board here

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12. Read My Lips

Read My Lips is an exceptionally simple game to play over FaceTime or Zoom, and no materials are required. It’s great for all ages, and required no set-up or clean-up.

How to play:

First, put yourself on mute so that your partner cannot hear anything that you’re saying. Then, choose a word or phrase to say to your partner. You can think of a word or phrase on your own, or look up words and phrases on a search engine. You can also look around your room or house for inspiration.

Then, say the word 2-3 times. See if they can guess what you’re saying just by reading your lips!

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13. Hangman

You may remember playing Hangman in school as a child, and now you can play it with your long-distance buddy.

It’s similar to Wheel-of-Fortune in that you are trying to fill in a word or phrase, but you only have so many turns until you lose the game.

How to play: Choose any word and draw a dash for each letter in the word. If you choose the word “friend” for example, you should draw six dashes, one for each letter in the word.

Next, your partner guesses a letter that they think might be in the word. If the letter is in the word, you draw it in the blank. If the letter is not in the word, begin drawing one part of a gallows (kind of morbid, right?).

For each time that your partner guesses a letter that is not in the word, you may draw just one section of the gallows. Your partner can keep guessing until they’ve finished the word, or you’ve drawn the entire gallows. If you draw the entire gallows before they guess the word, you win and they lose.

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14. Build A Story

This fast-paced improvisation game almost always ends in laughter. All ages can play it, and it requires absolutely no materials. It does, however, require quick thinking and mental agility.

How to play:

To play “Build A Story”, one player says a word to start the story. Be sure to say only one word! Your natural inclination may be to say two or three words. Then, the next player adds on to the story with just one word. Then, it’s back to the first player to add another word.

The hardest part is limiting yourself to one word, but that is the key to the game. As you play, you’ll find yourself collaborating with your partner to create a wacky story.

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15. The Alphabet Game

The alphabet game is another road trip classic that can be easily adapted for Facetime and Zoom. All ages can play, and it requires no materials. It has many variations for endless hours of entertainment.

How to play:

One way to play the alphabet game is to choose a topic, such an animals, food, boys names, countries, etc. Each player takes a turn thinking of something that starts with the letter A that fits in that category. There should be a reasonable time limit set for each person’s turn. Then, repeat for each letter of the alphabet. If a player cannot think of a word in a given amount of time, they are out.

Another way to play is to choose a topic, and have one player say one thing that starts with the letter A, the next player says something that starts with the letter B, and so on.

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16. Clap The Song

For music and rhythm lovers, “Clap The Song” presents a fun challenge that is easily played with long-distance technology like Facetime and Skype.

How to play:

To play this game, one player thinks of a song and writes it down without showing the other player. Be sure to choose a song that your partner has a chance of recognizing.

Then, without singing or humming, the player tries to clap the song. See if the other player can guess what song you are clapping.

If it is too difficult, you can also try humming the song.

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17. Rainbow Race

Rainbow Race is an especially fun game to play with kids, because it is a colorful game that requires some physical activity and running around.

How To Play:

First, have both players agree on a color of the rainbow. You can choose, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, or any variation of those color that you agree on.

Then, agree on a countdown such as “3, 2, 1, go!” After the countdown, the first person to find an object of that color gets a point!

Alternatively, you can set a timer for a set amount of time. Whoever finds more objects of that color within the set time frame wins.

Play through each color of the rainbow and see who gets more points!

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18. What’s Missing?

What’s Missing is a classic game of memory, and it is perfect for all ages. It requires very few materials and is very easy to play.

How to Play:

First, gather 8-10 objects from around your house. You’ll want to find small objects that will easily fit on the screen for your partner to see.

Then, set a timer for about one minute. Allow your partner to study the group intently during that time.

Next, have them close their eyes. When their eyes are close, you remove one of the objects. Can they guess which one is missing?

To make it progressively more challenging, try shortening the amount of time they can study the objects.

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19. Category Race

Category Race is a similar game to the popular board game Scattergories, and this version is easily played for Facetime or Zoom.

How To Play:

First, agree on a category. Possible categories include:

  1. Animals
  2. Types of Candy
  3. Countries
  4. Types of Fruit
  5. Beverages

Once you’ve decided on a category, set a timer for one minute.

Next, each person write down as many words in that category they can think of.

When the timer stops, have each player read each other the lists of words they came up with. If both player have the same word, they both have to cross it off their list. Each player gets a point for each original word they came up with.

You can play as many rounds as you want, and your points carry over from one round to the next.

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20. Virtual Hide & Seek

Who would have thought you can play Hide and Seek without actually being in the same place? Think of this game more as a mental hide-and-seek rather than a physical game.

Note: In order to play this game, both players need to be somewhat familiar with each other’s spaces.

How To Play:

Instead of *actually* hiding, one player *thinks* of the place they are hiding. Then, the other person can try to “find” you by guessing where you’re hiding.

For example: “Are you hiding in the kitchen?” “Are you hiding under the couch?” etc.

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21. Storyteller Pass-Along

Storyteller Pass-Alone is similar to the “Build A Story” game listed above. It is a collaborative, improvisational game that can be played by people of all ages and requires no additional materials.

How To Play:

To play “Storyteller Pass Along”, one player starts the story and continues for exactly one minute. Set a timer so you know when it’s time for that player to stop.

When the timer goes off, that person has to stop talking no matter where they are in there story. Then, the next player gets one minute to continue the story. When the timer goes off, they stop exactly where they are, and it goes to the next player.

You’re sure to come up with some wacky stories!

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22. Last Letter

Last Letter is a moderately challenging game to play. It’s good for ages 8 and up, and no materials are required.

How To Play:

First, think of a category. For example:

  1. Boys Names
  2. Vegetables
  3. Colors
  4. Fruits
  5. Musicians

Once you’ve decided on a category, have the first player say a word from that category. Then, the next person has to think of something from that category that begins with the *last letter* of the word previously stated.

For example, if your category is “Fruits”, and the first player says “Banana”, then the next player could say “Apple” because Banana ends in “A” and Apple starts with “A”.

The first person who cannot think of a word is eliminated, and the last player standing wins.

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23. Origami Competition

A friendly origami competition is a great way to learn a new skill and bond with your long-distance buddy. All you need is some paper and an open mind for learning new things. Best for kids ages 7 and up.

How To Play:

First, find a simple origami tutorial online. For example, you can google “Simple Origami Flower” or “Simple Origami Animals”. You will easily find many videos and resources. Decide on one together.

Next, do a screen share and watch the instructional video together. Each of you can build your own version of the origami creation you decided on.

Finally, find an objective third party who can judge your creations and decide who wins.

Of course, you can decide to create origami just for fun together, no judging required. It might be fun to send each other your final projects via snail mail!

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24. True or False

True or False is a game of deciphering truth from falsehoods, and all ages can play this extremely easy game. There are no materials required!

How To Play:

To play “True or False”, one player starts by making a statement that can either be true or false (i.e. “It rained here today.” or “The inventor of the telephone was Alexander Graham Bell.”)

The other player has fifteen seconds to determine if the statement is True or False.

Next, it’s the other players turn to make a statement, and have the other player guess if it’s True or False.

The first person to get five answers incorrect, loses.

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25. Rhymes Only

This easy game can be played by kids as young as five years old, and requires no materials.

How To Play:

First, a player says any word. Then, the next player has to say a word that rhymes with it, within ten seconds. Players keep going, back and forth, as long as they can.

The first person who can’t think of a rhyming word, loses!

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