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Drinking games
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Online party games to play remotely with friends

Ready for a big night in? Check out these online party games, including Quiplash, Heads Up and Monopoly.

By Tim Lowery
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Need the feel of an evening out while staying in? Of course you do. Luckily for you, there is a bevy of online party games so you and your pals can have an epic night from the comfort and safety of your respective pads. Discover the very best party games to play online, everything from OG online-trivia phenom You Don’t Know Jack and tried-and-true classics like Scrabble, Monopoly and Risk to character-based bouts and plenty of fun drinking games. Looking for more at-home entertainment? Dig into our lists of the best board games, online jigsaw puzzles and movies on Netflix.   

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Play these online party games tonight

Jackbox Games
Photograph: Jackbox Games

1. Jackbox Games like Quiplash, Drawful and You Don’t Know Jack

Does anyone else remember huddling around the family computer to play You Don't Know Jack? No? Just us? Huh. Regardless, these days, the pioneering online-trivia company Jackbox boasts a bunch of virtual games, in which you can use your tablet or smartphone as a controller and play with up to ten peeps at a time on your PC. We suggest nabbing one of Jack’s party packs (they sell for between $12 and $21), which each include five games ranging from doodle and joke contests (like the super-popular Quiplash and Drawful) to hidden-identity whodunits and, yes, trivia.

Watch a tutorial on how to play Jackbox games remotely via Zoom:

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2. Online trivia games

Beyond You Don't Know Jack, there are a ton of online trivia games so you can keep your pub-quiz crew intact. For the best ones out there, including freebies like Random Trivia Generator and apps like QuizUp, as well as detailed logistics on how to throw a DIY trivia night over Zoom, check out our comprehensive guide.  

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Houseparty app logo: a waving yellow hand
Image: Houseparty

3. Heads Up!, Quick Draw and more games on Houseparty

Time Out’s Adam Feldman did a great deep dive into Houseparty that is definitely worth checking out. But here’s the skinny for our purposes: The of-the-moment—and free!—video-chatting app also has a handful of games, including Heads Up! (only the #trending deck is free, but you can purchase others), Chips and Guac, and Quick Draw. Download the app on your phone or tablet and start inviting friends to play a round. Read Shaye Weaver's guide to the best games to play on the app.  

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Drinking games
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4. Drinking games like Kings, Power Hour and Three Man

Things to do

Who could use a drink? If you’re hankering for a booze-fueled evening, we've got you covered with this rundown of the most fun drinking games to play with your friends remotely via Google Hangout or Zoom or whatever video-conference platform you kids are using these days. Discover how to play faves (Power Hour), ice-breakers (Never Have I Ever), card games (Kings) and more here

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5. Online board games

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There are a bunch of online board games out there, ranging from classics like Monopoly and Clue to strategic competitions such as Risk and Catan. Best of all, you don’t even need a literal board to play ’em: They’re all available digitally and can afford some epic times when played over Google Hangout, Zoom or your video-conference platform of choice. Find our favorites here

Scrabble
Photograph: Unsplash/Clarissa Watson

6. Word games for wordsmiths

Looking for challenges for word lovers, in which you can play solo seshes (there’s nothing wrong with a one-person party) or head-to-head matches or even epic bouts with a bunch of folks? There’s Scrabble, as well as two sort of Scrabble spinoffs: the group-friendly Words with Friends and, on Facebook, Word Blitz (essentially Boggle with Scrabble-like scoring).

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Good Time
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7. BOMB

Back in the day, I knew this game by the very on-the-nose title Movie Actor Movie. Upon further inspection (read: googling), I’ve come to the conclusion that this name was probably completely made up by me or whoever I was friends with at the time. People seem to call it BOMB. Anyway, it’s super fun and here’s how it works: One person names a movie, then the next person must name an actor from that movie, then the next person must name a movie with that actor...and so on. Rules: You cannot repeat any movie titles or actors during a specific round. And if you can’t name the next person or movie, you get a letter. If you spell out BOMB, you lose. If you’re the last person standing, you win. All you need is to connect with friends via Google Hangout or Zoom or FaceTime or however you like—there's no website— and you’re good to go.

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