Best Games You Can Play Remotely with Far-Flung Family and Friends

Author: Kirstin Toms - MarCom/Tuesday, April 7, 2020/Categories: Home Internet

During the pandemic and resulting quarantine or self-isolation measures, many families have been able to enjoy the luxury of family game night. It’s great to break out the Monopoly board or challenge each other to a Jenga tournament. But sometimes, we need a break from our immediate family.

Playing online games helps you connect with distant friends and family members, whether they live next door or across the country. For many of us, contact with people outside our homes is exactly what we crave right now.

What are the best games you can play using nothing but your Consolidated Communications Wifi connection and a computer or mobile device of your choice?


Kahoot! brings the corporate and educational trend of “gamification,” or learning information and new skills through games, into our homes during the pandemic. Originally launched as a platform for educators and corporate trainers, the game has taken off with thousands of Americans using the site to play multiplayer trivia games across the miles. You’ll need to download a free videoconferencing platform like Skype or Zoom if you want to play face-to-face with people who don’t live with you.

From Movie Trivia to Amazing Facts, your whole family will learn while you play. You can also use Kahoot! as an element of homeschooling and to reinforce the lessons your children may be getting from their teachers.

Play remotely with up to 10 people for free, or upgrade to unlock more questions and capabilities to learn as more people join in.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The hot video game of the year (so far), Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the Farmville of 2020. Thanks to the timing of its release, it promises to be more popular than Farmville ever was. With so many people home, bored, and looking for something to do, those who aren’t intrigued by traditional video games have fully embraced the whimsy of Animal Crossing.  

The premise is simple: use your smarts and savvy to build up a deserted island from virtually nothing. You can have your own island or share one with friends in this virtual world. You do, however, have the option of allowing others onto your island. They might even bring items to purchase or trade. In fact, turnips are a hot commodity right now in the virtual world, prompting one player to Tweet: “Never did I imagine in 2020 would I be waiting in a queue to sell virtual turnips during the middle of a pandemic.”

Jackbox Party Pack Games

Long a favorite of gamers on Steam, a PC-based gaming platform, the Jackbox Party Packs offer plenty of variety in virtual games you can play with friends. But you don’t need a PC or to download Steam to play (although that’s one of the easiest ways to do it). All you need is your Consolidated Communications Wifi connection and a mobile device. If you want to see your friends’ expressions as you play together, you’ll also need a free videoconferencing app like Zoom.

The Jackbox series has a variety of games that are twists on familiar favorites. Drawful, for instance, is a drawing game akin to Pictionary, but with utterly ridiculous drawing prompts that will keep players laughing.

Trivia Murder Party 2 combines the best elements of Trivial Pursuit with action-based mini-games. Get a trivia question wrong? You’re sent to the Killing Floor to fight for your life.

Words with Friends

This classic mobile game is almost exactly like Scrabble and is perfect for people who don’t necessarily want to get dressed and deal with videoconferencing apps just to play a game. Sit down and play a continuous game or play at your leisure. You can use the in-game chat function to communicate with your opponents. It may not provide the same level of personal connection as the other games on this list, but it’s a great way to keep your brain sharp and pass the time during the pandemic.

Make Time to Play

Granted, not everyone has tons of extra time on their hands during the pandemic. Healthcare workers, parents who are homeschooling, and remote workers may find themselves just as tapped for time as they were before COVID-19. But especially now, it’s important to make a plan to stay connected with friends and loved ones and carve out time for fun. These games can help by allowing you to leverage technology to make new, positive memories with people you care about.


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