13 Games to Make FaceTime & Zoom More Fun & Immersive
By now, you’re likely very familiar with how video chatting works. And whether you love it or not, it’s become the primary (and affordably resourceful) way to stay in touch with loved ones you don’t often see in person or co-workers still successfully killing the work-from-home game. However, at this point, you’re probably looking for ways to make this medium a bit more immersive. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with several virtual activities and games you can play over FaceTime and Zoom to insert some fun into long-distance phone calls and video chats.
13 Fun Games to Play on FaceTime & Zoom
You’re probably wondering, “how do you play Scattergories?” and “what is Scattergories?” We’re so glad you asked. Scattergories is a multiplayer category game you can enjoy virtually or in person.
How Do You Play Scattergories?
There are three rounds in every game. Players will agree on a specific category (e.g., types of dogs) and a letter of the alphabet that each answer will begin with. Everyone will get one minute to write down 12 responses on a sheet of paper that correspond with the category and the letter assigned. Once time is up, each person will read off their answers. If multiple people in the group have the same answer, it must be marked out. Points are not awarded for duplicate answers. If the reader has answers that no one else in the group wrote down, they will score a point for each word. Add up your score for that round and write it down. The process will repeat for the next two rounds. The person who has the most points for the total of all three rounds wins the game.
If you consider yourself an artist (or even if you don’t), Pictionary is the game for you! This drawing game works great over FaceTime and Zoom for family, friends, or coworkers to have a good laugh and a great time.
How Do You Play Pictionary?
Pictionary requires at least four people so you can break out into teams, with one person drawing and the other person guessing what’s being drawn. The designated artist will have one minute to sketch a picture while the other team member guesses what it is. The team that guesses the drawing fastest wins the round. Each person on the team will get a turn to be the artist and the guesser.
If there ever were a game that translated perfectly over FaceTime or Zoom, Charades would be it. Because technology can sometimes be unpredictable, you may end up playing an unwanted game of charades if your audio unexpectedly goes out.
How Do You Play Charades?
Start the game by splitting your players into two teams and writing down phrases or using a charades idea generator online. The “actor” will have one minute to act out the word or phrase they’re given. Only the player guessing will be able to speak. You can play as many rounds as you want with as many people as you want.
4. Words with Friends or Scrabble
Anyone who’s had a Facebook profile in the last 10 years has likely played a game or two of Words with Friends. If you’re new to the game, welcome! You’re going to discover words you never knew existed and probably start to question the proper spelling of words you thought you knew. Because a Zoom application doesn’t exist (yet) for this particular game, you can easily use Scrabble tiles and share your screen or download the Words With Friends 2 app on your phone and start playing!
How Do You Play Words with Friends/Scrabble?
If you’ve played Scrabble, the rules are generally the same. You can place tiles vertically or horizontally to score points. Most times, it’s not about how many letters are in your word. It’s more about how many points your letter is worth and where you place it on the board to score double or triple points. The person with the most points at the end wins and gets all the bragging rights.
5. Never Have I Ever
You’ve probably played this game as a teenager to find out unknown things about your friends or discover secrets about your crush. But Never Have I Ever isn’t reserved for just sleepovers. You can play a version with family on FaceTime or Zoom!
How Do You Play Never Have I Ever?
Get two pieces of paper to create signs. Write “I Have Never” on one sign and “I Have” on the other sign. To make the game a bit more organized, choose a specific category like music. Go around the group and have each person start the phrase “Never have I ever…” and finish with something they have never done involving music. For instance, “Never have I ever been to a concert.” Every person who has never been to a concert will hold up the “I Have Never” sign, and those who have been to one will hold up, “I Have.” You can play with points if you want, but it can be a lot more fun to take the competition out of it and simply learn new things about your loved ones.
6. Put a Finger Down
If you’re looking for another game that’s a nice departure from competition, this one’s for you. Like Never Have I Ever, Put a Finger Down will help you discover new things about friends and family and serve as an excellent icebreaker for new coworkers.
How Do You Play Put a Finger Down?
Choose one person to create a series of statements (at least 10) to read aloud to the rest of the group. Everyone playing will hold up 10 fingers, and the game starts when the reader says, “Put a finger down if…” and inserts an activity or event. For example, “Put a finger down if you’ve been skydiving.” If you’ve been skydiving, you’ll put a finger down. After all the statements are read, see who has the most fingers up at the end.
7. Scavenger Hunt
Do you have a drawer in your house that’s full of random stuff that doesn’t have a designated place of its own? Is your purse full to the brim with things you think you need when you venture outside the house, like a mini first aid kit or bag of Jolly Ranchers? If so, you may just dominate Scavenger Hunt.
How Do You Play Scavenger Hunt?
One person will have a list of unrelated items, such as a favorite pen or a pair of sunglasses. Each player will have 30 seconds to search for that particular item and show it on camera. To avoid people falling over themselves (literally) to be the first one back on screen, give points to anyone who finds the item within the allotted time regardless of how fast they do it.
People of all ages can enjoy the classic game of Bingo. To play over Zoom or FaceTime, you’ll need a virtual Bingo version so that everyone can have a random ready-made card for a rousing and entertaining game.
How Do You Play Bingo?
Choose one person to be the Bingo caller who will read aloud the numbers and letters for everyone else. The other players will need to listen carefully to mark the correct spaces until someone fills five Bingo spaces either vertically or horizontally on their card. That person will call out “Bingo!” and read back the corresponding letters and numbers correctly to win the round.
9. Family/Friends Feud
Unfortunately, Steve Harvey won’t be showing up to host this version of Family/Friends Feud, but one can only dream. If you’re familiar with the loveable TV game show, you’ll surely get some excited reactions from everyone when you announce the game for the night. Ensure everyone’s audio and cameras are all working correctly so no one misses anything.
How Do You Play Family/Friends Feud?
You’ll need a list of questions and answers to start the game. Split the group into two teams and choose two people to represent the teams in the first round. Next, ask the question, and the first person to answer (and guess one of the answers correctly) will score the first turn for their team. The “host” will ask the same question and see if any other team member can guess more correct answers. Once three of the answers have been correctly guessed, that team will score a point. However, if the team guesses incorrectly three times, the opposing team has a chance to answer the question and score a point.
10. Simon Says
Simon says you’re going to have an enjoyable time with this one! The classic Simon Says game can easily be played virtually with friends and family. As long as you listen to the instructions and follow along, you can play Simon Says for hours. And the best part is, it also helps younger children learn how to follow directions—a win-win!
How Do You Play Simon Says?
All you have to do is choose someone to be “Simon.” That person will instruct the group to perform a series of moves, but “Simon” has to say “Simon says…” first. If someone follows the instructions without hearing, “Simon says…,” they’re out for that round.
11. Desert Island
If you’re a fan of ABC’s beloved comedy mockumentary The Office, you know how fun (and revealing) this one can be. Desert Island is less of a game and more of an activity you can use to help with team building or simply learn more about family members you don’t see in person all the time.
How Do You Play Desert Island?
One person will pick a category, such as food, and each person will go around and tell the group four foods they would bring with them if they were stranded on a desert island. Everyone gets a turn, and the last person to list their four items will choose the next category. You can do this as many times as you want for as long as you want.
Yes, it’s that Battleship you spent hours upon hours playing with your little sibling, pretending that they didn’t guess the coordinates of your battleship and sink it. Now, you get to share the fun virtually with friends and family. You don’t need a fancy board like the board game provides. All you need is a sheet of paper and a writing utensil. Oh, and people willing to play with you.
How Do You Play Battleship?
For Zoom or FaceTime, each player can create a 15x15 coordinate grid using a ruler and pencil. Use numbers at the top of the grid and letters on the left side of the grid. Next, decide how many squares to shade in. Finally, choose who will go first guessing the specific coordinates of your “battleship” (or shaded spaces), and let the fun begin!
13. Finish the Story
Some games work well in person but don’t work as well virtually. Finish the Story is one of those games that has the power to entertain even if you can’t see the other players. This game will work well as an icebreaker for new coworkers or as a family dinner-time game.
How Do You Play Finish the Story?
The title says it all, “finish the story.” Select one person to start a story and go around and let everyone contribute one sentence. The catch is, everyone must repeat the last thing the previous person said and contribute their own sentence to the story. When someone forgets a part of the story, the game ends, and that person will start a new story.
Other Things to Do on FaceTime & Zoom
As we begin to transition back to in-person contact, video chatting or FaceTime may start to become mundane. Games are a great way to show camaraderie and make virtual interaction engaging. However, children and older adults may lose interest quickly or find online games a bit too complicated.
Here are some alternative activities you can implement:
Cook a meal
Watch a movie
Have a talent show
Host a karaoke contest
Whether you choose a game to play or an activity for everyone to participate in, the point is you’re spending time with people you care about. Although, if your house isn’t as clean as you need it to be, how can you possibly enjoy family time?
Let our team help you free up more time to do the things you enjoy. Request an estimate for house cleaning and organizing today!