A family bonds together through digital games, as much of the population must now do during self-isolation. (Tribune News Service)
A family bonds together through digital games, as much of the population must now do during self-isolation.

Tribune News Service

Games to Play While in Quarantine

May 4, 2020

Since we are stuck at home during this quarantine, we aren’t able to see our friends and spend time together in ways that spark as much excitement as actually being with the people we care about. To solve this problem, and make quarantine a little more tolerable, we have come up with a list of games that you can play for hours with your friends and family through zoom or other communication services. Although most of the games on this list cost money, all of them are worth it for the amount of time and fun that they provide.

Jackbox Games Pack

Jackbox+Games+Pack

A series of games that will cause you to spend countless hours of your life playing them is the addictive games that come from the Jackbox Games pack. The first pack, ‘Party Pack One,’ has a price of $24.99 and other packs are available for purchase with prices ranging from $24.99 to $29.99, which are great prices to pay for these online games that can and will entertain you for hours and hours on end.

The ‘Party Pack One’ is available for purchase on the Amazon Fire TV, and once you purchase the pack, you can select from five games to play. It is playable from any device that has access to a web browser, and each game can have a maximum amount of eight players at a time. There is also an audience option. The audience members, although not technically players in the game, still get to vote on their choice of words, pictures, sentences, or jokes, depending on the game. To play a game with all of the players looking at the same screen, you have to enter the game by going to the website Jackbox.tv and enter a code that appears on your television or computer screen. Once you enter that code, you’re in! It’s that simple.
Not only is this game perfect for big groups, but it’s also perfect for family game nights, and especially for playing with friends during the quarantine. To start a game with players in different places, the set up is the same as it would be as if everyone were playing in the same place, except you would have to display the screen in a zoom video chat with your friends. When you have the game up on your computer, all you have to do is share your screen.
From all of the games from all of the packs, we recommend these games: Fibbage (which is also sold as a standalone game not in a pack for a price of $6.99), Quiplash (also an independent game sold for $6.99), and Trivia Murder Party. Here’s a quick run-down on these solid games.
Fibbage is a blast. You could play this for hours and never get bored of it. In the game, there is fill in the blank for a fact or a quote, and it is your job to come up with the best answer to fool your opponents, and to choose the right answer that is mixed in with a bunch of phony answers. There are three rounds, all of which give a different amount of points. Rounds one and two contain several questions, and round three, known as ‘The Final Fibbage’ only has one question, and is worth many points. The person at the end with the most points wins the game.
Another game we like is Quiplash. In Quiplash, there are many prompts, one, for example, maybe “what’s the grossest thing to find under your shoe?” Two players then go against each other by writing their answer, and then all of the other players and audience members vote on what answer they think is the best. At the end of the game, whoever has the most points wins.
Trivia Murder may become your new favorite game. In Trivia Murder party, you and seven of your friends enter a murder’s lair, and in order to stay alive, you must be the last player to exit the lair. Each round starts with a random trivia question which rewards the people who get the answer right, and sends the people who get the answer wrong to the “Killing Floor”. The losers partake in a random game in which they could draw, write, play memorization games, or even have a math competition to decide who must be eliminated from the round. The last person alive participates in a final trivia competition with all other “dead” players. In this round, it’s anyone’s game. Even if you win the first part of the game, you may not win the whole game. The first player to reach the end would win the entire game, even if they died earlier on.

Jackbox Games has a plethora of games and many different game packs. To be clear, our favorite games come with different expansion packs that add on to the base game, but are super fun and worth the money, especially during this boring time that is quarantine.

Psych!

Psych!

Psych!, a mobile game created by Ellen Degeneres, is another excellent way to interact with friends during the quarantine. Users download the mobile app (accessible on google and android phones), which is free on the app store (but includes several in-app purchases), and immediately can play one of the many game modes available. Players choose a “deck”, select the create a game option, and then share the entry code with their friends to play. Then the game works similarly to Fibbage, where players are given a prompt and must input an answer to attempt to fool or impress their friends.

Our favorite game mode (which also happens to be free) is “And The Truth Comes Out.” This mode is based on the players in the game and asks prompts related to them. For example “if John won an award, it would be for -” or “If Jane taught a college-level class, it would be -.” This makes for an enjoyable game where players can make jokes to and about their friends and can relate to the questions. It is better than in other modes where the prompts are more general and trivia based.

Another game mode that we enjoy is “It Was A Dark And Stormy Night,” in which players are given a book title and are asked to write what they think the first line would be. Although an entertaining game mode, this is one of the modes one must purchase to play after the free game trial. This deck costs $0.99 to play more than once.
Overall Psych! is a great way to pass the time in quarantine with friends, but the in-app purchases and multiple add pop-ups tend to be annoying and make the app less favorable for long term gameplay.

Game Pigeon

Game+Pigeon

Game Pigeon, an already popular app, is a digital version of many tabletop games in which people can play with others through text messages. Users download the app from the app store and, although there is no icon seen on the home screen, the app appears above the keyboard in messages. To start a game in Game Pigeon, one player selects one of the many options available and sends the game like a text message to the other person (or people) they wish to play with.

One of the most popular games on the app is 8 Ball. It is designed to be similar to Pool, but players have a bird’s eye view of the table and lines stemming off of the selected target project where their shot will go. There are many versions of 8 Ball within the app, including “Hard Mode,” a version where you cannot project your shot, and “8 Ball+,” a version where the balls are spread all around the table. Other popular games within the app include Sea Battle, based on Battleship, Four in a Row, based off of Connect 4, and Knockout.

Out of all of these games, our favorite has to be Game Pigeon. This is because of the ease of playing over text message, an absence of constant ads or technical difficulties, and the fact that it is free of cost (unless you buy extension packs which are un-needed because there is already an extensive amount of variety). However, content-wise, the JackBox games are far superior. The games are delightful and fun to play amongst friends. However, similar to Kahoot, players need to see the screen of the device the game was started on to see instructions and other game content. This makes playing the game more challenging, seeing as we are all staying home and social distancing…! A solution to this problem is creating a zoom call and sharing the screen, but there is still lagging and glitches that occasionally occur. Although an enjoyable game, Psych! is at the bottom of the list for favorite games to play while in quarantine. After a few rounds of playing the app, players begin to be bombarded with ads. This makes the game go slower, as well as annoying the player.
Although playing online games with friends is not the same as actually playing in-person, these games make quarantine a little less boring and unbearable. So, during your break from online schoolwork or binge-watching your favorite show, you may want to try these fun games that make quarantine a little less lonely.

About the Contributors
Photo of Max Hagemeister
Max Hagemeister, Reporter

Max Hagemeister is a sophomore at Clayton High School and this is his first year on the Globe staff. This year he is participating in Robotics, Helping Hounds, and Tech Crew for...

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