10 virtual games to play with friends and family when you’re sick of Zoom quizzes

As we begin lockdown 3.0 with an indefinite end in sight, we (reluctantly) are forced to take our socialising online once more, via Zoom/FaceTime/Skype et al.

We’ve all by now spent more than enough time chatting and quizzing with our friends and family via screens, but if our meet ups must be virtual, we may as well inject a bit of fun into them (after all, we all know how painstaking a 10-way Zoom conversation is…).

virtual games
Getty Images

We might be a bit ‘over’ quizzes, but virtual games on the other hand could be your ticket to a fun Friday night in. Let the virtual fun and games commence!

10 virtual games for when you’re sick of Zoom quizzes

Charades

Everyone knows the rules to charades and the fact that it’s a fully visual game that requires no equipment makes it easy and ideal for group video calls (so long as your internet connection doesn’t fail you).

Best/worst outfit

This takes some prior thought, but task your video chatting guests to arrive to the call in the silliest outfit and the best (or worst) outfit wins – you could make yourself the judge or take a vote as a group.

Pictionary

This will work best if you have a whiteboard or flip chart for drawing on, but the idea of drawing objects (or films, books etc) and getting everyone to shout out their guesses will cause riotous (virtual) fun.

virtual games
Getty Images

Emoji language

Type out song names, films, book titles (anything really) in emojis and get your fellow Zoomers to guess what they are.

Scavenger hunt

This one is great for bringing out the competitive side in people. Ask players to find and bring back common household objects (a whisk, a pair of gloves, a toothbrush) and whoever’s fastest wins. Depending on how challenging you want to be, you can make the tasks as niche as you like – ‘find and dress yourself in the craziest outfit’, ‘bring me as many red items as you can find in one minute’ or give it a memory game twist by reading out a long list of items just once and whoever brings back the most correct items wins.

Virtual bingo

My Free Bingo Cards is an online bingo card generator that allows you to play with up to 30 people for free – just enter a few details like how many people you’re playing with and the system will generate each player their own link to join the virtual game, along with their own unique bingo card. You can then either use the site’s online virtual bingo caller or get a bingo wheel and make yourself the caller.

bingo wheel
Oliver Bonas

Blingo Wheel Game, £22.50, Oliver Bonas

Memory game

Grab some pictures from Google (you could go with a theme such as famous art or stills from movies), show them to players using the screen share function on Zoom for a limited time and then ask questions about the pictures, e.g. ‘what colour was the hat?’ or ‘how many people appeared in the image?’

Countdown

You’ll need a set of the Countdown Letters Card Game for this one, but all you need to do is get someone to pick vowels or consonants while you draw the cards (and place them so everyone can see them on the screen) then set your timer and you know the rest – longest word wins!

Countdown letters game
Amazon

Countdown Letters Card Game, £4.39, Amazon

Simon says…

A great game for little ones, but you could also make the actions a bit more complex for grown-ups, too, e.g. Simon says make a cup of tea or Simon says grab five shiny objects.

Quizzes

Okay, okay – we know you might think you’re a bit ‘over’ Zoom quizzes by now, but have you really exhausted the entire gamut of quiz round possibilities? If you need inspiration for questions and round ideas, we have plenty of alternative quiz round ideas as well as music rounds and picture rounds. You could be savvy and use the Kahoot! app to organise your quiz questions (it even works out the scores for you), or go old school and just read them out and get people to write their answers down (if you trust them not to cheat!).