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Making the Most of Video Calling: 10 Games to Play Over Zoom

In our recent blog, 5 Ideas to Safely Celebrate the Holidays During COVID-19, we mentioned that playing games on a Zoom call is a fun way to safely stay in contact and have fun with family and friends. While there are endless games that can be played over Zoom, here is a list of ten games and instructions on how to play each game:

10 Great Games for Video-Calling! 

     1. Charades

To begin playing charades over Zoom, split the participants into two teams. Each player can write down ten phrases on pieces of paper (person, place, thing, movie, book, TV show, etc.), fold up the papers, and put them in a bowl. When a player's turn is up, they can choose a phrase and act it out on camera for their team members to guess within a time limit. If their team correctly guesses the phrase, their team earns a point, but if they cannot guess the phrase in time, the other team gets the point. At the end, the team accumulating the most points wins!

     2. Pictionary

Like charades, split the Zoom participants into two groups and have each player prepare ten phrases on pieces of paper, fold them, put them into a bowl, and mix them up. When a player's turn is up, they will draw the phrase on a piece of paper or whiteboard and have their teammates guess the phrase based on their drawing. If their team guesses the phrase correctly, they get a point, but if they do not identify the phrase correctly in time, the other team gets the point. Scoring the most points makes the team the winner.

     3. Yahtzee

yahtzee five dice and cupTo play Yahtzee over Zoom, each player needs five dice and a score sheet to fill out. Players can get a score sheet online to use digitally or print out. Each player will take their turn in order until everyone has filled out their score sheet entirely. The top scorer is the champion! To make this a longer game, simply play multiple rounds. Each score sheet has enough columns to play six rounds.

     4. Trivia

Today, there are endless trivia card games such as Trivial Pursuit, After Dinner Trivia, I Should Have Known That!, 2000s Ultimate Trivia Game, Know It All, and more. There are even trivia card games that relate to a specific topic, such as TV shows, movies, music, etc. For example, Rolling Stones: The Rock & Roll Party Game, Friends the Television Series Trivia Quiz, Star Wars Trivia Game, etc. With your friends or family on a Zoom call, the person that owns the trivia card game of choice will be the facilitator and scorekeeper. Players can choose to split into teams or play as individuals. The person or team scoring highest is the victor.

     5. Bingo

BingoTo prepare to play Bingo over Zoom, each player can go to this website to choose and print out a randomized bingo card. Choose one person to be the caller. Players can use any small items, such as buttons or coins, as their Bingo chips. The chosen caller can go to this website, which is a Bingo call generator. To call a random number, click the button that says "Next Call" until someone gets a Bingo. To start a new round, refresh the web page and clear previously called numbers. Players can choose to play five in a row (diagonally, vertically, or horizontally), four corners, or blackout (all squares filled in) to mix up the game. Players can organize prizes for winners, or to keep things simple and free, the winner can have pride as their prize.

     6. Scavenger Hunt

Whether indoors or outdoors, scavenger hunts appeal to all ages, although an indoor scavenger hunt will be easier to play over Zoom. You can choose to use either of the following example scavenger hunts, find a different one online, or use the template pictured below to create your own scavenger hunt. To play over Zoom, find an item on the checklist, then show it over Zoom to the other players before moving on to the next item on the list.

Or, create your own with this customizable template to create a scavenger hunt.

     7. Desert Island

desert island question markThe idea of this game is for players to choose essential items to bring if they were ever stranded on a desert island. Each player can take their turn asking a question over Zoom, and then everyone will go around and say their answer(s). Here are some example questions:

  • If you could choose five items to bring, what would they be and why?
  • If you could bring one book, what would it be and why?
  • If you could bring one movie to watch, what would it be and why?
  • If you could choose one individual to be with you, who would it be, and why?
  • If you could hear one song, what would it be, and why?
  • If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be and why?
  • If you could have a famous person stranded with you, who would it be, and why?
  • If you could choose one outfit to wear, what would it be and why?
  • If you could bring one weapon for protection and hunting, what would it be and why?
  • If you could make one phone call, who would you trust to answer, and why?

     8. Twenty Questions

Twenty Questions is the most straightforward game to play over Zoom because it does not require any materials or preparation. Taking turns, each player thinks of a person, place, or thing, and the other players must guess that person, place, or thing in 20 questions or less. Players can only ask "yes" or "no" questions. To get points, the person with the person, place, or thing in their mind must stump the other players. If the person, place, or thing is guessed, that person does not receive a point. The player amassing the most points is the 20 questions champion!

     9. Name That Tune

listening to song video callTo play name that tune, players will take turns playing songs over Zoom while the other players try to guess either the song title, the artist of the song, or both. The player that is the first to identify the song title correctly gets one point. The player first to correctly guess the artist gets one point. If a player is the first to answer the song title and artist correctly, they get two points. The first person to get twenty points wins!

     10. Truth or Dare

Players take turns choosing truth or dare. The person in the Zoom video square to the right of them will do one of two things: ask a question or give a dare to complete. Each player gets one chicken, meaning they either do not have to answer the question or do not have to complete the dare. After a player uses their chicken, if they do not want to answer the truth or complete the dare, they have to turn their camera off and are out of the game. The last person with their screen on wins!

Try these out over your next family Zoom calls and see which best works best for your family. Then, let us know in the comments below - what is your favorite game to play while video calling?

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Want to play games between Zoom calls? Check out our Games and Entertainment page to play a number of fun solo games online free!