When restricted from seeing and visiting your loved ones during these uncertain times it’s important to support each other as much as possible, and sometimes gaming is the perfect way to keep sociable and have fun with friends. Wondering which games might be the best to play with friends during this pandemic-induced period of self isolation? For inspiration, here’s an eclectic mix of different ideas, from online games to tabletop basics.
A massive online fantasy world that throws you in as a lowly adventurer with plenty of quests on the horizon, RuneScape is a multiplayer RPG that’s been around for years at this point, and is completely free to play, meaning you’ve got nothing to lose and can get your friends involved with no excuses. There are a ton of skills to train, from Fishing to Construction, and you can even fight other players in PvP combat if you want to test your might and risk some money. A paid membership will grant you access to additional quests, items and areas, but again you can get started customising your avatar in an account for free, so you can try before you buy with the full experience.
RuneScape is the one that we’ve chosen here for this list, but pretty much any MMO will do for a pretty solid social-isolation choice. They’re games that often have you interacting with real life people in many different aspects, and you can always meet up with friends to tackle dungeons and challenges together as a group, collaborative effort.
Staying in contact with your friends, family, and even work colleagues is imperative during these times, and so we’re becoming reliant on these ‘facetiming’ services that allow us to support each other with as natural of a face-to-face conversation as we can possibly have. Some family members won’t have access to the traditional gaming consoles and platforms, and so these apps can also act as quite a clever way of getting them involved in social gaming in the hyper casual sense.
HouseParty is one of the most popular video chat services available at the moment, and users can play a variety of different social games directly through the app and call itself, without much extra hassle. Some of these different games include a word game similar to Cards Against Humanity, the popular game HeadsUp, and even some trivia with differing topics. HouseParty isn’t the only one of these apps to support extra fun built into the call, of course. Facebook’s Messenger app is another example of a platform that offers a whole host of filters and games that can be applied throughout/during a group chat. Why not spice up your next family group call or work conference chat with a bit of a game?
Platform of choice – One of the things you’ll notice when trying to organise a play session remotely between friends is that there are some games that are luckily available and cross compatible on a range of different gaming setups and devices, and that’s because of the work done on game porting by Abstraction and other companies that specialise in this sort of thing. Making a game or piece of software run on a platform that it might not have been specifically intended for is no easy feat, and so that’s why it’s important that you get sufficient help from a team that has experience in a wide range of devices, engines and platforms.
Sure, video games are absolutely brilliant, there’s no doubt about that, but with all this time spent inside self-isolating, your eyes will start to go square and get strained if you sit in front of a screen for too long. This is even more of an important point if you’re continuing to work from home, too, as you’ll more than likely spend the vast majority of your day sitting at your computer anyway. To help rest your eyes and for something a little bit different, after your daily walk why not indulge in a classic board game with your family or roommates, such as Chess or even a round of Monopoly? You should have a couple of different game boxes lying around in a cupboard somewhere or in your loft/attic, or alternatively you could simply make some games up or play with a deck of cards.
Tactile games such as these always bring people together for a group fun activity, and are much more sociable for the people in your immediate vicinity in the home, rather than sticking your headphones in and zoning out of your house full-time in favour of an online title. Not that there’s a problem with that, of course, but you should try to find a balance.