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Bored during the lockdown? Why not challenge your friends and colleagues to one of these top 10 video call games.

The isolation during the COVID-19 lockdown period can be challenging. Whether you're feeling lonely because you're on your own, or you're ready to murder your spouse/kids/flatmate because they're continually annoying you, it's tough.

Why not ease the mood with some games? Specifically, online games you can play while conference-calling on Zoom, Housparty and more. There are tons of fun and entertaining games available to help you pass the time. Heck, some of them may even teach you a thing or two!

To make things a bit easier, here is a list of 10 top games you can play while on a video call to the family you haven't seen in weeks, or to release the tension with colleagues if you guys are still working remotely.


1) Charades

Not only is this a classic, but it can also be played easily via video conferencing. The guys at mrdsolutions.co.za have created an easy-to-use version that will generate a word or phrase based on the category you have selected, plus it runs the timer for you too. Sign-up is free, and there are even instructions included, so there's no cheating.


2) Karaoke

This is, and will always be a love it or hate it activity, but surely it's a better way to pass the time than planning the demise of your annoying neighbour who thinks he knows how to play the drums. Sign up to singsnap.com and follow the instructions to get started. It's a social platform too, so you're bound to make new friends who can help you annoy your neighbour back with terrible singing!


3) Virtual Talent Shows

There are a few ways to do this, such as YouTube Live, where organizations in the creative and performing arts communities are setting up events on services like YouTube Live, where they stream events to attendees. A company called Metro Creative Connection has taken this one step further and invited anyone that is part of their community to submit their performance (before 30 April 2020) and have it broadcast on their platform. Go on, be a star!


4) Trivia

A company called Sporcle have a ton of online games that they offer, including trivia games, which you can play by yourself or as a multiplayer. If you want to take it one step further, you can create your very own trivia game to play in Zoom. Just visit triviamaker.com and follow the easy steps and turn your next Zoom video call into a trivia game show for you and your mates!


5) Netflix Party

Okay. So, technically, this isn't a game, but did you know that you can install the Netflix Party extension into your Google Chrome browser and enjoy watching Netflix with friends in a different location? It even has a group chat so you can interrupt each other all the time too! You can host long-distance movie nights and TV watch parties, as long as each friend is logged into their Netflix account.


6) Crossword Puzzles

Here is a great game to keep granny and the kids occupied. All you have to do is visit free-training-tutorial.com, select the age-appropriate crossword, upload it to the conference call with your mother and let her and your kids play for hours. Now, go get a glass of wine or a stiff whiskey, and enjoy the peace and quiet.


7) Scavenger Hunt

This one is probably the easiest to play as it requires no special sharing, downloads or uploads to your video chat. All you have to do is make a list of household items for your kids to find, like a teddy bear, a fork, something-blue-from-the-box-in-the-attic, and so on. If you're lazy, you can find hundreds of these on Pinterest that you can use. Now, when you're having a serious chat with your friend, and his kids are driving you nuts, you can send them off in search of items they may not ever find.


8) Pictionary

There are multiple versions of this game that you and your friends can play online. One free option, which is a basic chat room with no video calling, is called drawize.com. It's as simple as creating a new 'room' and sharing the room code with your friends. The drawing tools themselves are pretty cool, with various pens and colours to use, and everyone gets two minutes to guess what the picture is.


9) Caribu

This is a virtual playdate for parents, or family members, and kids who are not in the same location. It's a book-reading app where both participants can see each other as well as the book that they're reading. It's free to download and try, with in-app purchases for the full library of stories with their favourite characters, like Barbie, Sesame Street and many others. Plus, every purchase helps donate towards free subscriptions to all currently serving US military members.


10) Houseparty

This is the most popular app being used during the lockdown. If you're unfamiliar with the app, then let us tell you all about it. Houseparty is a social networking service that enables group video chatting across both mobile and desktop apps. Once you and your friends have signed up, it's easy to connect and get chatting. There are built-in games you can play by selecting the Dice Icon on the screen, plus you can stream music so everyone can hear what you're listening to. It's a fun way to spend a couple of hours with friends in a different location.


So, there you have it, plenty of ways to ease the boredom or frustration of the coronavirus induced lockdown. Now, get online and have some fun. Maybe you'll even smile again, who knows!

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