The return of family game night

Technology makes quarantine less solitary
No the dog didn't play.

Family game night 2020: Snacks, drinks, awesome gold cowboy hat. And no, the dog didn’t play. He doesn’t have thumbs and couldn’t work his phone.

One side effect of the coronavirus quarantine is that quite often, people are going out of their way to reconnect with friends and family in a way that seems almost old fashioned.

Anecdotally, at least, it seems as if family game night has made a comeback. With isolated students and workers being forced to adopt video-chat technology such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams or Skype as part of their normal school or workday, people are also using it to connect after hours.

The Dad on Bored household used Zoom recently for a high-stakes Trivial Pursuit night. After a few attempts at setting up laptops, phones, the game board and mitigating feedback, it was a success.

This week, we went slightly more high-tech with Jackbox Games. A collection of hilarious party games, players log-on remotely to the main game board – shared from one player’s Zoom feed, and then use their phones (or smart devices) to participate.

To play, each player needs a phone or other web-enabled device to use as their controller. When you start a game, you’ll be given a unique room code on your screen. Just pull up on your device’s web browser, and enter the room code to play along.

Jackbox even has a tutorial on how to connect with others to play remotely during the quarantine.

One family was in Sandown, another in Manchester and still a third was in Tampa. The gameplay was smooth, easy to understand and best of all, it made everyone forget about being forced to stay in for a while.

The games are designed for 1-8 players. Think of it as a sharp-witted gameshow you can play on your laptop and phone with others remotely. We averaged around six players per-game, and that seemed to be a great number for gameplay and a lot of laughs.

We went with games like Drawful, Quiplash and Fibbage.

Parents: It can stray into the slightly irreverent occasionally, but it can be made family-friendly.

Here’s a look at our remote game night with Jackbox games:

And here’s a look into what the games look like, and some of the features you can expect:

Categories: Dad on Bored