Party games provide a great way for friends, new and old, to come together, share a laugh, and just have a good time. With the new reality of many of us stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, these games can be a distraction and a source of laughter at an otherwise serious time. Here are our favorites!
And when you're ready for more Android gaming goodness, be sure to check out our list of the best Android games!
The Jackbox Party Pack
Since 2013, Jackbox Games has been developing outstanding social party games that are super intuitive to play and available across a wide variety of platforms. It gets people talking and laughing as any good party game should. Depending on the pack, you can get games like trivia or ones based on pictionary.
These fun party games are available through Steam, most video game consoles, and Android TV devices (linked below) so you can play on your TV or computer. Best of all, there are no special controllers required — up to eight people can play using any smartphone, tablet, or laptop to connect. There are seven Jackbox Party Packs available.
To say that Among Us has exploded in popularity recently would be underselling the fad. It's a cute, fun, and interesting multiplayer game that supports 5-10 players where not everyone is as they seem.
Your group is meant to complete various space-y tasks, but among you (get it?) is an impostor hell-bent on killing everyone. He or she will use sabotage things to sow chaos and throw you off. This chaos can mask the murders and/or create alibis for the impostor.
Among Us is a ton of fun to play, though the very deceptive nature of it might strain some friendships! You can play online or locally and I'm sure that you're going to have some fun!
Escape Team lets you enjoy the fun of solving escape room-style puzzles with 2-4 people in the comfort of your home using pen and paper. You download and print off missions from the Escape Team website and then load up the matching mission in the Android app. Then you're off defusing bombs, fixing hacked elevators, keeping planes from crashing, and so on.
The app gives you your countdown clock and delivers a fictional backstory for the missions via audio clips. You can also use the app to request hints if your group gets stuck on a puzzle.
Selfie Games is a casual party game that requires a Chromecast, Fire TV, tablet, Xbox One, or computer to play. It's designed to be played with groups of 3-10 players, and all each player needs to do is download the app on their phone and snap a few silly selfies.
The selfies are then used as drawing prompts. Once everybody is done with their beautiful works of art they write a fake caption for each selfie sketch with the goal of tricking the other players to choose your caption.
Players get points if their caption is chosen. The host will need to pay $7 to create games, but everyone else can connect and play for free. This monetization model is a bit disappointing, but Selfie Games' fun factor mostly makes up for it.
Psych is similar to games like Balderdash. It's a trivia game about bluffing where everyone comes up with a fake answer to the question, and then tries to guess which one is the real answer. You get points for picking the right answer or if someone picks your answer.
This game requires that all players have the app loaded onto their own phones, along with a solid internet or Wi-Fi connection. There are in-app purchases to unlock new categories or decks, but there's enough variety in what's included for free for an evening's worth of fun.
Who Can't Draw
Get your friends and family to flex their artistic skills (or lack thereof) and find out Who Can't Draw. The first artist gets a word and does their best to draw a picture of that word. The phone is then passed around the room, with each person trying to do their best to copy the drawing in just 15 seconds.
It's essentially a sketching version of the old schoolyard game of telephone. Once the phone reaches the last person in the game, they must try and guess what the original word is. It's hilarious to see how the interpretation changes from person to person.
Love it or hate it, Charades is a classic party game that's perfect for all ages. Heads Up! is the popular mobile version of Charades that was made popular by Ellen DeGeneres. It updates the format by having you hold your phone up to your forehead and having your friends and family act out or try to give you clues for the word on the screen.
It's a pretty simple game. If you like Charades, then Heads Up! is probably right up your alley. There are over 40 different themed decks available, and you get eight decks for free. Additional decks are available via in-app purchases and start at $1.
Ticket to Ride
The award-winning train-based board game is a household favorite around these parts, and it also has an outstanding, fully-licensed app for Android. It's a great little game to play with up to four other friends, featuring pass-and-play for playing on a single device, or local area network options if everyone has the app on their own phone.
Setup and play time is short and brisk thanks to all the card dealing and pieces being handled digitally, making a well-designed game even more fun to play.
On the whole, Ticket to Ride is a fine combination of competition and construction. The in-app purchase grants you access to a new bundle of maps and boards, all of which are totally worth the price.
Spaceteam is a cooperative game for 2-8 players where everyone plays the part of a crew member on a spaceship that's falling apart and trying to outrun an exploding star. Everyone is given a random control panel on their phone and you all have to work together to follow time-sensitive instructions.
The twist is that instructions come from the other teammates so you'll need to communicate your instructions (yelling is effective) and listen for relevant instructions for your own control panel. It's a frantic time that requires all players to download the game on their phone and connect over the same Wi-Fi network.
Out of the Loop
Out of the Loop is a game of deduction that's perfect for casual play. It's designed to be played on one phone that's passed around a group of up to nine players. Pick a category and then pass the phone around so that everyone gets a chance to read the secret word — except the one player who "out of the loop" for the round.
Players then take turns asking each other silly random questions about the secret word. Once the question round is over, everyone votes for who they think is the out-of-the-loop player based on how they answered the questions.
Triple Agent is a great party game that's all about deception and espionage. Each player is secretly assigned a role as either a Service agent or a VIRUS double agent. Only the VIRUS agents know who is on each team. The goal for the Service agents is to discover and eliminate the VIRUS agents, while the VIRUS agents try and turn the Service agents against one another.
The whole game is played on one phone and the rules are explained as you play. The base game supports 5-7 players with an expansion available to purchase in the app that offers more operations and customization, along with support for up to nine players.
Undercover is a local multiplayer game perfect for parties. Players are divided amongst three groups: Civilians, Undercover, and Mr. White. Each player chooses a name for themselves and gets a secret word.
Civilians all receive the same word while the Undercover gets a slightly different word and Mr. White just gets ^^. Players then take turns describing their word, although Mr. White must improvise. Everyone then votes to oust the person whose description didn't quite match up.
Undercover ^^ is a ton of fun as you try to figure out who the Undercover is. I enjoy the social deduction aspect and I had a great time when I tried this game out.
Chwazi Finger Chooser
Most of the entries on this list are great multiplayer games you and your friends can play, but Chwazi Finger Chooser is an awesome app to have on your phone for more traditional games. It's an app that's designed to quickly and randomly help groups decide who goes first or help you split into teams.
Simply load up the app, choose the parameters, and then have each player place one finger on the screen. Once everyone is in, Chwazi takes a moment and then randomly selects one finger to go first or splits everyone into color-coded teams.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
First of all, if you skipped that video linked above, please watch it. It has one of the best trailer songs I've ever listened to and it's been stuck in my head for days. Second, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is perhaps a perfect party game, because it quite literally forces you and your mates to keep the conversation going or perish.
A bomb-defusing game for two players or more, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes gives one player the bomb and the other players the manual for how to defuse it. The players with the instructions can't see the bomb at all and you're all on a short timer to save your lives (and your friendship?!), so shenanigans are sure to ensue in this explosive good time. Bombs are procedurally generated, so it's a new experience every time.
Similar to Jackbox games, only one person needs to own Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. The owner initiates the game and provides a code so that the other players can join in by going to a website on their own phones. It's a wonderfully simple system, which makes this ideal for an on-the-go party game.
Update June 2021: Added Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes to our list!