Bust out these virtual party games for social distancing fun | Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Bust out these virtual party games for social distancing fun

click to enlarge Mario Kart Tour - NINTENDO
Mario Kart Tour
It's the weekend, and you know what that means! It's time to stay in ... again. But don't let the corona blues get you down. You can still have a great time with your friends and family through online games. See suggestions below:

Jackbox Party Packs (PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC/Mac, Apple TV/iPad, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield TV, and Xfinity X1)
click to enlarge Jackbox Party Pack 3 - JACKBOX GAMES
Jackbox Games
Jackbox Party Pack 3
Oh Jackbox Games, how I love thee, let me count the ways. Since 2011, Jackbox, which previously produced the popular You Don't Know Jack trivia series, has been releasing creative party game packs that are perfect for remote, multiplayer use.

To help you get started, Jackbox has a helpful guide to remote gaming, and from now until April 10, is allowing users to download one of its games, Drawful 2, for free on the Steam store (Windows/Mac/Linux), Xbox One, and Apple TV (it's also 99% off in the Nintendo eShop for Switch in the U.S.). For a limited time, you can also get the Conquer COVID-19 Humble Bundle, featuring "$1,000+ worth of games and eBooks for only $30," with proceeds going directly to charitable organizations responding to the effects of COVID-19, including Direct Relief, Doctors Without Borders, Partners In Health, and International Rescue Committee.

While some might not be suitable for online use — for example, Fakin' It requires actions like pointing at other people in the room — others, like the absurdly funny t-shirt design game Tee K.O., the fill-in-the-blank game Quiplash, and Trivia Murder Party are well suited to social distancing. Most games require anywhere from 2-8 players or more (Lie Swatter can accommodate up to 100).

Stingray Karaoke (Apple Store and Google Play)
click to enlarge Stringray Karaoke - SCREENSHOT
Stringray Karaoke
Is karaoke considered a party game? If you've ever seen the 2000 competitive karaoke movie Duets, starring '80s frontman/rock dad Huey Lewis and Goop's own Gwyneth Paltrow, you know it can get quite ruthless. Now you can try to out-belt your family and friends with the Stingray Karaoke app.

Available to download and use for free through April 18, the app gives you unlimited access to a catalog of over 50,000 songs spanning decades, genres, and languages. To make it easy, there are even pre-made party mixes like Motown Classics, Totally '80s, and Just For Kids for those young chanteuses who just want to repeatedly sing "Let It Go."

For concert-lovers, Stingray is also giving free access to its Classica app (with promo code "freeview"), which features classical music and opera performances, and Qello, where, according to a press release, users can watch a variety of full-length concert films and music documentaries, including from Madonna’s Confession Tour and Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz Tour, as well as the documentary Sensation: The Story of Tommy, featuring The Who.

Mario Kart Tour (Apple App Store and Google Play) 

Race your friends and family in the comfort of your own home through the Mario Kart Tour app. You and up to seven other players can speed through courses as various Nintendo characters like Mario and Luigi, Princess Peach, and Bowser. To get started, you need to download the game (which varies from the console version) and create a Nintendo account. While the standard version is free to download and play, there are also in-app updates you can purchase.

Classic games (Apple App Store and Google Play)

Those looking for some more traditional tabletop fun will find plenty to choose from. You can currently download free app versions of classic board and card games like UNO, Scattergories, and Risk: Global Domination (also on Steam), as well as many others. All are available to play with multiple players, and some even have options to play as a duo or part of a team.

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