But just because your cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or whomever you normally invite won’t be there does not mean Thanksgiving will be a bust. There are still plenty of ways to have fun during this festive day using something we’ve all grown more accustomed to this year: the Internet.
Besides having dinner on Zoom, there are many ways to incorporate a perfect Thanksgiving family fun night full of games and laughter. All the while, your uncle will still be asleep on his couch this year, not yours.
Here’s a few we think you should try…
Jackbox has a Thanksgiving Game for Everyone
Jackbox is an online party game that incorporates one to eight players, but the audience can play along too.
All you need in order to play this is one person who has a PC with the game. Everyone else can use their cellphone or another web-enabled device. How it works is there are many party packs include five games in each. You will need to purchase these, but they aren’t too expensive.
These games are wildly different from each other, so you can choose the party packs that seem the most intriguing to you. I can guarantee there will be something for everybody in this game. That’s why this may be the way to go if you’re willing to spend a little money.
Once someone opens the game on their computer, the game can be shared on a screen via Zoom or Skype. Everyone playing will join the call and play the game on their cell phone or tablet. It’s simple, and a wonderful way to incorporate everybody.
Each party pack ranges from $13.74 to $29.99 on Steam, Apple Store for Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, or PC.
Family Game Face, for Those Who Zoom
In the midst of lockdowns across the country, Kevin Hart started a Zoom-based game show titled Celebrity Game Face. Here, a celebrity couple or two celebrity friends team up to compete in a series of challenges remotely from their homes.
If they can make a whole show out of this (with more episodes out in December), you can absolutely do this at home during Thanksgiving with a little prep. Below is a list of challenges you can include in your game, but feel free to come up with your own!
First, there must be one game moderator who preps some of these challenges in advance (producing lists, videos, riddles, etc.), then divide your family into groups of two. Next, compete with the challenges below to see who wins the most points:
- (1 Point) Who dunnit?: Each team must produce a list of strange things that one of them has done, and each of the other teams guesses who dunnit. Each team that gets it right, gets one point.
- (Multiple Points) Mouthing Off: The game moderator gives one of the teammates a list from a certain topic (i.e. movie titles, desserts). That person begins the game with five marshmallows in their mouth and has to say each item on the list so that the other teammate guesses it. The speaker then adds a marshmallow for every word they get correct. The first word is worth 1 point, the second is worth 2 points, and so on.
- (15 Points) Pop-a-Balloon: One teammate tries to pop as many balloons with their butt as much as they can within 15 seconds, while the other hands them the balloons. The team with the most pops wins.
- (5 points per dance) TikTalk: The game moderator shares their screen to show a series of popular dance videos from YouTube/TikTok. Then, one teammate must describe to the other teammate what the dance is for them to replicate it while blindfolded.
- (30 Points) Scavenger Hunt: The game moderator creates a series of three or more riddles pertaining to household items. One person from each team must then race to show that item on the camera. First team to bring the correct item wins the round, and the team with the most rounds won wins the points.
- More! We’ve attached a link to a list of more than two hundred minute to win it challenges that you can incorporate into this game.
Sure, this game requires some prep and trips to the store, but the end result will be well worth it.
Among Us, Perfect for Friendsgiving
If you don’t know about “Among Us” at this point, where’ve you been?
It’s like an online version of the childhood game “Mafia,” where you are part of a space crew trying to do a bunch of tasks while the imposter(s) try to kill everyone. The fun part comes whenever someone stumbles upon a dead crewmate or calls an emergency meeting, and you must decide who to throw out. Throw out the imposter(s) or complete all your tasks to win.
With 4-10 people, yelling will absolutely happen, betrayals will be thrown left and right, and you’ll learn just how well your most trusted friends can lie their pants off. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of all the tasks and the layout of the maps, but once you do, this is a game you won’t want to put down this Thanksgiving. I promise you that.
It is currently free for iPhone and Android devices, so everyone can get in on the action. It’s also available on Steam for only $5 so all you pro gamers out there can play this ultra-simple game on your beefy gaming rigs capable of running games at 8K with ray tracing enabled and everything.
We know this Thanksgiving isn’t going to be the same, but don’t let that stop you from having a good time. Who knows, this may be a Thanksgiving you look back on fondly, maybe even the best in years! You just have to make the most of it.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody! From our families to yours.