If you’re blessed with a friend group made up solely of gamers, then you probably never run out of online multiplayer games that you can play together. You can go shoot at each other in Call of Duty: Warzone, test the strength of your small armies in Dota Underlords or see who can snag that Culture Victory in a day-long game of Civilization VI. It’s easy to find digital pastimes with your friends if they’re as much of a gamer as you, but that’s rarely the case.
Our non-gamer friends deserve some precious online hangout time just as much as our Dota buddies, and the good news is that there are plenty of free, simple, browser-based multiplayer games that anyone can play. Whether you just finished an online class or business meeting on Zoom, or you’re just hanging out with the boys on a voice chat server on Discord, there are quite a few game options that you can invite everyone to participate in.
Here are five browser games you can play with your non-gamer friends, family, and just about everyone else.
Gartic.io and Skribbl.io are basically simplified Pictionary clones. If you’ve never played Pictionary, it’s similar to charades except whoever’s turn it is must draw the word or phrase they’re given instead of acting it out. Both gartic.io and skribble.io have chat features that let you converse while hiding your correct answers from everyone else, and players’ turns are taken automatically.
You can also add custom words or phrases in both games to personalize the experience for the group of people you’re playing with. Here’s a fun suggestion: add your friends’ names to the word pool and see if anyone can draw them well enough to be guessable!
Powerline.io is a multiplayer take on what is arguably the first hit mobile game to ever exist: Snake. I mean, everyone still remembers Snake, right? It was a simple game that could fit on any Nokia phone back in the day, and surely more people have played Snake than any other mobile game. All you did was move your snake around in four directions in order to catch a pixel of food, and every bite made your snake longer. As your snake grew in length, the screen would run out of space, and the real challenge was keeping your snake from bumping into itself and dying, for as long as possible.
Powerline follows the same concept, except everyone’s playing in a giant box, and you can defeat other snakes by having them bump into the trail you leave behind. It’s actually more of a mix of Tron and Snake rather than just a multiplayer version of Snake. The fun part is that you can play with dozens of other players online, and you can invite your friends to the same room to play as a team against everyone else.
If you and your friends miss hanging out in the outside world or maybe had some of your trips canceled, then GeoGuessr might be the next best thing. GeoGuessr is as simple as it sounds: you pick a certain area or range, and GeoGuessr will start going around the world to show photos of destinations within your chosen range. The game is all about guessing where you might be, based on what’s being displayed on your screen.
There are also custom sets of destinations for famous places or famous cities if you’re more into playing guessing games about culture rather than geography. GeoGuessr fits all the criteria of a game you can enjoy with anyone: it’s simple, it’s entertaining, and you can play it from a browser. Give it a try, and you just might find a new destination to travel to the next time you plan a trip.
It’s been a while since the popularity of Cards Against Humanity peaked, and maybe some of us are already over it, but there’s no denying that the game can still be hilarious at times. Pretend You’re Xyzzy is an unofficial online clone of Cards Against Humanity, and it even includes most of the expansion packs available for the original game. It’s a perfect digital recreation that at times feels even better and more convenient than the physical card game.
While blank cards and custom card sets have since been removed from Pretend You’re Xyzzy, there are still plenty of expansion packs to choose from. Whether you’re a Trekkie or a self-proclaimed weeaboo, there’s an expansion pack for those ultra-specific references that’ll suit your tastes. All you need is a twisted sense of humor.
Sometimes, all you need for game night is a deck of cards. In Playingcards.io, you can share a tabletop where all movements made by players are synchronized in real-time. Playingcards.io provides several card game presets as well as a free-play, click-and-drag mode that lets you and your friends play cards as if you were playing in real life. If you miss sharing a drink and playing poker or Pusoy Dos with your buddies, then this is the perfect substitute.
If you get tired of playing the usual card games, the Playingcards.io tabletop also has presets for Checkers, Backgammon, and Cribbage, among other classic games. Playingcards.io is a simple concept with great execution, and it has none of the tedium you might expect from a digital playing cards-oriented tabletop. Before you know it, you’ll be on your tenth game of Go Fish.
So those were some of the most accessible multiplayer browser games that you can play with just about anyone. If you’re into party games and you’re willing to shell out some cash for more, I highly recommend the Jackbox Party Pack, but if you’re simply looking for a fun and free way to pass the time with your friends, then the games listed above should be more than enough for your group gaming needs.
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