Being stuck at home with your family during this pandemic can get boring fast. But having a family game night at least once a week is a great way to connect as a family, have fun, and pass the time. Board games are terrific, of course, but there's also nothing wrong with app games you can all play together. (Especially for the smallest members of the family who might struggle with a board game.) Some of the best
iPhone family game apps will be just as fun, if not more fun, than a board game or card game, and you won't need to keep up with a bunch of game tokens.
There's another advantage to iPhone game apps: most of the multiplayer games allow you to play these together throughout the day, no matter where you are. So if your family doesn't all live together or you want to play with, say, cousins or aunts and uncles, you can do that. You may not be able to hang out in person, but playing a virtual game together can be another way to enjoy each other's company.
Here's a look at some of the best iPhone family game apps you'll want to download ASAP.
1 Mad Libs
You remember Mad Libs, right? This simple concept (put random words into a story to make it slightly ridiculous and always hilarious) can entertain kids for hours, and it's also fun for adults. Plus, it's a great way for younger kids to broaden their vocabulary and learn more. They won't even realize they're getting an education while playing!
The app is perfect to play with a group since you can take turns having each member of your family supply words, then read everything out loud. It includes 21 free Mad Libs stories (new content is always being added), interactive hints, and the ability to save your story to share with friends. And while it's really fun to play this with others, it's also something you can do on your own when you're bored.
For Ages: 4+ Cost: Free Download on iTunes 2 The Game Of Life
The Game of Life has always been a really fun board game that lets you pretend you're going through, well, life. It's fun for kids and adults, and everyone in between, and it can take up a lot of spare time. But you don't need to have the board game to play it: it's also available as a multiplayer iPhone app, which is really convenient.
With Local Play, you can play with up to three of your friends (and if you want to play with random people, there's the multiplayer mode that matches you with others). You can play the regular game, Fast Mode, or Minigames, and you can even chat with the other players through the chat feature.
For Ages: 4+ Cost: $2.99 Download on iTunes 3 Heads Up!
Heads Up is a personal favorite, because I've found that it can be a ton of fun for literally any age group, and you can play it for hours before getting bored. Plus there are so many different options that you can play it many different times before going through everything, especially with the paid options.
Heads Up is basically like charades. The person doing the guessing holds the phone up against their forehead, while everyone else acts out whatever the prompt it on the phone. The person guessing has to figure out what they're acting out, which is always hilarious. There are tons of different categories, so there's something for everyone, and it's a great game for larger groups.
For Ages: 12+ Cost: Free Download on iTunes 4 Who Can't Draw
Another fun app for gatherings both large and small (so, in this case, great for big families) is Who Can't Draw. It's similar to guessing games like charades, Heads Up, or Taboo, but they use drawings instead (sort of like Pictionary if you remember that game).
Each user gets a given word, which they have to draw. They pass it to the next player, who tries to draw it exactly, who passes it to the next player, and so on. The last person has to guess the subject of the drawing. It always makes for some really funny drawings, so you definitely don't need to be an artist to play this.
For Ages: 4+ Cost: Free Download on iTunes 5 Psych!
If Psych! looks and seems similar to Heads Up!, that's because it was created by the same people. So, basically, if you love Heads Up!, you'll love Psych!
This party game allows you to play with a small or large family. You'll choose from a variety of categories, and then each player makes up fake answers to real trivia questions. Everyone then has to guess the outrageous real answer among all of the fakes. You get points for each correct guess, and you also get points every time you trick someone into choosing yours (this is where the "psych!" part comes in).
For Ages: 12+ Cost: Free Download on iTunes 6 Escape Team
Escape Team is a fun interactive game that will get your kids off of their iPhones (although, yes, you do need the phone for some of the game). It's a printable pen-and-paper escape game: you pick a mission, print it out, then fold and draw to solve its puzzles while racing against the countdown on your phone.
The game encourages you to play this with a few friends or family members, and it was designed for two to four players, so it's great for smaller families. There's a free training mission and a free first mission included, and then missions two through five are available as in-app purchases at only $0.99 each.
For Ages: 12+ Cost: Free Download on iTunes 7 Exploding Kittens
Exploding Kittens is a very popular card game, and is now also an iPhone game you can play on your own or with friends or family (or strangers) across different devices. You can even play offline with friends in person.
It's described as a "highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette." Each player draws cards until someone gets the Exploding Kitten card. Once they find that, they're out of the game, unless they have a Defuse card, which can defuse the Kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. The other cards are meant to avoid the Exploding Kittens.
For Ages: 9+ Cost: $1.99 Download on iTunes 8 Bounden
If you want to get moving instead of just sitting there, try playing Bounden, the app game that will make you dance. This one is only for two players, but you could take turns with others if you wanted to do a group game.
This unique game has two people holding either ends of the phone, then tilting it around a virtual sphere while following a path of rings. You'll be swinging your arms and twisting your body, dancing to choreography by the Dutch National Ballet.
For Ages: 4+ Cost: $2.99 Download on iTunes 9 Teledoodle
Teledoodle is a fun game to play with anywhere from two to eight players, so it's great for a larger family. This is basically the classic telephone game, but sketched out. Everyone takes turns drawing and guessing until the outcome is revealed, which is usually pretty hilarious.
You can play this fun game all together with one device, or you can do multiplayer mode with multiple devices. There are over 1,000 words to choose from, so you won't get bored anytime soon.
For Ages: 4+ Cost: Free Download on iTunes 10 Ticket To Ride
Ticket to Ride is a fun way to pretend you're on an adventure, even if you're stuck at home in your living room. You can play solo, with random players, or with your friends and family in a local play feature.
The goal is to be the quickest to link up your cities and reach your destinations. You'll try out different tactics, block competitors' lines, and take over routes. There are lots of different strategies to try out, and you can travel the world all over Europe, through Asia, and more.
For Ages: 4+ Cost: $6.99 Download on iTunes 11 Draw Something
Draw Something allows you to play with random users or to play with your friends and family members — and you can do this one on your own time through multiple devices.
You basically take turns with others drawing and guessing what the other person is drawing. There are lots of different categories to choose from, so there's something to interest everyone. It's a really simple game that's also just a lot of fun. And it's great to play this one throughout the day, whenever you're bored!
For Ages: 4+
Download on iTunes 12 UNO!
Now you can play UNO! on your phone and not just as a card game! You can connect with friends around the world to play this one with lots of new rules, tournaments, and adventures. There's the classic game for those who want to keep it simple, and then plenty of newer options to make things more interesting.
You can also play the buddy feature by working together with your friends in 2v2 Mode. It's a fun way to play with teamwork. And if you have your family all together, you can do the Fun Room, where you can set up a game with your favorite house rules. There are so many more options as well!
For Ages: 4+ Cost: Free Download on iTunes