We’re (finally) coming out of lockdown and we think it’s great to reflect on what we’ve learnt… Specifically, our top 10 favourite online youth group games.
First on the list is Scribll.io because it’s simple, free, there can be many players and it brings out the creativity in the youth. Each round, one person draws their choice of one out of three words. Everyone else has to guess what word is being drawn. Pretty much online Pictionary (can’t go wrong with a classic). You get points for speed and the game gives you clues if people are taking too long to guess.
This game also allows for custom words, which would broaden the horizons for creative drawings and tie-ins to talks or discussions. Many people can play this game, but to fit into a certain time slot, different games in breakout rooms or less rounds would be ideal.
Another free, browser-based game, that requires people to draw is Gartic Phone. However, it’s a bit like Chinese Whispers or Telestrations, where everyone begins by drawing a word or phrase for people to guess. Players alternate between guessing words and drawing pictures. At the end you get to see the chain of interpretation. Usually, the last drawing is nothing like the original word.
If you’ve got a lot of people in your group we advise breakout rooms, because the more players there are, the longer the game will go for.
The Jackbox Party Packs are a collection of party games, best suited for 6-8 players. Games vary in style, involving creating fake definitions for words and trying to guess the real ones, or coming up with the most entertaining answers to questions that everyone else votes on. These games also bring out the creativity in your young people.
Jackbox Party Packs can be a bit complicated to set up. There is a sizeable initial cost for the host, but it does have the benefit of five games in one pack. The limited players can also be challenging for larger youth groups. Even if you put students into breakout rooms, each room would need a host. These games also require screen sharing, so a stable internet connection is best.
A classic. Kahoot is a quiz-style game that can be based on any topic what-so-ever through pre-made quizzes or ones created by yourself. Players select answers out of four possible options. It’s simple, most correct answers wins. Extra points for being speedy.
Kahoot is great for large groups, and though there can only be one winner, they can still compete amongst themselves for higher positions than their friends. This is also an easy one to play, as it can be entered through an online browser or players can download the app. It does require the host to screen share, but being a simply designed game, it doesn’t require an amazing internet connection.
Based on the board game Code Names, this game divides players into two teams. Red and Blue. Each team has their own code master who gives a single-word clue to help them identify their cards. First to guess all the correct cards wins. It’s easy to set up and join but is best for groups of 8-10 players.
Based on a card game, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a team-based bluffing game. Players are unsure of who’s a good guy or a bad guy and have to ask questions to figure out who’s who. Characters have different roles in the game and can perform special actions (like swapping other players’ cards) to shake things up.
It can be played with a few people, or you can bring in more players to play more roles which makes for a more complicated, confusing and thrilling game. Another browser-based game that we recommend.
A big hit last year, Among Us is a bluffing game where an imposter is amongst a crew on a spaceship. The imposter tries to eliminate everyone before they get found out and voted off. This is great for a large group of people, as you can have multiple imposters if needed. The biggest downside is that it requires players to download the app on mobile or pay $7.50AUD on PC.
If you combined Among Us and the classic Mafia, you’d get Goose Goose Duck. Once again, everyone is stuck on a spaceship. However, in this game there are various types of players. Some are out to eliminate everyone before they are voted off, others have different effects, and one player even wants to get voted off the ship. With heaps of different roles, many players can play this one. Again, this game requires a download, but it is free on PC and Mac.
Smash Karts is a free, browser-based game, or a downloadable app. It involves players driving around little carts, picking up items and eliminating other players. While a fun, action packed game, it can only have up to 8 players.
Escape rooms are a popular team-building challenge where a group must solve puzzles to escape a space. Virtual escape rooms adopt the same concept, but online. There are different stories and scenarios to participate in, each with their own unique challenges to solve.
There are no player limits! Race against the timer as a big group or jump into smaller teams and see who comes out with the best time. Only down-side is that it’s considerably more expensive than the other games, coming in at $45. However, virtual escape rooms are super fun and make for an engaging experience.