Feeling…board? Try a Virtual Game Night Shabbat

One of the best things about Friday night is gathering with friends and bonding over a shared activity — be that wine tasting, movie night, or board games. In the time of social distancing, that becomes harder…but even if you’re alone, you can enjoy the fun of shouting an answer through the interwebs in hopes your teammates will figure it out.

(Unfortunately, Facetime can’t [yet] hide an awful poker face)

When you’re through with Charades and Never Have I Ever, check out our new Nourishment option for digital game night: Steam. Steam is like Netflix for video games — it’s the place to go to try out thousands of remote-friendly options. There are lots of great games to meet every price range, including free – and you can create a free account to browse the library. But if you’ve got your heart set on one of the paid games for your next virtual Shabbat, contact your local Field Manager once you post your dinner who will hook you up with Shabbat Nourishment in the form of a digital gift card. When Friday night rolls around, everyone can log into the game or gather around to screenshare together.

A few notes:

  • Only one person needs to have the game, and once you buy it, it’s yours to use forever!
  • The first time you use OneTable Nourishment for Steam, you have to post your dinner and choose this option the week before your dinner, as it takes multiple days to get “approved” by Steam to accept credit.

Check out some of our favorite games right now…

If you love high stakes, getting extremely hype over something which technically isn’t real, and pretending that you and your friends are in a James Bond movie, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is the game for you. One player has a (virtual) bomb, and the others have the defusal manual — work together to defuse it safely! ($10, 2-4 players)

Another great option is Drawful. Don’t worry — this is fun for artists and people who are definitely not artists alike. You’ll be given a weird prompt to draw (think, “skittles” or “wisdom”) or make your own prompts with hilarious inside jokes. Then your friends re-title your drawing, and vote on what they think it was really supposed to be. Cue ridiculousness — currently free on Steam or the App Store. (3+ players)

Also worth checking out is Steam-exclusive game Monster Prom, a visual novel dating simulation where you explore wacky, hilarious situations, raise your stats, and compete against friends to seduce one of your monster classmates in time for the big dance. ($12, 1-4 players)

Finally, Jackbox. This is legit the best choice if you want a wide variety of choices — each party pack contains five unique games involving drawing contests, trivia, sabotage, storytelling, and comedic genius. Impress your friends with your skills & talents or make them look as ridiculous as possible. The host’s shared screen becomes the centerpoint, and participants use a secondary device (your phone, tablet, or computer) to participate. ($12-30 per pack, 3+ players)

None of these striking your fancy? Try out one of these free websites with tons of games to choose from:

HouseParty

If you haven’t yet heard, HouseParty is a pretty typical video chatting app, geared towards smaller/more intimate online groups. The big bonus of Houseparty is that it has built-in games! Start out with some virtual ritual, and then transition seamlessly into Game Night. You can choose from Heads Up, Trivia, and other dinner party classics. Best for 2-8 users.

Codenames

Play Codenames online across multiple devices on a shared board. To create a new game or join an existing game, enter a game identifier and click ‘GO’.

PlayingCards.Io

A free website with a digital card deck and playing surface. Choose from games like Cards Against Humanity and Remote Insensitivity. Or, use a standard card deck to play whatever game is your summer camp favorite, with a virtual “game board” visible to everybody and “hand” only visible to you. Anyone for Poker? Runs best with 2-6 players.

Tabletopia

Create a free account, find a game, hit “play online,” and invite your friends! If you’re enjoying a #SoloShabbat, you can even play 50+ games on solitaire mode. One of the most popular games on the site is Spyfall, which is perfect for good liars and those who love figuring out a mystery. Each player is given the same location — except the spy, who has to fake-it-til-they-make-it amidst skeptical secretive group questioning.

Annie Prusky

Annie is the OneTable DMV Field Manager who loves hosting people and has a passion for relationship-building and empowering folks to create their own vibrant expressions of modern Judaism.

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