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Houseparty’s in-app games are simple and fun quarantine activity

While we are in quarantine, we are all the MacGyvers to find things they can do. Trying to play a game with friends from a distance becomes a challenge in itself, positioning cameras, laptops, and smartphones so that everyone can hear and see the board, deck, beer table tennis, or screen. When you’re done, you’ve often lost the steam and enthusiasm to play at all.

That’s why I’m here to recommend the games in the Houseparty video chat app. If you haven’t used Houseparty yet, this is like video chat with a social feed. Open the app and you can see who is “available”. The app is also shown when friends are chatting with friends, so you can get on a slope without being called or invited yourself (Get it? Like a house party!).

I really like the app̵

7;s hooligan free-for-all mood, but there’s one more great thing: games are built into houseparty video chats. While chatting with friends, simply click on a small cube icon in the upper right corner and you can choose between four games. They are all HouseParty’s versions of popular games, including Trivia, Pictionary, Heads Up and the Apples to Apples-like game Chips & Guac.

Chips & Guac digitizes apples into apples in the video chat app itself.

Chips & Guac digitizes apples into apples in the video chat app itself.

Image: Screenshot: Houseparty / App Store

My recommendation for the app as a whole has a major limitation. According to the Mozilla Foundation, Houseparty has a miserable privacy policy and could lead to your data being shared with all possible third parties. Desperate times anyway …

The house party games are really simple, but I prefer building a jackbox TV game across multiple screens in zoom. That’s because the games are in-app and just work. Really good, I could add. They’re simple and silly, and all you have to do to play is push a button. If you are bored in a conversation, you can play a little thing.

When Trivia initiates a conversation, you can just go back to video chat and so on. The whole experience is less an annoying production than a slight distraction. And like pulling out a deck of cards at an actual house party, the ease helps make it fun.

The games don’t have the largest catalog of content, but there are expansion packs – available for purchase, of course. I haven’t felt the need to expand my heads-up categories yet. But hey, we’re stuck at home for the foreseeable future, so never say never.

Now get to work!

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