Games for Quarantine

June 28, 2020 by Jung Ha Lim

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With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping everyone indoors, people have been isolated from their friends, bored out of their minds. After all, there's only so much Netflix a human mind can take before going insane. So with meeting in person out of the picture, how are we to maintain our social relationships? After all, there’s not much you can do with just Zoom. One possible way is through the medium of video games, where you can have more fun with your friends than just stare at each other’s faces. So here is a list of a few games you can play easily on your own browser.

Skyfall:

Skyfall is a 3-8 player game where one player is secretly designated as the spy, and the other players have to figure out who the spy is. Everyone except the spy is given the same location prompt, and the game starts by one player asking another player a question about the location. The spy wins if he manages to find out what the location is, and the other players win if they find out who the spy is. However, even if they find the spy, if they manage to guess the location right then and there, the spy still wins. It’s a bluffing game where you try to think of a question that doesn’t make the location too obvious, but specific enough that other people can assume you’re in the clear. If you’re the spy, you have to both ask questions that could give you hints on what the location might be, but also ones vague enough to not give you away. It ends up becoming an interesting game of accusing and being accused, with multiple strategies appearing along the way. 

Codenames:

Codenames is a team game for 4 - 8 players, and starts by dividing the players into two teams, red and blue. One player in each team is designated as the ‘spymaster’, and the others are ‘field operatives’. There is a 5x5 grid of words, with a third of them designated to be blue, another third red, and the rest neutral. However, only the spymasters know which words are what colors, and have to help their respective teams to choose the words of their own color. Each turn consists of the spymaster first giving their team a word and a number, the word relating to some of the words with their team’s color, and the number being how many words on the grid the spymaster’s word relates to. If the team manages to guess a word of their color, they can continue, but as soon as they accidentally guess either a neutral word or a word of the opponent’s color, their turn passes to the opponent team, who have to guess themselves. This leads to an interesting dynamic where the spymaster has to give a clue broad enough to hit enough of their team’s words, but not enough to also relate to the opponent team’s words. 

Jackbox Party Pack

This is a bit of an outlier, as at least one person has to buy a copy of it, but once bought everyone else can join in through their computers, laptops, or even their phones. The games range from pictionary-esque draw and guess games, to trivia games with a twist, to deduction based games where the crew has to find out who the alien is before it's too late. There currently are six packs, all with five games each. Some are amazing, like Fibbage and Drawful, while some can basically be passed, such as Bomb Corp and Zeeple Dome, but all in all each of the packs are worth the price and more.

The UIC Scribe was founded in 2006 as the official student-run newsmagazine of Underwood International College. It celebrates diversity of thinking, excellence in writing, and the freedom of self-expression.

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