8 Best Party App Games
Parties are back in vogue – no more do we need to rely on our smartphones to connect with one another. But that doesn’t mean our mobile devices have become socially obsolete. In fact, why put your phone away at a party when your phone can be the party? Thankfully in this wonderful digital age we live in – the perfect party app games are just a tap away.
We all know what some people will say: “Why can’t you just use pen and paper like the old days?!” Well, Linda, because pen and paper doesn’t hit you with a “good job!” jingle when you win points. Plus, if you want the young ones in the room to get off their phones then this is the perfect ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ excuse.
The best party app games often take the parlor games of yore and add a modern flourish we never knew we needed. Such as…
Heads Up! has taken the classic ‘sticky-note-on-your-forehead-game’ and improved on it immensely. Partly by giving it an actual name. Only in this version one person must answer a quickfire series of names/things/places whilst their teammates desperately try and describe them or (even better) act them out.
The frantic guessing app game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has been one of the go-to party games for phones for years. And during that time the sheer number of subjects party-goers can explore has grown to include emojis, kids’ toys, musicals, Marvel and everything in-between. Be prepared to spend on extra decks, but there are bundles aplenty for bargain hunters.
Part of the fun is watching a panicked player tilt in the ‘wrong’ direction on a correct guess in the heat of the moment. Well, fun for the opposite team, anyway.
Who doesn’t love singing in public? Well okay, quite a lot of people despite what TikTok would have you believe. But if you find yourself at a party of wannabe (or bonafide, for that matter) divas then Smule has established itself as the perfect ego-stroker.
Over 10 million songs are waiting to be improved by your dulcet tones. The party app boasts ‘studio-quality’ audio complete with special effects. Plus, there’s a feature with an on-screen pitch guide so you can practice in private before blowing your guests away later.
Oh, and if you ever wanted to duet with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reprising his seminal role as Maui but couldn’t quite track him down IRL, then you’re welcome.
The Quizmaster’s Quiz app, Kahoot! is the most no-nonsense trivia app available. And the fact that a host can create and share their own quizzes with such a sleek and engaging UI only adds to the pizazz of any party.
Kahoot! was never meant to be a party app. Its primary purpose is as an interactive teacher’s tool, which is evidenced by it being free for teachers and students. But Kahoot! Is not oblivious to its uses as a tool for fun. That is, after all, kind of the point.
The fair (if a little pricey) subscription model for casual users and versatility makes this the quintessential quizzing app. Users can create their own with visual flairs or pick from a near limitless set of pre-made quizzes, and everyone can take part on their own phones.
Among Us was famous for bringing friends and families together at a time when we were physically most distant. But now that we can, playing this spirited whodunnit simulator whilst in the same room as one another adds a brand new level of intensity to a game that’s all about lies and betrayal.
Sweaty brows, shaky hands and shifty eyes are all new things to look out for as you sit across the room from the person who just murdered you. Looking into the impostor’s eyes as they lie directly to your face also feels extra spicy as you learn just how good (or bad) your other half is at lying. It’s almost as good as Monopoly as a bonding exercise. Talking of which…
Monopoly – Classic Board Game
Party going a little bit too smoothly? Well if it’s drama you’re looking for, then Relationship Wrecker: The Game (AKA “Monopoly”) is just the ticket. When you’re not the one forking over your last Monopoly cent to your greedy grandma, watching the turmoil unfold is schadenfreude in its purest form. And now that pot can be well and truly stirred no matter where you are.
The Monopoly app game offers a multitude of modes with house or customizable rules, as well as an offline mode which can be played by passing the “board” around. The beauty of it being a party app is that you don’t need to keep a close eye on that sneaky ‘banker’ slipping themselves an extra 20 when nobody’s looking. Just imagine if real life was like that!
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes puts players in a bomb defusal situation. Which certainly doesn’t sound like the best premise for one of the best party app games. However, this harmless multi-platformer is a great team-building exercise in communication as a chosen “Defuser” must neutralize a procedurally generated bomb on their phone screen with nothing but the instructions of the “Experts” (read: their drunk friends) to go by. And neither side can see the others’ screens.
For the full secret agent experience, a Samsung Gear VR Headset is recommended. But luckily for those that don’t have the cash – or for those who don’t want to experience the simulated stress of the real deal – an iOS port was created in 2019. Just be sure to not get too absorbed and throw your phone out of the window in the final few seconds.
For a far less static party game (excluding the moment you flip the table in Monopoly) there’s Bounden. This party app game breaks all bound(en)aries by taking the last thing that’s supposed to require a phone and turning that into a party app game. Take that, dancing purists!
In fact, the app was itself created by some of the biggest “dancing purists” you could imagine, The Dutch National Ballet, in collaboration with indie developer Game Oven. And as indie developers are wont to do, it demonstrates one of the most creative uses of an inbuilt system that we’ve seen.
Bounden uses a phone’s gyroscope to make two players, each gripping either end of the device, twist and turn in sync. Which is also known as dancing. And yes, it is the perfect excuse to ask that girl you like for a dance despite your two left feet. How many app games can do that?
Jackbox by name, Jack of all trades by nature. This is the ultimate party app game experience, with a smorgasbord of minigames that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. The Jackbox Games series has so far released eight Jackbox Party Packs each with five hilarious party games available.
Collecting them all can get a little pricey, but one is all you really need as an icebreaker, or even as the evening’s main entertainment. And believe us when we say that before you know it, your guests will be throwing money at your feet to get the next pack ASAP after just one round.
Jackbox Games are best played with an Apple or Android TV, though a tablet is just as doable. Players must each connect and then play with their respective phones by connecting to the game via their browsers.
Of course, now that we have all gotten used to remote socializing, there’s no requirement to crack out the party app games in person. Some of the best party games for phones can be played remotely.
So next time you’re in that Zoom meeting why not don your party hat and send out that Jackbox link to spice things up? Once your boss sees your expert drawing of a cat, they’ll have no choice but to promote you.
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