11 Entertaining Games to Play on Zoom for Grown-Ups

Published April 16, 2020
Friends talking via internet

When you're stuck at home with nothing to do and can't meet up with your friends in person, there's always the Internet to come to the rescue! Using Zoom or a similar video conferencing software, you can arrange a fun game night with your friends and family no matter where they are in the world.

Online Drink and Draw

This is an activity common among artists where everyone will gather together as a group and draw a model while enjoying an adult beverage. You can put your own virtual twist on it and the rules are quite simple!

  1. Either have everyone draw one person in your group holding a pose on camera, or pick random objects or concepts for everyone to draw.
  2. You can have everyone draw taking turns using the whiteboard feature, or they can draw on a piece of paper at home and hold up their finished drawings to the screen.
  3. To use the whiteboard feature, when in a meeting, click on the Share Screen icon and select Whiteboard. The set of whiteboard tools will appear once you've selected it.
  4. The funnier the concepts you pick and the worse you all draw, the more fun the game is (along with more cocktails!).

Cyber Werewolf

This is a fun party game that can be played with a group of people online. The game can last about 30 to 90 minutes depending on how many players you have. You need at least seven to have a good game and you can play with many more with the moderator increasing the number of players who are werewolves. This game is a great option because it doesn't require any equipment, cards or game boards. You just need to understand how to play Werewolf before moving it to Zoom.

Rules for Cyber Werewolf

  1. The game requires one person to run it as the moderator.
  2. The moderator assigns the roles of werewolf and seer to players via the private chat option on Zoom. The players must keep their roles to themselves. Everyone is assumed to be a "villager."
  3. The game has a "night" and "day" phase. During the night phase the moderator will private chat the werewolves, if more than one, and tell them who the other werewolves are.
  4. These players must then decide which villager will die. They can do this by private chat (it might be easier to do a group private chat using something like Facebook Messenger for this stage of the game.) They will then private message the moderator with the victim.
  5. The moderator will then announce that he or she is communicating with the seer, and will private chat them and ask them to message back one person. If that person is a werewolf, the moderator will private chat back this information.
  6. The moderator will then announce that is now daytime and will announce which villager was killed. That player is now out of the game and can watch the rest of the events as they play out.
  7. The players now will decide who they will kill because they believe they are a werewolf. They can hold this discussion using the regular Zoom video chat.
  8. During this discussion, the werewolves will pretend that they are human and do whatever they can to place the blame on others. The moderator will remain neutral, but villagers can ask them how many werewolves and seers there are still alive. The seer will want to try to deduce who is a werewolf without letting on that he or she knows, since the werewolves can choose to kill him or her during the next evening phase.
  9. Once everyone has decided on a victim, that person will be dead and out of the game.
  10. The game will continue until the wolves win or villagers win.
    • The wolves win if there are more wolves alive than villagers.
    • The villagers win if all the werewolves are dead.

Online Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeon and Dragons had already begun to be played online by players prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, and gameplay has continued to rise as more people are socially isolated. The Dungeon and Dragons website provides rules you can download and tons of tips on how to play the game virtually. They even provide resources for virtual dice rollers. All you need is your imagination and a group of friends for a campaign! You can really increase the uniqueness of your game on Zoom by:

  • Having everyone make a themed Zoom background for their character or for the environment of the game (such as a creepy dungeon backdrop)
  • Encouraging players to cosplay with whatever they have at home
  • Adding in music and sound effects

After all, if you're all at home, no worries about being constrained by playing in public! A Dungeon and Dragons game can last three to four hours, although some games can go much longer and span several nights depending on the campaign. Most games involve three to seven players.

Virtual Hangman

Using Zoom's white board feature, you can play the traditional game of Hangman. This is a great option as you don't need any other equipment and you can play for as much time as you want. Adults can make the game much harder by using tougher words or using longer phrases instead. One person will control the board and you can each take turns being the one choosing the word or phrase and running the game. You can make special "themed" games by having each word you play be part of a larger phrase or sentences, or have every competition focus on a topic. The topics can be anything that engages your group of adults, whether it's politics, nostalgia or sexual themes.

How to Play Virtual Hangman

Hangman should ideally have at least two players, but the more you have the more fun it is. Games can last 10 minutes or longer depending on how long you want to play.

  1. You can either use the Zoom whiteboard feature, or just share your screen and use any type of drawing program like Sketch.io or Pixilart.
  2. You will draw lines on the screen to match the number of letters in the word or phrase you want people to guess. For example, if the phrase is "out and about" the lines would look like "___ __ _____."
  3. Leave space above the letter area for the hangman.
  4. The group will take turns guessing a letter. If that letter is in the word or phrase, you will add it in the place where it should go. If it does not, you will draw one line of the hangman stick figure drawing.
  5. The group wins if they guess the word or phrase before you can fully draw the hangman. If you are able to draw him before they guess, the player controlling the game wins.
    Three happy women on couch with laptop

Zoom Bingo

Bingo can easily be played online and you can get together with your friends and family to make themed bingo cards in Word or Google Docs. You can also download Bingo templates. Just email the cards out to everyone so they can print out or check it on their screens to play. Go with traditional numbered squares and call out the numbers after rolling some dice. Or you can be creative with some funny adult themes for the squares such as:

  • Different types of Zoom background themes
  • Specific words or phrases spoken out loud
  • Seeing a person take a drink
  • Checking your social media during the game
  • Mentioning household supplies like toilet paper
  • If a pet walks into the room

Or you can devise bingo games for adults based on themes like parenting mishaps or television shows everyone is binge watching.

Karaoke Online

Karaoke is easy to play online because you don't need any special equipment. You can find lots of songs with music and lyrics only on YouTube. Just share screen and play them and each person, or all of you at once, can start singing along. Popular channels for karaoke on YouTube including Sing King which has everything from classics to current top 40 hits and the Karaoke on Vevo channel with a wide variety of playlists including country, Latin, and Broadway hits. If you really want to make a night of it, pick one theme, such as disco, and have everyone dress up to match the theme and decorate their homes or find themed Zoom backgrounds to match.

Zoom Background Contest

The Zoom background feature is one aspect of the software that people love because it gives them a chance to express their own personality. You can come up with a Zoom background contest in two ways.

  1. Come up with a list of 10 to 20 themes and let everyone know what they are ahead of time. Players can then be ready with their background to show as you call out each theme. You can pick themes based on movies, personalities, and funny or adult situations. At the end of each round the players pick a winner, or choose one player each round who will be the "judge."

  2. Ask each player to come up with a few themes of their own but keep them private. Then start the game and everyone will take turns calling out their theme. Players have five minutes or less to search the internet to find the best image to match the theme. Each round will have a winner chosen by the group or an appointed "judge" player.

How to Set a Zoom Background

It's easy to set your Zoom screen to have a background. All you need are some images, which you can upload from your computer.

  1. When you're logged in to Zoom, hover your mouse at the bottom of the screen so that the toolbar pops up.
  2. On the left side of the toolbar, click your mouse on the arrow "^" symbol to the right of the video camera icon.
  3. Click on "Choose Virtual Background."
  4. You can choose any of the image provided by default, or click on the small grey "+" sign on the upper right above the image box and choose Add Image or Add Video.
  5. You can then upload an image or video. The images and videos you upload will then populate the box underneath your webcam image. Just click on the one you want to be your image and then exit out of the settings box.
  6. It's a good idea to test this out before the game begins to make sure your internet connection is strong enough to support playing a background image or video.

Virtual True Confessions

Based on the recurring skit on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show, this game can easily be played online with Zoom. Ideally, you should have at least three players.

  1. Each player comes to the game with three things they have written down, two of which are lies and one of which is true.
  2. You can either call out a number between one and three or go around the group and have each person pick between one and three for the next person and so on.
  3. Once you've all picked your truth or lie, then each person gives some background info on their truth/lie and the others take turns interrogating each other.
  4. At the end of the game, everyone votes on whether each person's item was true or not.
  5. While the object of this game is to have fun and see who can spin the tallest tale, you can keep a score and the person or persons who guesses the most amount of truths and lies wins the game.

Online Who Said It?

Who Said It can be played on Zoom in two ways. The first version is run by the host.

  1. The host can come up with a list of quotations beforehand, and players can form teams.
  2. As the host reads out the quotations, the first person to call out has a chance to give the answer. If correct, their team gets a point. If not, the other team has a chance to answer correctly.
  3. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

In the second version, each team or individual player can come up with their own list of quotations.

  1. As each team takes turns, one player from the team will read out the quotation. The other team has 60 seconds to come up with the answer (with no cheating on Google!)
  2. The teams rotate turns and the team with the most points wins the game.

In both versions you can use the Zoom whiteboard feature to keep track of the team points. You can assign themes to teams, such as famous politician quotes, horror movie quotes, or anything that the group would really enjoy.

Friends talking via internet

Zoom Night at the Improv

If you love shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway, you can play a fun version of this game over Zoom. There are many improv games played on the show that can make hilarious adult games over Zoom.

Improv Dating Game Online

  1. For this fun take on The Dating Game, one player will be the question-asker and three will be the "dates."
  2. The host will send a private chat message to each date, giving them an assigned personality, such as a celebrity chef, a magician, or a dog trainer.
  3. The question-asker then asks each person dating-themed questions and they must stay in character while answering them.
  4. At the end of the round, the question-asker must guess who each person's character is.

Improv Online Party Quirks

  1. Similar to how The Dating Game is played, the host of the game private messages each person a character, such as sulky teenager or movie director.
  2. Then the group gets together and acts out their character while interacting in the "party."
  3. At the end of an agreed-upon time, each person private messages the host with who they think each person's character was.
  4. The person or persons with the most correct guesses wins.

Set Number of Words

  1. In this game, you agree upon a small number of words, such as four or five.
  2. The host gives the setup for a scene, such as a courtroom trial or a day at the beach.
  3. The remaining players take turns saying one line, which can only contain that number of words.
  4. There's no "winner" in this game, the goal is simply to keep the scene going and have a fun time laughing with each other.

Virtual Never Have I Ever

This is a classic game that you can play with or without the commercial edition. The object of the game is to read out adult situations and players need to admit whether or not they engaged in that scenario themselves in real life. If you have the commercial edition, one player can be the host and read off the card scenarios. Or you can come up with a list of scenarios on your own prior to the start of the game and even brainstorm them with some of the other players. This is another game where there's no winner, but rather the goal of the game is for everyone to laugh and enjoy hearing each other's stories. You can make the scenarios mild or with mature sexual and other adult themes depending on the preferences of your audience.

Playing Games With Friends on Zoom

All you need is some creativity and most games can be adapted to play online with friends and families. Rather than sit at home bored and alone, reach out to your game-loving compatriots and start playing online tonight using Zoom or similar software!

11 Entertaining Games to Play on Zoom for Grown-Ups