Tara, Laro: Crowdsourced Games for Friends

Red Calayan

October 12, 2020

Some of us might already be feeling the strain of this new normal on our friendships. We’ve already been in quarantine for more than half of the year! 

Even if we’re physically distant, we can still keep our connections. One great way to maintain our friendships is through games! We crowdsourced recommendations for games for groups of friends and here’s what we got:

1. Among Us

I’m not surprised that this came first. We first tried it during the start of the pandemic when my friend was figuring out a way to get to know his crush and surprisingly, it was a success! Seven months na sila! (Hindi, joke lang, wala pang sila.)

But this did turn out to be a great way to build and strengthen friendships!

For those who still aren’t familiar with the game, here’s the gist:
You’re part of a crew on a spaceship and you have to complete different tasks around the ship to finish the game. There’s a problem though. There are impostors among you and they will kill you when they get the chance. They can also sabotage the ship. Real crew members work to figure out who the impostors are and they can vote out their suspects. 

It’s a really good game. The suspense and tension are real. I highly recommend playing this while using Discord to talk. This game is available to download as a free mobile app. But to play it on a laptop, you will have to buy it from Steam. 

2. Call of Duty: Mobile

This game has been out for a while, but it’s still great. It’s basically a first-person shooter game. You can team up with your friends to fight strangers online or you can create a private server to compete against each other. It’s great to play this game while talking to your friends over the in-game voice chat or even over Discord.

In my experience, you can play really intense games when you choose the ranked mode, competing against more experienced players. Or you can keep it chill by playing unranked or some simple Team Deathmatch. 

You can actually have great conversations and catch ups over voice chat. Take it from me, this was my way of getting to know my crush (HEHE).

This game is available to download as a free mobile app. 

3. Jackbox Games

Jackbox Games has been around for a pretty long time, but they keep coming up with fresh games every year! They have a collection of different kinds of games you can play with friends. For example, in Patently Stupid, you compete with friends to come up with the best invention. Trivia Murder Party is a trivia game set in a haunted hotel. Quiplash is a competition where you have to come up with witty answers to different prompts and you guys vote for the best one. Some games are for smaller groups, while some are for bigger ones. But a lot of these games have audience participation, so you can invite more people. 

You’ll get to see who among your friends are quick on their feet to think of ideas and those who are witty. You’ll also find out who are very competitive. Finally, you get to appreciate each one’s unique personalities because there’s a game for everyone to excel in. 

The games aren’t free, but you can buy them from Steam. It’s cheaper to get it from there than directly from the website. Prices vary depending on which pack you get. 

4. Codenames

I love this game! And I’m so glad there’s a free online version at codenames.game. Here’s the gist:

There are two teams. There’s a bunch of words laid out in front of everyone. Some words belong to Team A, other words belong to Team B, but nobody knows which belong to whom except each team’s spymaster. Spymasters take turns giving one word clues to help their team figure out their words. The first team to get all their words is the winner. 

This game gets intense and really competitive and it will really stretch your thinking capacities. You’ll also figure out who makes the “big brain” plays. I highly recommend it. 

5. Kahoot!

Trivia games can be really competitive. That’s why I love them. Kahoot! is a trivia game platform where you can play with your friends. One feature that I love is that even the speed of your answer affects how many points you get, so there’s extra pressure. There are a lot of pre-made quiz packs, but you can make your own. If you want to use this as a getting-to-know kind of game, you could get each one to make their own trivia questions about themselves, maybe about personal facts that not a lot of people know. You can check out Kahoot! at kahoot.com/

Other games that deserve a special mention include Mobile Legends, PUBG, and of course, sariling sikap” games like Charades and Pictionary, which you can do via Zoom or Discord. You just need your own game master, come up with your own words, and for Pictionary, you could use Google drawings on GDrive and just share your screen! 

Whatever game you decide to play, for sure your personalities will come out, you’ll get to know each other more, and your friendships will grow. 

Sometimes, in the pressure and overload of online classes, blowing off steam together is one of the best ways to express love to one another. We may not see each other face-to-face but we get to be there for each other, in season and out of season. 

Let’s continue to be intentional in guarding and growing our friendships! 

Tara, laro!



The Author

Red Calayan

Red Calayan is a full-time LIFE coach at Every Nation Campus Katipunan. He is also a former radio DJ, professional meme creator, sitcom script writer, and drummer (or "drummer emeritus" as his bandmates like to say) of a local band, Munimuni.