Just when we thought the pandemic might actually be slowing to its end, Omicron arrived. Case numbers are skyrocketing and the itch to hang out with large groups of friends in person is dwindling. Although we shouldn't be going out with friends for rounds of chilled beers or happy hours loaded with sweating pitchers of margaritas right now, drinking with friends is still a lot more fun than drinking alone.
Thankfully, with the help of technology and Zoom calls, some drinking games can still be played virtually with a chatroom of pixelated and familiar faces. If you’re craving human connection alongside a generously poured drink, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are 11 drinking games you can play virtually with friends at your next Zoom birthday party, or over iMessage. Let's just hope your internet connection is still holding up two years later.
Never Have I Ever
You don’t need to be in the same room to play Never Have I Ever (though, sure, it does help to make sure you can see everyone’s fingers and ensure that no one is cheating). Regardless, this game is all about talking through life experiences and laughing about the dumb shit we’ve done while we were young and reckless. If you’ve never played before, the premise is simple: each player holds up 10 fingers. Players go around in a circle and share something they’ve never done before, like say, go skinny dipping. Those who have gone skinny dipping will put a finger down, take a drink, and the game continues. Whoever’s 10 fingers go down by the end of it is considered the loser (or maybe winner for all that rich life experience?); feel free to adapt the game so that the loser takes a shot or downs a beer. Be prepared to learn truly embarrassing things about your friends.
Quiplash is a battle of wits created by Chicago-based video game developers, Jackbox Games, that’s intended for a group of three to eight players. Even without alcohol, the game will induce fits of laughter and test your friends to see who can truly be crowned as the funny one in the group. Quiplash itself is extremely straightforward and playable: all you have to do is answer prompts, like “the last person you’d invite to your birthday party,” and then go head-to-head with friends and vote to see whose answer is more clever or funny. You can buy Quiplash on Steam for $4.99 and connect it to your Zoom account; aside from that, all everyone else needs is a phone—which acts as your controller—and internet connection to play. Turn it into a drinking game is easy; losers have to take a shot, when it’s a tie everyone needs to sip on something, and if you can’t come up with an answer in the allotted time frame you’ll have to chug some of your drink. The game will only get funnier and messier as time goes on.
Ah, this really takes me back to college days and dorm room tiles sticky with spilt beer. Cup Pong is a game under the Game Pigeon umbrella—an app that allows you to play a range of virtual games through iMessage, including darts, basketball, and pool. Like beer pong, your aim is to toss little ping pong balls into red Solo cups with a small flick of your wrist; you even get balls back if you land both balls into cups in a single turn. Unlike beer pong, you don’t have to be at a sweaty frat party to enjoy. Message a friend to play and drink beers as you go for the full experience.
Would You Rather
Would You Rather requires no outside accessories. It’s a game purely about working through difficult decisions. Gather your friends on Zoom, or whatever video chatting service you’re using, and tell them all to prepare a handful of tough questions that will make for a great internal debate. In this version of the game, everyone shares which options they would like to select. The losing team has to drink. Would you rather be a centaur or a mermaid? Would you rather drink a shot of soy sauce or a shot of hot sauce? Would you rather drink alone on a Friday night or play a brain-scratching game with your pals?
Most Likely To
If you never got a high school yearbook superlative, it’s not too late! Find out what your friends really think about you by playing “Most Likely To.” Basically, everyone votes on who is the most likely to do or be something, i.e. most likely to be president, most likely to need help getting out of the karaoke bar after one too many drinks, most likely to buy something stupidly unnecessary with their stimulus check. Whoever is voted the most likely—whether they approve or not—will take a shot. You can even replicate the karaoke struggle experience in this game after a couple of rounds.
Truth or Shots
Let’s all take a trip down memory lane to middle school sleepovers, where Truth or Dare, alongside MASH, were mandatory games. But instead of being dared to go outside and moon your neighbors or prank call your crush, your only options are telling the truth or downing a shot. This is a dare I can get behind.
Is Power Hour an actual game?
The only real objective is to drink something every minute for an entire hour. It could be sips of beer, shots if you’re brave (though you’ll probably want to space those out to every 10 minutes), or—if you’re not particularly up for nursing a debilitating hangover the following day—mugs of whatever non-alcoholic drink you have on hand. The best part of Power Hour is scheduling out time with friends to drink and chat for an hour. And those sips of michelada or chilled wine are merely a bonus.
Similarly to Power Hour, Wizard Staff isn’t a game that has much action—aside from drinking. This is something I used to play in college with my fellow dorky friends who were equally as obsessed as I was with Settlers of Catan and playing Nintendo 64. With Wizard Staff, your main quest is to acquire, as the name suggests, a wizard staff. How does one do this?
By drinking copious amounts of canned beers whose empty remains are then stacked and duct taped together. Whoever has the longest staff is the most powerful wizard and in need of the biggest glass of water at the end of the night. The premise is so stupid, and yet, the desire to become a wizard is tantalizing.
Sure, it's not the same as solemnly gathering around a cup full of brown liquor and cautiously drawing cards until none are left. But virtual King's Cup is possible! Either get someone to be the card master and pull cards for everyone, or play using a virtual deck—like the one on Drink Virtually. You'll still get the experience of abiding by silly rules and taking sips without having to be physically together.
Drink Drank Drunk
Drink Drank Drunkis acrowdfundedcard game from Amsterdam that has made its way online (available for free!) due in part to the pandemic. It's simple and intuitive to play; just set up a virtual room with friends, draw cards, and complete the actions stated on the cards. Among the action cards are various super powers, weaknesses, and rules that can be established to keep the game interesting and the drinks flowing.
Drink With Friends
As the name implies, Drink With Friends is a game about, well, drinking with friends. This online board game allows you and your buddies to connect in virtual rooms via codes, sort of similar to the model that Jackbox Games has popularized. Once in, roll a virtual die and make your way around the board with your drink in hand. Each tile you land on has different challenges or rules to abide by. First one to the finish line is the winner (or maybe loser, depending on how many drinks were consumed throughout the game).