The Best Party Games on iOS & Android01 May 2019 5
As much as we enjoy our serious mobile games here at Pocket Tactics, sometimes it’s nice to just unwind and have some fun with friends and family. Party and multiplayer games are a really entertaining and worthwhile genre of games and nothing’s better than meeting up, sharing a good meal, and capping off a hangout session via our mobiles.
Sometimes it's hard to get a group of people together, but so long as there's two of you, we've got another great list you might like.
Easy to pick up, high-energy and socially demanding, but along with these requirements comes exhilaration, surprise and a guaranteed way to shake things up. The life of the party might just be lurking in the palm of your hand. Here’s our collection of the best games you can play with your friends, whether you're using an iPhone, iPad or an android device.
- Mucho Party
Legends of Andor (Review)
While not specifically designed with group-play in mind, the nature of Andor means that every hero within the group must take their turn in full before play moves on to the next hero. Given that this is also a fully co-op adventure/RPG, it allows for some accessible (and technically, informal) pass-and-play where you and your group can each take control of a single (or small grouping) of characters as you venture out into the lands of Andor.
This lacks the competitive experience you'll find with other entries on this list, but if you're the kind of people who enjoy playing D&D then this digital alternative is a great way to pass an evening if you don't have access to all your table-top kit, or if you simply don't fancy doing a full on RPG session. The great thing about the digital adaptation of Andor is that it comes with a lot more content than the original physical game, so you really are getting a one-of-a-kind experience.
Royal Adviser (Review)
While Royal Adviser may not be the best 'app' from the self-contained perspective, it's an excellent attempt at creating a wholly digital group experience. If you think of great group games like One Night Ultimate Werewolf or Coup, Royal Adviser packs all of that intrigue and social interaction into a digital game that can in theory fit in your pocket (if you're playing on your phone - the iPad experience is better).
A game of social deduction and hidden objectives, the players each have their own private goal they have to try and advance without tipping off anyone as to what it is. If you act too obvious, other players can try to guess what objective you have, and if they succeed, you lose a lot of influence and points. There is Reigns style trade-off to things as well, so if you try to do one thing, you'll take away resources from another, and thus the bickering and double-dealing ensues.
One hunter chases four innocents across a gothic manse while the would-be escapees struggle to find and solve puzzles. The asymmetry and creepy-cute aesthetic make for a thrilling and iconic experience. The devs are always experimenting with new play modes (like the 8v2 for starters) and the hunt-or-be-hunted setup is a timely mix of the survival- and battle-royale games so en vogue these days. Add in a splash of progression (skill trees, new and unusual characters, cosmetic unlocks) and you have a winner.
Soul Knight is a pixelated top-down arcade shooter with a dash of roguelike elements thrown in for good measure. Technically it’s not primarily a multiplayer game, but the local multiplayer mode is so good it would be criminal not to give it a shout-out here. The weapons are unusual and distinctive, dreamt up with some real flair. It takes some real skill to pull off impressive moves, but the difficulty-satisfaction curve is pitched just right with this one.
Sample a sumptuous variety of mini-games with inspired and easily-digested twists with goofy facial reactions, and deft touch controls. Your player avatar has an oversized head with a handful of emote options which are customizable: just snap a few photos of your mug with exaggerated expressions and mild hilarity ensues. Yes, the new Mario Party is a classic return to form but Mucho Party is a really nice substitute available for the price of a song. A hidden gem.
Heads Up! Was a victim of its own success for a time. The game is dead simple: a word appears on screen and is held above the guesser’s head. This same guesser is assailed by clues from teammates until the guesser finds the right word or phrase . Cycling through words quickly to rack up a high score, switching up the guessing role amongst team members. Heads Up! has one simple advantage over every other game on this list: it doesn’t need a surface to work. Works just as great standing or crammed together in a vehicle. Anywhere with good sight lines is fair game for Heads Up! short of a hall of mirrors. It’s so good that it’s cliche, at risk of getting played to death and forgotten. In case you’ve never given it a chance with a bored group, do.
Masquerading as chaos and nonsense, Spaceteam never fails to gin up a riotous good time. Navigating the reaches of space takes technical know-how and precise coordination, and Spaceteam spoofs these facts of spacetime-travel by splitting up instructions from control panels. Someone knows which button to press, and where, but the orders and details are deliberately turned into techno-speak-gibberish. Jabbering, giddy gibbons sharing gibberish...in space. Seriously though, the game works wonders for those improvisational types who thrive on chaos and unprecedented social situations. Oh, and it allows for cross-platform play between Android and iOS.
Talisman: Digital Edition
Talisman is a wild time and a mess, digital or analogue, but it’s markedly tidier and every bit as much of a caper on the good old ‘pad. Collecting magic artefacts, spells and literal pieces of fate and destiny as the hour grows late. It’s a classic and epic game, but also well suited to casual meet-and-greets, too. Because each turn’s decisions are relatively simple and straightforward, players can banter, chow down or otherwise divert themselves without hampering the flow of the gameplay at all.
Creative word games can be risky prospects when entertaining guests, but they also give such sharp turns of phrase and sweet surprises. (Cue Balderdash, Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity) Anything that allows for write-in answers is a golden opportunity, and Psych! Is no exception, adding replayability and variety. After hearing the prompt, each player jots down a fake answer to add to the pool. Points are earned by either guessing the true answer, or duping others into picking yours. It’s clean, freeform and effortless excuse to mess around and let your imagination run wild with some friends.
Solve a murder mystery with a little ethereal help in Mysterium, where players will use richly illustrated images to try and winnow the guilty from the innocent. Just like in Clue, location, suspect and weapon will have to be grouped into the proper combinations. The mediums divine which of these combinations is valid, and then after successfully sleuthing, the group has to figure out which of the stories is the ghost’s own tragic ending. So a game that goes well ends where the ghost’s afterlife begun. It’s a fun gothic take on deduction, creative visual interpretation, and contention, sometimes downright quarrelsome co-operative goals.
Triple Agent is a mixture of chaos and order, of ineffective backstabs, liars giving useful tips and honest fools botching the naked truth. It’s a find-the-betrayer style party game, just like Mafia and Werewolf, but what sets it apart from its ilk, aside from a whip-smart app and panoply of extra optional win conditions, is the total miniaturisation of the experience. One device is passed around to dole out identities, clues and the final elimination vote. The group at the end of the chaotic play session collectively eliminates one person, and if they were a Good Guy the Bad Guys win and vice versa. Really fresh interface and game design take on an old standard.
Worms are good for the earth, enriching the soil and setting the fields for a rich harvest next season. Worms from Team 17, on the other hand, spend all their lives trading quips and aiming impractical and ultraviolent weapons at each other. Carpet bombs, napalm, the holy hand grenade, anything and everything is an instrument of death in Worms. The terrain is destructible too, and the only ‘loot crate’ drops are just in-game goodies and not a euphemism for scummy monetisation. This is a premier zany 2D shootout, decades old and no worse for wear.
What are your favourite party games? Let us know in the comments!