Our team is fully remote and globally distributed and we spend a lot of time thinking about how to bring our team together. One of our favorite methods is a weekly "game day" meeting that we use to close that distance and bond through fun and light competition. This post will share some of our favorite games and some general tips for getting the most out of your game day.
Our favorite games
Codenames has players coming up with clever clues to help their teammates guess specific words. It's fun, quick to learn, and not particularly cutthroat. There's definitely some pressure involved in being the "spymaster" giving the clues so make sure that player is comfortable being on the spot.
You can play the game for free on the official website: Codename.game
Jackbox Party Packs
Jackbox now has 6 packs of games, many of which are good for remote teams. The downside is that someone needs to run the app locally and screen share it to the team – easy to do in Remotion! Some of our favorites are:
Quiplash / QwikWit
Come up with snappy answers to funny prompts and then vote on your teammates' submissions. Quiplash is quick to play and will have everyone laughing. You can buy it stand alone or part of Party Pack 3.
For a free but slightly less polished version, try QwiqWit which is playable in the browser.
Fibbage: Enough About You
Fibbage has players mixing up truths and lies about themselves and having their teammates guess which are real. Gameplay is silly and you get to know your teammates better. Grab the interpersonal version in Party Pack 4 or the older games (about making generally compelling lies) in Party Pack 1 or Party Pack 2.
Skribble is a free, online Pictionary variant. Get points for guessing what your teammate is drawing or, when you're drawing, getting all of your teammates to guess correctly. It's a lot of fun and you can play as many or few rounds as you'd like. Start a new game at https://skribbl.io/.
When we're short on time but want to do something interactive, we'll open Range's Icebreakers which throws icebreaker prompts for teammates to answer. A round of these is a great way to end a standup.
For the Queen
For the Queen is a streamline storytelling game that is perfect for beginner and seasoned storytellers. Players advance the story by answering tightly scoped questions that build out the world and the characters. The game can last for a flexible duration so can tailor it to the time you have available. For the Queen is available in print, where you can have one person hold the prompt up to the camera, and digitally on Roll20.
Other designers have made versions with different themes and topics, available free online at For the Drama.
And many more
Tips for playing with your team
Our game sessions tend to be ~30 minutes – that's long enough to fit a good variety of games but not so long that it disrupts the day.
We aim for games that are quick to learn and don't have a major skill imbalance. If an expert player can regularly beat a novice, that's less fun for everyone.
We pick games with a light tone and a low pressure vibe. There's enough stress in the real world, so there's no need to pick an intense game. We avoid games that involve social deduction or betrayal as they can foster mistrust and bullying that hang around after the game is done.
Make sure to pick games that everyone on your team can enjoy. If some teammates aren't native English speakers, consider avoiding language games. If teammates need to use a screen reader, make sure the game you pick is compatible.
Some of the games on our list might occasionally suggest a prompt that isn't appropriate in a work context – consider having teammates just submit NSFW for any questions they don't want to answer.
If you're playing a storytelling game, consider having an easy way for participants to nix content they don't want to engage with – the X Card is a great tool for this case.
Send us suggestions
Does your team have other games you love playing? How about other tips for making remote play better? We'd love to hear from you – send us an email at email@example.com.