Best Android Family & Group Games
Just Dance Now
Nothing brings a party together like getting people to dance. Still, not everyone knows how to dance, which is where Just Dance Now comes in. This mobile spinoff of the hit console series brings more than 200 titles to iOS and Android smartphones, including "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson, "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley and (for some unfathomable reason) “Hungarian Dance No. 5” by Johannes Brahms.
While the game is free to download, you'll need to pay for most songs. However, you can buy a temporary pass for as little as $1 per hour — great for a single night of entertainment. You can also cast it to a big screen via Google Cast or Apple AirPlay.
What do you call a group of zebras? What in the world is a mumpsimus? Inspired by party games like Balderdash, Psych has you cooking up the zaniest but most plausible answers to these questions so that you can fool your friends and score points. Each player secretly submits a funny but plausible answer; once collected, the submissions (and the correct answer) are displayed on the screen, and players try to figure out which one is the correct one. If somebody chooses your submission, then you score a point, and if you guess the right answer, then you score a point as well.
It’s time to decide who’s an agent of the Service and who’s a nefarious VIRUS infiltrator in Triple Agent, a quick-playing game of social deduction that’s inspired by classics like Mafia and Werewolf. In this version, which requires five or more players, the action’s condensed to a single round of clues. Players pass around the phone to learn their allegiance to the Service or VIRUS, and then the app provides each player with a single Operation that can reveal clues about other players or change the nature of the game. At the end of the round of deductions, players vote on who to imprison, and once the vote is tallied, that player and their entire team loses the game. The game is free, with an in-app purchase unlocking more expansions.
Step into a haunted manor and commune with a restless ghost in the Android port of Mysterium, a social deduction card game that has players interpreting cryptic clues in an attempt to avenge an unsolved crime. Each round, the ghost player lays down a series of evocative cards that hint at the killer, the scene of the crime and the weapon used. Meanwhile, other players take on the role of psychics interpreting the cryptic visions. This Android version is a faithful adaptation of the board game, only you pass around a single phone or tablet instead of shuffling a deck of cards. Mysterium also includes a campaign mode, as well as solo or online play. In-app purchases unlock expansions sets on top of the original game.
Selfie Games makes good use of your phone and a smart TV or Chromecast to bring you selfie powered shenanigans for up to 10 players. Everyone snaps a selfie, and one player is given a secret, wacky drawing prompt around a selfies. Once done, everyone sees the doodle and secretly writes their own caption. You then vote off on the captions, scoring points if you can guess the original, or if someone thinks your own caption was the original drawing prompt. The app is free to download and participate in a game, but you'll need to buy the $6.99 in-app purchase to host a game.
Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes
A VR-enabled game that needs at least one player with a Google Daydream set or a Samsung Oculus rig, Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes is a group game that has everyone pitching in to help defuse a live bomb within a limited time. The catch? Only player with the VR rig can actually manipulate the bomb, while everyone else can only give directions using a set of freely downloadable bomb defusing manuals that come with the game. Naturally, this leads to a lot of garbled directions, all around chaos and hilarity.
A cooperative or competitive multiplayer game for up to a dozen players on the same Wi-Fi network, Train Party has you scrambling to build a railroad route across your Android device's screen using the pieces available on the map. You also have to shoo away animals and saboteurs from blocking or destroying their track. Once the train crosses your board, it hops into another player's device like a hot potato, with players either cooperating to keep the train going as long as they can or competing to be the last player standing as the train derails on another device. The app is free to play, with a limited number of power-ups available each round; an in-app purchase unlocks unlimited power-ups such as stations to slow down the train and
replacement track sections for tracks damaged by saboteurs.
A charades-style party game made popular on the Ellen DeGeneres show, Heads Up challenges players to guess as many words as possible from a themed deck of charades cards based on their friends' clues. The guessing player holds their mobile phone up to their forehead, with the screen displaying the word to be guessed. Deck themes include celebrities, movies, animals and more. Additionally, players can create their own custom decks with an in-app purchase of $0.99 per deck.
Bounden is a dancing game that takes advantage of your the motion sensors in your Android phones to get you to move. What makes Bounden different is that it’s designed to be played with a partner. Each dancer takes hold of one end of a smartphone and then tilts the device to move an on-screen sphere through a path of rings. Players swing their arms around, twist their bodies, and before they know it, they're both dancing. The app comes with seven dances designed by the Dutch National Ballet and classical music written with dance in mind.
Who Can't Draw
Who Can't Draw takes inspiration from the old game of Telephone, where you use your phone’s touchscreen as a drawing pad for some garbled message hilarity. The first player is given a word to draw in a limited time, and each player down the line is given a brief moment to interpret and copy that image. The last player then has to guess what the word was, and can then nominate players as the best and worst artist for that round. The app comes with basic word packs, and users can access additional themed packs, like Pokemon, Star Wars, or Big Screen by watching ads or through in-app purchases.
Reattach the Electronic Grabber, activate the Multi-Spoon and set the Contaminant Hypnothruster to 3. Spaceteam is a cooperative party game of science fiction technobabble, that has you and your friends playing the role of starship bridge crew racing to avoid disaster. Every game features chaos, confusion, teamwork and a whole lot of shouting. Each player's screen is composed of an instrument panel of buttons, switches and sliders; as impending doom races toward the ship, players have to execute timed tasks, barking out instructions to other players while also paying attention to their own screen. Conveniently, this party game supports cross-platform multiplayer between Android and iOS players. How many missions can you accomplish before your untimely demise?
Ticket To Ride
Ticket to Ride is the mobile port of the beloved board game that sees players connecting cities with train lines in an attempt to score the most points. The mobile app supports solo play against AI bots and online play against mobile and desktop players, but it also shines with its pass-and-play multiplayer support, which works particularly well on a big tablet screen. Ticket to Ride features easy-to-teach rules and challenging multiplayer gameplay, which works great if you have board game-loving friends over.
King of Opera
Tuokio has released a number of mobile games geared toward same-device multiplayer, and a hilarious standout is King of Opera. In this raucous fighting game, four players take the role of competing tenors trying steal the limelight from other singers by body slamming them off the stage. The game features simple one-button controls for each player at the corners of the screen, which propel your tenor forward into the other spinning singers. It’s best played on a large screen tablet.
Hoopa City 2
Dr. Panda's Hoopa City 2 app has players teaming up with Hoopa the Hippo to build their own urban playground. Kids can combine a variety of elements to build houses, roads, train tracks, museums, shops and more. A helpful combination guide recalls the building recipes you've already unlocked. As your town grows, more cuddly animals move in, and you can zoom in and play with them, placing them inside buildings so that they can study in school, eat in restaurants, or play in your parks and plazas. Hoopa City is all about free play, with no score boards or points; instead, there’s just an open world for kids to build the city of their dreams.
Toca Life: Hospital
Toca Boca has a strong track record of delivering premium family friendly games and software toys that kids and parents can play with together on touchscreen devices. One of the latest in their lineup is Toca Life: Hospital, which gives you and your kids a virtual playset to explore. The game comes complete with characters and interactive objects like gurneys, hospital beds, CAT scan and ultrasound machines, and more. You can move, combine, and interact with those objects to discover hidden reactions. You can simply play around or tell short video stories (which you can record, complete with voice). You won’t find any ads or high scores, creating a gentle, playful experience.
Why We Love Group Games
Mobile gaming doesn’t have to be just a solo affair with gamers hunched over to the glow of the touch screen. Gaming can be an extremely social affair too, from classic party games, board games and icebreakers to multiplayer games that encourage you to dance and play together with friends, family, and guests. Check out our favorite Android family, group, and party games for your smartphone or tablet.