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We have all spent a little more time indoors over the past few months than we would have expected back in January. For many businesses, our enforced isolation has been little short of a disaster, but one industry that has been laughing all the way to the bank is the gaming sector. 

 

Getting social in cyberspace has been one of the big themes of 2020, with octogenarians embracing platforms like Zoom to spend time chatting with loved ones from a safe distance. But the events of 2020 have also given us a chance to find new ways to have fun together. 

 

Multiplayer games take us back to a bygone era of Monopoly, Scrabble or Cluedo around the kitchen table on a rainy afternoon. Today, the titles are different, but there are still games that have multi-generational appeal. The lockdown might be past, but there will be plenty of rainy afternoons to try them out.

 

Animal Crossing

 

There are a whole range of sandbox games out there in which you can hang out in a virtual world and either cooperate or compete. Farmville brought games like this into the mainstream, but Animal Crossing is the one that has truly endured. The player is thrust into a world where he or she is the only human among a community of anthropomorphic animals. It’s a great game to play in co-op mode, and you really can create your own little world in cyberspace. This is one for gamers who are in it for the long-haul, so commitment is a must. 

 

Skribbl

 

This title might not sound so familiar, but it is an online variation on one of the oldest parlour games of them all. In essence, Skribbl io it’s a good old fashioned game of draw and guess. Whether it is pre-schoolers playing with grandparents or adult combatants taking each other on after a few drinks, this really is a game that will appeal to absolutely everyone. It’s easy to access via the Gogy games website, and completely free to play. The chat window is a nice touch, especially if a clue or two is needed! 

 

Secret Hitler

 

This is a classic board game, set in 1933 Germany, that has been cleverly taken online by a bunch of indie enthusiasts. Five to 10 players take part, and at the beginning, each is allocated the role of Liberal, Fascist or Hitler. The objective is to work out who are your friends and who are not, so that you can shape the course of history. 

 

Words with Friends

 

Finally, we cannot talk about online multiplayer games without a nod to the most downloaded app of them all. Words with Friends has millions of players all around the world and follows Scrabble rules that are more-or-less standard. The app will match you up against opponents of similar skill levels and who play at the same pace, or you can, of course, use the excellent social feeds to challenge friends or family members.