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The best games to play with Alexa

In addition to all of the great smart-home controls that the Alexa voice assistant brings to the fold, did you know that Amazon’s trusty digital companion can also be the life of your next party? Playing games with Alexa is a surefire way to entertain all of your guests, whether you choose to immerse everyone in a round of trivia, a story-based adventure, or some kind of guessing extravaganza. For your consideration, we’ve rounded up a number of the best games you can play with Alexa right now.

Further reading:

Choose-your-own-adventure and story-based games

The Magic Door game for Alexa.

Magic Door

If you’ve never played a choose-your-own-adventure game with Alexa, you might want to start here, as it can be hard to go back to Alexa’s somewhat emotionless voice after listening to a game with actual voice actors (which we’ll get to later). In this game, you get a monotone Alexa saying things like, “Oh, my, I’m really scared now,” in the exact same tone she replies that she’s turned your lights off.

Still, it’s a good game for beginners. To start, Alexa will ask if you want to explore the mountains, sea, or forest. Each will send you on a magical quest along a path strewn with magical objects, talking creatures, and occasionally creepy sounds. For some reason, you need to turn on notifications to enable this skill.

Rated: Parental guidance suggested

Magic Door on Amazon

Earplay

Earplay has more stories that you influence with your choices. In the demo, a woman sits at your table in a restaurant and asks you to pretend you know her. Every choice you make, from playing along with her ruse to rummaging through her purse, will have consequences. Earplay’s secret agent story, Codename Cygnus, is a seven-chapter interactive fictional world where you are a secret agent trying to accomplish your mission. Earplay now has five additional stories you can choose from, including Jurassic World Revealed and You and the Beanstalk, perfect for the whole family.

Rated: Mature

The Dark Citadel

For lovers of Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, and Diablo, The Dark Citadel is an episodic, choice-based gaming experience where the player is the last hope for the besieged city of Alderton. Alexa is the humble narrator of your quest, reading off rich and descriptive passages that create a compelling narrative for you to interact with.

At key junctures, Alexa will provide prompts that allow for attacking, conversations with strangers, getting boozed up at the hamlet pub, and a slew of other choices that will influence the outcome of the player’s overall story. Snippets of cinematic Game of Thrones-esque orchestral movements and fantasy sound effects help to pad out this immersive journey.

LC Publishing, the developers of The Dark Citadel, are truly masters of the episodic, or “chapter-based,” gaming subgenre. Once you complete their Citadel adventure, you can even take your full-fledged hero (or villain) into three new stories from the LC team, including Ghost StoriesLast Light in the Dark, and Gumshoe Detective Agency.

Rated: Parental guidance suggested

Skyrim Very Special Edition

Of course you can play Skyrim with Alexa — sort of. This version of the Elder Scrolls V is all audio-based, and it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek in a way that will have those familiar with the RPG chuckling. However, by directing Alexa, you can still make your way around Skyrim, fight, shout, open doors, and fight dragons. Yes, the whole thing really is created by Bethesda Game Studios, so it’s as authentic as you can get for a voice-assistant adventure in the Nordic realm.

Rated: Mature

The Orpheus Device

If you feel like getting a little spooky, this haunted house adventure will be right up your alley. The game has you explore an old haunted house with the eponymous Device, which allows you to communicate with a family of ghosts — a very dysfunctional family filled with resentment toward each other from their tragic lives. Talk with them, learn their secrets, and unlock everything the haunted house has to offer on your way to bringing them what peace you can.

Rated: Mature

RuneScape Quests: One Piercing Note

RuneScape is an online RPG, but you don’t have to know anything about the game’s fantastical medieval world to play One Piercing Note. As an adventurer, you’re tasked with solving the mystery of the abbey. It’s a bit like The Name of the Rose, only it’s dead nuns instead of murdered monks.

Unlike The Wayne Investigation, this quest is Alexa-free, helping to keep you in the atmosphere of the secluded abbey, which may or may not contain a demon. Fair warning: Some of the details are pretty gruesome.

Rated: Parental guidance suggested

Detective Ivan – Crime Investigation

In this fun little 2034 cyberpunk mystery, you play a detective working alongside a state-of-the-art artificially intelligent crime scene investigator. Each story is told in a case-by-case format, where players interact with Ivan in real time as he collects clues and witness testimony to help players solve crimes. The developers of the game, The Verse, are still in their infancy as a gaming outfit. Based on Ivan’s production quality and plentiful options for story and character advancement, we can expect big things from the team.

Rated: Parental guidance suggested

Escape the Room

Escape games are all the rage, so it’s not surprising one exists in an Alexa-compatible format. It’s not quite a choose-your-own-adventure game, but more of a verbal hidden object plus puzzle game. A smart speaker may not be the best format for this, so be prepared for some repetition.

There are only a few simple commands to control most of your movement, so if you want to look at objects on a shelf, you have to first be looking at the shelf. If you’re looking at the door and say, “Look at the shelf,” Alexa will tell you there’s no shelf to look at. For some reason, she also had some trouble understanding us in general. We said bucket, not buffet! Despite the difficulties, it’s still a unique game for the platform and will take longer than some of the others on the list.

Rated: Parental guidance suggested

Yes Sire

This isn’t quite a story game, but you are answering questions to determine your fate. You’re a medieval lord just trying to live under the reign of a temperamental king. The monarch isn’t happy if you’re too rich, too poor, too influential, or if you hold no sway. Sometimes you’ll find yourself with too much money and make a move that should empty the coffers a bit, only to find it backfires. Good luck trying to survive with your head intact.

Rated: Mature

Based on a TV game show

Jeopardy! as hosted by the late Alex Trebek.

Jeopardy!

When you hear Johnny Gilbert and Alex Trebek greet you upon firing up this skill, you know it’s the real deal. Each day, you’ll get to answer a question from six Jeopardy! categories. Prime subscribers get an extra six from the Double Jeopardy rounds for free; non-Prime members can pay $2 a month for these questions. If you’re having trouble thinking of the correct response, you can stall a bit by not answering in the form of a question, and Alexa will remind you. This is, of course, cheating and wouldn’t fly on the actual game show.

Rated: N/A

Deal or No Deal

This unofficial version of Deal or No Deal is zero stakes. You pick a briefcase to hold onto, then subsequently chose other briefcases to open. Hopefully, you get rid of all the ones containing a cent, $500, $1,000, and so on, without opening the ones holding $1 million or $750,000. You might want to keep a pen and paper handy, or you can open your Alexa app to remind yourself which cases you’ve already chosen. Fun fact: Meghan Markle used to open briefcases on the show.

Rated: N/A

Guess the Price

Though Bob Barker isn’t there to ask you questions, and it isn’t quite the Price Is Right, but the Guess the Price skill still makes you feel like you’re on a game show. As with the game show, you will be guessing the prices of items. If you guess the exact price you get bonus points, but close is good, too.

Rated: N/A

Good for a group

Echo Buttons shared between partygoers.

Song Quiz

With Song Quiz, Alexa will play a snippet of a song, and you can guess either the artist or title. Get both correct for bonus points. You can choose a decade between the 1960s to and 2010s and play with friends in the room or solo. If you’re alone, the game will pit you against a stranger. Don’t worry, you don’t actually hear each other’s answers, just whether they got it right or wrong.

Every once in a while, Alexa will let you know just how skilled you are: We were among the 18% that got both the title and artist for Sugar Ray’s “Every Morning.” It helped propel us to victory against Catherine from Georgia. And if you’re going to make fun of us for knowing that Sugar Ray song, shut the door, baby, don’t say a word.

Rated: Parental guidance suggested

Would You Rather Family

This party game makes you choose between two terrible scenarios, then lets you know what percentage of people agree with you. Actually, this is the family edition, so some of the scenarios aren’t too bad. (Would you rather spend the night in an amusement park or a library?) There’s also Harry Potter edition included in this skill, which was unexpectedly entertaining.

Rated: Parental guidance suggested

Truth or Dare – Spin the Bottle

This game is a mix up of two party games: Truth or Dare and Spin the Bottle. Alexa spins an imaginary bottle and will tell you who it lands on. From there, the play must choose truth or dare. There are 220 questions and tasks for Alexa to choose from, depending on the answer, so the games won’t get boring too quickly.

Rated: Mature

True or False for Family

The idea of this game is simple: Answer true or false to a series of questions. Some are straightforward, others are tricky. Even if you guess correctly, you might learn something, since Alexa often follows up with more facts. You may know David Letterman was a weatherman, but did you know he once gave a tropical storm kudos for getting upgraded to a hurricane?

Rated: Parental guidance suggested

St. Noire Cinematic Board Game

This is an interesting new genre of board games that are also Alexa games. Let us explain: You purchase the board game in a traditional way and set it up with an Echo speaker nearby. Alexa — with the help of other voice actors — then introduces and narrates the game as you play. St. Noire’s murder mystery setup is particularly good for this sort of approach. It’s a little like Clue, but with areas stretched out across a city instead of a mansion … and each game only lasts around 30 minutes, so sessions don’t have to take too long once everyone has learned the rules.

Rated: Adults & Teens

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Based on the popular game show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? tasks players with answering questions across 22 different school subject categories, including astronomy, music, science, and more. With all questions pulled directly from first- to fifth-grade curriculums, you’ll get to see exactly how your own intel stacks up against that of the elementary attendees of the world. For those looking to expand the game, a Brainy Box VIP subscription adds local multiplayer for going toe to toe with your friends and family.

Common Knowledge

Common Knowledge is one of those party games that everyone will think is going to be a breeze … until push comes to shove. Hosted by Joey Fatone of N’Sync, the game poses questions to players from categories like “Survival” and “Etiquette” — but the answers can be real stumpers, leading everyone at your next gathering to wonder exactly howmuch common knowledge our brains are able to log.

Word games

Echo Buttons shared between partygoers.

Word Play

You’re looking for a five-letter word. Alexa will supply the first letter or two, but the rest is up to you. It’s a bit like playing Wheel of Fortune without the light-up letters. Going the “r-s-t-l-n-e” route isn’t a bad idea, because you’ll know when you got a letter in the right spot, when you’ve got the correct letter but it’s in the wrong position, or when a letter isn’t in the word at all.

Let’s say your word starts with “bl.” You could guess “bland,” and Alexa would tell you that “b,” “l,” and “a” were in the right spots, “n” isn’t in the word, and “d” is in the wrong spot. Opting for “blade” next would probably be a good idea.

Rated: N/A

Categories Game

Much like in Scattergories, you’ll get a letter, and each word you give must start with that letter. Alexa then reads off the categories, one at a time. The more you play, the more categories the skill will unlock. There isn’t really a competition mode, so you can give the most obvious answer and won’t be penalized. In Scattergories the board game, if you and another player have the same answer, neither of you gets points.

Also, Alexa is comfortable accepting completely wrong answers for questions, as long as they start with the correct letters. Letter: D. Category: Superhero. Answer: Debbie Reynolds is correct. (We actually said Danger Mouse, but OK.) Also, we could never get Alexa to accept our (actually correct) answers for the category of the week. We know they’re right, because we Googled “Pokémon characters that start with “r.” Alexa is wrong; we are Raichu.

Rated: N/A

Word of the Day

This game goes beyond just teaching you a new word every day. It also quizzes you on it to help you remember. First, it will have you listen to the Word of the Day flash briefing, then it will ask you questions about what you just learned. It’s a great game for those that want to increase their vocabulary.

Rated: Guidance Suggested

Guess My Name

Though you can play this skill alone, it’s much more fun playing with a group of people. You’ll hear a series of clues in your chosen category. Your job is to guess what you think Alexa is describing before anyone else. For example, if you knew the answer you would yell, “Alexa, you’re Marilyn Monroe!” Categories include countries, animals, historical figures, famous actors, animated characters, and random.

Rated: Parental guidance suggested

Heads Up!

From the beloved app and created by Ellen DeGeneres Heads Up is the perfect game for a group of people. You’ll choose a category and Alexa will provide three fun facts and clues for each card. See how many you can get in 90 seconds, and the person that gets the most wins. The categories you can choose from include superstars, blockbuster moves, animals gone wild, just for families, and more.

Rated: Parental guidance suggested

Twenty Questions

In Twenty Questions, it’s you against Alexa. After launching the game, think of a word, and Alexa will do her best to guess the term you’re thinking of in 20 questions or less. Available categories include Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, and the all-new Music Related, where you can task Alexa with guessing your favorite song or artist. As Alexa begins to ask you questions, you can answer “yes/no,” “unknown,” “doubtful,” and more. If the voice assistant can guess the word on your mind, she wins! Twenty Questions is an entertaining Alexa deep-dive with fluid communication between the human player and Amazon’s digital encyclopedia.

Drinking games

Editor’s note: Always drink responsibly!

Smoked beer on a bar.
Smoked beer: An introduction Peter Kim / Shutterstock

Who Drinks

Whether you call it Kings, King’s Cup, or Jug Oval (what?), there’s a fair chance you played some version of this college drinking game. For Who Drinks, Alexa takes over the role of the playing cards. Instead of assigning an action to a particular value — like guys drink when a five is flipped over — simply ask Alexa “Who drinks?” She’ll respond with something like “drink left,” meaning the player to the left of the person who asked has to take a sip. She may also come up with categories, like nap time (last one to put their head on the table drinks), or T. Rex arms (you have to tuck your elbows into your sides when holding your cup). It’s not a bad substitute if you can’t play a card drinking game.

Rated: Mature

Party Game

If you do have a deck of cards but want to switch things up, Party Game offers some twists on a similar Kings theme. Players deal out the entire deck and look at their hand to see if they need to do what Alexa commands them to. The person holding the seven of clubs might have to give all their aces to another player, give the person holding the three of diamonds a back massage, or choose between doing a 15-second squat or drinking. One flaw is that if you don’t ask for the next prompt fairly quickly, the game exits. That might be fine if you’re just swapping cards, but asking everyone to touch the ground could take a little longer.

Rated: Mature

Country Drinking Game with Cale Dodds

Think you know everything there is to know about country music? This drinking game will make you prove your skills. The host, Cale Dodds, will ask you a question about country music trivia. If you get the answer right, you get and point and if you get it wrong, you have to drink. Five points wins the round. You can play with up to eight people.

Rated: Mature

Kid games

Keep in mind with kids skills, you’ll need to opt into a lot of permissions. These might include recording your child’s voice, so take a look at the terms before agreeing.

A family playing games with an Echo Show.

Silly Things

Designed to get kids moving, Silly Things has Alexa prompting them to perform different actions, from posing for selfies to pretending they’re in an invisible box. You do have to ask for something else to try each time, presumably because kids will likely want to spend more time pretending to ride a broom or acting like a zombie who’s scared of humans than doing an upside down smile.

Rated: N/A

The Spongebob Challenge

In The Spongebob Challenge, players are tasked with a series of memory-based mini-games set against the ever-popular universe of Spongebob, including Patrick and the many other movers and shakers of Bikini Bottom. From helping Mr. Krab serve up complicated orders to his Krusty Krab patrons to lending a hand with Patrick’s new talk show, there’s plenty of entertainment here for multiple play-throughs.

Queen’s Mathematician

This skill is a combination of choose-your-own-adventure and math game. You are tasked with rescuing the queen after she’s been kidnapped by tricky, arithmetic-loving elves. To save her, players must solve problems (fewer than 99) involving addition, subtraction, or saying which number is higher or lower. To launch the skill, you’ll want to say “open” or “start” plus the name of the game because saying “Play Queen’s Mathematician” prompts Alexa to look for music. To be fair, it does sound like the name of a prog-rock band.

Rated: N/A

Animal Game

This 20-questions-but-just-for-animals game is a bit eerie. You think of an animal, and Alexa asks questions to try and figure it out. Some are yes-or-no (Does it roar? Is it extinct?) while others require an answer: What color is it? How many legs does it have? We tried to stump her with a platypus, but Alexa figured it out after 17 questions.

Rated: N/A

Animal Workout

This skill asks your kids to copy the animals in another great get-up-and-move game. The moo-vements, if you’re copying a cow, vary from flapping your “wings” like a butterfly to sticking out your tongue like a giraffe to swinging your arms like an ape. Music plays for about 15 seconds per animal. You may want to move the furniture for this one.

Rated: N/A

Big Bird and Elmo of Sesame Street.

Sesame Street

Sesame Street fans will love this Alexa-compatible game that gives children the chance to play hide-and-seek with Elmo. Elmo makes silly sounds to give your child clues to his hiding spot. It’s educational, too; Elmo will also teach your kid the “word of the day” to expand vocabulary comprehension.

Rated: N/A

Freeze Dancers

This game is a Simon Says and musical chairs combo. Players dance to a tune that Alexa plays, freezing in place when the music stops. The first kid to lose their balance is out. Alexa suggests funny ways of dancing, and you can even have a space dance-off by saying, “Alexa, dance in space,” while the skill is in use.

Rated: N/A

Hide and Seek

Elmo isn’t the only one who knows how to play a fun game of hide and seek. Alexa will also give kids a run for their money. The game concept is simple: kids hide in the same room as Alexa, and the AI will try to guess where they’re at.

Rated: N/A

Pac-Man Waka Waka

From Bandai Namco Entertainment, this innovative Pac-Man game is designed to work on the Echo Show and similar display devices. Of course, without physical controls, you still need a way to control Pac-Man throughout the 15 unique mazes — and that’s where the famous waka-waka language comes in. Kids can say waka, wiki, wika, and waki to tell Pac-Man which direction to go for munching on the most pellets and fleeing ghosts on a journey to help Pac-Man’s friend PAL. There are high scores, alternative modes, and new worlds periodically added for extra fun!

Note that if you don’t have a Show, you can still play a limited version of this game, which is essentially just a conversation with Pac-Man.

Rated: N/A

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