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Need some laughs? Here are the best party game apps

smartphone party game apps heads-up lifestyle
Henrik Sorensen/Getty Images
The holidays are just around the corner, which means that soon enough you’ll have a lot of down time to fill with your relatives. Rather than sit around silently watching football and browsing social media in a post-meal coma, why not bust out a smartphone group game? These multiplayer games are fun, interactive, and not nearly as time consuming to set up and play as traditional board games. Because let’s be honest, a three-hour game of Monopoly kind of sucks.

Here are seven of the best smartphone group games you’ll want to download and have ready for family time. Believe me, everyone will thank you.

Heads Up

Heads Up! - iOS Trailer

Looking for a quick hit of entertainment in between dinner and dessert, or during commercials of the Christmas Story marathon? Heads Up packs a playful punch in those brief, idle moments. This charades-style game challenges players to guess as many words as possible from a themed deck of game cards. The guessing player holds their mobile phone to their forehead, and their friends act out the clues on screen.

The Heads Up library boasts more than 40 themed decks of game cards, including celebrities, movies, animals and more — so there’s something for everyone, and you’ll never run out of fun.

Cost: $1, plus $1 for each additional deck of game cards.

Time commitment: A single turn lasts one minute.

Drawful 2

It’s Cards Against Humanity meets Pictionary in Drawful 2. This multiplayer party game challenges players to draw weird and funny prompts that are delivered to their smartphones or tablets, such as “snakes on a plane” or “poop and pee.”

When your (likely-terrible) drawing comes up on the screen, the other players type what they think it is, and those guesses become the wrong answers. Then everyone tries to pick the real answer from all the guesses.

Cost: $10

Time commitment: A group of five players can complete one full round in about 20 minutes.

Just Dance Now

Just Dance Now Launch Trailer

If your family likes to get up to get down, Just Dance Now is likely your style. All you need is your smartphone and an internet-connected screen to start dancing to your favorite hits.

The Just Dance Now library boasts more than 300 songs, with new songs added every month. You can play with as many people as your space allows. And if you’re looking to work off some of that big holiday meal, the HealthKit feature tallies all the calories you burned.

Cost: Free to download. You purchase songs with Coins or buy a subscription package.

Time commitment: A few minutes per song.

Evil Apples

smartphone group games evil apples

Evil Apples is Cards Against Humanity for mobile, so you’ll never have to lug around that big box of cards again. And with more than 4,000 answer cards and 800 question cards, the game will never get stale.

The rules for Evil Apples are the same as Cards Against Humanity: A question card is shown to all the players. Each player selects an answer card from their hand. A judge determines the best combination and awards a point to the winning player. The first player to get seven points wins the game.

Cost: Free to download, with additional in-app purchases.

Time commitment: One to two hours.

Sing! Karaoke

smartphone group games sing! karaoke

The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear. So why not belt your favorite carols with Sing! Karaoke? This app’s holiday playlist includes all your seasonal favorites, like “A Christmas Song.” And with pitch correction and a studio-finished sound, Nat King Cole would approve of your rendition of his classic tune.

Cost: Free to download, with various in-app purchases.

Time commitment: A few minutes per song.

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