Family games to play on your virtual Thanksgiving



2020 has been a year of change and adjustment, and Thanksgiving is no exception. With family reunions suspended and more and more people looking for ways to interact virtually, there is still a lot of fun and games to be had with your distant friends and family.

Whether you love board games, card games, or just looking for ways to interact between turkey and pie, here are some of the best iOS, Apple TV, and Mac deals you can play virtually.

Board games


Monopoly allows you to play alone, or with your friends and family across the world. Whether you’re on an iPhone or iPad, the game comes to life on the 3D game board.

To play with family, just create a new game, send your game code to your friends or family. From there you can buy and sell your way to become the most powerful owner of the board.

Much like the classic board game, Monopoly on iOS is great for the whole family.
Photo: Marmalade Game Studio

Do you have any period at home? No problem! With Monopoly, you can adjust the game according to your family. And because it’s virtual, there is no game board to install or a bank to manage.

Monopoly is available for $ 3.99 on the App Store.


Find out who did it, how they did it and where it was done with the classic murder mystery game Index.

Clue game interface

Play alone, or with friends and family in real time, taking out potential suspects to determine how Mr. Boddy died in Tudor Mansion. Or purchase one of the additional themes for a twist on the classic thriller.

Index is available for $ 3.99 on the App Store.

The game of life

Exploring new ways of living and making life changing decisions has never been easier. Immerse yourself in the 3D world of The game of life.

life game board
Growing up has never been more fun than in The Game of Life
Photo: Marmalade Game Studio

Play alone, or with family and friends, in the classic adult learning game. Perfect for children and adults, The game of life walks you through the twists and turns of growing or trying something unexpected as you work to find success and happiness.

The game of life is available for $ 2.99 on the App Store.


Think you have what it takes to be a naval commander? Deploy your fleet and rule the seas in classic Hasbro Battleship.

battleship game screen
Command the seas in the classic turn-based battleship
Photo: Marmalade Game Studio

Play alone or face off against a friend trying to sink their ships first. Or try Commanders mode to find out Battleship with a twist. Use your commander’s talents to your advantage to rule the world.

The battleship is available for $ 3.99 on the App Store.


If world domination is more your style, Risk for iOS may be perfect for you.

Based on the Hasbro board game, Risk allows players to challenge their friends in a game of tactical decision-making. Playable up to 6 people, Risk on iOS will bring out the best (or the most aggressive) even in the most docile family.

risk game board
World Domination is at your fingertips with Risk for iOS
Screenshot: Ian Fuchs / Cult of Mac

Best of all – Risk allows for custom rules and setup is lightning fast! Risk also offers cross-platform play, allowing you to challenge the family on PC, Android, and select consoles.

The risk is available for Free in the App Store.

Card games

Cribbage JD

Have you ever seen the twisty peg card game and wondered what Cribbage is all about? With Cribbage JD, you can challenge your friends and family to the classic game or just learn how to play this wartime classic.

Cribbage JD for iOS
Cribbage is full of quirky rules, but it’s a great player-versus-player game that’s great fun!
Screenshot: Ian Fuchs / Cult of Mac

Whether you are new or an expert Crib player, Cribbage JD is a great 2 player game that won’t take all day. In Cribbage JD, you get automatic setup and scoring, plus cards big enough for players of all ages, making it perfect for you and any family member who wants to play a hand.

Cribbage JD is available for free in the app store.

Phase card game

The rummy-inspired card Phase pits players against each other to see who can complete their 10 phases first. It’s incredibly easy to learn and a lot of fun too.

phase card game on ios
Fast and fun, Phase Card Game is a great family game for all ages to play.
Screenshot: Ian Fuchs / Cult of Mac

Learning Phase is pretty straightforward, and each round goes by pretty quickly. On each turn, players are charged with a given phase (2 sets of fours, a race group of the same color, etc.), and must be the first to complete their phase and empty their hand to continue and get the lowest rating.

The Phase card game is available for free in the app store.

Dice games


If the best game is the easiest, Yahtzee is up there on the list. This game of luck and wise decision making is a great game for those who struggle with complex rules.

Just roll the dice, choose what to keep, and re-roll. After 3 throws, count your best score and give your opponents a turn. Get 5 of the same, and Yahtzee!

yahtzee with friends
No real dice required to play Yahtzee with your friends and family on iOS!
Screenshot: Ian Fuchs / Cult of Mac

Perfect for strategy game players, poker players and even puzzle game players, Yahtzee is a fast and fun head-to-head game.

Yahtzee is available for free in the app store

Dice by PCalc

There are tons of things you can do with a dice set if you’re up for getting creative. With Dice by PCalc, you can choose from a large collection of dies for all your needs.

Whether you want to play Yahtzee on FaceTime or are planning a Dungeons and Dragons virtual quest, Dice by PCalc saves you from keeping track of your physical dice collection.

Dice by PCalc with 5 dice D6
While not technically a game, Dice by PCalc can offer a lot of convenience for your family games.
Screenshot: Ian Fuchs / Cult of Mac

Dice by PCalc features realistic rolling physics, advantage / disadvantage dice, dice sets to save your favorites, and automatic count for faster (more accurate) counting.

Dice by PCalc is available for $ 1.99 on the App Store

More ways to play virtually

If you’re looking for something with less structure, there are plenty of great games you can play without special equipment (or apps).

Just launch FaceTime, Zoom or your favorite video chat app, set up your phone, iPad or laptop and get creative!
Take a marker and a notebook and you can play Pictionary, or run a dictionary or word finder play charades!

Whatever you do, there is a lot of fun to be had during your virtual holiday celebrations! All it takes is a little creativity and an iOS device.

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