Five apps that will improve your party

You’re hanging out with your friends on Saturday night and realize you’ve all been sitting and staring at the same movie or TV show for more than an hour. Sure, maybe you’re having a few beers, but it’s less of a party and more of a large group sitting in semi-silence.

Maybe you’ve invited over a bunch of people from various facets of your life – a few from your classes, some from that club your in and the girls from down the hall. While you enjoy the company of these people, they don’t know each other all that well. There may be some intermingling, but not quite enough.

Games may seem like an old-fashioned way to get everyone together, but with modern technology, it’s easy to set them up and play them for as long as everyone wants. Here are five games that are easy to download, play and enjoy.

Heads Up

Heads up is charades in the new age. Only one person actually needs the app on their phone, which makes it easy to access so long as it’s downloaded.

The app provides categories to choose from, including animals, actors and countries, which participants can guess. The game can be played in teams or individually: for teams, there is one guesser and one actor. The guesser must hold the phone up against their forehead and a word will pop up, which the actor must act out or explain, without using the word on the guesser’s forehead. If the guesser gets the word, they flip the phone down towards the floor, or to skip it they flip the phone so the screen faces the ceiling.

To play individually, the guesser puts the phone on their forehead and multiple people are actors. The person who has the highest amount of correct guesses wins.

The game is easy to access since only one person needs it on their phone and with 18 categories to choose from, this game makes it easy to continue the fun all night.

Doodle Party

For those who aren’t artistically inclined, have no fear – the expectations are low in this drawing game. Doodle Party allows players to draw out the word, like in Pictionary, and have their friends guess what said drawing is based upon. This game is optimal with four players but can be played with up to eight at a time.

The game requires everyone download the free app in order to participate. The faster and more accurately guessers guess the picture, the more points the doodler receives. You earn points as both a doodler and a guesser and then those points are tallied at the end of the game.

This game is perfect for a small gathering amongst friends and to make fun of those who can’t even draw a stick figure.

Would You Rather

Middle school is calling – it wants its game back. The app Would You Rather provides a slightly more mature experience than “Would you rather kiss Bobby or James?” It provides players with more thought provoking options, such as, “Would you rather live in the Harry Potter universe or the Pokemon universe”?

The app also allows you to submit your own questions and keep track of them, providing information including statistics on how people answer your questions. The questions built into the game are never-ending, which means you can play for as long or as little as you’d like.

There are various similar apps that are more specialized, including a “dirty” version, ones that rack up points and some that you can play with friends that couldn’t make it over.

Jackbox TV

Fibbage requires you to also own an Xbox One, PS3 or PS4, so it’s a little more exclusive than the other games. Users buy Jackbox TV party pack and receive five fun games that connect to users’ iPhones.

Users log into Jackbox TV using a special code that appears on the screen and then answer questions or draw directly on their phone. All players’ responses and drawings are then seen on the bigger screen.

Games include fibbage, drawful, word spud, you don’t know jack and lie swatter, which are all multiplayer games. Drawful is essentially Pictionary but with more difficult words, whereas word spud is essentially mad libs. The games are interchangeable, hilarious and perfect for any time, not just parties.

Truth or Dare

Yet another middle school game turned app, Truth or Dare has multiple versions, depending on what kind of party you’re trying to have. Players download the app and similarly to Would You Rather, find a never-ending stream of questions to pick from.

Some versions allow you to insert players’ names and have a more randomized experience while others are meant for only a few players. You can specify who is playing with categories like kids, teens or extreme or specify what type of gathering you’re having with options including friends, parties, couples, or just random.

Only one person needs this on their phone and most versions of the game are free, so it’s another way to spice up a dull gathering and learn a little more about the people you party with.

Tori Roseman is the senior features editor and can be reached at