Few things are better than playing a fun game with your friends. But a lot of party games require that you either have a console and the game or that you’ve purchased a board or card game, which you’ll need to do in advance. Fortunately, there are a number of fun party games that you can download directly to your iPhone, and many of them are free. These six will get you started; be sure to share your favorites in the comments below!
Heads Up! ($0.99)
If you’ve played any iPhone party game, it’s likely to have been Ellen DeGeneres’ Heads Up! (the app was downloaded over 650,000 times in the first month after its release). One player holds the phone up to their forehead, so the other players can see the word displayed. They have to get the player to guess that word without saying it — if the player guesses correctly, they tilt the phone down. To pass, they tilt it up and move to the next clue.
Categories for the words include celebrities, movies, animals, super heroes, and a lot more, each available for $0.99. At the end of each round, you get to see how well you did and watch a video of your friends trying to get you to guess the word. It’s a really fun game, full of weird clues, hilarious bad guesses, and an almost painful amount of laughter.
Reverse Charades (free)
This is similar to Heads Up! in that one player has to guess a word or phrase based on information given by the other players. This time, however, no words are allowed, and the clues have to be acted out, similar to Heads Up Charades!, a game we reviewed back in 2014. The acting players can organize the scene however they want, but they don’t want to take too long, as the rounds are only 30, 60, or 90 seconds long, and players compete to see how many successful guesses they can accumulate each round.
The app is free, and you can try a sample of clues from different card packs, but you’ll need to pay $0.99 to get access to a full deck. Girls’ Night In, Sports Fans, Holiday, Junior, and Original packs are available, with new ones coming out occasionally. You can play with two to four teams if you’re feeling competitive, or just go through clues to see who can guess the most.
In this award-winning game, you’ll play the part of a spaceship crew trying to prevent an untimely demise by flipping the right switches, turning the right dials, and pressing the right buttons in time. Each player has an instrument panel in front of them, and each receives instructions. The catch is that you’re receiving someone else’s instructions and you’ll need to call it out to make sure whoever has the Beveled Nanobuzzer hits it in time. We called it “chaos” in our previous review, and what fun chaos it is!
With names like “Spring-loaded Irritant,” “Sigma-clapper,” “Synthcage,” and “Lustrous Prismneck,” you’ll be laughing out loud as you try to tell your crewmates what to do before time runs out and the ship explodes. When you feel confident that you know what you’re doing, you can switch it over to picture mode, where each input device has a picture instead of a word. It’s completely ridiculous. Everyone can download the app for free, but if you want the full experience, you can unlock all upgrades for $4.99.
Instead of working together with your teammates, Spyfall has you working against them to discover the one person who’s been designated the spy; ask questions about each other’s jobs and locations to figure out why’s lying! By asking the right questions of the right people, you’ll whittle the options down and catch the spy — if you’re fast enough.
This game is really low on features and interface, but it’s still a fun little game to play in a group. The number of locations and roles is limited, but it’s still great as a filler game between more involved endeavors or as one last game before everyone decides to part ways. (There’s also a browser-based version available.)
Just Say It! ($1.99)
This is essentially the iPhone version of the popular party game Taboo. One player is given a word along with a list of other words that they can’t say; when you get another player to say the word, you get to pass the phone, and whoever’s holding it when the timer goes off loses. Sounds simple, but when you have to get someone to say “mission” without saying “impossible,” “objective,” “assignment,” “job,” “goal,” or “task,” it gets a little more complicated!
There are no in-app purchases for Just Say It!, which is really nice; new cards are available every day, so you’ll have a lot of words to get through at any party. You can play this game for a couple minutes or a couple hours, with just a few people or a whole bunch, and it’ll still work great. It’ll be especially great if you have a lot of fans of word games at your party.
Evil Apples (free)
If you’re familiar with Cards Against Humanity, you already understand the premise of Evil Apples. An adult-themed riff on Apples to Apples, this game shows a card with an incomplete sentence to all players. For example, “It’s not polite to talk about ________ on the first date.” Each player then chooses a card to complete the sentence (you could choose “meth teeth,” “middle school crushes,” or “deep-fried Twinkies,” among many others).
This definitely isn’t a game to play with kids or anyone with a sensitive disposition. There are lots of offensive, profane, obscene, and just downright weird combinations that you’ll see. Cards Against Humanity is a really popular party game, and Evil Apples brings that experience to mobile. And if you want another weird Evil app, check out Evil Minds: Dirty Charades!, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Your Favorite Mobile Party Games
These six party games are great options to get everyone talking and laughing, and they don’t require a console or an expensive board game. But there are certainly a lot of other options out there, and we want to hear about your favorites.
Which iPhone party games do you like to play? Have you played any of the ones listed above? What did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!