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5 Fun Online Games to Play With Friends

Thanks to the much faster internet connection speeds now prevalent, video games are hardly what they used to be. What was once “sad loner sitting in front of a Nintendo console until 4 a.m.” has now become “massive social gatherings with pals who share a passion for gaming.”

Sure, single-player games can still be very cool and immersive, but no AI can compete with the infinitely sneaky minds of your fellow humans. Whether it’s cooperative play or dog-eat-dog competition, there are multiplayer games out there to suit any personality.

Bookworms

Bust out those big brains and challenge your compadres to Words With Friends 2. This take on Scrabble tests your wordsmithery and language skills to the max. While anagram-decoding cheat programs abound, avoid them — your friends will call you out anyway when you try to play “tmesis” on a TW square.

Besides, any veteran player knows that the key to victory is playing multiple words with a two-letter core as your hub — dropping a high-point consonant on a DL or TL square in the process. Next time your friend plays “qi,” “xu,” or “za” and manages to squeeze out over a hundred points, you’ll know what we mean.

Real Worms

You don’t have to be a genuine invertebrate to appreciate this awesome turn-based physics shooter. One of the first truly viral multiplayer online games was the legendary Worms 2. The torch continues to burn bright with sequels such as Armageddon, W.M.D., and Worms 4.

The concept is pretty simple — lead your team of squiggly heroes to victory by eliminating one or more opposing teams. Choose from gravity-based grenades, bazooka rounds that are affected by the direction and force of the wind, and a myriad of increasingly bizarre and hilarious weapons. Worms is endlessly customizable, allowing for a variety of gameplay styles from frantic “rope games” to strategy-based scenarios.

Jocks

For some reason, you’ve always felt that American football isn’t violent enough. Perhaps you’ve fantasized about lead clubs and chainsaws being within the rules. Enter Blood Bowl, a delightfully destructive, turn-based sports game that’s based on a card game dating back 30 years or so. Imagine the writers of Warhammer creating a sports game, and you’ll have a good idea of what Blood Bowl is all about.

Blood Bowl 2 is the latest entry in the series. Choose from one of several races that include Orcs, Dark Elves, Undead, and Dwarfs, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Build your gridiron army and take on a friend to achieve gleefully gory glory. Since Blood Bath 2 is turn-based and driven by dice rolls, it doesn’t have to be played in real time — it can be played on your own time.

Card Sharks

If your favorite chips are made of plastic instead of potatoes, then check out Trickster Cards. The website hosts card games such as spades, euchre, hearts, 500, and pinochle. If you’re a novice, learn the rules and then hone your skills by playing against the computer AI. Once you’re ready, hop into online games against random opponents. The system can match you with others at your skill level.

Now comes the fun part! Gather some friends and host a private game. Since you can take turns at your leisure, it’s a convenient way to challenge your pals without having to set aside a specific time to play. Trickster Cards works across a spectrum of platforms, even on smartphones, so your mates will have no excuse to back out of a game. A friendly wager or two (loser washes the winner’s car, for example) can up the ante — literally.

Bullet Buddies

Nothing’s quite like taking out a best friend with a well-executed virtual headshot. The Counter-Strike series has an odd backstory for a first-person shooter. It was originally a mod that was built using the Half-Life engine. It quickly spawned a life of its own and is now published and operated by Valve, the original software company that created Half-Life.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the latest inception of this addictive game. Several modes of gameplay are available, including Deathmatch and Hostage Rescue, but Demolition is arguably the most fun. The terrorists win rounds by planting a bomb at a specific target site and defending it until it detonates. The counter-terrorist team wins by defusing the bomb. Gather your friends and find out why the Counter-Strike series has been around for nearly two decades.

After enjoying some multiplayer mayhem with your buddies, it’s always chill to relax with some online videos. But why simply watch? Instead, take control of the action. In Eko’s line of immersive interactive movies, you decide the fate of the characters. You’ll especially love #WarGames, in which a band of young prankster hackers becomes the spearhead of a global movement against the powers that be. If you’ve ever wanted to challenge The Man on a virtual battleground, this is the series for you.

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