Must-try social games that won’t cost you a penny to play


Staying in has been the new going out over recent months. While these lifestyle changes have not come upon us by choice, they have helped open our eyes to a world of opportunity out there in cyberspace. 

As well as the obvious apps like Zoom and social media, there are numerous social games online that we can play with friends and loved ones. These will continue to be around long after the difficult times of 2020 are forgotten. They will still prove invaluable as a fun way to spend time with friends when other commitments or distance makes it difficult to be together in person. 

Pretend You’re Xyzzy

The makers describe the game Cards Against Humanity as a party game for horrible people. The format is simple – black cards hold the questions, and white cards the answers. The combinations can be outrageously funny and also extremely inappropriate. You’re guaranteed to be entertained, and not before time, an online clone has appeared called Pretend You’re Xyzzy. It contains all the original questions and answers from the physical game, as well as numerous expansion packs. Each game room can accommodate up to 20 players.


If you’ve never tried io gaming before, you are missing out on a while world of entertainment. These games are characterized by simple, almost retro, graphics and gameplay where you can take on dozens of like-minded players. It’s like Battle Royale for people who don’t take life too seriously. is a perfect example of this type of game. You can guess from the name what it is all about – essentially, it gives you the chance to participate in the world’s biggest snowball fight in cyberspace!

Second Life

If the physical universe is getting you down, Second Life presents you with an alternative world where anything is possible. There are dozens of games like this out there, but Second Life has been around longer than most and has the richest content. Most of this is user-generated, so it really is a world made by its inhabitants. You can join in by creating your own content or just hang out, explore and meet new people.


How’s your poker face? This is another online adaptation of a party game that works particularly well when the players are on webcam so that you can see who might be bluffing. When you enter the game, you will be allocated a role and location, for example Sea Captain and Ocean Liner. Players can then ask each other yes/no questions. All but one will answer truthfully, but the player nominated the spy will have to bluff it. Can the other players flush him or her out?

Entropia Universe

Finally, an opportunity to really get away from it all. Mindark’s ambitious, sprawling universe was first launched in 2003 and many of its inhabitants have been there for years. It’s free to join, although you will need some currency for in-app purchases to really progress. Ultimately, this is the game where the universe can be your oyster if the world is not enough.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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