Games are a great way to have fun and unwind – and even more so if the rest of the family can join in. 

The good news is that, nowadays, there are thousands of online games for families to play together just an app download away.

Here are a few to get you started, which are available on a range of formats, from mobiles and tablets to desktop computers. Most of these games are free to download but some might offer in-app purchases too.

Words with Friends

Let’s be honest, this one is a lot like Scrabble.  And just like the timeless classic, Words with Friends – in which players take turns building words – can provide hours of competitive fun.

Available on mobile devices, you can choose to play with friends and family or with randomly selected players anywhere in the world.

What’s more, you won’t lose any letters down the side of the sofa.

Pokémon: The Card Game

Pokémon was enormously popular in the 90s and it continues to draw in hordes of new fans since the release of the popular augmented reality game, Pokemon Go. And its collection of free online games continues to grow ‒ there is also a battling card game for two players. You will need to play on a computer or tablet, as there’s no mobile phone version, but there’s plenty of strategy to the game, not to mention maths.

As you play, you’ll ‘earn’ more packs of cards too, allowing you to add to your collection.

If your kids are a little older, and more into fantasy, then there are plenty of other card battling games which are free to play and available on PC, mobile or both. Try Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone and Shadowverse.

Angry Birds Friends

Angry Birds is a bit of a gaming phenomenon, to the point that the game ‒ where you launch a collection of birds at pigs that have stolen their eggs – has spawned not just one but two film adaptations.

Angry Birds Friends is the latest iteration of the game and it’s free to play on PC. You can challenge friends and family over a host of new levels each week, with leaderboards to see who plays best.

Golf Clash

You needn’t stray from your home to enjoy a round or two of golf. With Golf Clash you can still crack out your driver without the fear of accidentally flinging a Wii remote at the TV.

Golf Clash is a free mobile game where you battle against another player over a series of holes. Importantly you can ‘friend’ other online players and challenge them to matches, making it perfect for playing either with those in the same house, or family and friends elsewhere.

As you play, you’ll ‘unlock’ all sorts of new clubs, helping you improve your play and set new personal bests.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Yes, the epic TV classic has an online game version which you can play at home.

There’s a bit of a twist though. As you work your way through the game, you ‘unlock’ trivia experts to help you with the trickiest questions, including the likes of William Shakespeare and Napoleon Bonaparte.

You can always phone a friend if you’re struggling, or sit together with your family to work your way through the questions as a team.

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Connect 4/Battleship

Sometimes the simplest games can be the most fun.

If you don’t have either of these strategy games in the cupboard, head over to Papergames.IO and you can play online versions with your loved ones. It’s absolutely free. You just need to register and open a ‘room’ in which to play with your family and friends.

Head to the arcade without leaving your home

Gaming is rarely better than at the arcade, and you can bring it to your home with Antstream Arcade.

It’s a game streaming platform, with more than 1,000 retro arcade games to choose from. There are some big name games on there too, with California Games and Sensible World of Soccer among the choices.

You can play it across different platforms too, from mobile and tablet to computer or console, and see how you measure up against your loved ones.

Antstream Arcade will cost you £9.99 a month, or £7.99 a month, if you sign up for a full year. There is a seven-day free trial though, to give you a good idea of the games on offer. 

If you’re at home and looking for some indoors entertainment, these online gaming options are bound to give your family hours of fun.

For tips on how to stay happy and safe in your home, go to Solved.