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Family game night 2.0: Smartphone games on the TV that everyone can play

Play smartphone games on the TV with the family

Struggling to get in that quality time with your family? What you need is a good old-fashioned family game night–except instead of breaking out the board games, you’ll be huddled around a TV trying to crush your competition. Or, like, fostering family togetherness. Same difference.

There are plenty of couch co-op games that the whole family can enjoy. Your mobile device becomes the controller. Technology really is amazing, isn’t it? Here’s a look at just a few of your options for family-friendly smartphone gaming.

Jackbox Party Packs

Smartphone games on the TV

Jackbox Games might be best known for its trivia comedy series You Don’t Know Jack, “where high culture and pop culture collide.” Since 2013, the company has moved into the mobile space, offering trivia and party games that you can play right from your smartphone.

You can now grab a bunch of these games at once by downloading any of the three Jackbox Party Packs. They’re available for practically every platform and video game console, including Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Steam. All you need to join the fun is access to the Jackbox.tv website and the four-letter room code. Can’t get enough Jackbox? The fourth party pack has a planned release for this fall.

BombSquad

Smartphone games on the TV

BombSquad is an arcade-style party game that’s sure to be a big hit in your household. Compete with your friends and family across eight explosive mini-games: capture the flag, king of the hill, hockey and football, just to name a few. According to the developer, the game features “gratuitous explosions, advanced ragdoll face-plant physics, pirates, ninjas, barbarians, insane chefs and more.”

If you’re not already sold, the game’s great device support might do it for you. Get in on the action using keyboards, PC gamepads, Wiimotes and PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers–and, of course, your iOS and Android devices using the BombSquad Remote app for Android or iOS devices.

AirConsole

Smartphone games on the TV

Unlike the last two options, AirConsole isn’t a game–it’s an entire platform for you to play games online. AirConsole turns your browser or Android TV into a video game console, with your smartphones as the game controllers. The AirConsole platform offers you a number of choices for people of all ages and interests, from strategy and racing games to arcade and quiz games.

 

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes!

Who knew that defusing a bomb could be so fun? Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes! is an ingenious game of cooperation available for the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View devices.

One person straps on a virtual reality headset, where they’ll be treated to a view of a ticking time bomb. Meanwhile, the other players consult a “bomb manual” and try to provide instructions on how to neutralize the device before it explodes.

Smartphone games for the TV

Big Web Quiz

Itching to show off your trivia knowledge? Until you make it on Jeopardy, Big Web Quiz is the next best thing. Up to six people can compete in this battle of wits from Google Creative Labs by answering questions like, “How many Rottweilers tall is Shia LaBeouf?” on your smartphone or tablet.

Big Web Quiz pulls its knowledge base from Google Knowledge Graph and global search trends, which means that the questions are always interesting and up-to-date. One note: you’ll need a Chromecast to get the game on your big screen.

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