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Spaceship murders and battle-royale physics-fun are both perfect ways to link up with buddies during Covid-19.

Recently, talking with the manager of a West End supermarket, I was told that their higher-ups in London are so convinced that another lockdown is on the cards that shops have already begun to stockpile toilet paper. This made me think about ways that we, too, might be able to prepare for the inevitable this time around. The solution that I settled upon was playing video games online with friends.

Online gaming has been around in its current form since the early 2000s, when MMOs like World of Warcraft started to take advantage of faster internet speeds becoming available in most households to make LAN parties (ask yer da) a thing of the past.

This year, wherein Zoom increased its market valuation by more than 500%, we understandably replaced a whole host of social situations with the service - including (but not limited to): lectures, pub quizzes, and even baby showers. It is, therefore, no surprise that even the most technology-averse people have warmed to the idea of keeping in touch with their loved one via a remote connection. Two games in particular have been making a huge splash online these past couple of months: Fall Guys and Among Us.

If you’ve ever watched Wipeout or Takeshi’s Castle, then you’ll be immediately familiar with Fall Guys. 60 players compete in a series of short competitions involving slime, slippery surfaces, and big rotating obstacles with the last one standing winning a glorious crown. It’s really fun, but it also does require a minimum level of “gaming skillz” in order to not completely suck at it.

Among Us is even simpler. Imagine Werewolf, Mafia, or whatever you call it where you are from, but instead of a rural country village you are a crew on a spaceship. Among the crewmates are a number of impostors who, while everybody is working together to fix the ship, are trying to halt progress by killing everybody else.

This may have come across already, but these titles both share little with your typical online video game. There’s no bosses, or shooting, or any complicated mechanics at all to get your head around. Among Us especially requires little-to-no setup and can genuinely be picked up by anybody who has a basic grasp of reading and eye-hand coordination. More importantly though, they both are proving to be a much better way to spend an evening online with pals during quarantine than an awful PowerPoint with questions lifted straight out of bestpubquiz.co.uk. We’ve all been there.

Both Fall Guys and Among Us are great. However, coming from a group of friends who are scattered around Europe and like to play Werewolf (not Mafia as we are a bunch of easily offended Italians) whenever we meet up together, Among Us was a real gamechanger. The simplicity meant even the most technologically impaired of my pals could be playing within minutes, with downloading the app often being the most challenging bit of the night. It’s free for mobiles and it’s a great take on something we would play anyway.

As an added final bonus, there really isn’t anything more satisfying to a petty individual like me than winning a game by deceiving your best friend of 20 years.

If you are one of the few who still haven’t seen any of the dozens of memes featuring little tic tac resembling humanoids getting brutally murdered - firstly, get out from under that rock, then look these games up before we’re stranded inside again.


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