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Smart Home

30 TV and smart speaker games to play with your family this Thanksgiving

If you're going to be spending time with family this holiday season, try playing these 30 games to avoid awkward conversations.

For the next few days, you're going to spend a lot of time with your family -- most likely in close quarters. Uncomfortable conversations about your past mistakes or how you're not living up to your full potential are bound to happen. You'll be stuck in a drawn-out conversation (with lots of awkward pauses) with your weird uncle who has seemingly done everything yet never made it anywhere.

Seeing family is great. The food is especially delicious. But entertainment for everyone can be challenge. 

This year, why not put your Apple TV ($249.00 at Apple), Chromecast, Alexa speakers or Google Home to good use (to deflect and distract as much as possible)? Here are 30 games you can play with your family this holiday season.

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Apple TV

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SketchParty TV is like Pictionary for your Apple TV.

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  • SketchParty TV is like Pictionary, but without the mess. Each player is given five words to draw in two minutes while other players try to guess the word. You will need either an iPhone ($1,079.00 at Apple) or iPad ($669.00 at Apple) to play, and up to eight players per team can join. SketchParty TV is $4.99 (£4.99 or AU$7.99).
  • 3via is a multiplayer general trivia game for Apple TV. Players can use their iPad or iPhone to connect to the game and you can choose between three playing styles: Death Match, Classic (best out of seven) and Speed (first to answer correctly). 3via and the companion iOS app are both free.
  • Astro Duel, inspired by Super Bomberman, is a quick multiplayer deathmatch-style game where players try to destroy each others' ships. There are 13 different arenas and several different play modes, including free-for-all, team deathmatch, Ship Hunters (a battle for the most kills) and Pilot Hunters (last man standing). Astro Duel is $4.99 and the companion remote app for iOS is free.
  • Sky Force Reloaded is a popular scrolling shooter that you can also play on Apple TV. If you're tired of blowing up your friends and family in Astro Duel, you can take on bosses together with the cooperative mode. Sky Force Reloaded is free on Apple TV and iOS with in-app purchases.
  • Hotlap Heroes is a multiplayer racing game for Apple TV. While the game itself is $3.99, the companion remote app is free. The best part? It works on both Android devices and iPhones.

Chromecast

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You might not think of a Chromecast as a way to play party games, but there are several to choose from.

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  • Fire Team for Chromecast is effectively Bomberman that you can play with your friends using Chromecast and a few Android devices. Each player must download the free app and connect to the same Wi-Fi network. Then there are four game modes to choose from: Survival, Deathmatch, Flag Capture and Team versus Team.
  • Doodlecast for Chromecast and Draw King for Chromecast are two more Pictionary-style games where a player is given a word they must dry to draw while other players guess what the word is. Both games are free.

Alexa

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Alexa has dozens of games to choose from, which range from choose-your-own-adventure to family party games.

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  • Jeopardy! for Alexa will let you play just like contestants on the show. Just say, "Alexa, play Jeopardy!" and pick a category.
  • Sorting Game for Harry Potter is exactly what you think it is. Answer questions and let the sorting hat decide which house you should be in.
  • Would You Rather For Family is a family-friendly version of a classic game that forces you to choose between two silly situations.
  • Twenty Questions is a classic game where you think of anything. Alexa will then try to guess what you're thinking of by asking 20 questions or less.
  • Millionaire Quiz Game is the voice version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" You are given 14 questions with four possible answers. You have three classic lifelines: 50/50, asking the audience (asking on social media) and phoning a friend.
  • Deal or No Deal Game is the unofficial Alexa game based on the TV show. There are 20 cases with money ranging from 1 cent to $1,000,000. Pick cases you think have the least amount of money in them or play your odds with offers given by "The Banker" between each round. You can play with or against your family members to see who can walk away with the most money.
  • Awesome '80s Trivia Game is exactly what it sounds like. Test your knowledge of the '80s with your friends and family.
  • Song Quiz is a trivia game you can play alone or with a party to test your knowledge of songs and artists from the last 60 years.
  • Volley Family Trivia Game is a general trivia game you can play with a group to see who's the smartest (or who retains the most useless knowledge).

Google Home

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Google Home also has a wide selection of games, but it's hard to know what's available. Here are some of the best.

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  • Mad Libs is a classic game where you fill in the blanks with random words to try to make the funniest mad lib.
  • Absurd is the Word gives you an absurd prompt and two possible items as answers. After everyone has chosen an answer, the most chosen answer wins the round.
  • Ding Dong Coconut is a memory game where you associate words with sounds. A new sound is played each round and a new word association is made. See how many rounds you can last.
  • Never have I ever is a family-friendly version of the popular party game. Google Home will feed you prompts, such as, "Never have I ever had to get stitches."
  • Google Home will also provide prompts for a family-friendly version of Truth or Dare.
  • Absolutely Amazing Trivia is a trivia game about a wide range of topics.
  • American Presidents Quiz tests your knowledge of American presidents.
  • Capital Land is a trivia game that asks questions about the capitals of different countries.
  • Friends Trivia is a trivia game for fans of the show "Friends."
  • Lucky Trivia is a game show with general trivia that can be played solo or with a group.
  • Planet Quiz tests your knowledge of our solar system.
  • SongPop will play a song and you must guess what song it is. You can choose different artists and genres.
  • Trivia Blast is a pop culture trivia game.