Smart Home

11 fun games you can play with Alexa

If you thought the Alexa was all work and no play, you're sorely mistaken. Not only does Alexa have a sense of humor, she's full of wit and jokes. Alexa is also capable of playing games and saving your dinner party single-handed.

Chris Monroe/CNET

An Alexa speaker is an amazing addition to any smart home. It not only makes controlling your other smart devices fun to show off, it makes it controlling them easier. Alexa's handy abilities even reach outside your home, helping locate where you parked, telling you how much gas is in your car's tank and letting your order pizza.

With the help of some of Alexa's third-party skills, Alexa can also become the life of your dinner party. It's full of parlor tricks, easter eggs and corny jokes.

What you may not have known, however, is that you can play games with Alexa. It can be challenging and surprisingly fun. Here are some of the best games you can play on your Alexa speaker.

Bingo

Bingo is a timeless classic. To play it with your Alexa speaker, say, "Alexa, open Bingo." Each number called by Alexa will be repeated and viewable from within the Alexa app. To advance to the next number, say "Next" or "Call the next number."

When someone wins, say "Bingo!" and the game will end.

Of course, to play Bingo, you will need number cards, which you can download for free from lovemyecho.com.

Tic Tac Toe

If a standard game of Tic Tac Toe against a computer is too easy for you, try playing a round with Alexa. If you don't draw the board yourself, you have to imagine the game in your head.

To start a game, say "Alexa, ask Tic Tac Toe for a game" or "Alexa, ask Tic Tac Toe to start a new game by taking the center."

Alexa will then speak Alexa's move, and you will have to speak your next move. For example, say, "Top left" or "Bottom."

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

Out of the box, you can challenge Alexa to a round of Rock Paper Scissors. But the built-in functionality is a bit sterile, and it doesn't give you any information, like who won the round. To spice it up a bit, try the more advanced version, Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.

If you enable the Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock skill, Alexa will explain how you won or lost, keep track of your wins and tell you who racked up the most wins over several rounds.

To open the skill, say, "Alexa, open Lizard Spock" and follow the prompts.

Abra

Try to stump Alexa with Abra. It's essentially a form of 20 questions, where you select a character and answer a series of yes-or-no questions and Alexa tries to guess who you're thinking of.

To start a game, say, "Alexa, open Akinator." The game will immediately start, and you will need to answer each question with a yes or no. Don't be surprised when you can't stump Alexa.

Blackjack (Beat The Dealer)

You can also play Blackjack with Alexa with the skill titled Beat The Dealer. To enable and open it, just say, "Alexa, open The Dealer."

The virtual dealer will deal you a hand and Alexa will speak your cards and one of the dealer's cards. It will then ask you if you want to hit or stand. Decide what you want to do and speak your answer. If you don't bust and eventually choose to stand, Alexa will tell you what the dealer chose to do and whether it busted or you won.

It will then ask you if you want to play again.

Earplay

Earplay is an adventure game wherein you play the part of a secret agent in a radio drama. As in other choose-your-own-adventure games on Alexa, your responses affect the outcome of the story.

This skill does require linking your account, so you will need to open the Alexa app on iOS or Android, enter the Skills menu and search for Earplay. Click Enable and login or sign up for an Earplay account. Also, know that some content in Earplay may not be suitable for all ages.

The Wayne Investigation

Another choose-your-own-adventure game for Alexa is called The Wayne Investigation. In this game, your goal is to investigate the death of Bruce Wayne's parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne. Each of your choices affect your ability to solve the mystery. The Wayne Investigation also contains some content that may not be suitable for all ages.

Start the game by saying, "Alexa, open The Wayne Investigation" and follow the prompts.

The Magic Door

The Magic Door is another example of a fantastic choose-your-own-adventure game available on Alexa speakers. There are currently nine stories to choose from in The Magic Door, such as helping the princess find her crown, saving monkeys on a tropical island or exploring a witch's spooky mansion.

Unlike Earplay and The Wayne Investigation, The Magic Door is more suitable for younger ears.

WhereInTheWorld

If you're into geography trivia, WhereInTheWorld is a game you should definitely try. You will be asked about capital cities, where certain languages are spoken and much more. To begin playing WhereInTheWorld, just say, "Alexa, open Geography Trivia."

Memory Match

Memory Match is the card matching game you loved playing as a kid with a twist -- you can't see the cards. You have to imagine the cards laid out in a four by three grid and use your memory (and a little visualization in your mind) to match all the pairs.

Of course, you could cheat and write it down, but that ruins the fun.

To start the Memory Match game, just say, "Alexa, open Memory Match." To flip a card, say its position in the grid, such as, "Row one, column three."

Hunt the Yeti

Like Memory Match, you will need to use memory and visualization with Hunt the Yeti. This game is an audio-only interpretation of Hunt the Wumpus. You navigate a hunter around obstacles as he hunts a yeti.

The hunter is lost in a cave (which is a five by five grid), where he might run into oversized bats, who will pick him up and move him to a random place in the cave, or fall to his death in a pit. He will smell the yeti when he gets close and you will have to tell him in which direction to throw his spear. If he hits the yeti, he will kill it. If he misses or walks into the yeti, the hunter will be killed.

To start the game, say, "Alexa, open Yeti Hunt Game." And to move the hunter through the cave, say, "Move [north, south, east or west]." To throw the spear, say, "Throw [north, south, east or west]."

Bonus: Dice

Additionally, if you lost the dice from a board game, you can ask Alexa to roll two virtual dice for you. Say "Alexa, roll two dice." Alexa will then tell you what it rolled.

You can get a bit more specific with it, as well. Say, "Alexa, roll 15 10-sided dice." Alexa will list the results for each die.