For us, Jackbox Games is the holy grail of casual online gaming: Its multiplayer party games are simple to learn but still very entertaining to play, and it's also easy to stream or screen-share games from one device to a group for a virtual game night. Everyone plays through a web browser on their phones, so no apps or consoles are needed. You can even mirror your Android or iOS device to your TV.
Here's how the Jackbox Party Pack works: One person has to purchase either one of seven Jackbox Party Packs, or one or more individual games, on Steam (for PC, Mac and Linux). The packs contain five games and usually cost $30 each, but sometimes you can find them on sale for less. The packs are also available on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and other devices.
After purchasing, you can hop on a video chat through a Zoom call, Skype, Google Hangouts or wherever you prefer for a video call, start the game on your laptop and use the screen-share option so that all the other players on the call can see the screen, too. As mentioned, everyone plays along on their mobile device by using a browser and going to Jackbox.tv, where you'll be asked to enter a room code.
Other options include using Steam Remote Play Together, Discord screen sharing, sharing through your gaming console, or just setting up a webcam in front of your TV. Jackbox provides information on how to stream its games, too.
Each pack includes a variety of different games that might ask you to answer trivia questions, draw weird doodles or write the best joke. The games are light, humorous and include clear instructions, so they're easy for the most novice players to pick up. But if you like a little more complexity, this year's Jackbox Party Pack 8 features games that involve social deduction and hiding clues.