Other Games

6 Fun Games To Play Over Text When You’re Bored

people texting

Everyone is wild about texting. In fact, according to some data that was recently released by the telecommunication industry, texting has now replaced voice calls as the number one way people communicate—Number 1! That is truly saying something about the popularity of texting, especially when you consider how long other forms of communication have been around, especially the telephone—since the days of Alexander Graham Bell!

So why is texting such a popular communication format these days? First, it’s very easy to do, and in most cases you can multitask as you do it—perform other tasks while you wait for a reply. Texting is also a fun and easy way to stay in touch. We all know just how much teens like to text, but it is also popular among many other groups. Business people, for example, regularly use the texting format to pass along group messages to their employees, and adult families and friends utilize texting to set up dates, share the latest family news and, of course, to send those “difficult” messages that are easier to text than to say.

Millions and millions of people are texting as we speak, and some are even playing games using their smart phones, usually through downloaded apps designed for that purpose. However, some individuals, especially teens and pre-teens, have discovered that many fun and unique games can be played with two or more people using nothing but the text feature on their phones. In this article we will talk about and describe some of these text-based games—games that can be played anywhere and from any distance using nothing but your smart phone or other mobile device.

Games to Play Using Text Messaging

There are literally dozens of games that can be played over text. To illustrate this point, here we have chosen a select few of those games and described the basics with regard to how they are played.

Where Am I?

The game known as “Where Am I” is one of the more enjoyable and challenging games to play via text. And as you will see, you should always play this game with someone who is NOT with you at time.

To play “Where Am I,” one person in the text conversation will begin by giving short clues as to their whereabouts. They can say things like “I see a fountain” or “I hear church bells.” After each clue, Player 2 in the conversation will make a guess as to Player’s 1 current location. If Player 2 fails to give the correct answer, another clue will be given and the game will continue until the right location is given.

There are many variations of “Where Am I.” If traveling, you can limit your location to a specific city or a landmark within that city; and if you are at home you can limit the answer to a certain room in the house or a specific location within that room, say, at your desk.

I Spy

Many a long car journeys have included the game of I Spy, and the version of the game that is played via text is just as fun. Before you start the game of I Spy, however, it is crucial that both players in the game reveal the location from which they are texting—the car, in their house or room, etc. This will give the other player a fighting chance at guessing the answer.

After both general locations have been discussed and revealed over text you are ready to play the game. Player 1 starts by fixating on an object that is around them (in their immediate environment), say a desk, a rear view mirror or a hairbrush. Then, Player 1 sends a text to Player 2 to reveal the first letter of the object that Player 1 has spied. Player 2 then begins guessing about the object until they ultimately guess correctly.

There are many variations that can be used with I Spy. For instance, Player 1 may be required to give a clue after every failed answer to help Player 2 narrow down the possible answers. You can also limit the number of guesses that are permitted, or set up a point scale that rewards Player 2 for guessing the object within a certain number of guesses. Regardless of how you decide to play, I Spy is a fun game that will offer hours of texting entertainment.

Story Builder

If you like to make up stories—and you like to text—you may want to introduce the game known as Story Builder to one of your closest friends. As the name suggests, Story Builder is a game played with two or more people over text. The object of the game, which is great to play on long road trips or with a long distance friend, is to complete a full story using input from all the players involved in the text. Here is how it works:

The first player in the game of Story Builder starts the game (or story) by writing a complete sentence. The sentence can be as long or as short as you desire, but it must be a complete sentence. Once this sentence is texted and sent to Player 2, that person will then read the sentence and follow with a sentence of their own, texting it and sending it back to Player 1 (or to the next person in line). This can go on for as long as the two players wish, or you could set a time limit of, say, 30 minutes. The goal is to continue building on the previous sentence to create any type of story you wish. Whether a funny story, dramatic sorry, or just a silly story with made-up words, Story Builder can offer hours of fun and can really help kill time on those long car rides.

Name That Tune

The classic television game known as “Name that Tune” can also be played via text, only with a different format. In the television game of “Name that Tune” players were required to guess the name of a given song after hearing just a few of the notes. Of course, this would not be possible via text, so instead you will play using written lyrics. Here is how:

One player in the text conversation will write and send a few lyrics of a song to their friend on the other end of the communication. Next, Player 2 will try to guess the song from just those written lyrics. Of course, this game is definitely more enjoyable if you play with a close friend who knows and shares your style of music. Otherwise, trying to guess one song from the millions that have been written would be nearly impossible. Once Player 2 guesses the song, the roles are switched, and Player 2 sends song lyrics to Player 1.

Variations of this game could include limiting the number of guesses, and to ensure no cheating is done you should probably ban the use of Google during this game.

Twenty Questions

Twenty Questions is a classic game that has been played by individuals and teams for decades. The game even spawned radio and television shows in the U.S. Twenty Questions is a very simple game to play over text, yet it requires some strategic thinking to succeed and win.

If you are not already familiar with the game of Twenty Questions, here is how it is played: One person in the texting conversation is required to think of a noun—a person, place or thing. This can range from an object to a famous celebrity to a fictional character. Once that player has thought of an answer, the other player (or players) in the text conversation is permitted to ask twenty questions in an attempt to narrow down the answer. All of these questions must be of the “yes or no” variety, meaning Player 1 is only allowed to say yes or no to the questions asked by Player 2.

Each question asked by Player 2 should build upon the last question as he or she tries to narrow down the ultimate answer. Here’s an example of a proper line of questioning: Player 2: “Is it a person?” Player 1: “Yes.” Player 2: “Is this person famous?” Player 1: “Yes.” Player 2: “Is this person a singer?” Player 1: “No.” And so on, until Player 2 has asked all 20 questions they are permitted to ask. And, of course, Question #20 should be used to guess the final answer. The game can continue in this manner for as long you like, with each person in the text conversation taking turns being the asker and the answerer.

Quiz Bowl

Last but not least, Quiz Bowl is one of the most challenging games on our list and equally as fun as all the others. The game is perfect for trivia buffs and for those who want to expand their knowledge base. It is also ideal for teenagers who are studying for a test—teens that want to help each other prepare.

The game is simple to play. The first player writes down a question and the second person must provide the right answer to earn a point. If Player 2 fails to answer correctly, no points are rewarded and the roles are reversed, with Player 2 asking and Player 1 attempting to answer. The game ends when one player reaches a pre-determined score, usually 10 or 25 points, at which time they are declared the winner.

image: MaxPixel

About the author

Sam Frazier

As a child of the 80's, my fondest gaming memories are playing Pitfall, Frogger, Kaboom! and Chopper Command on our old Atari 8600. These days I've been rocking the Nintendo Classic and learning some new card and board games with the family.

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