Insert LinkWith many of us spending a lot more time at home due to coronavirus, entertainment has quickly become a top priority. And while it is easy to suggest everyone buys an Xbox or PlayStation, these are expensive - and mostly sold out on Amazon at the time of writing.
Instead, you can turn to Alexa. The Amazon assistant has a range of games in the Alexa skills store, some of which you can play alone, and others work best with a small group of players. Some also make use of Amazon's Echo Buttons, which cost $20 for two and are used like game show buzzers.
- What are Amazon Alexa skills?
- 25 top Alexa skills for 2020
- How to stay calm and meditate at home with Alexa and Google Assistant
Head to the Games, Trivia & Accessories section of the Alexa application, and you will find thousands of results. Some, we admit, aren't particularly enticing, but sort the list by positive customer rating and there is plenty to keep you entertained.
Some of these games require (or work better with) Amazon Echo Buttons, which can be purchased for $19.99 for a pair, but most can be played using only your voice. To install these games on your Alexa device, click on the links below and click 'Enable Skill', or search for them in the Skills section of the Alexa app and tap the 'Enable Skill' button there instead.
Here are some of our favorites:
There are no prizes for guessing what this game is about. Just say: "Alexa, play true or false" and she'll begin by asking how many people want to play; you can play on your own, or with up to 19 others.
Topics when we played were varied to say the least, ranging from David Guetta to species of fish in the Amazon river and the length of a day on Mercury in the first three questions. New questions are added every week and the game can be played in American English, British English and German.
One of the most-reviewed Alexa skills of all, Song Quiz is a guess-the-song game where a track is played and you've to correctly guess the title and artist. Music from the 60s through to the 2010s is included, so it should appeal to the whole family, and new tracks are added often.
Amazon Echo owners can play against their household around the one speaker, or challenge friends across the country. If you don't have an Echo speaker or display, Song Quiz can also be played on an app for iOS and Android.
This is the official Alexa skill of the Jeopardy TV game show. Categories mirror those included in the most recent TV episode, and new questions are added every Wednesday to keep the game feeling fresh. Question topics include sports, pop culture, travel and world history. There's also Teen Jeopardy and Sport Jeopardy available through the same skill every Sunday.
This classic family board game can be played with two, three or four players, and requires each person to use their own Echo Button. The aim of the game is to be the fastest to buzz in with the correct answer — by tapping your Echo Button — and questions are split into six different categories. Answer a question correctly and you'll be asked more on that category, just like on the physical board game.
The game works in both American and British English, depending on which you have previously opted for in the Alexa app.
Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with clock and Alexa - Sandstone
The name-guessing game most famously played by Ellen DeGeneres is also available as an Alexa skill. The voice assistant will pick the name of a famous person at random, then you've to ask questions with a yes or no answer about who they are. Once you think you know, it's time to make your guess to see if you're right.
Categories include celebrities, movies and fictional characters, and extra collections of names can be added to the skill from $0.99.
One for children to enjoy, The Magic Door is storytelling where your answers to Alexa's questions dictate where the plot goes and how the story ends. Children are encouraged to use their imagination and think about where they'd like the story to go; we can see The Magic Door being used as a fun and creative alternative to traditional bedtime story-telling.
This game involves Alexa describing a setting from which you have to escape. There are four settings — jail cell, office, car and garage - and you plot your escape by looking around, inspecting objects and using the items you find. Alexa describes everything to help paint a picture in your mind's eye.
We found you have to speak quite slowly for Alexa to fully understand your instructions, but otherwise everything works smoothly. If you get stuck, the developers provide walkthroughs for each room.
Another fun but simple Alexa game, Twenty Questions has you think of an Animal, Mineral or Vegetable, Alexa can then ask up to 20 questions to try and work out what you're thinking of, and you can only answer each with "yes", "no", "unknown", "irrelevant", "sometimes", "probably", or "doubtful".
Designed to be played on your own, this game covers basic math, word puzzles, spelling, memory games and trivia. Questions are rapid-fire and switch between topics after each answer. The game is fun and fast-paced enough to be a challenge without feeling like Alexa is speaking too quickly.
Check out these GearBrain guides to unlock new Alexa features:
- Amazon Echo: What are Alexa Smart Home Groups and how do I create them?
- How to set up a second Amazon Echo, and why your smart home should have more than one
- How to play music in several rooms at once with Amazon Alexa and Multi-Room Music
- Alexa Drop In: How to turn your Amazon Echo speakers into a home intercom system
- How to make Alexa go several things at once with Routines
- The GearBrain: What works with Amazon Alexa