Ahead of the game

Updated: Apr 14, 2020, 09:54 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

The lockdown has seen a spurt in multiplayer mobile phone games. We got three players to pick the ones they are hooked to

All about word play

Kahini Panjabi

Chances are that you have played the physical version of Scrabble at some point, considering how ubiquitous the popular word game is. But 30-year-old musician Kahini Panjabi switched to the app version once the lockdown started. "It's quick and you can play multiple games simultaneously. So, you can make a word in one game and then switch to another one, coming back to the first game whenever your opponent has finished their turn," she says. Panjabi adds that another convenient feature is that you aren't stuck to your phone while playing. She says, "There are times when I have gone back to a game the next day after it started. And now when everyone has chores at home, you can finish your jhadoo and return for your round." There is one complaint, though. Panjabi says, "I think some of the words aren't actually part of the English language, in the sense that they can be French terms. I mean, I don't know what 'qi' means, but here, you can get 30 points for it."

The meow factor

The meow factor

Ishaan Gupta

Give Exploding Kittens a shot if you are looking for a quick game that lasts less than 15 minutes. Ishaan Gupta, a 28-year-old graphic designer, did a few days into the lockdown. "But I properly got into it about a week ago, and the good thing is that even if you have only two or three friends to play with, you can have random people join in when you leave the common room open," he says. The game itself involves cards with kittens that have different abilities. "The idea is to kill everyone else, which happens when they pick up an 'exploding kitten' card from the deck. Luck plays some part. But you have to strategise as well. For example, you have different cards like 'skip', 'reverse' or 'shuffle' that you need to keep handy in case you pick up an 'exploding kitten' card yourself," he says. He adds that he is also into other multiplayer games like the immensely popular Catan. "But that takes about one-and-a-half hours, so it's a commitment, which you don't need with Exploding Kittens."

Mind games

Mind games

Keshav Naidu

TV presenter Ellen DeGeneres's digital media company made waves in the gaming market when it launched Heads Up! in 2013. The firm followed that success up with Psych, a game where your general knowledge is put to the test even as you try and outwit your opponents. Players have to come up with a fake answer for each question, one that they feel the opponents will think is true, while you get extra points for guessing the right answer yourself. "So, you have to really fool people and [at the same time] understand how people are trying to fool you. You have to be a prankster in that sense, but not in a typical way. A prank always have a bad side to it since there's the potential of someone getting hurt. But this game is so smart that it's designed to inflict minimal damage even as it keeps the prankster in you alive," says 40-year-old content creator Keshav Naidu, who took to the game with renewed vigour post the lockdown.

Log on to Google Play for the games

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