Since we’re all staying home as much as possible right now, it’s important to find fun things to do to keep from going a little crazy.
If you’re like me, you’re probably spending a lot more time on your phone or tablet. But I’m going to be honest: There are only so many tweets I can read and times I can check Instagram before I get tired of the mindless scrolling. At the same time, there are also days when I don’t really feel like starting a new TV show or book, and the mere thought of working on a puzzle makes my brain hurt.
There are plenty of roundups of fitness and mindfulness apps to get you through quarantine, so I’m going to skip those and try to give you a list of apps that can inject some fun (and maybe even a little education!) into your quarantine days.
1. Google Street View
You can play with Google Street View on your computer, tablet, or phone, and trust me when I say it is absolutely worth adding into your rotation.
I recently learned that there are a number of museums that allow you to take virtual, immersive tours through the app, and my mind was blown. You can visit the Google Arts & Culture page to learn more about how it works, but it’s a great way to virtually escape the confines of your house for a little while.
In that same vein, you can also download Google Earth if you’d like to explore more of the world while following responsible social distancing. I’ve visited the Tokyo National Museum, the Statue of Liberty, and the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands so far.
2. Evil Apples
Not everything you do has to be enriching or educational. Sometimes, you just need to have fun, and Evil Apples is a hilarious way to stay connected with friends while we’re all isolating together.
Evil Apples is essentially the app version of the NSFW party game Cards Against Humanity. You can invite friends via text or social media, and there’s no limit to how long you can play.
For anyone who doesn’t know, this is a hysterical and often raunchy “fill in the blank” game. For each round, one person is the “judge,” and he or she picks a card from the deck with a random question or statement on it. Everyone else chooses the answer that they think would be funniest from the hand of cards they have been dealt, and whichever card the judge thinks is funniest is the winner for that round.
It’s simple and fun, and you’ll be crying with laughter by the end of it, trust me.
3. Mario Kart Tour
Listen, if you’ve never experienced the thrill of hitting your friend or partner with a homing Koopa shell and taking the lead on Rainbow Road, you’re missing out on one of life’s little pleasures.
Mario Kart Tour lets you play with up to seven people who are nearby or scattered anywhere in the world. I recommend setting up a video chat and settling in with some wine for a night of cutthroat competition, yelling at the screen, and, most importantly, smug gloating.
I remember when Words With Friends was the most popular new game to play with your friends, and I have to say that I’m glad Hasbro put out an actual Scrabble app in answer to that.
The app has built-in spellcheck and word check, so you don’t have to Google anything. It also allows you to play virtually with friends, match with strangers, or even pass your device around if you’re quarantined with friends, roommates, or family members who want to play.
I like the simplicity of not having to drag out the Scrabble board, and playing a virtual game means that you and your friends can finish the game at your own pace. Plus, nothing beats arguing with friends over whether or not “twerk” is technically a word, right?
Okay, back to apps that are slightly educational but still really cool. I’m a huge space nerd, and I love nothing more than staring at a sky full of stars. Unfortunately, as much as I love stars and constellations, I’m so bad at being able to distinguish them when I’m stargazing.
Enter Stellarium. The app lets you point your phone at the sky, and it identifies stars, planets, constellations, and even comets and satellites for you. You can tap to learn more about any of the objects in your sky, or you can swipe through a huge catalogue of stars, nebulas, and deep-sky objects if you just want to learn something new.
No matter how much you love books, puzzles, and Netflix, it’s normal to feel like you need to spice things up to keep your sanity. Whether you want to set up a game night or just feel like you’re visiting somewhere that isn’t the grocery store or your backyard, I hope these apps add a little bit of fun and adventure to your quarantine days.
Share with us your fave apps to get through quarantine!