You don’t need to download apps to play games with friends. Text-based games can provide hours of fun in their own right, either via SMS or a chat app. There are a host of great texting games to play, and in this article we’ll help you discover the best out there.
Most of these texting games are simple in nature. And they can provide free fun for family and friends alike regardless of your ages or interests. You can even play with anyone you know who still owns a dumbphone. Here are some of the best phone games to play over text.
The Rise of Mobile Gaming
The rise of smartphones has turned mobile gaming into an unstoppable force of nature. Everyone knows the big names such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga, and Pokemon GO. And there are even free mobile games without ads or in-app purchases worth playing.
But what if you don’t want to download and install yet another new app on your phone? What if you just want to play a simple game via SMS or your favorite chat app? Thankfully there are a host of fun texting games you can play instead, and here are the best ones…
1. Story Builder
As a writer, I tell stories for fun. But even non-writers who find it difficult to create worlds, characters, and plots by themselves could gain enjoyment from this simple texting game.
With Story Builder, one of you begins the story by texting a sentence to the other. The other person then texts the second sentence in the story back to the first person. Slowly but surely, the two of you build a story over the course of several texts or a messaging thread.
Variations include sentences containing a certain number of words or characters, or even sentences with exactly 160 characters in them. Although anyone who used Twitter before the character limit was raised will know how tough that can be.
2. 20 Questions
This is the classic 20 Questions that originated in the US and spawned both radio and television shows. The concept of this game is elegantly simple yet it requires a degree of intelligence to succeed at it.
One of you thinks of an object or person, while the other fires questions at them via text message. Your “Yes/No” responses help the guesser narrow down the possibilities until they can make an educated guess as to exactly you were thinking of.
Variations include limiting the object being thought of to a particular genre. Or, you can increase/decrease the number of questions the guesser can ask.
3. I Spy
This is the classic I Spy, a game that has been a favorite of families for generations. Surely we have all whiled away a long car journey as a child playing this. And the version played via text or chat is just as much fun.
Begin by telling your opponent where you are to at least give them a fighting chance. Then look around your environment until your mind’s eye fixes on something in particular. Your opponent then has to guess what it is you have spied, with only the first letter of the object to guess from.
Variations include giving clues after each negative response to a wrong guess, or limiting the number of guesses allowed.
4. Song Lyrics
Assuming you’re not exclusively interested in instrumental music, you’ll know certain lines from certain songs. Whether because of an emotional attachment or simply because they sound good together, most people have been affected by song lyrics in some way.
The Song Lyrics game plays on that by having one person quote lines from a song to the other via text. The other person then has to guess the song the lyrics are from. It helps if this is played with someone you’re close to or who you share similar music tastes with.
Variations include classic lines from movies or plots from games. Failure to guess correctly could mean having to phone up and sing the chorus of the song to your opponent.
Abbreviations are everywhere, as you can see with the trendy internet acronyms you need to know. It’s even possible to abbreviate your entire life by describing what you are up to with just the first letters of each word in that description.
To play Abbreviations, one of you abbreviates what you’re up to. For example: “In a coffee shop in town” becomes “IACSIT”, and the other sets about trying to un-abbreviate your short sentence back to its original form. Be prepared for some rude replies.
Variations include giving more than just the first letter of each word, and abbreviating something other than your current activity. Such as what you truly think of the person you are playing against.
6. List Builder
We all build lists. They detail everything from our chores for the day to our overall aims in life; from what groceries we need to the gadgets we want to buy in the future. When turned into a game, building lists can be a lot of fun, especially by text.
List Builder is a competitive game in which each player takes a turn to name something belonging to a particular genre. This could include capital cities, actors from a certain series of movies, or anything else your mind can conjure up. The winner is the last person to successfully add to the list.
Variations include going through the alphabet one letter at a time, or requiring the next answer to start with the same letter the last answer ended with.
7. Where Am I?
The reason we all carry smartphones is because we’re not always at home. Which makes this game perfect for playing on mobile devices.
With Where Am I?, each player takes it in turn to describe one feature of their surroundings, while the other tries to guess where they are. You can make it as easy or as hard as you like by varying the level of detail you give to your opponent.
Variations include limiting it to a house, with the room you’re in being the correct answer, or asking which shop in town you are in. You could also change it to Who Am I With? and describe the person or people who are there with you instead.
8. Kiss, Marry, Kill
You may know Kiss, Marry, Kill as something else. The Kiss, for instance, may be a little more intense than just a peck on the cheek. However, the basic concept is the same, and is fun as long as no offense is taken by the answers given.
One person names three people, be they celebrities or individuals you both know, and asks the question, “Kiss, Marry, Kill?” The other then has to determine which of the three they would kiss, which they would marry, and which they would kill. All in jest, you understand.
Variations include dropping certain names into the mix you know will upset your friend. Or changing the question entirely. As long as there are three choices and three names in the mix, the sky’s the limit with this one.
9. What If…?
If you’re prone to daydreaming you should be familiar with the concept of What If? Once one of these scenarios pops into your brain, you can spend several minutes working out which option you would choose in that scenario. Which is perfect fodder for a texting game.
One of you texts the other a What If? scenario and asks what they would do in that situation. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s not only fun to see the responses given, it can also give you an insight into your friend or family member’s outlook on life.
Variations include leaving the question open-ended with any answer possible, or giving multiple choice answers and forcing the other person to choose from one of those.
10. Simple Quiz
Quizzes of any kind can be fun, even if they’re supposedly testing your IQ. And they don’t have to be long, drawn-out affairs with a quiz master asking difficult questions.
In the form of a texting game you can play in a chat app, Simple Quiz requires one of you to text the other a general knowledge question. The other person then has to try to give the correct answer, or, if they’re a little too dumb for that, the funniest joke answer imaginable.
Variations include switching this to a test of web browsing skills as they try to find the answer online in the shortest time possible.
What Texting Phone Games Do You Enjoy?
These texting games range from the simple to the more complex. But they’re all supremely playable between any two (or more) people with phones in their hands. And it doesn’t matter whether that’s a smartphone or a feature phone (reasons to buy a feature phone).
With 160 characters at a time (or more if you’re using a chat app such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger), you can have a fun back-and-forth between you and a friend or family member. Even your old nan with her original Nokia 3310 can join in the fun.
And when you grow tired of these simple chat games, check out these cross-platform mobile multiplayer games to play with friends.
Image Credit: Art Studio/Shutterstock
Read the full article: 10 Fun Texting Games to Play With Friends Over the Phone
Throughout the ages, readers have had numerous options. Depending on your personal preferences, you have been able to pick up mainstream fiction, geeky non-fiction, graphic novels, and magazines, amongst other things.
Chat stories are the latest offerings. Presented as short stories delivered in the form of text messages, these apps are wildly popular with younger readers. All you need to do is tap the bottom of the screen to reveal the next message, making it easy to lose yourself in a narrative.
If you’re interested in reading chat stories, here are the best chat stories apps available…
Expect the stories on ReadIt to capture your interest right away. However, keep in mind that you need to get a subscription to read the full stories and to view the images. Many users start out not expecting that and end up disappointed as a result, despite their enjoyment of the material.
The available genres include horror, romance, and thrillers. The app selects fictional chats for you to read automatically. But you can choose your own stories as well by scrolling to the top and tapping the X button.
ReadIt is one of the highest-rated chat stories apps on iTunes, and it’s worth downloading to find out for yourself why that’s the case.
Hooked brings addictive chat stories to the masses through a business model that emphasizes how stories must evolve, as the company explains on Medium. This proved immensely successful as Hooked surpassed Instagram and Snapchat in the iTunes charts at one time.
Like the other apps mentioned here, Hooked offers original stories in a chat-based format. You can even download audio recordings to hear actors read the messages aloud as they appear onscreen. If you don’t feel like reading, Hooked also offers short films to watch.
The content covers a range of genres, including romance, horror, mystery, and comedy.
You need to sign up for a subscription to access anything in Hooked, although you can take advantage of a free, three-day trial to see if you like it first.
While the other apps on this list let you read existing chat-style stories, TextingStory is a tool that lets you create your own.
Make up an exciting story and write it out in text-message form with as many different characters as you like. Add extra color with pictures and GIFs. Then export your finished story as a video to share with your friends.
TextingStory is free to download and use. But you need in-app purchases to add custom alert sounds or to unlock picture and GIF support.
After you finish writing your story, choose the video speed and format you want before exporting it. You need to buy an additional in-app purchase to remove the TextingStory watermark from your finished videos.
You read most chat stories as if viewing someone’s messaging history. However, with Cliffhanger, you become part of the story. In each chat, there are moments where Cliffhanger lets you choose a response to determine what happens next.
As you may have expected from the name, most of Cliffhanger’s stories are thriller, mystery, or horror. You can enjoy stories for free, or sign up for a weekly subscription for more even stories along with access to images and videos.
Fans of Cliffhanger say the text stories in this app are easy to understand and totally addictive. They confess to spending hours getting lost in the stories, which are updated every week. So if you’re preparing for a long plane or train ride, this app could make the journey more bearable.
5. Tap by Wattpad
Instead of offering text-only chat stories, Tap by Wattpad presents stories with images, colorful backgrounds, sounds, and videos. This makes every story even more engaging and takes full advantage of the technology available on your smartphone.
Tap by Wattpad offers an enormous library of stories covering every genre imaginable, including an LGBTQ+ section. Most of these stories offer alternate endings, giving you more reason to revisit your favorites time and time again.
Enjoy the Tap Original stories that come out every week and are exclusive to this app. They offer something new to read even if you use the other story apps on this list. You can also read or create original stories written by other Tap by Wattpad users.
And don’t forget to recommend Tap by Wattpad to non-English-speaking friends. The app offers content in more than 10 different languages, making this one of the best social reading apps.
Yarn makes it feel as though you’re peeking through other people’s text messages and learning stories about their life. With a premium subscription, you can enjoy pictures, videos, and audio clips as well. The Yarn app even lets you choose your own responses to change the direction of chat stories.
Analysts say these kinds of chat stories may change the publishing industry with new popular content. And Yarn is further pushing the boundaries with short video episodes to watch as well.
Yarn releases new episodes and conversations daily, keeping everything short to make it easy to binge through lots at once. Just remember, you need to pay for a subscription to unlock unlimited and exclusive content.
With LEAK you can read short chat stories for free since the app is ad-supported, rather than subscription-based. That said, you can get a cheap subscription to remove those ads and unlock even more content. Unfortunately, LEAK is only available on your iPhone.
Enjoy stories from every genre: love, paranormal, thriller, drama, and more. LEAK keeps all of them short and easy to digest, spicing up conversations with the occasional image or status update as well.
It isn’t the best-looking app on this list, but LEAK is quick and easy to use with fewer restrictions than you’ll find elsewhere. That is, if you don’t mind putting up with the occasional ad.
Download: LEAK for iOS (Free, subscription available)
8. Scary Chat Stories – Addicted
If you like reading edge-of-your-seat scary stories but can’t afford the subscriptions, try this app instead. Unlike the other chat story apps on this list, Scary Chat Stories is completely free.
You can read as many scary stories as you like and enjoy all of the pictures in them without paying for anything. That does mean you need to watch ads instead, which is how the app supports itself. However, you can skip them after a few seconds.
Unfortunately, the spelling and grammar aren’t as good as in other text-based story apps. But if you can see past the questionable writing quality, Scary Chat Stories seems delivers fairly well thanks to its vast catalog of engaging stories.
With a regularly updated story collection from in-house writers, this app covers both horror and romance genres. Although stories are still presented in text form, complete with pictures, Lure adds descriptions and actions between the messages so you can follow exactly what’s happening in each story.
Statistics at the top of a story’s introduction screen show how many people viewed and loved each tale. The introduction screen also tells you how long you can expect to spend reading it, with most stories averaging just under an hour.
When reading without a subscription, there is a waiting period that prevents tapping to immediately see the next section. A subscription removes the adverts and the need to wait. You can also purchase gems to spend on more stories without a subscription.
Sadly, Lure is only available for iOS.
Download: Lure for iOS (Free, subscription available)
Other Apps for People Who Love to Read
Perhaps this was your introduction to chat stories, a genre that has taken youth culture by storm. Or maybe you already knew a bit about them but haven’t downloaded any apps yet. Either way, we hope this article helps you find some brilliant chat stories apps to try out.
If you enjoy chat stories, there’s a good chance you enjoy reading fictional novels as well. So be sure to check out the best apps for book lovers. That way, you can read chat stories or full-length novels on your phone, depending on your mood at the time.
Read the full article: The 9 Best Chat Stories Apps for Reading Text Message Stories