• Mobile games are a great way to stay connected to friends and family. (Getty )Source: Getty
The World Health Organisation recommends gaming as a safe way to stay connected to friends and family, but you don't need to buy a console to get involved.
By
Rae Johnston

Source:
NITV News
6 Apr 2020 - 2:52 PM  UPDATED 6 Apr 2020 - 3:29 PM
In these times of self-isolation, we've all turned to technology for staying in touch with loved ones and games are no exception - even the World Health Organisation (WHO) is recommending them.
 
We've seen record numbers of players online in the last month on all platforms. PC players flooded Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, setting a record of a million concurrent players at once. Nintendo Switch consoles became as rare as toilet paper. EB Games stores have even continued to stay open as an "essential service". 
 
But what if you don't have the cash to splash on a new console - or just want to play on your phone? Never fear, there are a bunch of reliable options, in a range of genres, and for all ages.
 
Here are the top picks:

Rec Room 

Rec Room is an online universe where you create and play games with friends from all around the world. You build everything that happens inside the app, hanging out together and creating anything and everything you can imagine. Laser tag, bowling - even just sitting on a park bench together. Everything you make together can be published online for anyone else to play.

It is a whole lot of ridiculous fun for a range of ages and gaming abilities, and it doesn't cost a cent.

Free on the Apple App Store

 

LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed

 
LEGO Legacy is the ultimate LEGO mashup. Build a team of classic robot space ninja pirates with your friends and family, and go on a role-playing adventure almost anywhere you can imagine within the LEGO universe.
 
You'll take turns to battle the bad guys in action-packed missions where you can discover real-life LEGO sets right there in the game. You have to work together and help each other.

Free on the Apple App Store and Google Play

 

Sky: Children of the Light 

 
This beautiful game was created by thatgamecompany, who also made Journey and Flower - two of my all-time favourites for relaxing, gorgeous play. The aim of Sky: Children of the Light is to spread hope, returning fallen stars to the sky and the constellations where they belong.
 
You don't do this alone. You come across players from all over the world as you play and team up for adventures saving spirits or finding hidden treasures. You can even give each other gifts, create music together and grow your friendship.
 
 

FIFA Football 

 
FIFA Football on your phone lets you train any player, build an Ultimate Team, and play head-to-head with friends in real-time. You can even go on a world tour and play at over 650 events globally.
 
All without leaving your, um, throne.

 

Golf Blitz

 
I know, I know - golf is boring. But this isn't any regular golf.
 
The courses are ridiculous, your golf bag is filled with sticky balls and grenades and lasers, and you get to do it all with your friends. You can even watch live streams of pro players, to learn a few tips and tricks.

Free on the Apple App Store and Google Play

 

Clash Royale

 
If you've ever played Clash of Clans, these characters will look familiar. But even if you haven't Clash Royale has a lot to offer a mobile gamer.
 
The game is a collectable card game, mixed with a tower defence strategy game, with a multiplayer online battle area where you can play against anyone in the world - either one on one or in teams of two. You can also make your team to share cards with, and work together to unlock chests and take on quests.
 
 

8 Ball Pool 

 
We can't go to the pub right now, and not of all us are flash enough to have a pool room. 8 Ball Pool keep your strategy skills sharp, at least.
 
You can hit up the practice arena before taking on the world, entering tournaments to win fancy pool cues. And if you login with Facebook, you can challenge all your friends there.
 
Free on the Apple App Store and Google Play
 

Scrabble GO

 
I'm a word nerd, and Scrabble Go scratches an itch I've been feeling a long time. You know when you play Words With Friends, and they just make up words to win? You can't do this in Scrabble Go. You can only use dictionary words.
 
You can play against people you know and those you don't - you'll be matched with other players at your level. There's also a bunch of other word games in the app, too. Happy wording!
 
Insta bookclub with a celebrated difference bringing families together
At a time when all the public language is about social-distancing and self-isolation, one First Nations-led bookclub is providing welcome relief for families and keeping community connected, all while promoting early literacy.