Meta’s Facebook Gaming division is making Messenger video calls more interesting with a new set of free-to-play games you can now access with your friends while you chat face to face, no matter where you are. The feature comes fairly late in the post-covid lockdown world but is great for quick sessions of Words with Friends, Mini Golf FRVR, and Exploding Kittens (via Engadget).
The best part of the new Messenger video call gaming feature is how accessible they are for Facebook users. All you need to do is initiate a video call with one or multiple friends, tap the group mode button in the center, select the Play icon, and then select a game in the library presented to you — no downloading or installation required.
In 2018, Facebook launched an AR games feature in Messenger that let up to six friends jump on a call and play games like Don’t Smile — which, as the title suggests, challenges friends not to grin — but this rollout brings in real mobile games that are already successful beyond Messenger.
The new set of games within Messenger video calls is available now for users on iOS, Android, and even a web browser. There are 14 games in the current library — most of which only need two players — and more are expected to come as Facebook Gaming appeals to developers to reach out about adding the feature to their games.
Video calls can be a great way to interact with friends while playing games, but many platforms lack easy ways to initiate a quick, fun session without layering the conversation across two services or setting up a screen-sharing Drawful event. Just be ready for your aunts, who will certainly be hitting you up to play Go Fish over video.