Alexa Skills: The best games for your Amazon Echo
Whether you’ve bought one for your home, given one as a gift, or just spotted one in someone else’s kitchen, Alexa devices are becoming more and more commonplace.
As they become more prevalent in homes around the world, there’s been a boom in the number of fun things you can do with your Amazon Echo. There’s no denying the convenience and practicality of being able to check the weather, set a timer, or adjust your thermostat – all with only a few words. But your smart speaker actually has the power to do much, much more!
With its ability to create soundscapes and interactive experiences, you’ve got a device that can be both ambient and evocative. This creates a really exciting space for lots of different experiences to spring from.
One of the Alexa capabilities we’re most excited about is (unsurprisingly) as a platform for games. There’s a lot of skills (apps, but for Alexa) out there to pick from. Whether you want to travel the world, solve riddles, or even rescue wizards – there’s an Alexa game for everyone. We’ve played and enjoyed a bunch, and put this list of some of our favourites together. Read on to discover the best Alexa games out there!
Best Alexa Games for Your Family:
The combination of technological smarts and lack of screens makes Alexa a popular device for family time. Here are a few of our recommendations if you want to use Alexa for some quality time as a family:
When in Rome
Open by saying: Alexa, open When in Rome
This is a travel trivia board game hosted by Alexa – which will give you fuller, more complete game to sit down at the end of the day. Yes, you read that right; When in Rome is the first Alexa-connected physical board game! This alone sets it aside from other skills as it creates a deeper, more sustained experience, but read on to find out why it really works as a great family game. (And, if you’re interested in trying it out first there’s also a free skill that lets you answer a daily trivia question.)
In When in Rome, two teams race around the world, answering questions about different cities to earn points. As players move around the world, you’ll hear voices of real-life locals who come from those places, who helped craft the questions as well as record them. There are also voice-activated cards; if you read the phrase at the bottom of the card, Alexa will enact its superpower for you – whether that’s teleportation, or trash talking your opponent (you just have to try it). The result of this is a well-rounded experience, and an exploration and celebration of the world’s diversity – brought to life through the power of voice. It’s a great way to introduce younger teens to different voices of the world, as well as learning some weird and wonderful things along the way yourself.
Aside from this, a large part of why When in Rome is a great family game is that it does the heavy-lifting around teaching the game. Alexa teaches you the rules as you go and keeps track of the scores. Nobody has to be rules master, so everyone can dive into the game immediately – no more boring instruction manual reading!
If you want a lighter experience, there’s also the free When in Rome daily skill (hosted within the same skill as the board game), where you get a new question about different cities each day. Get enough right, and you’ll unlock some nifty achievements. Get them wrong and you’ll still have newfound knowledge about the world’s cities!
Open by saying: Alexa, open The Magic Door
Magic Door creates a magical, evocative adventure that is perfect for you to explore with your children. It’s perfect as a small ritual before bedtime – or, really, any other time you want to dip into a fantastical story.
Magic Door has a host of different choose-your-own-adventure stories to explore, varying from spooky forests to fairy-populated gardens. In each adventure you’ll have quests to complete by exploring mystical lands, solving riddles, and more. Quests can range in size and theme throughout adventures; one day you could find yourself looking for magical eggs, another day you may be saving wizards from conniving witches. Whatever the quest is, the combination of different voices and sound effects creates a really pleasant and immersive soundscape to adventure in. This soundscape strikes a balance where it paints a picture of the Magic Door world, whilst also leaving enough room for imagination to let your children take the story where they choose.
Though the game plays well as a solo experience, you can also play as a group by taking it in turns to steer the story, or discussing your options to make a joint decision. In this way, you’ll find Magic Door does a great job of creating a group experience where everyone can get involved. Overall, the stories are interesting enough that an adult will enjoy playing through the skill, but are also light enough that children can easily take part as well.
Best Alexa Games for when you’re short on time:
One of the reasons Amazon Echos are becoming more and more popular is because of their ambient functionality. They can sit in the background and run a multitude of operations whilst you cook dinner, get ready for the day, or wrangle with wet laundry.
If you want to make those daily chores a bit more fun – or just have a spare five-minutes to kill – these are some short and easy skills we’d recommend checking out:
Would You Rather
Open by saying: Alexa, open Would You Rather
This is a classic game made even easier and moreish by Alexa. If you’ve played a version of this game before, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that the skill adaptation is pretty straightforward to pick up: after opening the skill, Alexa provides you with two hypotheticals. You can then state which choice you would rather pick. After this, Alexa will tell you how many users have picked the same answer as you.
The great thing is that the hypotheticals – which are really the core of the skill – are varied and interesting. Would you prefer to be a superhero who never gets the credit, or a normal person who does? Would you rather be credited with the invention of the wheel, or the internet? These questions have the right balance of entertainment levels and engagement to give you pause to think, whilst not totally derailing you from whatever else you’re doing at the same time (see: getting ready for the day and wet laundry wrangling). On top of this, hearing the percentage of people who agreed (or disagreed) with you also adds to the experience.
Because each question-answer interaction is short, you can easily stop whenever you want. So it’s great to play for a couple of minutes…or even one hour if you’re really (really) enthusiastic.
Riddle of the Day
Open by saying: Alexa, open Riddle of the Day
Riddle of the Day is a different experience to Would You Rather, as it’s great to play in small bursts throughout the day. The setup is simple: as the name implies, each day you’re presented with a new riddle. You can ponder over the riddle in your own time, then reopen the skill to answer whenever you want.
Although the skill is very simple, in practice this makes it a fun background activity to think over throughout your day. If you opened the skill in the morning, you can think about it during your commute, or any other short periods when you’re free. In fact, you can even add the skill to the end of your flash briefings, which means you’ll get a riddle naturally slotted in as an extra bit of fun when you get ready in the morning.
Alexa is well-suited to improving your day is small meaningful ways, and Riddle of the Day is one of them.
Best Alexa Games for those who love word games:
Word games could arguably be seen as a subcategory of quick games, but we wanted to give them their own space. Word games create their own distinct brain-teasing experience! If you like word games and feel like giving yourself some light brain training, try out the skills below:
Open by saying: Alexa, open Word Mine
Word Mine is an all-new way to play with anagrams, and really tests your linguistic limits by seeing how long you can make your word chains.
In this Alexa game, players delve into different mines each day, uncovering letters that need to be pieced together to make words. Each level of the mine produces a new letter to add to the previous ones, creating longer and longer words as you go. At the same time, you need to think fast – if you take too long to figure out an anagram, the shaky mine could collapse on you! As you play, you can also trade in your words for coins, which come in handy when buying tools to make future mining expeditions easier.
Though the anagrams start on the easier side, as you get further into the mine they get a lot more challenging. It’s really satisfying to have that ‘aha’ moment when unscrambling words in the deeper levels of the mine. If you don’t get those words, it’s just extra motivation to try and do better on future days. This is an enjoyable and rewarding daily activity that will stretch your brain, and have you improving your anagram skills faster than you realise.
Open by saying: Alexa, open Word Play
The final game on our list is Word Play. Like many of the others we’ve picked, this one is simple but satisfying; it will definitely scratch that word-completion itch in your brain.
In this game, you’ll need to spell out a five-letter mystery word that Alexa has started spelling for you. During easier levels, Alexa will give you three of the five letters, but as you progress the number of letters you start with decreases. You need to keep uncovering the words for as long as you can, until you run out of lives – if you do especially well, you may even make it onto the leaderboards.
Conversely, you can also choose the multiplayer mode of the skill. If you do this, you and your friends take it in turns to solve words, with the first player to get three correct as the winner. Having these two modes is a nice touch that makes the skill more usable in different environments.
The five-letter set up gives you a nice framework to work within, whilst also being able to flex across difficulty levels depending on how well you’re doing. It can get pretty challenging later on in the game – but if you’re a fan of word games, that’s probably what you’ll love about it.
That wraps up our best Alexa games list! Check out the skills above to see what you think for yourself. If you want to find out more about the latest news around smart speaker games, make sure to sign up to our mailing list below.