Google Assistant powers Google Nest’s suite of smart speakers and displays. While you’re probably using your smart speaker to play music, make shopping lists, create reminders, and conduct simple online searches, you also can use your speaker or smart display to play interactive games with Google Assistant.
There are all kinds of games for both kids and adults, but many of the best follow the rules of trivia, popular game shows, or topics like math or logic. They can be played alone or with a group. Check out our favorites below!
Generally, to start any game, make sure that your Home/Nest device is updated, then say, “Hey, Google, play” and repeat the name of the desired game listed below to get started. Make sure to note if we recommend playing a specific game with a screen device like the Nest Hub Max. For specific kid-friendly or educational games, make sure to stay connected with Google’s Kids Space, which specializes in this kind of entertainment.
Ding Dong Coconut
In this wacky memory game, the speaker plays you a sound. It then tells you to associate a word with a sound that has nothing to do with that sound. For example, it may play a dog barking and tell you to associate the word “ocean” with the dog barking sound. After several sounds and random word associations, the game gets pretty difficult.
Appropriate for older kids and adults, this math trivia game combines logic and mathematics. Some questions are more difficult than others, but many of them are designed to trick you. It’s not your normal “what is nine times eight” type of thing. For example, it may ask you what you’d get if you add 1Mbps plus 1Gbps.
The game does have some issues understanding commands. On a few questions, we had to repeat our answers. But overall the game was interesting and entertaining.
Love riddles? In Riddle Room, you navigate different rooms by solving riddles. It’s fun for kids and adults, but it appears to be more of a kid’s game. It does a good job of understanding your answers and commands, and it has a pretty decent variety of riddles. Dr. Riddle is another game that works well, and the riddles are a bit more difficult than they are in Riddle Room.
The object of this game is to name the artist or song title after you hear a portion of a song. You can choose the genre of music you want to play (pop, rap, rock ‘n’ roll, country, etc.), which makes the game more fun. Plus, the game does an excellent job of picking up your answers.
Star Wars Trivia Challenge
Star Wars Trivia is exactly what it sounds like. It asks you trivia questions about the galaxy far, far away. It starts with a round of trivia on A New Hope and moves from there. The questions are pretty challenging, but not impossible.
Some of the other themed trivia games on Google Home worth playing are Star Trek, Game of Thrones, The Voice, and Pokémon.
Does your desire for trivia tend more toward the real world? There are plenty of more grounded trivia options as well, including sports trivia by Sports Illustrated. But our favorite is probably animal trivia because there’s nothing like testing your knowledge of the animal world and learning some cool new facts about it at the same time.
Looking for something silly and fun to play with the family? Try, “Hey Google, play Freeze Dance.” The rules are simple: Dance until the music stops, then freeze where you are. For a more party-friendly option, Google also supports musical chairs, although this takes a little more preparation, of course.
With Sub War, you’re the captain of a submarine in the Acton Straits, and you have to fight other subs in the water. The game tells you the location of your submarine, and you can ping the sonar to find out the locations of the others. You can fire on the other subs, but you don’t have a lot of ammo. The game makes you feel like you’re a real sub captain, and it does well in terms of understanding your commands.
Lucky Trivia is a game show trivia game. Between one and five people can play Lucky Trivia at a time. The questions are moderate in difficulty and the game has a wide variety of questions about all sorts of topics to keep your interest. The game also has a family-friendly version: Lucky Trivia for Families.
Akinator is a 20-questions game but in reverse. You say, “Hey Google, let me talk to the Akinator” and then pick a person. Akinator has 20 questions to try and figure out which person you are thinking of — and it can be pretty good at its job! You can choose from any real or popular fictional character, but you better be prepared to answer Akinator‘s questions honestly and accurately!
This game is just what it sounds like. Mimicking the famous radio station game of yore, Google will play you a mystery sound and encourage you to guess what it is (one at a time, please). The sounds aren’t too weird, and it’s an easy way to pass the time and get your family or friends involved in a fun little challenge. You can start it at any time by saying, “Hey Google, let’s play Mystery Sounds.”
Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!
If you’re a huge fan of NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” segment, Google’s Home/Nest devices allow you to play a version whenever you want. This interactive quiz features the voices of the Wait Wait stars, and like the original game, it will test you to fill in the blanks on headlines and quotes from this week’s news. It only takes around five minutes to play, and it’s a nice way to keep up on all the important news while still having some fun. Plus, each week you get entered into a lottery to win a voicemail voice. Start any time by saying, “Hey, Google, talk to the Wait Wait Quiz.”
The Vortex is an addictive interactive “voice-first” game designed by Doppio (founded by BioWare alumni) — an adventure game that you play with your voice and a little help. You start waking up on an empty and forgotten spaceship, hunted by an alien menace and left with only a collection of various A.I.s and robots still aboard. This isn’t just some easy 10-minute session, either: The gameplay is deep and rich, featuring colorful personalities that you can develop friendships with, a variety of tasks to repair the ship and find out what happened in the past, and much more.
You can download the game on Google Assistant and start whenever you want. The Vortex is compatible with all Google Home devices, but there are some UI components to the game that show up via Google Assistant, making this game work best on a hub that includes a smart display, such as the Nest Hub Max.
As you might have guessed, this fun trivia game focuses on historical inventions, quizzing you on the inventor of each. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to up your chances on trivia night, this game is a fun way to test and expand your knowledge of inventors and their impressive creations.
Fans of Fortnite will love this exciting Fortnite-themed quiz game. Start playing and test your knowledge of Fortnite’s unique lore. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t the only Fortnite-themed activity supported by Google Home/Nest. If you ask it, your Nest device can pick a landing zone for the game as well as provide other game-related information.
The Darkness at Innsmouth
If you enjoy Lovecraft, you won’t want to miss out on this game, but people unfamiliar with it also can have fun with this one. Even players brand new to Lovecraft’s eldritch horrors before will appreciate this journey, and they’ll be even more surprised by what awaits. The game centers around whether you can summon the courage to confront the mystery left by your uncle, Professor Wolfe. If so, use your voice to role-play as a professor investigating mysterious events. Even better, this is only the first chapter in an ongoing saga, and the second interactive novel is also available. Note: this game is suggested for mature or teen audiences because, as you would expect from something Lovecraftian, you journey into a macabre world with some violence.
Voice Quest is an innovative, immersive journey from Doppio Games where you play a word-oriented wizard apprentice to Merlin. Power your spells by thinking and voicing synonyms of the provided words, and defeat your enemies as you progress through the adventure that has you face classic foes like the sorceress Morgana. This game can work in an audio-only setting, but a display does add a lot more RPG flair to the experience, so we recommend the visual option whenever possible.
Power of Words
Power of Words is a bit similar to Voice Quest, except this fantasy adventure has you protect a tribe of cute little magic-alien squirrels called Quicks from an invading horde of trolls. Battles are conducted by building words from available letters (a little like Scrabble) to cast spells and strike at a variety of enemies, then level up abilities and earn currency to buy loot. The game spans three different worlds and 45 levels, so there’s plenty of room to get invested. A display is almost required here due to the visual aspects of the game.
My Smart Pet
This kid-friendly game is the updated Google version of a Tamagotchi, a virtual pet you take care of and train, and which responds positively the more that it is spoken to as you go on a unique adventure together. Available for smart displays, building digital bonds with a pet has never been so fun!
This strictly visual game allows kids to create and manage their own virtual aquarium, including choosing the kind of fish that live within and making the right care choices to keep everyone happy and healthy. It’s a great way to pass the time with kids while teaching a little bit about caring for something else.