Smartphones and tablets have been great for games, but are much-maligned for the antisocial act of screen-staring. Luckily, games like Glitchnap's Sentree can help all your friends play together, with just a couple of devices.
In Sentree, one of your friends plays the Hero, wearing a blindfold and aiming a magic flashlight mapped to their phone. The rest of you gather around a tablet and watch the game world, planning and verbally communicating instructions to the Hero about where to go, what to do and where to aim. Watch the video here to see how it all works and what each player sees.
Sentree is made by Copenhagen-based innovators Glitchnap, "a band that makes games instead of records." I loved their luminous four-player space joust LAZA KNITEZ—and any time, really, tech is used to give people opportunities to crowd around a device and shout at each other and laugh. The art is by Liselore Goedhart, and is very sweet.
Speaking of device-enabled in-person experiences, if you've ever been out at the bar and wished your friends had something else to do with the time you all fall silent and pull out your phones, you must also get your hands on Spaceteam, one of the most excellent experiences of its kind. At first I was nervous about shouting gibberish instructions to my friends in public, but I fell in love with the game so hard and so fast I stopped caring. Plus, you can play at a house party.
As for Sentree, it's not out yet but will be soon, and you can sign up on the site to be notified about updates.