With most of us still sitting at home most of the time, we are looking for ways to stay in contact with those we love. The typical video call is a well-known way to do this. However, the interaction and possibilities are quite limited. Have you ever heard of HouseParty? It is an already quite popular app that has been used during these times of isolation. The question is: is it actually a good app to use when calling with friends and family? What are the possibilities in terms of activities and capacity?

That is exactly what we are going to figure out!

Who can download HouseParty?

Let’s start with great news, the app is available on all platforms. Think about Android, iOS, macOS and Windows. No fighting over Hangouts or FaceTime limitations anymore.

How can I find my friends?

When you are setting up your HouseParty profile the app asks if it can have access to your contact list. If agreeing it will display all your friends that own Houseparty accounts. In one click you can send friend requests and invite them to ‘your house.’ If you can’t find your friends in the list you can always add them by clicking on the + icon on top. Easy right?

You and your friends are in a house party, now what?

Being able to call with your friends is not all you can do with this app. So, what controls do you actually have from within your house party? Let’s start with the possibility to turn your camera and microphone on and off and switch your camera from front to rear camera. Not very exciting but you are secretly thankful for the features. Another feature that comes in handy is the ability to lock a room. If the room is open, friends can join without having to be called, which is really nice but sometimes you want to avoid more people joining in. You simply click on the lock and the room is closed for other guests.

Now we go to the fun part. Games. In the top right-hand corner, there are a set of dice. When you tap it, it opens up suggestions of fun games to play. The app right now has four party games called: ‘Heads Up!’, ‘Trivia’, ‘Chips and Guac’ & ‘Quick Draw!’. ‘Heads Up!’ and ‘Quick Draw!’ are two games that you probably have heard of or even played already. In both games the players need to guess a certain word, character or place. ‘Trivia’ gives you the opportunity to impress your friends with your knowledge. ‘Chips and Guac’ is similar to ‘Cards Against Humanity’ in which you have one card with a sentence on the table and you will need to fill in the blanks with your own cards. The funniest or most ridiculous combinations get chosen as winners.

How to invite my friends to my house parties?

We can all send each other a text message saying: “Please join me on HouseParty.” But don’t you think that is kind of boring? The developers of the app have found a funny way to notify your friends. You can now send them a ‘FaceMail’ which is basically a short video, which will appear in their Inbox the next time they open the Houseparty app or if they have their notifications on even sooner. Another cool feature of the FaceMail is the possibility to record highlights of the house party and share them.

How many people fit in one house?

It might be slightly less than in your real house but I’m sure you’ll be able to manage. You can fit eight friends in a room at a time. However, if you have a big group of friends, you can create multiple rooms and then switch between them so you can see everyone bit by bit. It sounds kind of odd but it does work.

Overall HouseParty is an amazing app with many possibilities for you and your friends to catch up and have a good time. The layout of the app is clear and easily understandable. The app does not need a lot of private information to work and it is all for free. The only catch is the limitations of group size when calling. However, the games and other unique features in the app make up for it.

Are you going to download it?