Best App for Parlor Games



Backwords Screenshot

Record the challenge phrase: The game begins by sending one player out of the room. When the player is out of earshot, Backwords prompts another player to record a word or phrase matching a certain category (superhero, TV show, type of car, and so on). After the challenge phrase is safely recorded, the first player comes back into the room to try to figure out the phrase in a fixed amount of time.


Backwords Screenshot

Play it backward: The challenger uses three buttons. The lower-left Play button plays the original challenge phrase backward. The player then tries to mimic the backward sound, pressing the red Record button to record his or her gruntings and growlings. The lower-right Play button reverses the player’s backward speech which, if all goes well, sounds something like the original phrase. Players get points for identifying the phrase, with bonus points for remaining time.

Top Pick


Version: 1.1
Website: Shadiradio

Your iPhone is swell for social media like Twitter, but what about being social with people who are, y’know, actually in the same room? Turns out the iPhone can help there, too. Backwords makes your iPhone the host of a challenging, often hysterical parlor game. One player privately records a spoken phrase, and Backwords plays it in reverse to the next player who has to mimic the garbled result. The app then plays that copy-cat attempt backwards, and if it’s good enough, the player can identify the original phrase to score points. Good, clean family fun that requires a good ear and a limber tongue.

Honorable Mention


Speed Charades Screenshot

Act fast: The app’s rumpled-paper graphics and hand-drawn settings screen give it a charmingly home-spun vibe. The person acting out each round holds the iPhone to read the clue prompts, tapping the screen when the team guesses the clue. A timer in the lower right counts down how much time remains for the current clue, and the player can bail out of tough clues by pressing the Skip button.

Speed Charades

Speed Charades

Version: 1.0
Website: Reed Olsen

This simple but effective app gives you topics and a timer to play a race-the-clock version of the classic parlor game. Play with two, three, or four teams; the app gives each team a round of words to act out in 10 seconds or less, earning points for each correctly guessed clue. Settings let you adjust the time limit, number of rounds, and even the difficulty of the charade terms. The game comes with over 1000 clues, and it remembers which ones you’ve played so you won’t see any repeats until you’ve churned through ’em all like a rabid band of charade-crazed fanatics.

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Thanks! Enjoy the game!

I'd like to add my personal review of Speed Charades. My wife's family LOVES playing it. Whenever they're in town, I can expect to play a couple rounds of the game (and expect someone to laugh so hard that they can't control...err...nature). :)

The great thing about Speed Charades is that it requires zero preparation. Pull out your iPhone and you're playing within seconds. You don't have to bother with going to the downstairs closet, moving game boxes out of the way as you search for a game, cleaning up the boxes that you accidentally drop, etc, etc.

I highly recommend grabbing Speed Charades.

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