Houseparty, the app

My family met up on Houseparty at the weekend. As with other video meeting apps, players can wave and make faces at each other on screen – think Zoom without all the businessy stuff. It caters for up to eight people and offers four games to play (Heads Up, Trivia, Chips and Guac, and Quick Draw.)

I have a Windows laptop, so downloaded the Chrome app (options are iOS, Android, MacOS or Chrome) Every time I go to the app, I get the message…

An error occurred accessing camera/microphone. Check other apps are not using those devices and try again.

Houseparty message screen

But when I click OK it works fine.

Except I see no dice.

You have to click on dice in the top right-hand corner of the screen to get the list of available games and I don’t have any on my screen. This meant I couldn’t see the game when the others were playing it.

The other participants saw a message telling them that Cathy Cade needed to update the Houseparty app, but this didn’t show for me, and there was nowhere to click to update. I tried re-downloading (from a different Houseparty screen) which made no difference at all.

It wasn’t only me that had this issue: my daughter had the same problem on her Mac laptop.

.

(see dice in right-hand corner here >>>>>)

We were both able to get the games up on our mobiles ,

but I’m not keen on such a small space for my clumsy fingers (fingernails get in the way when drawing on screen).

..

Since I have a Surface Pro, I tried it again in tablet mode but still no dice.

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I have Googled the problem but found no help there, nor any link to the issue on Houseparty’s support website. I sent a query via their “Contact Us” link; I’ll let you know (on this page) when/if it gets solved.

red dice

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Elizabeth Slaughter, who blogs at Saved by Words has put me on to Kahoot, which offers a range of educational online games.

You’ll need a video-conferencing app (…Google Hangouts Meet or Skype etc) to play them,

but it’s free to sign up and they offer plenty of help and advice with choosing suitable games.

..

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What new resources have you discovered in lockdown?

Keep safe, everyone, and hang on in there.

13 thoughts on “Houseparty, the app

  1. thanks for the review; it’s a shame not everything worked. it seems like a key part of the app is the ability to play those games; without that, I’m not sure what advantages it offers over similar apps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right – the games are the whole point of it. It does say “Beta” next to the “Houseparty” logo on the home screen. And it seems to work fine on mobiles. I’ve yet to hear back from the comment I left on Sunday though. The whole thing may well fold once lockdown is over, so maye nobody wants to invest too much in it.

      Liked by 1 person

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