Apple’s exclusive instant messaging service is a hit with users for many reasons. But apart from all the obvious reasons, users love iMessage for some unconventional ones too. But if you’re new to using an Apple device, you might not be aware of all the fun things you can do on iMessage other than texting. Like playing multiplayer games with your friends or family anywhere in the world in form of texts.

That’s right. iMessage isn’t just for sending and receiving texts or photos and videos. It has a whole different world tucked away in a tiny little drawer, quite literally. The “app drawer” in iMessage opens up a lot of possibilities, one of them playing games with your iMessage contacts.

iMessage extensions are apps that are available for download and use within iMessage. And although you might think that the whole process would be complicated, it’s as simple as it can be.

Sending a Game Invite in iMessage

To start a game with someone in iMessage, you first need to download it for iMessage. You can’t straight up play games that you have on your iPhone or other Apple devices. And not all games that are available in the general App Store will be available in the iMessage App Store either.

Go to the Messages app, and open any iMessage conversation. You can start a new conversation or open an existing one. Then, go to the bottom of the screen and tap the icon for ‘App Drawer’ on the left of the compose box.

Few options will expand underneath it. Tap the icon for ‘App Store’.

App Store will open within iMessage. All apps that you can use within iMessage will be available here. You can search for the game using the ‘Search’ button or browse the App Store to find one. If you don’t see a game that is otherwise available in the App Store, it probably isn’t available as an iMessage extension.

Install a game from the ones available by tapping the ‘Get’ button.

Once the installation is complete, close the App Store to return to the message screen. Go to the app drawer again, and swipe left. You’ll the icon for the game you downloaded. Tap it to open it.

Depending on the game, one of two things will happen. Some games will let you have the first turn, while others will always let the recipient have the first go. If you’re the first player in the game, tapping the game from the App drawer will open the game. Play your turn, and it’ll load into the message box. Otherwise, it’ll load directly in the message box, and the other person will play the first turn.

Then, tap the ‘Send’ button as it is, or you can also type a message with the game invite.

The other person will also have to download the game on their device to play their move. You can play the game in iMessage in one continuous sitting like any other game. Or you can also play it over an extended period of time as each move by a player is sent as a message. So, each player can play their move at their convenience.

Playing games via iMessage can really make the concept of distance disappear, especially right now. And the best part is you don’t have to especially make time to play a game like other online games. You can play the game at your convenience whenever you want to. You can even play multiple games at the same time with the same or multiple contacts!