Many parents think that educational games aren’t fun for kids, but these titles will prove them wrong in a big way.
The gaming business has grown a lot in the last few decades, and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon. In 2020, gaming was bigger than sports and movies put together. Also, the rise of free-to-play games has made video games a popular way for kids to pass the time.
Even though most games are just meant to be fun, there have been a lot of releases over the years that try to teach in fun and effective ways. The games on this list all find a good mix between being fun to play and teaching kids in a way that will keep most of them interested.
Big Brain Academy
Big Brain Academy first came out in 2005 in Japan. The following year, it came out in the rest of the world. The whole point of the game is to find out how smart the person is.
Big Brain Academy gives players a set of questions and problems to solve, like matching colors and shapes, identifying images, and more, before giving them a score. Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, a follow-up game for the Nintendo Wii that came out in 2007, is also worth playing if you still have the system.
As the name suggests, World Rescue is about keeping the world safe from a wide range of bad things. All of the problems are real, which makes World Rescue a great way to teach kids about real-world problems without being too scary or preachy.
The game’s marketing says that it was based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. These are a set of 17 goals from the international group that include “Zero Hunger,” “Action on Climate Change,” and “Gender Equality.”
Animal Jam Classic
WildWorks, which used to be called Smart Bomb Interactive, made Animal Jam Classic. This Utah-based business is also known for making the Bee Movie Game and the kart-racing game Pac-Man World Rally.
Animal Jam Classic is a highly multiplayer online game that was made with the help of the National Geographic Society. The game is mostly about tasks and mini-games that are meant to teach kids about Zoology.
Endless Alphabet is a mobile game for young kids who are learning the alphabet and trying to expand their knowledge. There are a lot of easy words in the game, and animated, colorful characters explain what they mean. It also has puzzles to help kids learn the shapes of letters and a lot of sounds to help them learn how letters and words sound.
Originator made the app Endless Alphabet, which came in second place for the 2013 App of the Year award.
Cities: Skylines is one of only a few games on this list that isn’t marketed as an educational game. However, it can be a great learning tool, just like the Civilization series (more on that later).
In Cities: Skylines, players start with a blank piece of land and are asked to build a successful city on it. The game is a great way to learn about how cities work because players have to think about things like planning roads, where to put emergency services, pollution, jobs, and the budget.
Prodigy might be the game on this list that does the best job of getting kids to keep playing and learning. This is done by using standard game mechanics, such as leveling up, in the game.
In Prodigy, players are put in a magical world and sent on quests that require them to answer math questions. Math is often one of the hardest subjects to make interesting for kids. Prodigy is a great way to teach math to kids.
Wordscapes is a great game for kids who want to have a little fun. The game gives players a crossword puzzle to solve, but unlike most crosswords, the answers are not given in the form of questions or vague hints.
Instead, players are given a set of letters that they must use to make words that fit in the spots. So, Wordscapes is a great way to learn new words and how to name them, and the in-game dictionary will help the player learn new words.
The Democracy series is great for kids who are getting interested in politics and are getting bigger. The games don’t take long to start, and players are quickly put in charge of their chosen country as President or Prime Minister. The player will then have to solve real-world problems like balancing spending, keeping crime low, and changing laws.
Even though the games deal with serious and complicated topics, they are presented in a way that is easy to understand. This makes them a great way for older kids to learn about politics.
Civilization 6 is another item on this list that is first and foremost a way to have fun and then to learn something. This is a good thing, though, because it makes Happy Wheels a great way to teach kids without making them feel like they are being taught. The Civilopedia, the game’s encyclopedia, has a lot of detailed writing for players who want to learn more.
In society 6, players start in 4000 BC in the Ancient Era and have to build a whole society through the ages until at least 2050 AD. During this time, players will build cities, do study, build wonders, and more.
Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed
The Assassin’s Creed games have always tried to teach players about history as they play. There is often a lot of historical knowledge to read in the games. Also, the players are put in carefully planned worlds where they can often see interesting recreations of historical places.
With Assassin’s Creed Origins, Ubisoft went a step further by adding a Discovery Tour mode for the first time. Combat and missions were taken out of the game in the Discovery Tour mode. Instead, players could travel happily through the ancient Egyptian world and go on different tours that taught them about the time period. After the Discovery Tour mode in Assassin’s Creed Origins was a big hit, it was added to both Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Kids who are fascinated by old Egypt, Greek mythology, or Vikings should definitely check out the modes.