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Develop Critical Thinking

Being able to discern between reliable sources and unreliable sources of information is an important skill for children to develop. This starts with questions of trust and authority but then leads to decisions about how we use and share information ourselves.

We've worked with Childnet International on this list of games that help children and young people experiment with what they should trust and the potential unintended consequences. Childnet International is an online safety charity working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people. They believe that the internet is a wonderfully positive tool for children and young people. Childnet are also part of the UK Safer Internet Centre and organise Safer Internet Day in the UK every February.

Some of the games, like Thousand Threads, either put them in a world where what people say and believe impacts the other characters. Other games, like Headliner, put the player in charge of information so they can see the consequences first hand of its misuse. There are even games, like Papers Please, that enable the player to police who is and isn't allowed access to information or even access to the country.

As Childnet write, "Critical Thinking is an important skill that we need in order to navigate the internet safely and find the latest news headlines or facts and information. With the amount of content that is online sometimes it’s quite easy to be reading something that is inaccurate without realising."

These games each provide different ways for players to develop critical thinking. They provide a space where trust and authority can be experienced first hand, and where the negative and positive consequences of how we handle these topics play out.

This list includes 39 games from the last 15 years, with 169 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to Critically Assess information.

Game image

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3+ to PEGI 18+
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 169
 

 

Thousand Threads

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 30/07/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @ThreadsGame

Players: This is a single player game

Thousand Threads is an open world game of consequences. You are free to interact with the world, animals and people however you like, give, take, save, kill, inform, hide, befriend, betray. But how you do this will have ongoing and unavoidable...

Orwell's Animal Farm

Expected Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 10/12/2020

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @Nerial

Players: This is a single player game

Orwell's Animal Farm is an adventure game with a decent slice of strategy, all brought to life with beautiful hand-drawn storybook art. As the name suggests, the game is based on the 1945 literary classic Animal Farm by George Orwell, which uses a farm...

Seasons

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and PlayStation 5

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @ScavStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Seasons is a narrative adventure where you take a bicycle road trip game. You play as a young woman leaving a secluded community, exploring the world for the first time. Collect artefacts and memories as you explore because soon, a mysterious cataclysm...

Umurangi Generation

Expected Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 19/05/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @Veselekov

Players: This is a single player game

Umurangi Generation is an adventure you play by exploring a city and taking photographs. Unlike other games where the photography is secondary, this is the main way you progress. As you do, you discover a story about ecology, friendship and the...

There Is No Game

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @ThereIsNoGame

Players: This is a single player game

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension is a comedic adventure with a strange twist. From the outset the game’s narrator insists that there is no game to play. As you inevitably ignore his instruction you go on a journey through silly and unexpected video...

Papers, Please

Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 08/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation Vita and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: @Dukope

Players: This is a single player game

You play the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. You review each immigrant’s and returning citizens’ passports and paperwork according to an increasing list of changing...

Do Not Feed the Monkeys

Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 23/10/2018

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @Fictiorama

Players: This is a single player game

Do Not Feed the Monkeys is an adventure game where you sit at a computer and spy on live video feeds of various events and characters. Your job is to gather information about "the monkeys" while also looking after your character's health and apartment...

Cart Life

Expected Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 25/04/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @RichardHofmeier

Players: This is a single player game

Cart Life is a simulation game where you play one of three street vendors. You attempt to run their shop whilst looking after their health, interests, and families. It has simple visuals, but depicts the realities of the thin-end of life.

Democratic Socialism Simulator

Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 20/02/2020

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @MolleIndustria

Players: This is a single player game

Democratic Socialism Simulator is a puzzle game where you run for office and then run a country. It offers a flow of questions with a yes or no response. Each answer has consequences in the minds of the voters and the prosperity of the country. It's an...

HoloVista

Expected Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 11/09/2020

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @AconiteCo

Players: This is a single player game

In Holovista is an adventure game you play by taking and sharing photographs. You play as Carmen an up-and-coming architect tasked to live in and take photographs at mysterious mansion and share your thoughts via in-game social media. Your task is...

Headliner: NoviNews

Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 05/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @UnboundCreation

Players: This is a single player game

Headliner: NoviNews is a narrative-driven simulation game where you play as the person in charge of the headlines and stories that are released to the public. Each article you approve from your office has a direct impact of the world outside. Which news...

Bully

Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 17/10/2006, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Wii, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @RockstarGames

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Bully (Canis Canem Edit in Europe) is a role play adventure from the people who make Grand Theft Auto. You play juvenile delinquent student Jimmy Hopkins who aims to rise through the ranks of the school system in order to put a stop to bullying.

Alt-Frequencies

Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 16/05/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @AccidentalQ

Players: This is a single player game

Alt-Frequencies is an adventure game played by listen to a series of radio shows. It's a story about people stuck in a time loop without realising it and what you can do to save them.

The Talos Principle

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 11/12/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Croteam

Players: This is a single player game

The Talos Principle is a narrative driven puzzle game, praised for its cerebral and philosophical nature, where you play an android with a human conscience. You explore environments to complete complex brain-teasing puzzles to collect "sigils".

Subdefuge

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 07/03/2017

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Open World, Puzzle, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @RonCarmel

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 10 players online

Subterfuge is a strategy game played with human opponents. The game is designed to be played over a week or so, to give players time to talk between goes. This encourages players to team up, trick or double-cross other players to get them to make the...

Pilgrims

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 07/10/2019

Platforms: PC and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @Amanita_Design

Players: This is a single player game

Pilgrims is an adventure game where you help the characters you meet by playing cards. As you progress you assist them to complete their little stories in different ways. It's a little like Scribblenauts, but with less focus on the breadth of options...

Suzerain

Expected Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 04/12/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Role-Playing, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @TorporGames

Players: This is a single player game

Suzerain is a role-play strategy game where you are the president of the fictional country, Sordland. By choosing conversations and life path you use your skills of persuasion and political values to reform your country after the downfall of a dictator.

Change: A Homeless Survival Experience

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 01/05/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @DelveInteractiv

Players: This is a single player game

Change is a survival game where you play a homeless person trying to make it against the odds. It's intentionally hard to do well as you explore an endless city that's different every time you play.

Reigns (Series)

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 11/08/2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @DevolverDigital

Players: This is a single player game

Take charge of a kingdom, one decision at a time. Each choice is presented to you as a playing card with some advice or a question from one of the 38 different characters. Swipe left or right to make a decision that will impact the church, people,...

Knight's Retreat

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 11/02/2021

Price: 80% off

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @QubyteGames

Players: This is a single player game

Knight's Rereat is a chess-themed puzzle game. It's not played on a chess board, but the pieces do move as they usually do. Rather than check-mate, your aim is to get your Knights back to their home squares in each level.

Bad News

Expected Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 01/12/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: Web Browser

Genres: Narrative, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @GetBadNews

Players: This is a single player game

Bad News is a role-play game about building a news media organisation. It's designed to highlight bias in the news by putting you in charge of a series of decisions to build a profitable company. All you do is answer questions, but as you do the...

Disco Elysium

Rating: PEGI 18+

Release Date: 15/10/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Stadia and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @StudioZAUM

Players: This is a single player game

Disco Elysium The Final Cut is a role-playing game set in the fictional city of Revachol where you play Harrier "Harry" Du Bois who must solve a complex murder. Unusually, your choices and actions not only determine how the story unfolds but affect...

Buildings Have Feelings Too

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 22/04/2021

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Open World, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @BlackstaffGames

Players: This is a single player game

Buildings Have Feelings Too is set in a city where buildings can walk and talk. Not only that, but each has aspirations, hopes and fears. Your job is to create a city that works for all the buildings, a task that will see your city planning pulled in...

Rip Them Off

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 24/03/2021

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @Lozange_Lab

Players: This is a single player game

Rip Them Off is puzzle game where you build businesses to attract customers. It's an economic management version of tower defence. Rather than stopping soldiers by shooting them, you are stopping citizens by selling them things. You choose locations,...

Where the Heart Leads

Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 13/07/2021

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @ArmatureStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Where the Heart Leads is an adventure game where you make life-choices and then see their impact. You play Whit Anderson, as he revisits and alters his past, present, and future. It's a game that creates a surreal dream-like narrative, but one that is...

Not For Broadcast

Expected Rating: PEGI 18+

Release Date: 30/01/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @TinyBuild

Players: This is a single player game

Not For Broadcast is a narrative puzzle game where you control the National Nightly News just as a radical government comes to power. By deciding the angles, adverts, images and censoring in the show you control what the people see and determine...

The Beginner's Guide

Expected Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 01/10/2015

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @HelloCakeBread

Players: This is a single player game

The Beginner's Guide is a narrative game where you explore a series virtual environments while the game's creator tells a story about the person who made each space. This introspection presents a raw and at times heart breaking look into the mind of the...

Gravity Rush

Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 09/02/2012, updated in 2017

Price: 42% off

Platforms: PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Platform and Simulation

Developer: @SonyJapanStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Gravity Rush is a running, jumping and exploration adventure game. You play as Kat, an amnesiac with the power to manipulate gravity. She uses this ability to help her community and uncover the mystery of her past.

Seasons After Fall

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 02/09/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @SwingSwingSub

Players: This is a single player game

Seasons After Fall is a running and jumping game where you traverse through forests in search of the lost spirits of the four seasons. As you progress, you unlock the ability to change the season at will, altering the dynamic of the level and letting...

Factorio

Expected Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 14/08/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @FactorioGame

Players: You can play this with 700 players online

Factorio is a construction strategy game where you crash-land on an alien planet and must harvest resources to create industry to build a rocket to escape (or fall in love with running your factory and stay on longer).

Into The Breach

Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 27/02/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and Stadia

Genres: Fighting, Puzzle, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @SubsetGames

Players: This is a single player game

Into the Breach is a fantasy turn-based battle. It's set in a future where humanity fights an army of giant monsters. You control mechs equipped with a variety of weapons and armour in carefully coordinate actions played out on super-small tile-based...

Orwell

Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 27/10/2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @OsmoticStudios

Players: This is a single player game

Orwell is narrative game where you play a fictional research using a surveillance program called Orwell. Through a series of episodes you are tasked with using Orwell to help solve mysteries like the bombing of a public plaza. To do this you trawl...

Harold Halibut

Expected Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Slow_Bros

Players: This is a single player game

Harold Halibut is a narrative adventure set on a city-sized spaceship submerged in an alien ocean, after fleeing the Earth 2050 years ago. It's beautifully created with real puppetry and fully voice-acted. The result is a filmic adventure where you...

Dish Life: The Game

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 24/02/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @DishLifeGame

Players: This is a single player game

Dish Life: The Game is a puzzle narrative game where you play a stem cell researcher, managing a laboratory and growing stem cells.

Ashwalkers

Expected Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 15/04/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @_Nameless_XIII_

Players: This is a single player game

Ashwalkers is an adventure survival game where you play a small group facing the aftermath of an apocalyptic volcano. You journey through a wild landscape, encountering dangers and strangers. It's a challenge of survival notable for its understated...

Road Not Taken

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 05/08/2014

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and iOS

Genres: Puzzle, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @SpryFox

Players: This is a single player game

Road Not Taken is a puzzle adventure game where you help a village from losing its children in the storms. It's a low pressure, but complex, puzzle where you head into the forrest to find and free the children by moving items and enemies around. You...

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 22/04/2021

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Action, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @YWainczak

Players: This is a single player game

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is an action role-play game where you play a Turnip working hard to pay off a massive tax bill to Mayor Onion. The set-up soon gives way to a series of Zelda-style quests, dungeons and puzzles that earn new items and...

Say No More

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 09/04/2021

Price: 33% off

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure

Developer: @StudioFizbin

Players: This is a single player game

Say No More is an adventure game where you learn to say "no". You play as an intern at a new job putting up with colleagues being unpleasant. The twist is that in this world it's illegal to say "no". Eventually pushed to your limit, you discover the...

Dragon Age (Series)

Rating: PEGI 18+

Release Date: 03/11/2009, updated in 2014

Platforms: Android, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Web Browser, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Role-Playing

Developer: @Bioware

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 4 players online

The Dragon Age series are narrative-driven role playing games with an emphasis on combat and player choices. You play the hero in the medieval fantasy world of Thedas, exploring the world and using your power to stop the impending darkness spread across...


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