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Educational Games That Are Also Good Games

These games have an educational element to them, but also offer experiences that are good games in their own right. This isn't busywork to trick you into learning, but clever and innovative ways to encounter history, physics, engineering, maths, geography and language subjects without feeling like you are in school. They also teach softer, deeper skills like long term strategy, planning, balancing systems, emotional intelligence, compassion, team-work and self-care.

Some of these games are aimed at younger players to play on their own, but others (as indicated by their PEGI ratings) are better for teenagers or played together in a family. Find some games that pique your interest, read through the details and decide how your child might benefit from playing them.

This list includes 168 games from the last 24 years, with 2,747 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to learn something playing a properly great game.


 

Wilmot's Warehouse

Release Date: 29/08/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

This is a game for people who like to organise things. You are in charge of a warehouse and must manage 100s of items of stock. These identical square boxes are labelled with rudimentary icons. On your own or with another player, you must decipher what...

Mini Metro

Release Date: 06/01/2015

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Create an ordered, efficient underground train system. It sounds like hard work, but the simple Tube-map visuals, calm music, and streamlined interactions make this relaxing, like sudoku. Dip your toe in this strategy challenge and keep the system...

Stardew Valley

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

Old Man's Journey

Release Date: 17/05/2017

Platforms: Android, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Old Man’s Journey is a game about memory and old age. You help a grandfather-figure traverse the countryside by raising and lowering the landscape. Along the way he visits places that evoke the story of his life: a wife, a child and a love of the sea.

Sid Meier's Civilization (Series)

Release Date: 21/10/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Civilization is a long running strategy game where you develop a society from hunter gatherer to space travel. There are many ways to approach this challenge; socially, militarily, politically or perhaps building wonders to impress other nations.

There Is No Game

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

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...

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

This is a dark fantasy adventure, drawing on Norse and Celtic mythology, where you play a young female Pict warrior, Senua. You explore and fight your way to Helheim to rescue the soul of her dead lover. As you play, though, you hear multiple voices in...

Celeste

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

This is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, haunted by self-doubt at the task in hand. She presses on...

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Microsoft Flight Sim 2020) is the latest flight simulator game in the long running series. Along with a huge range of aircraft you can learn to fly, the game recreates the entire Earth using textures and data from data maps...

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Release Date: 28/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Stormworks is an open world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using it's block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken vessels or...

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and...

Townscaper

Release Date: 30/06/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Web, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Townscaper is a town building toy. You pick colours from the range available and click to put down a house in the sea. As you continue to add houses of different colours the game automatically orientates the architecture for you.

Venba

Release Date: 28/11/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Venba is a narrative-cooking game about an Indian mother who immigrated to Canada in the 1980s. You cook various traditional Indian dishes and restore the lost recipes which were damaged in the move to Canada. As you talk to your mother's family you...

Astroneer

Release Date: 16/12/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Astroneer is an open-world space adventure where you colonize planets by creating habitable structures, farming and mining resources. There is no specific story, although the challenges of each planet give rise to struggles of achievement to placate the...

Endling

Release Date: 19/07/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Endling is an exploration platform game where you struggle to survive. It's a game about extinction with a strong ecological conscience. You are the last fox on earth, trying to survive a world ravaged by the human race.

Stranded Deep

Release Date: 21/04/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Stranded Deep is a survival game set in the Pacific Ocean. Taking a cue from films like Cast Away, you survive a plane crash and face life-threatening scenarios in a large open world. As the weather and time of day changes with the hours, you explore...

Gris

Release Date: 06/10/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Gris is a platform game where you guide a young girl through a crumbling world. Through beautiful metaphoric landscapes and soaring music, the game touches on emotions of loss and longing but doesn’t resolve to a firm narrative. Although not hugely...

Dorfromantik

Release Date: 25/03/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Dorfromantik is a peaceful village-building strategy puzzle game for one player. It's inspired by tile-based board-games like Carcassonne and Tantrix.

Everything

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

This is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in between.

The Eternal Cylinder

Release Date: 30/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

The Eternal Cylinder is a strategy game where you survive by evolving your creatures to adapt to the environment. Your herd explore a strange world filled with exotic lifeforms and environments. All the while a menacing firey cylinder rolls towards you.

Mini Motorways

Release Date: 04/03/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Mini Motorways is by the same developer as Mini Metro but tasks you with planning a road network rather than subway. You lay down roads, traffic lights and motorways to ensure enough cars can get to the buildings that pop up in your city as time passes....

Bee Simulator

Release Date: 12/11/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Bee Simulator is a strategy game you play as a honey bee, flying on expeditions from the beehive to collect pollen, fight wasps and perform missions ordered by the Queen, as well as participating in races and dancing rituals. Along the way you'll learn...

Lego Worlds

Release Date: 26/10/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Lego Worlds takes virtual building back to the classic bricks with familiar figures, buildings and challenges from other Lego video games in an open world where your imagination can go wild in a bottomless bucket of bricks.

One Hour One Life

Release Date: 27/02/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

This is a civilisation survival game where each player lives a whole life in an hour of play and then passes away. Born as a baby into the care of anonymous other online players, you initially depend on them for food. Quickly growing, you can soon fend...

Splatty's Adventure (Dreams)

Release Date: 25/04/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Splatty’s Adventure is a running, jumping and fighting game where you play a small (4-year-old) hero who must escape an oversized bedroom and get on your way to save the world from destruction. Like stepping into a Toy Story film, but here you wield a...

Hundred Days, Winemaking Simulator

Release Date: 13/05/2021

Platforms: Android, PC, Stadia, Switch and iOS

Pieces: Cards

Hundred Days is a strategy game about making wine. You control every aspect of a new Winery, choose vines, learn how to grow them and when to harvest. You make decisions about the process with a simple interface that takes you through each day. It's a...

Island Saver

Release Date: 13/05/2020

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Island Saver is action-adventure about cleaning up litter and goop to make money. It's created by Natwest with the aim of teaching children how to manage money. Unusually for a game with ideological ambitions, it's also a lot of fun.

Paralives

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Paralives is a simulation game where you build houses for people and then control how they live. It's inspired by games like the Sims, however, you have complete control over every aspect of the design of the house and its residents. Its balance of...

Potion Craft

Release Date: 21/09/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Potion Craft is a puzzle adventure game where you create potions in an ancient looking workshop. More than learning recipes, your potions need to strategically combine the qualities of each ingredient to explore the potion-map and create brews to help...

Heave Ho

Release Date: 29/08/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Heave Ho is a game where up to four players try and swing themselves across a level. But you can only hang on to certain points and must dangle and swing with both arms to progress. The twist is that you can also hold hands with other players and make...

Super Mario Maker (Series)

Release Date: 10/09/2015

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Super Mario Maker is a game-making system. It’s simpler than tools like Dreams or Roblox, but still offers a huge array of ways to create running and jumping platform games that can then be shared online. You can play hundreds of games that other...

Skyblock

Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Skyblock is a game played on Minecraft servers where you start on a bare island floating in the sky and must gather resources to thrive and reach other players. It's the Minecraft equivalent to being washed up on a desert island and is hugely popular....

Tchia

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Tchia is an adventure where you play a young girl (Tchia) who can climb, glide, swim, and sail around a beautiful archipelago. Along with the usual sandbox missions and play the game offers an unusual ability to take control (and become) any animal or...

Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise

Release Date: 28/10/2015, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise is a puzzle game where you infiltrate a spy hideaway to stop an evil plan. Each location is full of retro futuristic contraptions, hidden gizmos, gadgets and clever logic based puzzles.

Bury Me My Love

Release Date: 26/10/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Don’t be put off by the name and theme of this intriguing game, an adventure played by choosing responses in what looks like a messaging app. You take the role of the husband of a Syrian migrant travelling to Europe. As the game unfolds in real time,...

Crossout

Release Date: 15/05/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Crossout is an online vehicle combat game set in a Mad Max, post-apocalyptic world. Players design modular vehicles combine weapons, armour and engines. As you progress in the game you earn currency to upgrade components and access more powerful parts....

Endless Ocean

Release Date: 09/11/2007, updated in 2010

Platforms: Wii

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Endless Ocean (Endless Ocean: Blue World in the US) and its sequel Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep are versions of a diving adventure game where you explore the Manaurai Sea to identify different fish and recover artefacts. As experience is...

Surviving Mars

Release Date: 15/03/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Surviving Mars is a colony simulation game based on the real geography of Mars. You build and maintain a liveable habitat while balancing resources and researching new ways to adapt to the hostile environment. You receive occasional rockets from Earth...

Beyond Blue

Release Date: 22/04/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Beyond Blue is an underwater exploration game where you play Mirai, a deep-sea explorer and scientist. You see, hear, and interact with the ocean and the creatures in it as you discover an untouched world.

Wonderbox

Release Date: 23/09/2020

Platforms: Mac and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Wonderbox is a action-adventure game where you tap to build beautiful miniature diorama scenes in which to explore. Like Toad Treasure Tracker Each of these worlds has its own micro-adventure with enemies,...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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