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Get Children Into Architecture

We spend our lives in buildings every day. Our homes, offices, shopping malls, cathedrals, stations, bridges and even public toilets have all been designed. Video games mirror and magnify this built environment in different ways.

Some, like Assassin's Creed, Grand Theft Auto and Forza Horizon recreate virtual versions of familiar places. Others, like The Witcher, Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess and Eastshade, create their own cities and buildings. Then there are games like The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Biomutant, Enslaved or The Last Of Us that drop you in a once-great but now ruined architecture.

Along with these pre-built spaces, there are also games that invite you to affect and rebuilt the architecture of a world. Games like Townscaper allow you to easily create series of buildings and consider how one structure relates to those around it -- like a street-scene generator. Then there are games like Animal Crossing, that offer a social context in which to apply your architectural and landscaping skills.

Then there are games that build spaces that would be impossible in real life. From the Escher-like Manifold Garden to the scale-confounding Superliminal, these games can play with perspective and movement to not only confuse the player but open new possibilities in perceiving buildings.

Finally, there are games with breathtaking architecture. Whether it's the atmospheric lighting of Control, the climbable buildings of the Uncharted series or Shadow of the Colossus vast cathedral-like structures, video games often create original spaces that stop you in your tracks.

The video games in this list create space to notice, reflect and try your hand at architecture. They are fun, but they are also important because the design of the spaces we spend time in have profound effects on how we feel, think and move.

This list includes 34 games from the last 24 years, with 625 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to learn how buildings are built.

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, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Racing, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy
Total Likes: 625
 

 

Teardown

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 29/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 6 features

Developer: @TuxedoLabs

Players: This is a single player game

Teardown is a strategic game where you plan and execute a heist in a fully destructible environments. Your objective is to claim the key cards that are hidden around the map. However taking one triggers the alarm, giving you only sixty seconds before...

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14-18 year-olds

Release Date: 19/11/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: @Naughty_Dog

Players: You can play this with 10 players online

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is an action-adventure game set several years after the events of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. You play Nathan Drake, a happily married former treasure hunter coaxed out of retirement by his brother. This leads into...

Biomutant

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 25/05/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

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

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: @Experiment1O1

Players: This is a single player game

Biomutant is an open world role-play adventure game where you play a Raccoon warrior in a large world filled with mutated animals. Exploring this living breathing ecosystem has the feel of Zelda Breath of the Wild, but in a broken down steampunk...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-18 year-olds

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 11 features

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: This is a single player game

This game departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and the passage of the sun and moon...

Townscaper

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: @OskSta

Players: This is a single player game

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.

Grand Theft Auto V (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2019

Price: 46% off

Platforms: Android, DS, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

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

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: @RockstarGames

Players: You can play this with 30 players online

Grand Theft Auto is a series of action-adventure game where you travel around one large location taking part in different criminal activities: pulling off heists, with lots of shooting and stealing and driving a variety of cars and other vehicles.

The Last Of Us

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 14/06/2013

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: @Naughty_Dog

Players: This is a single player game

You play a father, Joel, whose daughter was killed during the early stages of a deadly fungal outbreak. It’s now 20 years later, and he has clearly suffered from the loss. When Joel is given charge of a girl, Ellie, about the same age his daughter...

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 23/11/2011

Platforms: Switch, Wii and Wii U

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

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: This is a single player game

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an adventure game in the Zelda series. You play Link and navigate the floating island of Skyloft before diving down to the land below it. While the island locations and flight drew from Wind Waker, the combat and...

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14-18 year-olds

Release Date: 01/11/2011

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure and Shooting

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: @Naughty_Dog

Players: This is a single player game

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is an action-adventure game and the third entry in the Uncharted series. In Uncharted 3 you once again take the role of Nathan Drake, treasure hunter, in the hunt for the lost city Ubar (also known as Atlantis of the...

Paralives

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @_AMasse

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Shadow Of The Colossus

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/10/2005

Platforms: PS2, PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @SonyJapanStudio

Players: This is a single player game

You play a young man who enters a forbidden land to defeat sixteen massive beings to restore the life of a girl he cares about. It sounds like any other video game, although in fact, Shadow of the Colossus stands apart in many ways.

Forza Horizon 4 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 25/09/2018

Price: 12% off

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World and Racing

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: @WeArePlayground

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 72 players online

Forza Horizon 4 is a thrilling racing game where you race all manner of vehicles across a wide range of landscapes. This fourth iteration is set in the United Kingdom, with Edinburgh’s narrow streets, the Lake District’s hills and rainfall and the...

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 19/05/2015

Price: 60% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

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

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: @CDPROJEKTRED

Players: This is a single player game

In this game you play monster-hunter Geralt in a vast open world as he searches for his missing adopted daughter. The game responds to your actions and has dynamic environments, weather and day–night cycles that affect the creatures you hunt. It’s a...

The Last Guardian

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 28/10/2016

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform and Simulation

Developer: @SonyJapanStudio

Players: This is a single player game

The Last Guardian is a running, jumping and exploring adventure about a boy who befriends a giant half-bird, half-mammal creature, Trico. You work together to navigate the world, solve puzzles and reach new heights. Unusually, you have to build trust...

Control

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/08/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: @RemedyGames

Players: This is a single player game

This game is an outlandish paranormal fantasy where you are swept into a role as the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control agency of the ‘paranatural’. With impressive cinematic visuals and storytelling, your interactions involve exploring,...

Superliminal

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 12/11/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Open World and Puzzle

Accessibility: 10 features

Developer: @Pillowcastle

Players: This is a single player game

Superliminal is a puzzle game incorporating optical illusions and forced perspective. As you play and explore you can manipulate objects so that when put down their perspective, scale and size has changed. This enables you to progress through areas...

Empty

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 25/09/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Web and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: @_Dstrm

Players: This is a single player game

Empty is a minimalist puzzle game that teaches the value of simplicity in life. You rotate and interact with different vignettes to line up items with the same background colour. As you do this they disappear and the scene slowly empties.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 19/11/2006, updated in 2016

Platforms: GameCube, Wii and Wii U

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

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: This is a single player game

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an adventure game in the Zelda series. As with the other games, you play Link, who must prevent Hyrule from being engulfed by corruption from a parallel dimension. Unlike other Zelda games, you can take the form...

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14-18 year-olds

Release Date: 13/10/2009, updated in 2015

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure and Shooting

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: @Naughty_Dog

Players: This is a single player game

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is an action-adventure game that puts you in the role of treasure hunter Nathan Drake. You head to Nepal looking for the lost city of Shambala, unfortunately, you're not the only one looking for it. On your journey, you'll...

Haven Park

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/08/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Creative, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @FabienWeibel

Players: This is a single player game

Haven Park is a strategy game where you build camping spots in a national park. You play Flint, who is repairing his grandma's park to attract new campers. It's an intricate open island that packs in plenty to discover. As a game made by one person,...

Unpacking

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @WitchBeamGames

Players: This is a single player game

Unpacking is a mediative puzzle game where you unpack your belongings into a series of either spaces, each representing a stage in life.

Monument Valley (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Release Date: 11/05/2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @UstwoGames

Players: This is a single player game

Monument Valley and Monument Valley 2 are puzzle mazes made from optical illusions. You interact with each level to change the pathway and get your character to the exit. Its striking, calm visual theme is used to build atmosphere and slowly reveal a...

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-14 year-olds

Release Date: 13/11/2014, updated in 2018

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

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @NintendoUK

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

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a running, exploring, puzzle game where you guide the Toad character to save Todette from the villain Wingo and retrieve the Power Stars on each level. You navigate puzzles and obstacles, fighting enemies to reach the...

Cloud Gardens

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 09/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @Noio_Games

Players: This is a single player game

Cloud Gardens is a puzzle game where you grow vegetation over a dilapidated post-apocalyptic world. It's a low-pressure puzzle, from the team behind Kingdom. It has the same pixel-art style, but here you are left to take your time...

The Sims 4 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Release Date: 04/02/2000

Price: 54% off

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Simulation

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: @EA

Players: This is a single player game

The Sims puts you in charge of a world of characters living normal lives. By providing a home, a job, leisure, friendships and even love interest, you work to make them happy. It’s an open-ended game as well, although the altruism is focused on...

Bioshock (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 21/08/2007, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: @GhostStoryGames

Players: This is a single player game

Bioshock is a first-person shooting game set in a fantastical underwater city. A dark story unfolds about the misuse of surgery and gene therapy. Players must make a decision about whether to save the children they find or harvest their energy for the...

Demon's Souls (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 04/10/2011

Platforms: PS3 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 5 features

Developer: @Bluepointgames

Players: You can play this with 6 players online

Demons Souls is first a series of fighting and exploration games recently re-released on PlayStation 5. From third-person perspective you navigate interconnected locations while fighting enemies with weapons and magic. Larger boss enemy encounters...

Gravity Rush

Content Rating: PEGI 12

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

Price: 42% off

Platforms: PS Vita and PS4

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.

Maquette

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 02/03/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @MaquetteGame

Players: This is a single player game

Maquette is a puzzle game played in a series of nested identical worlds. What you do in the larger world effects things in the smaller one, and so on. Every building, plant, and object are simultaneously tiny and staggeringly huge.

Assassin's Creed Discovery Tour

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 10/09/2018, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure and Simulation

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: @Ubisoft

Players: This is a single player game

Discovery Tour is a special mode that uses the worlds created for the main Assassin’s Creed games to offer an educational exploration experience. It is available both as a free part of the original games and as a...

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 23/11/2010

Platforms: PS3 and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Developer: @NinjaTheory

Players: This is a single player game

Enslaved, similar to Heavenly Sword offers a heady mix of heroic storytelling and narrative. You control a character called Monkey (played by Andy Serkis) in a third-person perspective and use power-staff combat moves, running...

House Flipper

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 17/05/2018, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Creative, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: @FrozenDistrict

Players: This is a single player game

House Flipper is a simulation game where you renovate old broken houses to make money. It's a blend of money management, detailed interior design and repair right down to the electric circuitry. It fosters a sense of creativity and imagination in how...

Manifold Garden

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Open World, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @WilliamChyr

Players: This is a single player game

Manifold Garden is inspired by Escher drawings and the reality-bending moments in the film Inception. You play from a first-person perspective and explore a beautiful, and what seems to be an abstract world, bereft of colour. It takes time to master and...

Staxel

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/09/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Creative, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: @StaxelGame

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Staxel is a strategy farming game. It looks like Minecraft and has block building tools that are similar. However, this is a farming game more like Stardew Valley rather than open-world adventure. There are no monsters or dangers you find in other...


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