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Get Children Talking

It can seem that all children do these days is stare at their screens and play video games. We worry about screen time and what the violence, addiction and gambling is doing to their brains.

However, along with screen time comes many other things we can celebrate. All kids do these days is talking to other. All kids do these days is learn the skills of rhetoric and debating. All kids do these days is develop their social confidence.

It sounds a little far fetched, but watching my kids play the new “hit” game Among Us I’ve realised these are exactly the sorts of things they are really developing when they are sat staring at their screens.

Here are some great examples where you need to talk, and talk intelligently and intelligibly, to do well in the game.
 

Triple Agent

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 10 minutes and 15 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 9 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Free. In-game purchases.

Triple Agent is a parlour-style game that uses one device passed between 5-9 players, assigning them either an agent or double-agent role as the game starts. There are tip-offs from the game about other players, the discussion around the table with each...


Spaceteam (Series)

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Physically Active, Puzzle and Strategy

Duration: Between 5 minutes and 15 minutes to complete.

Players: You can play with 8 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Free. In-game purchases.

Players pilot a spaceship, each with their own control panel on their smartphone or tablet screen. The switches, dials, sliders and levers are labelled with randomly-generated peculiar names: ‘Astral Synth’, ‘Gripvent’, ‘Starmesh’,...


Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

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

Genres: Puzzle

Duration: Between 20 minutes and half an hour to complete.

Players: You can play with 10 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

In this game you’re confronted with a bomb on the screen that has to be defused, requiring a series of modules to be disarmed. The bomb defuser player can see and operate the bomb but the other players, who have the defuse instructions, can’t. The...


Conduct Together (Series)

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

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Strategy

Duration: Between 3 minutes and 5 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Conduct Together is a strategy game where you control toy trains along the overlapping train tracks. Each train can be started and stopped with a specific button. Other buttons change different points. The aim is to transport the people from one...


Overcooked (Series)

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action and Puzzle

Duration: Between 3 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Overcooked, Overcooked 2 and Overcooked! All You Can Eat are collaborative cooking games for up to 4 players. You must keep talking to other players to coordinate the various elements of the dishes. It starts simply enough but soon gets more complicated...


Tick Tock: A Tale For Two

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

Genres: Puzzle

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

Costs: Purchase cost.

Played simultaneously with a friend, this is a narrative-driven puzzle game where you must escape an eerie world created by a clockmaker. It's unusual because each player's game is slightly different and must be combined to solve the puzzles. Through...


Heads Up!

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 10 minutes and half an hour to complete.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Free-to-start. In-game purchases.

Heads Up! is a word-guessing game where one person holds the tablet or smartphone on their forehead and guesses the word it displays from clues given by the other players. The others confirm if they got it right or wrong and they flip the smartphone up...


Wilmot's Warehouse

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Duration: Between 9 hours and 11 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

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...


Unspottable

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

Genres: Action, Puzzle, Rhythm and Simulation

Duration: Between 2 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Unspottable is a puzzle game where you try and work out which of the identical characters are controlled by other players and which are computers. It's a race to punch your friends before they punch you, but the more times you get it wrong the more...


Among Us

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Role-Playing and Strategy

Duration: Between 1 minute and 5 minutes to play a round.

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

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Among Us is a strategy game where crew-mates prepare their space ship for launch by completing tasks. However, one of the players is an impostor intent on sabotaging the ship and killing the crew. As the game progresses in real time the impostor...


That’s You!

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Genres: Creative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 40 minutes and 45 minutes to complete.

Players: You can play with 6 players in the same room and up to 6 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

That's You! is a family quiz game played on the PlayStation using Android or iOS phones/tablets as controllers. The game displays a challenge on the main TV screen that each player tries to complete on the device in their hand.


 




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