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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.

This list includes 48 games from the last 25 years, with 939 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to rediscover the art of conversation.


 

Wilmot's Warehouse

Release Date: 29/08/2019

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Wilmot's Warehouse 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...

Conduct Together (Series)

Release Date: 06/12/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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 station...

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Release Date: 13/10/2016

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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...

Overcooked! All You Can Eat (Series)

Release Date: 07/08/2018, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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...

Among Us

Release Date: 16/11/2018, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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...

Royale High (Roblox)

Release Date: 04/10/2017

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Royale High Roblox is a role play game about a fantasy school. You dress-up, visit different themed realms collecting items and interacting with other people. It draws inspiration from the pageantry world and integrates it with different locations to...

Storyteller

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Storyteller is a puzzle game about building stories. You use a set of icons to matching what is happening in each frame of the story. It's a simple challenge that gets the mind-stretching as you construct some of history’s greatest stories using...

That's You!

Release Date: 04/07/2017

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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.

Bonkies

Release Date: 29/01/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Bonkies is a co-operative building game where you construct buildings from different blocks. With a jetpack and a grab-arm you work with other players to manoeuvre the blocks into place. It starts quite simply but soon gets everyone shouting.

Get Together

Release Date: 14/10/2021

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Get Together is a puzzle adventure where you and a friend explore a strange world to solve mysteries and discover an ancient story. What's unusual is that you play on two separate devices and need to talk to each other to solve the puzzles.

Chuchel

Release Date: 07/03/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Chuchel is a comedy adventure game. You play hairy hero Chuchel and his rival Kekel to solve simple puzzles and challenges in their quest to retrieve the precious cherry. It looks like a children's storybook animation with strange, peculiar creatures.

Hogwash

Release Date: 22/11/2019

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Hogwash is an action battle game where you play as the farmer or as one of three pigs. The farmer's goal is to capture the pigs while the pigs aim to cause mayhem and get three specific areas on the farm covered with mud.

Dwarf Fortress

Release Date: 08/08/2006

Platforms: Mac and PC

Dwarf Fortress is a longstanding strategy game set in a fantasy world where you control a group of dwarves wanting to construct a wealthy fortress. It's unusual not only for it's text-based appearance but for it's expansive scope, and intricately...

Dépanneur Nocturne

Release Date: 26/05/2020

Platforms: PC

Dépanneur Nocturne (which means Nighttime Convenience Store) is a short narrative adventure about the value of conversation and local shops. You explore a store late at night, to find a gift for your partner. What unfolds is a gentle search-and-suggest...

Tick Tock: A Tale For Two

Release Date: 07/03/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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...

Rescue: Mayday

Release Date: 15/09/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Rescue: Mayday is a helicopter adventure where you are putting out fires and rescuing civilians. You play the game in a team of two, each on your own device. The Pilot player flies the helicopter but has no visibility and must use information from the...

The Past Within

Release Date: 02/11/2022

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

The Past Within is a co-operative puzzle game where you solve a mystery by communicating with the past. You play the game with another person, either in the same room or elsewhere, by communicating what your different times and perspectives reveal.

Under Leaves

Release Date: 27/04/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Under Leaves is a puzzle game where you search for colour-filled hidden objects in scenes made of flora and fauna. Each one is a hand-drawn watercolour illustrations and accompanied with a soothing soundscape. It's a game about observation and attention...

Rescue: Under Pressure

Release Date: 15/09/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Rescue: Under Pressure is an adventure exploration game. Your task is to explore the sea and find treasure in the dark. But to do this you need the help of another player on the sonar to guide you. It's a game designed to work for players with mixed...

Rivals

Release Date: 21/09/2020

Platforms: PC

Rivals is a puzzle game where you piece together the story of Josh and Luke and the breakup of their band. Playing detective, similarly to Return of the Obra Dinn, but rather than murder it's musical betrayal you are sleuthing here. You inspect sources,...

Triple Agent

Release Date: 20/07/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android and iOS

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...

Vokabulantis

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Vokabulantis is a puppet-animated running and jumping game about two children, Karla and Kurt, who have fallen in love. Just as they find each other though, the world starts falling apart and they discover they can’t speak to each other because their...

Baldo: The Guardian Owls

Release Date: 27/08/2021, updated in 2022

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

Baldo: The Guardian Owls is an adventure into a magical world. As you explore the overworld and solve the intricately puzzling dungeons you discover new towns, fight ferocious foes, locate hidden temples, and collect magical objects and weapons.

Escape Simulator

Release Date: 19/10/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Escape Simulator is a puzzle game where you try and escape a series of rooms. Like a real escape room, you look in drawers, read books, and solve riddles to provide the tools you need to escape. It stands out for the quality of the environments and head...

Frog's Princess

Release Date: 09/12/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Frog's Princess is a narrative game about a kingdom surrounded by evil. You play a young princess who must save her kingdom. Along the way, you encounter a frog prince on a quest to rescue his bodyguard and find your plans overturned.

Heavenly Bodies

Release Date: 07/12/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and PS5

Heavenly Bodies is a puzzle exploration game about cosmonauts working in space. You use one controller stick for each arm and a button for each leg. In this way, you navigate around the space station and complete tasks that would be relatively simple if...

Spaceteam (Series)

Release Date: 01/12/2012

Platforms: Android and iOS

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’,...

Tied Together

Release Date: 19/10/2018

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Tied Together is a platform game for two to four players tied together. Like a three-legged-race you have to co-ordinate how you move. But here you are negotiating jumps and enemies too. Any player can grab the ground and act as a fixed point for...

Am I The Baddie?

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Am I The Baddie? is a running and collecting game of hide and seek where you control a character on a simple maze of streets. Up to five people compete on separate devices or computers. One person is the baddie who tries to collect the clues without...

Despelote

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Despolete is a sports adventure where you play a child in school in Ecuador. All you want to do is play football. But you have to wait for the day to be over before you can play. The game is set in 2001, and Ecuador is within reach of qualifying for the...

Khan Academy Kids

Release Date: 12/08/2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Khan Academy Kids is a free series of game activities staring bright animal characters. Matching animals and photos, solving maths, social scenarios or enjoying some art time, Khan Academy Kids provides a playful framework.

Koala Boutique

Release Date: 23/09/2021

Platforms: Android and PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Koala Boutique is a strategy game about running a shop on the brink of bankruptcy. Unusually, it's a game designed for two players to play distinct roles. You don't have to play at the same time, but work together to progress as a team. The Adventurer...

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure

Release Date: 16/10/1997, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure is a role-play adventure set inside another role-playing game where "the hero" has wreaked destruction, killing hundreds of creatures and looting homes. Unusually, you play a supporting character in the game who tries to undo...

Orwell

Release Date: 27/10/2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

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...

Cinco Paus

Release Date: 25/12/2017, updated in 2021

Platforms: iOS

Cinco Paus is a puzzle game where you try and get through 5 rooms picking up treasure as you go. What makes it unusual are the magic wands that help you do this. What appears to be a maze game turns out to be a challenge to discover the effects of each...

Heads Up!

Release Date: 16/10/2013

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

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...

Operation: Tango

Release Date: 28/08/2020, updated in 2021

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

Operation: Tango is an espionage-themed cooperative adventure where two people play as agent or hacker. The agent explores the world while the hacker provides information and checks out the systems you encounter. You must communicate clearly to work...

Unmaze

Release Date: 21/06/2021

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Unmaze is a mix of puzzle game and graphic novel. Inspired by the myth of the Minotaur, you help Asterion and Theseus to guide them out of the maze. However, you can only help one at a time. Using the phone's camera the game lets you help Asterion when...

A Walk With Yiayia

Release Date: 20/08/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

A Walk with Yiayia is an adventure game where you go on a walk with your Greek grandmother after she's lost her confidence from having a fall. You reassure her and connect with conversation and help her complete small quests in a relaxing neighbourhood.

Beat! Talk!

Release Date: 11/11/2021

Platforms: Switch

Beat! Talk! is a rhythm game where you press buttons while speaking out loud to learn the syncopation and tempo of speaking English, with supported languages being Japanese, Korean and Chinese. As if that wasn't unusual enough, in the game you are...

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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