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9 Games Like Universal Paperclips

Universal Paperclips is an adventure game about making paperclips. It sounds simple, but behind the incremental process of clicking a button to create these paperclips is a story about how the desire to make paperclips (or anything) if fully realised and unrestrained will take over the entire world.
 

These games offer a similar experience or are about a theme that Universal Paperclips addresses. Also, if you want to play a game like Universal Paperclips but don’t have Android, Web or iOS, these are a good alternative.

 

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 09/10/2017

Platforms: Android, Web Browser and iOS.

Genres: Adventure, Simulation and Strategy.

Developer: @flantz

 

 

Kids

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Duration: Between half an hour and 1 hour to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Kids is an unusual game where you tap to interact with groups of monochrome cartoon children. Seeing the little kids run around and respond to each other creates a playful and intriguing game than only lasts half an hour but will be played many times.


Dragon Box

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Duration: Between 2 minutes and 5 minutes to play a round.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

DragonBox is an educational series of games that teaches young children maths, such as algebra using pattern matching with symbols. Unlike other educational games, the fun is in the doing in DragonBox, rather than incentivising learning with separate...


Animal Crossing (Series)

Platforms: GameCube, Nintendo 2DS/3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Duration: Between half an hour and 45 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected minutiae of this diorama that makes...


Sim City (Series)

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Creative, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 10 hours and 20 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

SimCity is a series of city-building game, created by Will Wright. Since their inception as educational experiences in 1989, the games have enabled players to design ambitious cities. The attraction is the open-ness of play, where you can let your...


Island Saver

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

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Duration: Between 6 hours and 7 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Free. In-game purchases.

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.


A Dark Room

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 4 hours and 5 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

A Dark Room is an adventure where you try and survive in the wild. It has a similarly simple start – a single option to stoke a fire – but also evolves into an incrementally complex system of resource management as a larger story unfolds.


Kingdom (Series)

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Strategy

Duration: Between 8 hours and 15 hours to complete.

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

Costs: Purchase cost.

In this retro-look strategy game, you must defend your town from the nightly attack of zombies as you develop your technology and civilisation day-by-day. But unlike other tower-defence games – where you set up defences and fend off waves of attacking...


Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

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

Genres: Fighting, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 2 minutes and 3 minutes to play a round.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (know as TABS) is a fighting game where you choose different armies and troops to battle each other in an automatic simulation that models their offensive and defensive abilities. Once setup the fight is largely...


Observation

Platforms: PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Duration: Between 6 hours and 8 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Observation puts you on a space station to solve a power outage and find missing crew. However, here you play the role of the SAM, the System Administration Maintenance artificial intelligence software, rather than human protagonist. Your limited view,...


 
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Universal Paperclips is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Universal Paperclips in the following lists:

Wield Absolute Control

Things don’t stay put. You’re the only one keeping the ship afloat. You can’t get people to do what you tell them. The effort you spend doesn’t produce the results it deserves. Well, in these video games you get to wield complete control over people, things, situations or even whole worlds.

If games offer an escape from chaos, these games are particularly good at granting a sense of satisfying agency and power as they do that. Whether it’s ordering the perfect stock room in Wilmot’s Warehouse, organising your island in Animal Crossing, perfectly controlling the flow of traffic in Mini Motorways or even build civilisation just the way you want it in Civilization the sense of satisfaction and calm from the achievement is second to none.
 

Attempt The Impossible

How hard a game is considered to be depends on who is playing it. A three-year-old tackling Zelda will struggle. But equally a new-to-games-parents will find Mutant Mudds quickly gets beyond them. The games in this list are known for being difficult. They wear the difficulty as a badge of honour. "None shall pass," except this with the will, time and belligerence to get good enough at this particular activity to beat the high bar the game sets.

This might be grappling with the flying mechanics in Rocket League, getting endlessly lost trying to find the next guardian in Shadow of the Collosus or coming up with the right tactic to get enough money for the ship you need in Elite. Of course, some of these games can be made easier, but to play them at their best is to ramp up the difficulty to max (crushing on The Last Of Us for example) and let them give you all they've got.
 

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.
 

Embrace Silliness

The games in this section have been selected because they get players doing absurd activities and chuckling together. It’s tongue-in-cheek entertainment with challenges that don’t take themselves too seriously – not seriously at all, in fact. Video games have their roots in fun and play. This makes them an excellent way to forget the worries of the day and dive into some silly fun together.

Whether it's the crazy puzzles in Baba is You or Twister-like contorsions of Fru or stomach churningly difficulty of walking in Octodad Deadliest Catch, these are games that will make you shreek and laugh together. Then there are silly multiplayer games like Super Pole Riders, Heave Ho or Wii Party where parents, carers and children take on bizarre or precarious challenges. The play often descends into giggling and laughter.
 
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