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5 Excellent Games for K-12 Learners

As the back-to-school season rapidly approaches, teachers across the country are looking for new ways to keep students engaged and ready to learn. If you’re looking to give existing lesson plans a playful upgrade, educational video games are the perfect addition to your classroom.  With 70% of gamers under the age of 18, it’s safe to say that video games are a widespread pastime for many young people. Combining students’ already existing passions and hobbies with their education is a surefire way to capture and keep their interest! Let’s dive into some excellent educational games for K-12 learners.

via Giphy

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via BrainPOP

There’s a reason this game’s title is a portmanteau of the words “fraction” and “satisfaction”! Satisfraction is math learning game we created with our friends at BrainPOP, and it’s a fun and painless way to teach 3rd-5th graders all about fractions. Satisfraction is aligned to Common Core Standards, is free to play on a web browser, and combines satisfying slice-and-dice game mechanics with authentic learning. This game couldn’t be easier to play at home or in school, so what are you waiting for? Check out the game on the BrainPOP website! Need a mobile-friendly fraction-learning game? Check out Diffission on the App Store or Google Play Store


When thinking of K-12 learning, you probably instantly think of traditional school subjects like math, science, English, and history. While these subjects are certainly important, soft skills, such as social-emotional learning, are also fundamental for learners of any age! Ava, developed by Social Cipher, is a social-emotional learning game for neurodivergent youth ages 10 to 15. In this adventurous platformer, players navigate complex social interactions through dialogue choices and character facial expressions. Ava helps players increase their social-emotional competencies, such as self and social awareness, self-regulation, and more. Created by a “team of autistic advocates, game developers, and social entrepreneurs,” Ava is a game that provides “youth of all neurotypes a judgment-free space to try out social situations and emotional responses.” The game is available for purchase on the Social Cipher website.

Mission to the Mesozoic

Cue the Jurassic Park theme song! Mission to the Mesozoic is a natural history learning game we created with our friends at the Field Museum in Chicago. Players step into the role of scientist and photographer as they travel through the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, analyzing the flora and fauna around them. Throughout the game, students will make connections between the time periods and recognize the relationships between plants, animals, and the environment. Play Mission to the Mesozoic for free on the Field Museum’s website!

Culture Overlord

Culture Overlord is a game about media literacy created by Lucas Vially. A 2022 Finalist for the Games for Change Awards and a 2021 James Paul Gee Learning Games Award Finalist, this game asks players to evaluate how media influences their attitudes, opinions, and actions. Focused on the “invisible guiding hands” of books, movies, games, and more, players guide the main character, Dan, through his day-to-day life. Culture Overlord contains a Discovery Mode that is more focused on the branching storyline of the game, and an EDU Mode, which contains additional information that “explores how the cultural artifacts contribute to Dan’s decision-making and poses questions designed for classroom discussion.” You can download the game on itch.io. If you enjoy Culture Overlord and you’re interested in more games that explore cultural influences and media, check out our list of educational games on media literacy, which includes Newsfeed Defenders, an iCivics game that can be played for free on a web browser!


Finishing off this list is our favorite upcoming STEM game, RoboCo! If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’ll be familiar with our wholesome sandbox robotics game. But in case you’re new here, RoboCo is all about designing and building robots to serve the needs of squishy, hapless humans in the world of tomorrow! Recently, the game has received some major updates, which can learn more about by checking out the RoboCo Devblog. To recap some recent news, the game now includes coding with Python, resizeable motors and new cosmetic items, new RoboRepair Tutorials, and more! RoboCo was also featured in the inaugural OTK Games Expo in June. Planned to release in Q4 2022 on PC and on VR in 2023, this game ignites player interest in STEM fields by giving players the tools to unleash their problem-solving skills and creative potential. Add RoboCo to your Steam wishlist today

There you have it! Five games you can use (or will be able to use shortly!) in your K-12 classroom. Interested in harnessing the power of game-based learning by creating your own educational game or app? Reach out to us today for a free consultation

More K-12 game-based learning resources:

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