Ever since the death of Flash, high-quality, free games that require no installation or special hardware have become more difficult to come by. Many K-12 educators often use technology like Chromebooks in their classrooms – so high-quality video games that are compatible with the tech schools have available are a must-have! Luckily for anyone who is searching for a selection of excellent, free-to-play, and (mostly) web-browser-based educational games, the list below meets all of those requirements. With the following games, it’s easy to bring playful game-based learning experiences directly to learners in seconds. Read on to find a game that’s a natural fit for you or your students!
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Convene the Council is a recent release and our latest project with our friends at iCivics. In this game, players take on the role of the President of the United States. In this role, players must take on international crises through strategic action, communicate with the National Security Council, consider the pros and cons of many different policy decisions, work with and delegate to various government agencies and departments, and finally, improve the core metrics of U.S. prosperity, values, security, and world health. Can players do all of the above in addition to winning public approval and furthering their chosen agenda? In Convene the Council, middle schoolers and high schoolers will learn more about the role of the executive branch in international relations. Play Convene the Council on the iCivics website!
Speaking of civics, Annenberg Classroom’s That’s Your Right is another game that will enrich students’ understanding of the U.S. government. This web-based, multiplayer card game
teaches players all about the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. With its captivating art style and seamless integration into Annenberg Classroom’s comprehensive Constitution curriculum, this game is a great addition to any lesson. It’s also playable directly from a web browser, no installation or special hardware required! There’s a reason that That’s Your Right was highlighted as a Best Gameplay finalist at the 2015 Games for Change Awards. Check the game out for yourself on Annenberg Classroom’s website.
Part Pokémon Snap, part Jurassic Park, Mission to the Mesozoic is a natural history learning game that will satisfy a player’s inner scientist and inner photographer. Created for our friends at Chicago’s Field Museum, this game allows players to travel through the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods and take pictures of a variety of dinosaurs. Players will piece together the relationships between the creatures and their environments, achieving a greater understanding of how flora and fauna interact. Play Mission to the Mesozoic on the Field Museum’s website.
In this suite of learning games for young learners, students will learn all about many curriculum-aligned science concepts, including animal adaptation, the relationship between mass and acceleration, water resource issues, and more. Created in collaboration with the Smithsonian, this collection of games includes six unique and free titles. From physical science to environmental science, players of all ages will find something new and interesting to learn. Check out the full list of free-to-play titles over on their website!
Have you ever wondered what it takes to maintain a national park? EcoKingdom is a pixel art game we created for our friends at Legends of Learning, and it puts players into the shoes of a park ranger. Players are presented with a series of different scenarios and choices, and each decision they make impacts the number of visitors, ecosystem health, and funds within the park. In this choose-your-own-adventure style journey, players will learn about balance, sustainability, and how to pursue a more eco-friendly life. It’s also completely free to play in a web browser!
Featuring voice acting from Jane Goodall herself, the Webby Award-winning Breaking Boundaries in Science is a VR celebration of women in STEM. Featuring renowned scientists Jane Goodall, Marie Curie, and Grace Hopper, players explore re-created versions of each woman’s real-life workspaces. Through this immersive VR experience, players learn more about the life, work and achievements of each famous figure up close and in historical context. If you have an Oculus Go, you can play the game for free right now!
In Beats Empire, players run their own music studio and record label in a fictional city based on New York. To be successful and eventually dominate the top charts, players must analyze market trends, sign artists, record songs, and attract new followers. In this turn-based strategy game we created in collaboration with Columbia University, players can, in the words of the university’s Associate Professor of Communication, Media and Learning Technology Design, Nathan Holbert, “see that their interest in music is connected to the fields of computer science and data analytics.” Beats Empire is available to play (for free, of course) in a web browser!
One of the best ways to learn fractions? Slice and dice them yourself, a la the popular 2010s app game, Fruit Ninja! Aligned to Common Core standards, BrainPop’s math-learning puzzle game Satisfraction is another free, browser-based game that combines fun, satisfying game mechanics with real learning. And that’s not all! The game also comes with a free lesson plan for educators, and is perfect for math learners grades 3-5. Play Satisfraction on BrainPOP’s website.
Is there any better way to learn about business finance than intergalactic robo-entrepreneurship? We don’t think so! Junior Achievement’s RoboSellers tasks players with buying and selling robot parts on foreign planets and growing their custom robot business. This game introduces third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students to financial literacy concepts, such as evaluating costs and value, the role of money in everyday life, and the implications of spending and saving money on a business’s bottom line. Play RoboSellers for free on your web browser!
Rigged is a game created for our friends at Bellwether Education Partners. Pulling from the real-life experiences of students (you can learn more about this project in the video above!), Rigged demonstrates several of the insidious ways poverty can affect the lives of underserved youth. Through its narrative, choices-matter gameplay, Rigged puts the player into the shoes of a high schooler who is faced with critical life decisions. As the game progresses, players must try to navigate their interests and dreams alongside the responsibilities, expectations, and barriers put in place by structures and institutions around them. Play Rigged for free in a web browser at thegameisrigged.org.
Want to create your own high-quality educational video game? Your favorite educational game developer is here for you! Contact us today for a free consultation and discover how we can help you bring your project to life!
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