With a recent rash of intense storms, a gnarly nationwide heat wave, and swarms of 17 year cicadas that not even the secret service can handle, times are tough for nature lovers out there. In fact just this morning my colleague Dan White told me a grim tale of his weekend campsite encounter with scores of bloodsucking ticks, which was more than enough to entrench my indoorsman status for the remainder of the year. Accordingly, I’ll be looking screenward to engage with the natural world, at least for the immediate future. Luckily, Filament Games has me covered. Read on for a selection of free-to-play natural science games that can help you enjoy and celebrate nature without, you know, actually being in it.
Designed to raise awareness and literacy around issues of water conservation, Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game offers players a global perspective on water resource issues. As certain parts of the planet struggle to maintain freshwater access, players make strategic choices to build pipelines, conduct research, set policy, and allocate resources so that no one region becomes completely arid. By the end of the game, players gain a deeper understanding of the ways that wealth and water have to be carefully managed to solve the world’s water crises. This is a great choice for fans of resource management strategy-style games like Civilization and SimCity.
EcoKingdoms is a pixel art game where learners are tasked with running a park and keeping it from having to shut down. The game design leverages swipe-based interactions to present players with interesting choices that will impact a natural ecosystem. Through this structure, EcoKingdoms shows through play the ways in which organisms and populations of organisms are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. Players will see how the choices they make alter the conditions of resource scarcity, population growth, biodiversity, and general ecosystem health, and will understand that ecosystems are a balance of all these factors in harmony. This understanding affords learners with the foundational knowledge required to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life.
Mission to the Mesozoic is a game that involves finding plants and animals across the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods. In the game, the player assumes the role of a photographer with the ability to view different time periods and analyze flora and fauna found there. Players are able to move back and forth between the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. By the end of the game, players are able to spot connections between the time periods and pinpoint relationships that connect plants, animals, or other environmental features. This is a great choice for fans of Pokemon Snap and other similar photography games.
More free games to check out: