As adults, you most likely won’t be looking forward to playing educational games. Instead, you would want to play action, adventure, or even mind games. But, there are a variety of educational games available for PC download that can be played by both kids and adults. Since you can easily type keywords on Google to learn anything you want, most of the games you will find on this list are educational games for children. So, when they are at home, they don’t have to watch Netflix all day. You can give them the PC and expect them to learn something even though they believe they’re just having fun. Let’s take a look at the 20 Best Educational Games for PC.
1. World of Zoo
Unlike other zoo simulators, the ‘World of Zoo’ provides enough room for creativity. In this game, players are expected to care for the animals they put under their care. You can add as many different species of animals into your virtual zoo. You can also make changes to these animals including their fur patterns, colors, shapes, and sizes of noses, ears, paws, tails, and many more features of these animals. Make sure you interact with them and care for them. While this game doesn’t seem too educational, it gives kids more information about different animal species.
2. Nancy Drew Interactive Mysteries
Nancy Drew is more than a game where kids get to play detective. By playing detective, they get to learn other important things like problem-solving and critical thinking skills, different languages and customs, other cultures they didn’t know exist, and various historical events that you or their teachers at school haven’t told them about. Some of these games are based on Nancy Drew books (for instance, the Secret of the Old Clock game) while others are stand-alone games. The beauty of this game is that kids playing don’t even know they’re learning something new as they play as Nancy.
3. The Carmen Sandiego Series
In the 80s, the Carmen Sandiego games were very popular and widely played. They still are. The world has not still found the global-hopping recluse. The players are responsible for tracking her down. This game which is designed for children in elementary and middle schoolers teaches them on lots of subjects including history, reading comprehension, and history. It also improves their problem-solving skills and math skills. There are various TV shows, board games, and companion books that have been released based on this series. Your children may like them.
Zoombinis improves the player’s data analysis and problem-solving skills and also teaches logic and patterns. Zoombinis was a popular game in the 90s. The Zoombinis have been called the original less-annoying version of the minions. Your job is to guide them out of the clutches of evil Bloats and back to their home, Zoombiniville. There are various levels in the game, each more challenging than the last. You should notice a boost in your child’s intellectual capacity after playing games like this. Some games aren’t so bad after all.
5. The Little Big Planet series
There have been various installments of this game series. The first two installments involved jumping over and avoiding obstacles so you don’t lose. The creators made the game a bit complex by allowing you to customize levels, building difficult stages if you wish, and also making your characters. You also have an option to share your creations in the PlayStation Network. There have been seven installments in the series following the adventures of Sackboy and his friends. Playing this game improves your problem solving and spatial orientation skills, and boosts your thinking capacity.
6. National Geographic Challenge
Based on the name, you should already have an idea of what this game teaches. It is a challenge game (quiz game) where the players have to answer questions to proceed. You choose an Avatar and start a game for up to four players (computer). The game doesn’t run out of questions to ask the players. You can choose to answer 40, 60, or 80 of these timed questions. The impressive photography of the game and great videos from the National Geographic archive also makes you keep playing.
‘Wordscapes’ is a game that improves your vocabulary. If you or your kids enjoy playing scrabble, you would even like this game better. There are numerous crossword puzzles you have to solve (sometimes, they provide free hints). Sometimes the game challenges you by preventing you from inputting any three-letter words. So, you have to find the most difficult words to fill in. If you get the words in a certain order, the game also awards you with extra points. Wordscapes has a dictionary where you add any new word you learn. Sometimes, the easiest words are the hardest to guess.
8. The Oregon Trail
In the late ‘70s, The Oregon Trail first came out and every kid hopped on it. Before you embark on your journey to get your digital wagon to safety, you have to pick a job, a companion, and get as many supplies as you need. The updates on the game since then now allow you to upgrade your wagon, increase your survival time with food and medicine in case any member of your group encounters illnesses, and also lets you trade to get something you need. After playing for a while and understanding how the game works, players learn how to make choices that affect them positively in the long run. You will learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and also about historical events.
9. Portal Series
Portal is a game that can be played by both children and adults to improve their brain capacity. It’s a more mature game to Little Big Planet. The second installment of the Portal Series is rated E and is more difficult or sometimes even considered scary for players under 9. In Portal, dangerous tests are carried out on an unnamed character by an AI known as GLaDOS. You solve the puzzles by creating a portal in a wall. The appearance of this portal also causes another portal to open somewhere else. Make sure you don’t fall forever. Portal has a great storyline and teaches problem-solving skills, spatial skills, logic, science, and maths.
10. Kerbal Space Program
The Kerbal Space Program is a rocket simulation game that also boosts the brainpower of the players. The game involves trying to build a rocket that will eventually go into space for an alien race called the Kerbals. It is a simulation game, so it is based on realistic aerodynamic and orbital physics. When you finally build the rocket and it launches, you can explore the solar system, construct stations, and even build bases in space. The three modes in this game –Science, Career, and Sandbox let you unlock new technology to build better programs for the aliens. This game teaches you about mathematics, physics, basic aerospace engineering, and lastly about the solar system.
When your kids play Eloh, they think they’re only playing a fun musical puzzle game. What they aren’t aware of is that they are learning something they would need very shortly. This puzzle game involves moving island spirits to the right spots. When they’re in the right position, tap the red speaker to start the music. Your goal is to hit the spiral icon with the sound waves from the island spirits. As you progress to higher levels, it gets even more challenging. This game teaches your kids about angles, critical thinking, and even trigonometry (they don’t know about this).
12. World Rescue
Just like the name says, you’re about to rescue the world by playing this game. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization was also involved in the development of this game. The levels are set in various countries (Kenya, Brazil, China, India, and Norway). You’re to help five heroes to solve problems in these areas. You’ll be dealing with deforestation, disease, pollution, displacement, and drought. Kids learn about real-life issues, geography, activism, healthy living, conservation, and sustainability.
13. Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Of all the games listed above, this is one that can be played by even overgrown adults. It is more than an educational game for kids. This game was inspired by letters written during World War I. There are five major characters in the game – Karl, Anna, Freddy, Emmy, and Walt, a medic dog. Your goal is to help a German soldier find his loved ones. The dog has a few tricks that will help you achieve your goal during the game. The characters can also interact with objects with a special tool. Valiant Hearts: The Great War helps players understand the impact (both emotional and historical) of World War I, logic, and cause and effect.
Minecraft is a game that fits into various game categories because there are a lot of things you can do in this game. Since 2011 when the game was released, it hasn’t dropped in the number of players that enjoy it. Don’t let those blocky characters and graphics fool you at all. Minecraft is a very interesting game. It allows for creative freedom. So, players can create buildings and make whatever they want. Some kids even started reading about biomes and also carried out activities like calculating the rations they needed for adventures, calculating how long was left for the game to reach nighttime, and also dividing supplies among their crew. Minecraft teaches various skills including creativity, math, reading, and problem-solving skills.
15. Democracy Series
If you want to understand more about world-building, politics, and civilization, the Democracy game series will teach you just that. In this game, you play as a top world leader (president, prime minister, or governor) and you get to make decisions that affect the people you govern. You alter economy, tax, and welfare policies, law and order, transport, foreign policy, and public services. In Democracy series, you see how these actions you take affect other sectors of the economy including voters’ happiness, air quality, and crime rates. If you hope to govern people someday, try playing this game.
16. Crayon Physics
This game may look simple because the design looks like it was drawn by a child, but it isn’t. The players have to rely on basic physic principles to move a ball around the obstacles in its path. With your mouse or stylus, you can draw tools that will help guide the ball in the right direction. As you draw objects, your ball reacts based on the activities carried out on it. This simple-looking game teaches kids the principles of physics. They learn the effect of gravity, and also about motion and energy. For instance, if your kids draw stairs, the ball will bump on them until it reaches the end. There’s no single or right way to complete a level in this game. So, your kids can have as much fun and get as creative as they want.
Itzabitza is another educational game that looks like a child’s drawing, but it teaches a lot and it takes more than to play than you expect. The game is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 8. Drawing pictures and objects in the game motivate the children to read. Your child’s creations are brought to life. A ship on the water will sail and a dark cloud can spill rain that would cause characters in the game to run. The game teaches problem-solving skills and most importantly, creativity.
FutureU is not a game for kids, except the ones preparing for SAT exams. This game which is both entertaining and educational is based on the SAT-prep curriculum by Kaplan. This helps students improve their reading, writing, and mathematics skills. The game even has a special level dedicated to improving your test-taking skills.
19. Animal Jam
Children between the ages of 6 to 12 will enjoy Animal Jam. This online world created in collaboration with the National Geographic Society helps kids learn about animals and the life around them. It has games, adventures, and even parties that allow kids to enjoy the game. There are over 160 million registered users on this game, making it one of the biggest virtual worlds for children.
Prodigy is a game that helps children improve their mathematics skills. Players must answer maths questions to proceed through the game as they go on quests with friends. They earn rewards when they answer the questions right. As the game progresses, the difficulty levels of these questions increase.