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Adults, Mobile

Transmission by Loju

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This smart looking game takes players on a journey from the humble telegraph through to cellphones and satellites in a series of increasingly fiendish puzzles based on a simple click and drag mechanic. The aim is to transmit packets of data between specific points based on the quirks of each method of communication. Easily digestible learning tidbits are sequenced between levels and while you may not remember it all, the basics of data transmission will stay with you. Superb sound design adds depth to the pared back visuals and the in-game feedback is also top notch.

Why we love it:

  • A distinct, highly polished look and feel.
  • Easy to start playing but plenty of depth for the pros.
  • Gorgeous responsive sound design.

Get it for iOS or Android or Online

The Great Brain Experiment by White Bat and The Wellcome Trust

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The Great Brain Experiment is a Wellcome funded mobile app for android and iOS with a welcoming and friendly art style that hides its serious scientific purpose.

The app packages up a number of psychological tests as a mini game compendium and record the player’s every move, thereby gathering a wealth of information useful in the study of Neuroscience. The games themselves are simple tests of both dexterity and perhaps more importantly, character. They test things like how you deal with pressure, whether you are a risk taker, whether you are impulsive and a number of other character traits.

Why we love it:

  • High production value for a free app.
  • Interesting game mechanics that test more than dexterity.
  • The chance to take part in a ground breaking MME (Massive Multiplayer Experiment).

Get it for iOS or Android

Dumb Ways to Die by Barrel of Donkeys

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Dumb Ways to Die was created by Barrel of Donkeys as part of a campaign on rail safety for Metro Trains Melbourne, Australia.

The game features 15 snappy mini games in which players must attempt to save cute characters from a variety of grisly deaths – all in a race against time. As players reach high scores, they unlock new characters, seen happily dancing away at the in-game train station. Featuring simple mechanics, a charming 8-bit soundtrack and a wicked sense of humour, Dumb Ways to Die helps raise awareness of a sensitive subject in a way that has broad appeal.

Why we love it:

  • Moreish hook of collectable characters.
  • Perfectly targeted safety campaign packing humour and meaning.
  • Meaningful without being worthy.
  • Smart integration with social networks.

Get it for iOS or Android

Nightmare: Malaria by Psyop

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In Nightmare: Malaria you must navigate two worlds – Blood and Brain – set inside a young girl suffering from malaria. Your aim is to kill mosquitoes and save teddy bears. It’s justifiably dark – malaria kills over a million people worldwide every year. Whilst the game is completely free, you will be prompted to donate throughout, with 100% of proceeds going straight to the Against Malaria Foundation.

Why we love it:

  • Graphic, fevered visuals add to the nightmarish atmosphere.
  • The in-game donations.
  • Featuring the voice of Susan Sarandon!

Get it for iOS or Android

The Walk by Six to Start

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The Walk is an adaptive fitness app from the makers of Zombies, Run! and the NHS. With over three month’s worth of super immersive story telling, and hundreds of miles of walking, it helps to establish long term fitness habits. Broader in its appeal than the aforementioned Zombies, Run! The Walk begins with a terrorist attack at Inverness Station. You must escape the city and walk the length of the country, deciding who to trust along the way. The app tracks your steps, how long you’ve walked for, and rewards you with adventure to keep you moving.

Why we love it:

  • Gameplay adjusts its difficulty based on the individual.
  • Motivates long term activity habits.
  • Packed with maps, collectible items and engaging characters.

Buy it for iOS or Android

The Grading Game by Mode of Expression

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The Grading Game casts the player as a hard-nosed teacher with the single-minded aim to FAIL their students. To do this, the player has to spot the grammatical and spelling errors in essays to give Jamie a C by spotting 7 errors in 30 seconds. The whole experience can feel very pressured and it’s a shame that a hard-stop time limit can halt the player before they finish the document but the mechanic is strong and the novelty of playing as a teacher is great fun!

Why we love it:

  • The essays are fascinating and educational to read.
  • Quick gameplay sessions keep the content fresh.
  • Great novelty of playing as a mean-spirited teacher!

Buy it for iOS

Full Steam Ahead by Aardman Animations & ss Great Britain Trust

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Full Steam Ahead is a game in which you design and build steam-powered ships in the spirit of Brunel. Gameplay is goal-focussed, with the player being tasked to create increasingly complex ship designs to meet ever more challenging criteria. The game gives the player the freedom to experiment, with ‘design tips’ orientating the player towards success. A simple currency system and strong art style round-off a very solid product.

Why we love it:

  • Game rewards experimentation.
  • Tip system scaffolds learning.
  • Strong art style.

Download for free now for iOS or Android or play it online

10 by iojoe

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10 is an addictive mash-up of Sudoku and a classic sliding block puzzler which will hone your mental arithmetic and problem solving proficiency. Slide number blocks together to create 10s, once a block becomes 10 it’s rendered immovable, encouraging you to plan your path to perfection. Initially simple it quickly descends into obsessive, head-scratching territory; your brain will thank you.

Why we love it:

  • Incredibly simple pick up and play mechanic.
  • Dozens of levels with an increasing variety of blocks.
  • Works your arithmetic and problem solving skills.

Get it on iOS (free) or buy it for Android

Wuzzit Trouble by Innertube Games

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Set inside a trap-riddled castle, Wuzzit Trouble is an educational puzzle game which teaches mathematical conceptual thinking. Where other educational games use the gameplay as a mask to hide the learning, Wuzzit Trouble’s gameplay is the learning. The game introduces the idea of mathematical experimentation and encourages the idea of refining and improving your strategies for playing, all in the name of releasing the cute and fuzzy Wuzzits.

Why we love it:

  • Original gear-based mechanic.
  • Appealing characters.
  • Improves multiple skills- suitable for a variety of ages.

Buy it for iOS

Blackbar by Neven Mrgan

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Blackbar is an exercise in economy of development. It’s a text-based game which places word & logic puzzles within a dystopian future (or past) narrative to show the possible consequences of extreme censorship. Its barebones visual style detracts nothing from its message or gameplay, and the sense of satisfaction when you solve a particularly difficult puzzle is great.

Why we love it:

  • Strong story- equally humourous and chilling.
  • The puzzles are pretty challenging!
  • Multiple endings.

Buy it for iOS