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Literacy, Teens

To Be Or Not To Be by Tin Man Games

hamlet

Ryan North’s To Be Or Not To Be lets players answer the most famous rhetorical question ever posed, and in doing so players immediately begin the process of ruining Shakespeare’s Hamlet. By comparing their decisions to the original – via the ‘Hamlet-o-meter’ – the game deftly teaches the art of storytelling, pace and character development through increasingly farcical situations that arise directly from mischievous player choice. It’s a triumphant example of making failure fun – who wouldn’t want to try sending a central character to his death just to see what happens?

North’s writing is excellent; every scene is handled with wit and plenty of surprising chain reactions ensure that repeat play is not only highly rewarding, but irresistible! A compelling layer of strategy, built on subtle character attributes and statistics, encourages countless explorations of scene, plot and character combinations.

Why we love it:

  • Brilliant, laugh out loud dialogue
  • Makes failure fun, whilst subtly teaching Shakespeare’s craft
  • Wonderful character design and art

Buy it here

The Grading Game by Mode of Expression

gradinggame

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

Blackbar by Neven Mrgan

blackbar

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

The Republia Times by Lucas Pope

newrepublic

The Republia Times is a flash game about running the content of a state-owned newspaper under the influence of an overbearing government. The challenge is to please your leaders while also printing balanced articles, and answering to desperate pleas from your rebellious fellow countrymen. Developed originally for the Ludum Dare challenge, the game is very basic, but clearly conveys a strong message about politics and the media.

Why we love it:

  • Immerses you straight in to the game challenge.
  • A powerful message about usage of the media as a tool.
  • Lo-fi aesthetic allows the content to shine through.

Play it online (free)

W.E.L.D.E.R. by Highline Games

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W.E.L.D.E.R. is a sophisticated word puzzle game in which you construct words by flipping and swapping letter tiles. It combines a classic word search with Scrabble in a hypnotizing and addictive game, improving player’s logic and language skills. Use the iOS dictionary to help build your vocabulary and earn points.

Why we love it:

  • Links to external dictionaries for spelling and definitions.
  • Pick up and play – simple and addictive.
  • Great for exploring archaic and dialect words.

Buy it for iOS or Android

Quarrel Deluxe by Denki

quarreldeluxe

Quarrel blends Risk-style territory domination with spelling-based head-to-head battles. Beautifully executed, the tactile spelling mechanic is deeply moreish, and the maximum-word-length linked to unit numbers creates a cohesive tactical battle game. One of our new favourites.

Why we love it:

  • Lovingly crafted 3D world, characters and UI.
  • Loads of game modes.
  • The best spellers win!

Buy it for iOS