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Social Impact, Kids

Sticks and Stones by Littleloud & Channel 4

SticksAndStones

Sticks and Stones is a free app and web game developed by Little Loud and commissioned by Channel 4 which aims to throw some light on the murky world of bullying. The player is able to select one of four kids languishing at the bottom of the ‘social ladder’ and help them to earn Kudos to impress their peers. The games focus on different aspects of bullying – allowing the player to defend against attack or display a more aggressive attitude depending on the dice falls. Regular reminders of the real cost of bullying appear between each turn to give the player further context but it’s clearly a game of survival in this dog-eat-dog world.

Why we love it:

  • Fresh and funky art style.
  • Mario Party style mix of game board and mini games.
  • Game ideas come from real life experiences collected from school kids.

Get it for iOS

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

Fraxinus by Team Cooper & The Sainsbury Laboratory

fraxinus

In the UK Ash trees are being attacked by a serious disease leaving some of the country’s few remaining ancient woodlands in serious danger. Fraxinus is a Facebook game that uses the tree’s real genetic data, and challenges the player to manipulate patterns to match sequences. The game capitalises on human’s capacity for pattern recognition and gives scientists a helping hand sorting the genome of the Ash tree in pursuit of a cure for the disease.

Why we love it:

  • Strong social network integration.
  • Very accessible version of this type of game.
  • Moreish and meaningful.

Play it on Facebook

Sesame Street Family Play by Hide & Seek

sesameStreetTinyGames

Sesame Street Family Play is more than your average game aimed at children. The app helps parents lead play, rather than asking them to hand their children over to the device. Each of the 150 games will help your kids build their key developmental skills, and the app makes suggestions based on where you are and how many children you’d like to entertain.

Why we love it:

  • Familiar characters, loved by kids and parents alike.
  • Huge number and variety of games.
  • Family bonding with the help of tech.

Buy it for iOS

Way by Coco & Co

way

Way is a free downloadable co-operative 2-player game which, like other games in its genre (Portal 2, Spelunky, Ilomilo etc.), is all about cooperation and communication. The puzzles are simple, but the feeling of achievement is high as you work your way through the game with your anonymous partner. There are moments that you will have to be your partner’s eyes and communicate only through gesture, so here’s a word of warning – you’ll be screaming at the screen!

Why we love it:

  • Simple controls make it suitable for all.
  • Encourages trust and connection through teamwork.
  • A deeply ‘human’ experience.

Download it free for Mac or Windows

Quandary by Learning Games Network & Fable Vision

quandary

Quandary is a space travel themed game about diplomacy and ethical decision making. As the leader of a new human colony, the player must make decisions to which there is no clear right or wrong answer. Citizen dialogues, opinions, and facts are offered as tools to help the process. Despite the potentially hefty subject matter, the game breaks decision making down into a fun and very absorbing activity, with rich visuals, atmospheric sound and believable writing.

Why we love it:

  • Introduces decision making skills that are real life applicable.
  • Fun, challenging game despite the potentially dry content.
  • Art and sound create an immersive, believable game world.

Play it online (free)