Menu toggle

Social Impact, Teens

Fort McMoney by David Dufresne

fortMcMoney

Fort McMoney is a point and click adventure that puts you into the heart of the moral dilemma that is the Canadian oil business. McMoney uses documentary footage to add a deep sense of realism to the game. Taking on the role of environmental detective you meet and greet everyone concerned from the native inhabitants to the executives and politicians that are driving the oil business deep in the Albertan countryside. The framework of the game encourages users to debate the issues with the wider community and for once you get the feeling that there is enough information available in the game to fuel a really constructive dialogue.

Why we love it:

  • Modern take on the point and click adventure
  • Hours of fascinating documentary footage
  • Links to debating forum where the topic can be explored further

Play it online

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

Dumb Ways to Die by Barrel of Donkeys

dumbWaysToDie

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

grab

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

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)

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

Oiligarchy by Molleindustria

oil

Oiligarchy is a satirical browser based strategy game in which you play the head of a global oil company; drilling, exploring, hiring mercenaries and manipulating governments to make money. Your decisions create reactions around the world, but there is no way to play this game that doesn’t reflect the unpleasantness of the industry and the international wealth that is bound to it. Oiligarchy makes a complex subject accessible, and its message is politically and environmentally resonant.

Why we love it:

  • Complex gameplay with a dark humour.
  • Illustrates interconnections of global events.
  • Features a plausible near-future in a bold political statement.

Play it online (free)

Every Day The Same Dream by Molleindustria

everydaythesame

Every Day The Same Dream is a philosophy in action. It’s a browser based game in which you play a faceless, nameless everyman, repeating his day to day actions over and over again. Intentionally pushing the boundaries of boredom and repetition with its stark monochromatic art style it manages to communicate that life is what you make it, you are only as trapped as you feel and to change the things you hate now. For all its bleakness, its message is positive, and much welcomed.

Why we love it:

  • Has an emotive and politicised message which will resonate with most.
  • Unpretentious gameplay makes it accessible to all.
  • Effortless merge of art and gaming.
  • The music is awesome!

Play it online (free)

Spent by McKinney

playspent

Spent is a browser based game about living on the poverty line in the US. You’ve lost your job and your home, and you’re a single parent. You’re down to your last $1,000 and you need to find an income and somewhere to live, pronto. You finally get a job, but through facing a series of believable situations you realise that your wages cannot sustain you and that you’re sinking in to financial quicksand. Can you last the month?

Why we love it:

  • Taboo subject tackled head on.
  • Evokes a genuine emotional response.
  • Opportunity to make charitable donation.

Play it online (free)