Menu toggle

Social Impact

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

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

dys4ia by Anna Anthropy

dys4ia

Dys4ia is a gamified experience about hormone replacement therapy. The controls are very simple – just the arrow keys – and the starkness of the gameplay and the lo-fi aesthetic allow the content to shine through. The game’s creator is making headway in an otherwise unexplored and totally niche area of videogames. It’s like queer WarioWare and is at turns funny, frustrating, informative, and touching.

Why we love it:

  • Game based on real experiences and events.
  • Simple retro styling enhances the message.
  • Witty and moving in equal measure.

Play it online (free)

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

Papers, Please by Lucas Pope

papersPlease

Papers, Please is a ‘Dystopian Document Thriller’ set on the border of a fictional Eastern Bloc country, Arstotzka. The premise seems simple: accept or deny those who wish to come in to the country based on news bulletins, terrorist attacks, international relations, inconsistencies in their documents and, of course, your own morals. Mistakes, unintentional or not, cost money you can ill afford with a family at home who are sick and hungry.

Why we love it:

  • Gratifyingly physical stamping and scanning.
  • Unexpected statements on gender performances.
  • An eye-opening exploration of struggles on conflicted borders.

Get it on Steam or download it here

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)