Curated Games Catalog

EMPATHY

Video games might support the practice of empathy when they allow players to see the same situation from many perspectives; appreciate diversity of personalities, backgrounds, and skills; inhabit difficult circumstances to understand what it might be like to face those particular challenges; be immersed in a historical event from an unexpected point of view; discover another culture; and make choices that impact other characters or real players.

Elude

(no age rating available)

A browser-based game that aims to help players begin to understand what depression feels like.

Loneliness

(no age rating available)

A simple browser-based game that can help players relate to what it feels like to be isolated or excluded.

To The Moon

(no age rating available)

Players go on a mission to help a man on his deathbed rewrite history. Players grapple with themes of regret, second chances, and what makes life meaningful.

Tracking Ida

(no age rating available)

In this Augmented Reality (AR) game, players solve puzzles, role play as journalists, and practice empathy to explore the anti-lynching crusade of Ida B. Wells.

Undertale

(9+ years)

A beginner-friendly role-playing game where players must test their assumptions about the “enemy,” and explore other ways of resolving conflict besides fighting.

Journey

(10+ years)

Players cooperate with and help other real players while practicing non-verbal communication in this emotional and uplifting tale.

Thomas Was Alone

(10+ years)

A 2-D platformer/puzzler that celebrates diversity by relying on the unique abilities of each “character” to bypass obstacles.

Papo & Yo

(11+ years)

This puzzle-platformer game broaches topics of addiction and abuse, giving players a window into difficult parent-child relationships.

Players control a pair of brothers simultaneously to solve puzzles and help others in this emotional fantasy tale.

Never Alone

(13+ years)

Players are immersed in an Inupiaq legend, playing as a young heroine and her fox companion. Documentary-style video clips and authentic language give players a peek into Inupiaq culture.

A game set in the Star Wars universe where players’ choices to align with good or evil yield very different rewards.

In this story-driven game, players explore the Finches’ family home and consider a range of life stories in terms of connection, meaning, and coping with tragedy.

Oxenfree

(14+ years)

In this spooky and mysterious game featuring relatable teen dramas, players’ dialogue and action choices directly impact their relationships with the other characters, resulting in multiple possible endings. Read our Halloween themed review of Oxenfree!

This War of Mine

(14+ years)

Entering a fictional warzone, players experience the devastation of war and are forced to make difficult choices to survive, often with tragic results.

A game about the Iranian Revolution of 1979, where players explore a historical event from multiple perspectives and come to a deeper understanding of the conflict and the difficult decisions people had to make.

Gone Home

(15+ years)

An interactive narrative where players must come to understand the perspectives and actions of the main character’s family members by exploring artifacts in her empty house.

Papers, Please

(15+ years)

Players deal with difficult ethical decisions as they simulate the job of an immigration officer. Players hear about immigrants’ hopes and difficulties and must decide whether to let them in, sometimes by risking their own job.

Passage

(15+ years)

Players observe the universalities of a human life in this 5-minute game that takes the protagonist from youth to old age amid obstacles and rewards.

That Dragon, Cancer

(16+ years)

This interactive narrative explores the heart-wrenching circumstances around caring for a child with a terminal illness.

Fable III

(18+ years)

Players are in charge of a fantasy world. They make moral choices as they determine how they will rule and how their citizens are treated and see consequences of their choices play out in complex ways.

Life is Strange

(18+ years)

Players assume the role of Max Caulfield, a teen who finds she has the mysterious power to reverse time and do things differently.

In this zombie adventure game, the player takes on the role of Everett, a man trying to survive the zombie apocalypse while making tough choices that might lead to the death of innocents.

CURIOSITY

Video games might support the practice of curiosity when they provide opportunities for players to explore and create in intriguing worlds, experiment with combining found objects to make new and useful things, solve mysteries or discover meaning gradually through deep exploration, and try out different identities and interactions just to see what happens.

A set of online games where the level stays the same, but the mechanics constantly change. Guide the elephant to the exit…once you figure out the rules!

Monument Valley

(7+ years)

Players experiment with physics and gravity to move a silent princess through a beautiful world of MC Escher-inspired architecture.

A rocket-building simulation that lets players launch missions to “the Mun” and other destinations in the Kerbal universe using real rocket science principles.

Little Alchemy

(8+ years)

A simple but delightful online game where players start with just four elements (air, earth, fire, water) and combine them to create over 500 different elements. What do you combine to make a vacuum cleaner in Little Alchemy?

Minecraft

(8+ years)

Players move through a virtual “sandbox” with nearly endless possibilities for what they can create from the resources they gather.

A classic action-adventure role-playing game with a series of clever puzzles to solve and massive dungeons to explore on the way to banishing villains.

Abzu

(10+ years)

Players dive below the ocean’s surface, exploring underwater ruins and observing deep sea creatures as they work to restore neglected areas.

Kentucky Route Zero

(10+ years)

A point-and-click adventure game/interactive novel that explores the secrets of a hidden highway beneath Kentucky and its mysterious travelers.

Nancy Drew series

(10+ years)

Players interview characters and search for clues to solve the mystery at hand. Depending on which game from the series players choose, they might learn about topics like physics and electricity or become more familiar with other cultures as they play.

Portal 2

(10+ years)

In this spatial puzzle-platformer, players help their robot companion to save the day by exploring and experimenting in a world with strange physical laws.

Spore

(11+ years)

An evolution simulation where players create their very own species and guide creatures through 5 stages mirroring real-world evolution: Cell, Creature, Tribe, Civilization, and Space.

The Sims 4

(12+ years)

This life simulation game lets players fully customize the look and personality of their sim and then experiment with interacting with other sims in a variety of kind, mean, and romantic ways.

80 Days

(13+ years)

Players race to make it around the world in 80 days, meeting fellow explorers and learning about 19th-century cities along the way.

Broken Age

(13+ years)

Players switch between two teenage characters living in very different worlds. They experiment with combining objects and explore the world to ultimately discover how the characters’ destinies intertwine.

Myst

(13+ years)

Players explore and examine objects on a mysterious island to reveal secrets about an injustice that they can then help to right.

Pokémon Go

(13+ years)

An augmented reality game where players explore the real world to catch virtual Pokémon and train them to be strong fighters. The game intrigues players by showing the shadows of mysterious creatures they haven’t yet caught.

Her Story

(16+ years)

More an interactive film than a game, players use a police computer to solve a murder mystery via video clips and searchable transcripts.

An open-world fantasy role-playing game that offers opportunities to explore a massive world and complete quests that interest the player.

Dreamfall Chapters

(18+ years)

Players take an emotional and exciting journey through exotic locations in a future world where the ability to dream is in jeopardy.

A fantasy role-playing game with a vast, beautiful world to explore, and countless quests players can opt to take on or ignore. Choices shape who the player becomes.

GROWTH MINDSET

Video games might support the practice of growth mindset when they reward small actions and give immediate feedback that helps players to learn and improve performance. Video games also may allow players to level up and to grow kingdoms, armies, or empires through sustained effort; visualize the growth they are headed for through progress maps and ability trees; train and evolve characters into more masterful beings; and gamify real-life progress towards goals like physical and emotional fitness.

Fitbit

(no age rating available)

A wearable tracker that charts progress towards healthy habits like exercise and shows how effort and improvement are related.

Happify

(no age rating available)

Online “games” that help build habits like gratitude that contribute to happiness when practiced regularly and deliberately.

Pokémon series

(6-13+ years)

Gotta catch ‘em all! Players explore their surroundings to catch Pokémon, then train and evolve them into powerful battlers. Time invested into each Pokémon prepares them to take on bigger and bigger challenges.

Super Mario Bros. series

(6-10+ years)

A classic platformer with many variations and lots of chances to hone timing skills. Mistakes often lead to lost lives, but they also help players learn more about the rules of the world and improve with practice.

Spelunky

(10+ years)

A platformer set underground where levels are randomized, challenging players in new ways every time. Persistence is the only way to win.

Civilization series

(11-13+ years)

A turn-based strategy game centered on gradually building an empire. Starting from nothing, players build something impressive step-by-step.

The Sims series

(12-16+ years)

Players create and customize characters, then guide them through the ups and downs of life, building a range of interesting skills from charisma to alchemy through each new experience.

A tile-laying board game with the goal of building an extravagant castle room by room. Patience and persistence pay off over time.

Clash of Clans

(13+ years)

A strategy game where players train raiders to fill their coffers, becoming more powerful over time and with practice.

Dominion

(13+ years)

A card game where players are ambitious monarchs, challenging one another to build the largest, most civilized kingdom through strategy and persistence.

Final Fantasy XV

(13+ years)

Players aim to achieve a set of skills in areas that interest them, build skills gradually, and see their persistence pay off one level at a time.

World of Warcraft

(16+ years)

Players aim to achieve a set of skills in areas that interest them, build skills gradually, and see their persistence pay off one level at a time.

KINDNESS

Video games might support the practice of kindness (being friendly, generous, and considerate towards others) when they feature themes of self-sacrifice, prompt players to care for the well-being of other characters, introduce opportunities to gift items or otherwise help other players progress, make a helpful or kind act a primary mechanic (like hugging! That game really exists!), and when developers or players build and maintain supportive and helpful communities around the game.

Eco

(no age rating available)

In this social simulation, players make a series of meaningful choices that either help animals and the environment or hurt them, and players see the consequences of those choices play out in vivid detail.

Lemmings

(rated E for Everyone)

In this game used in several scientific studies of prosocial games, players guide characters to safety, saving as many as they can as they navigate the different levels.

“Super Mario Sunshine”

(rated E for Everyone)

The player’s goal is to clean up the island that’s been covered in graffiti and toxic waste, and players can help NPCs by cleaning them off with the in-game water cannon and finding and delivering items to them.

Pokémon series

(6-13+ years)

How players level up and look out for their Pokémon determines the strength of their bond (“friendship”). Also, other characters are kind to players even after they’ve been defeated in battle, saying, “Good battle.”

Animal Crossing

(8+ years)

Players can cooperate with and do favors for other players, including by choosing to gift fruit, flowers, and other items to other players to help them or “just because.”

Undertale

(9+ years)

Characters are kind to players even when they have a good reason not to be. Players can choose to help and befriend other characters rather than fighting or killing them.

This War of Mine

(14+ years)

While trying to survive the destruction and deprivation of war, players can practice kindness by making sacrifices for their fellow citizens, like choosing to leave precious medicine or supplies for someone who needs it, even when the players could use it.

Players make meaningful choices to say or do something kind or mean, manage their reputation, and watch the consequences of their choices play out.

Papers, Please

(15+ years)

Players meet immigrating characters with really sad stories and have the chance to help them, sometimes by making high-stakes personal sacrifices.

Telltale’s Batman

(16+ years)

Players make meaningful choices to say or do something kind or mean, manage their reputation, and watch the consequences of their choices play out.

World of Warcraft

(16+ years)

Players can share loot, help less experienced players level up, answer other players’ questions in chat, and use crafting skills to build items for others.

Life is Strange

(18+ years)

Players use the ability to rewind time to show kindness by saying and doing things that match the interests and feelings of the different students at their school.