Games That Help Kids Think Critically

When gamers pick up a controller, they're frequently placed in the role of the hero or the protagonist that always wins. But that doesn't always challenge them to think critically or examine all sides of a situation rationally. In fact, what can help some incredible games and apps stand out from other titles is that they don't simply ask kids for RIGHT or WRONG answers. Instead, they encourage them to experiment and consider the shades of gray in problems. Players interested in testing their emotional responses may want to check out our list of the Best Empathy Games, Apps, and Websites as well.

Tozzle - Toddler's favorite puzzle Poster Image
APP

Tozzle - Toddler's favorite puzzle

age 2+

Drag-and-drop shape puzzles made especially for toddlers.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2010)
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Montessori Geometry - Recognize and learn shapes Poster Image
APP

Montessori Geometry - Recognize and learn shapes

age 5+

Amazing starter geometry app is fun and comprehensive.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2012)
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BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! Poster Image
GAME

BoxBoy! + BoxGirl!

age 6+

Think outside the box with this charming, fun puzzler.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (2019)
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Busy Water Poster Image
APP

Busy Water

age 6+

Solve and create puzzles that gush with STEM learning.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2016)
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Super Mario Maker 2 Poster Image
GAME

Super Mario Maker 2

age 6+

Fun, accessible editing tools expose kids to game design.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (2019)
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The Last Campfire Poster Image
GAME

The Last Campfire

age 9+

Utterly charming, brilliantly made puzzle game.

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Mini Metro Poster Image
GAME

Mini Metro

age 7+

Mass transit simulator is simple, marvelous, hard to master.

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, Windows (2018)
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Mystery Math Town Poster Image
APP

Mystery Math Town

age 7+

Great math practice with fun story, entertaining characters.

Devices: iPad (2013)
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Savings Spree Poster Image
APP

Savings Spree

age 7+

Kids learn financial literacy through game-show action.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2011)
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biped Poster Image
GAME

biped

age 8+

Co-op puzzler is violence-free and promotes teamwork.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows (2020)
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BrainPOP Featured Movie Poster Image
APP

BrainPOP Featured Movie

age 8+

Daily films from educational group provide tons of learning.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Windows app (2011)
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Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics Poster Image
GAME

Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics

age 8+

Collection of classics promotes friendly social experiences.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (2020)
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Good Job! Poster Image
GAME

Good Job!

age 8+

Office-themed puzzler rewards creative and logical thinking.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (2020)
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Lumines Remastered Poster Image
GAME

Lumines Remastered

age 8+

Classic puzzle game buzzes with new immersive play feature.

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Maggie's Earth Adventures Poster Image
WEBSITE

Maggie's Earth Adventures

age 8+

Save the planet with these terrific learning activities.

URL: http://www.missmaggie.org/ (2013)
Moving Out Poster Image
GAME

Moving Out

age 8+

Fun co-op sim is appropriate for all ages, skill levels.

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Roundguard Poster Image
GAME

Roundguard

age 8+

Clever pinball-esque puzzler has a bit of mild combat.

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The Path of Motus Poster Image
GAME

The Path of Motus

age 8+

Adventure tackles bullying with positivity and mild combat.

Platforms: Windows (2018)
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Untitled Goose Game Poster Image
GAME

Untitled Goose Game

age 8+

Don't let your goose get cooked in feathered fun puzzler.

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, Windows (2019)
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Wiseland Poster Image
APP

Wiseland

age 8+

Journey to explore big questions only gets you so far.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2017)
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