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Best Games for Perseverance

Some games are great at keeping players in the sweet spot between things that are too hard and too easy. And some games can challenge kids but keep them motivated and resilient, helping them build valuable, broadly applicable perseverance skills along the way. This list collects some of our favorite perseverance games that are tough but absorbing, giving kids the confidence to take on whatever comes their way.

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Minecraft: Education Edition

Stellar collaboration tools, controls make Minecraft classroom-ready

Bottom line: An excellent tool to engage students in learning, collaboration, and critical thinking is now more accessible than ever to teachers.

The Infinite Arcade by Tinybop

Simple game-design app has endless creative potential

Bottom line: Letting students design, play, improve, and share their own games opens up opportunities for learning potential in many subject areas.

Zoombinis

Classic logic puzzler gets a beautiful new look

Bottom line: Promote powerful thinking skills, resilience, and decision making through purely fun gameplay that will keep students begging for more.

GooseChase EDU

Digital scavenger hunts provide dynamic, fresh learning experiences

Bottom line: Students and teachers will enjoy the powerful learning of a modern scavenger hunt.

Minecraft

Spiraling sandbox of adventure and creation gets kids to dig deep

Bottom line: An irresistible and seemingly limitless incubator for 21st-century skills that, with a little guidance, can chart new courses for learning.

LittleBigPlanet 2

Accessible yet deep game creator will dazzle and challenge

Bottom line: A deeply charming experience for teachers and students interested in pushing boundaries, making things, and participating in a healthy community focused on boundless creativity.

Engare

Unique puzzle game's artistic geometry rewards and frustrates

Bottom line: Play for the surprising geometry and beautiful art; consult the web or just walk away for a while when stuck.

Epistory - Typing Chronicles

Practice typing by exploring and defending a world made of paper

Bottom line: Great for practicing touch-typing skills, this adventure game draws players in with a slowly revealed backstory.

FTL: Faster Than Light

Failure is frequent and fun in this strategic starship sim

Bottom line: This starship simulator isn’t easy, but gritty kids will learn from failure and practice systems thinking.

Human Resource Machine

Addictive, unique way to supplement coding instruction

Bottom line: A novel way to learn programming that will require student collaboration and extra adult support.

Papo & Yo

Powerful tale of alcoholism uses puzzles and metaphor to build empathy

Bottom line: A beautiful game that's sure to build students' empathy skills and provoke deep conversations about alcoholism and abuse as well as metaphor.

Tyto Ecology

Well-developed biome sim provides cheap, endless learning

Bottom line: This affordable ecosystem balancing game teaches life science skills while keeping students engaged.

Antichamber

Brain buster makes you think in four dimensions

Bottom line: The non-Euclidean puzzles are sure to blow students' minds, but the trickier puzzles will definitely frustrate some students.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Unique cooperative adventure with lasting social and emotional impact

Bottom line: With good support, an extremely powerful game to build empathy.

Portal 2 Puzzle Maker

Mind-bending level editor for beloved physics game

Bottom line: For STEAM educators with the right tech and know-how, it'd be puzzling not to use this tool.

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

Best entry in classic strategy series might not be best for classrooms

Bottom line: As with all games in this series, Civilization VI is a great learning experience with the right support, but older, cheaper versions may be more practical for classrooms.

Kerbal Space Program

Design and launch a rocket into space in realistic astrophysics sim

Bottom line: This accurate rocket sim encourages trial-and-error learning and makes for great (and often explosive) physics and engineering experiments.

This War of Mine

Strategy game offers superb, mature take on war and civilian survival

Bottom line: A stark portrayal of civilian life in a war-torn city that requires strategic thinking and invites repeated plays.

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