Top Pick

Games for Building Decision-Making Skills

These are some of the best games for improving students' decision-making and problem-solving skills, and should help you find the best decision-making game for your classroom. Decision-making is at the foundation of social and emotional learning, and is key to success in school and life. These games place students in a variety of interesting and difficult scenarios that get them thinking through decisions, seeing the consequences, and learning management and responsibility. They'll be navigating political dilemmas, selecting between various ethical arguments, even making strategic city- and world-building choices.

Quandary Publisher: Learning Games Network
Slick but dialogue heavy ethics game teaches students to make tough decisions
Grades 2-8
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
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Teachers say
The Oregon Trail Publisher: Gameloft
Strong pioneer-simulation game with secondary emphasis on history
Grades 4-8
Type App
Price $.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire
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Teachers say
Hall of Heroes Visit Website: https://www.centervention.com/hall-of-heroes/
Responsive game helps students prepare for transition to middle school
Grades 5-8
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
iCivics Visit Website: http://www.icivics.org/
Exceptionally well-designed games, lesson plans demystify government
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
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Teachers say
Sid Meier's Civilization V Publisher: 2K Games
Legendary strategy game is a hit with history buffs in school and out
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price $29.99
Platforms Windows
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Teachers say
SimCity Publisher: Electronic Arts
Exciting city simulator great for online play
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price $59.99
Platforms Windows
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Teachers say
Spent Publisher: McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham
Provocative, first-person look at poverty builds empathy
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
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Teachers say
Political Animals Publisher: Positech Games
Charming political campaign sim mixes data analysis and civics
Grades 8-12
Type Game
Price $14.99
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated
Democracy 3 Publisher: Positech Games
Nuanced political sim about the balancing act of government
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price Paid
Platforms iPhone, Linux, Mac, Windows
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Teachers say
Papers, Please Publisher: 3909
Mature immigration game forces tough ethical choices
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price $9.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
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Teachers say
Peacemaker Publisher: Impact Games
Compelling test of kids' empathy and problem-solving skills
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
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Teachers say
This War of Mine Publisher: 11-Bit Studios
Strategy game offers superb, mature take on war and civilian survival
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price $19.99
Platforms Mac, PS4, Windows, Xbox One
Common Sense says
Teachers say Not Yet Rated