Top Pick

Great Games That Teach Strategy

Strategy games involve a player whose independent decision-making skills determine the outcome. As students play and reflect on their choices, their ability to solve large and complex problems -- as well as think critically from multiple angles -- will increase. The beauty of strategy games is that they can built around many subjects; from chess to coding to building new civilizations, these great games will keep students on their toes.

Economics, Civics, and History

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
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
SimCity Publisher: Electronic Arts
Exciting city simulator great for online play
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price $59.99
Platforms Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Publisher: 2K Games
Best entry in classic strategy series might not be best for classrooms
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price $59.99
Platforms Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Offworld Trading Company Publisher: Stardock
Rare, combat-free strategy game focused on trade, finance
Grades 8-12
Type Game
Price $39.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Democracy 3 Publisher: Positech Games
Nuanced political sim about the balancing act of government
Grades 9-12
Type Game
Price $24.95 individual; $99.95 classroom
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

Cork The Volcano - Puzzlets Publisher: Digital Dream Labs LLC
Fun elementary coding through hands-on puzzle tiles
Grades K-5
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Busy Water Publisher: EDOKI ACADEMY
Solve, create, and share puzzles that gush with STEM learning
Grades 1-5
Type App
Price $3.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! Publisher: GlassLab
Classic city building game tuned to teachers' needs
Grades 5-8
Type Game
Price $19.99 individual; $49.99 to $649.99 license packs
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 3
Habitactics Publisher: Amplify Education
Keep your ecosystem from crashing in this addictive puzzle game
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Paid
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
FTL: Faster Than Light Publisher: Subset Games
Failure is frequent and fun in this strategic starship sim
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price $9.99
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Stop Disasters! Publisher: United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Slick sim explores global natural disasters
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4