Ereading Games, or Educational Reading Games, are free education games designed to help people learn literacy skills through the engaging medium of video games. We’ve spoken before about the power of using games to teach children, it’s particularly useful for children who otherwise find it difficult to focus such as those with ADHD as games help maintain that attention in a way other mediums do not.
As such, Ereading games are popular among teachers and parents who are looking for a more engaging way of teaching children reading skills and the fact these free resources are available for all is very useful. As these games don’t have the big marketing budgets of mainstream games they aren’t as easy to find, so we cover some of the best resources out there that you can use.
Free Ereading Games
Roomrecess.com is a great collection of educational games including, in this case reading games. With a huge variety of games that cover a wide range of game genres recognisable to the old 16 bit genre of video games.
Pbskids.org also has a large selection of educational games on their website, including a large number of reading learning games that features famous characters and also have consistency across the games, making it easy to go from one to the next one. You can also break it down further by category, such as vocabulary based games.
Context Clues Climber
Context Clues Climber is a fairly basic platforming game that many older gamers will be more than familiar with, but it has a twist. Each time the player takes damage, such as falling on spikes, rather than lose health they have to answer a vocabulary question to continue. As the name suggests, the questions are about learning more complicated words be interpreting the context in which they are used.
The power of this Ereading game is that the player is that it works in the same way that addictive mobile games make their money. The player is enjoying the game and wants to continue, so are willing to engage with the thing that is limiting play. For mobile games that’s paying more money, in Context Clues Climber it’s learning how to learn new words contextually.
Viewpoint Pilot works very similar to Context Clues Climber (and is made by the same people) except it encompasses a different genre of game and a different area of learning. Viewpoint Pilot is a classic shoot ’em up style game which is, unfortunately, a bit basic, but the style of game works great for this type of learning game. The gameplay loop is interesting and it’s only a matter of time before you start taking hits and needing to answer questions.
The questions in this game are all based around understanding viewports and these questions get harder as they ascend through the levels, meaning their knowledge increases as their gameplay skill increases.
Genre Pirahna is another Ereading game from the same developer but is more unique and polished than some of the others. You play a fish avoiding the perils of the sea while making your way towards your objective. The controls are vaguely reminiscent of Flappy Bird, where the fish slowly sinks and you keep ‘jumping’ him upwards. However, you can move freely side to side and touch walls without losing, so it’s nowhere near as punishing and much more relaxing.
The questions this time around are all about literary genres. Helping kids to differentiate genres and be able to identify the genre of a story contextually based on their understanding of a short description of the story.
Super Grammar Ninja
Another game from the minds of ereading.com, Super Grammar Ninja is a platforming action game when you play a sliding, wall running ninja, swinging his sword to defeat his enemies. Like the other ereading games, if you take damage you have to answer a question, and if you get it wrong that you take damage. In this game, the questions are all about grammar.
Poetry cat is very similar to Super Grammar Ninja in many ways when it comes to gameplay. In this ereading game you play a wall-climbing cat in search of the balls of yarn. When taking damage from enemies you answer questions on poetry and the literary devices commonly used within them.
Silent Magic E
Silent Magic E is a basic game that works similarly to flashcards, to keep learning small and easy to digest, but is placed within the framework of a game to help kids engage with it more freely. It’s a free sample for a much larger learning bundle so if you find kids engage with this well there is a wealth of similar games you can get hold of.
Whilst not strictly a single game, Education.com has a wide variety of small educational games which also includes a long list of reading games, much too many to list here. A lot of these experiences are shorter and more focused, so that might work better for some kids. The games are more focused on the core elements of learning, so it doesn’t utilize the main gameplay loop that some of the others do to draw in the user, but it means the learning is much more a key component.
Paid Ereading Games
Orton-Gillingham Based Fluency Fun
The Uh-Oh Bundle is a collection of flashcard style games covering 34 different areas of literacy learning. We mentioned a free version of one of these game above which you can use as a trial version to see if this kind of game works for your children and if it does you can purchase the whole set knowing that it will go down well.
I Can Read! Simple Sentences
I Can Read! Simple Sentences is another bundle of games that are designed to be used straight out of the box to help kids with fluency and confidence when it comes to learning simple sentences. It’s reasonably priced for a decent amount of content that will help kids really get to grips with the basics of sentence construction.