Today, we highlight some great video games that encourage players to read, work with letters and comprehension in engaging ways.
Video games have significant benefits for children who are reluctant or struggling readers. They give them access to stories through interaction and world-building which they may not have been able to read in print. Video games also have benefits for families where parents may not be confident readers, meaning that sharing stories as a family is still accessible to all. The rise of video games on smartphones and tablets, as well as more affordable game consoles, has made the sharing of interactive stories easier.
Lil Gator (PEGI 3)
Lil Gator Game is an adventure set on an island playground where a young brother invents exciting fantasy adventures to try and get his older sister to play like they used to. You guide your waddling gator's unusual movement to help them explore the world as you bop cardboard baddies, climb mountain peaks, glide, fling and jump around. It's unlike other adventures because the world is hewn from child-like imagination. Rag-doll movements, cardboard enemies and homemade wooden swords are the order of the day.
Alephant is an abstract puzzle game where you combine Hebrew letters to create sounds. Like language, the game works on rules that appear arbitrary but are actually detailed and interwoven. It creates a unique cascading puzzle where one letter combination unlocks the next until each pair has made a sound and the level is complete.
Knights and Bikes (PEGI 7)
Knights And Bikes! is a hand-painted adventure in a fictional late-eighties British island. You work together as Nessa and Demelza to explore its coast on bikes to find treasure, mystery and trouble. There’s fighting with frisbees, water balloons, tape cassettes and puddle-stomping. And as you explore the island, you acquire new abilities. As the two heroes encounter an adult world, it’s their ingenuity, friendship and wide-eyed-wonder that guides the adventure.
Season: A Letter to the Future (PEGI 3)
Season: A Letter to the Future is a narrative adventure about a road trip as the weight of history turns. You play a young woman leaving a secluded community to explore the world for the first time. Your task is to collect artefacts, record sounds and take pictures to preserve memories before the mysterious cataclysm washes everything away.
Before Your Eyes (PEGI 12)
Before Your Eyes is a narrative game about an 11-year-old boy revisiting his life before "crossing over" to the other side. You play by exploring scenes that represent snapshots of his life. Unusually, you make choices and interact with the game by blinking your eyes (seen by your webcam or smartphone camera) rather than pressing a button. It uses this disarming interaction to intimately involve you in an emotional journey about the impossible expectations we place on ourselves and the regrets we carry with us.