8 Best Online Educational Game Sites & Apps for Adults

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Looking for games that entertain you and help you learn something at the same time?

These days, there are more choices than ever when it comes to digital games. Many are designed purely for entertainment, and they are a welcome diversion when we’re bored.

However, there are also games that capture your attention for their entertainment value and also provide learning potential at the same time.

Today, we will look at nine apps and sites that provide the best educational games for adults. These apps, by virtue of their design, exercise our brains and enhance our learning.

Some of these apps challenge our skills in academic subjects. Meanwhile, others improve our problem-solving skills, attention to detail, negotiating skills, and concentration and focus.

In this collection, you’ll find:

  • Role-playing games
  • Games that give back to charity as you play
  • Games that let you explore fantastic realms that become richer through your participation in the gameplay

Let’s check them out!

1. EVE Echoes

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For iOS | For Android

EVE Echoes is the mobile spinoff of the massive multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMO) Eve Online, one of the original MMOs released in 2003.

EVE Echoes brings the EVE Online experience to mobile devices. It lets players pave their own paths across a sandbox environment that takes the shape of a sci-fi universe called “New Eden.” Gameplay is set in 23341 A.D.

In this game, players choose one of the four character races: Caldari, Minmatar, Gallente, and Amar. Through their characters, players engage in trade, mining of resources, exploration, manufacture, piracy, and combat.

Play style can be player versus environment (PvE) or player versus player (PvP).

Some of the skills you’ll learn include:

  • Strategy. This game exercises your creativity and calculation skills, whether you’re building your first ship, mining for resources, or trading with others for stuff you need.
  • Coping with failure. In this game, failure is possible, especially if the player engages in combat. Failing can mean losing a ship in battle, and there is no reset button.
  • Teamwork. Although gameplay can be PvE or PvP, if players join an alliance, they must learn how to get along with other members of that alliance.
  • Management.Learn how to manage your resources, skills, and alliances.

In-app purchases apply, starting at $1.00.

2. Portal

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For Android

Your main objective in this game is to solve problems (mainly puzzles) in a 3D environment. It exercises your problem solving skills and improves your critical thinking ability.

As the main character in this game, you interact with the game world through a portal device that allows you to move through walls, floors, and ceilings.

In addition to improving critical thinking and problem solving skills, this game encourages the use of physics principles and some math skills when solving the puzzles.

Portal for Android can be played using a controller and runs on any of the following devices: SHIELD Tablet, SHIELD Android TV, and NVIDIA SHIELD portable.

The game costs $9.99.

3. Two Dots

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For iOS | For Android

Test your strategy skills with this simple yet well-crafted game.

In Two Dots, the main objective is to clear a certain number of dots to move to the next level. This is done by connecting at least two dots of matching color on the display board.

Forming squares of dots clears all dots of the same color from the board.

The game doesn’t give players an entirely clear board for every level. There are different obstacles that block you from forming squares of dots. Each type of obstacle comes with its own level of difficulty.

Some of these obstacles include:

  • Fire
  • Trains
  • Magnets
  • Monster dots

As an additional challenge (and as a failsafe to prevent excessive use of the game), players get only five lives per day. A single regeneration takes 20 minutes.

Two Dots is available for free for both Android and iOS.

4. Energy: Anti Stress Loops

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For iOS | For Android

If you are looking for a relaxing game that also:

Then Energy is worth a try.

The goal of the game is to connect circuits to make every light shine. You tap on the wires to rotate them into the right orientation to create a circuit that lights up the bulbs.

The puzzles get more challenging as you play higher levels.

Soothing music plays in the background while you’re playing, enhancing your immersive experience.

The game is available for free. A full, ad-free version starts at $2.99.

5. Duolingo

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For iOS | For Android

Studies have shown that using games for learning has positive results on lesson retention and overall academic performance.

Wanna learn something new? How about learning a new language?

You can do this through fun and easy games with Duolingo. The app uses a gamified approach to lessons.

It is often difficult to motivate ourselves to learn something, especially something as complicated as a foreign language. However, the gamification of Duolingo helps keep things fun and engaging for users.

This language learning app currently has 98 language courses. You can learn Korean, Dutch, Japanese, Esperanto, Finnish, and more.

Duolingo is free to download. Duolingo Plus is the premium version, with prices starting at $9.99.

6. Spot the Difference (MentalUP)

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For iOS | For Android

Some adults might find that their visual attention is no longer as agile as when they were younger. Aging is usually a contributing factor to this phenomenon.

Although MentalUP is generally advertised as a learning app for kids, the game developers designed it specifically for adults to exercise and strengthen visual attention and other vision-related skills. It also helps improve attention to detail and comparison skills.

In this game, you are presented with a grid of similar-looking objects. However, one of the objects is slightly different from the rest. Your goal is to find it before the time is up.

The game becomes more difficult as you progress through the levels.

A performance report is provided for exercises you finish successfully.

The MentalUP app, with its host of games (including Spot the Difference) is free to download. Premium versions are available, starting at $13.99.

7. Elevate

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For iOS | For Android

Here’s another app that uses a gamified approach to learning.

You can use this app to train in different areas of learning. Elevate is a game-based brain training platform that helps improve your skills in:

Currently, there are over 35 games covering these subjects.

In addition to improving your learning skills in these four subjects, using the app also improves cognition, memory, and concentration.

The app is free to download. A premium subscription is available, starting at $4.99.

8. A Tale in the Desert

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If you’re looking for an MMO that does not include combat, why not try A Tale in the Desert (ATITD)?

This history-focused, online MMO features social challenges, politics, trade, and crafts set in the Egyptian desert during the time of the pharaohs.

Trade whatever resources you are able to gather in exchange for mastering skills at schools/universities.

The game is big on letting your character learn skills that help build better machines and infrastructure in the desert landscape.

When in school, you can work with friends or by yourself to pass tests (yes!) in the following disciplines:

  • Architecture
  • Leadership
  • Harmony
  • Worship
  • Thought
  • Body
  • Art

Passing the tests boosts your stats in the game.

Subscription costs for ATITD are as follows:

  • Monthly – $11.95
  • 6 months – $70.00
  • 12 months – $130.00 (includes 6 month bonuses)
  • Full tale – $159.95 (includes 12 month bonuses)

Final Thoughts on Educational Games for Adults

Games are not just a way to wile away the time—they can also be effective tools for helping people learn better.

Difficult concepts can be presented in game format, enhancing engagement and improving lesson retention.

If you can’t get enough of games, how about using gamified apps to improve your life? Check out this post to find out which gamification apps are worth installing on your phone.

Meanwhile, if you need other ideas for things to do when bored, this post has over 200 activity suggestions.

And if you're looking for other useful apps to help improve your life, be sure to check out these articles:

Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.

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