Educational games are games designed to teach people, typically children, about a certain subject or help them learn a skill as they play. Sometimes this type of software is known as games edutainment because they combine education and entertainment.
This type of software aids the ‘normal’ learning process, either by helping the individual to absorb new information, or as a support for recalling information already learned. Educational programs, especially those for the youngest students, are often designed with the idea of ‘learn through play’. Many children are easily bored, and they are much more likely to be attentive if they find the activity or task to be enjoyable.
Linux has many attributes which make it an ideal platform to run educational games. This type of software typically runs perfectly well on older hardware. It makes little sense for an elementary school to purchase state-of-the-art computers, just so that the operating system (e.g. Windows 11) runs at a reasonable speed when the educational software itself is much less demanding. Moreover, as the vast majority of Linux distributions are available to download at no cost, parents and schools have more reason to provide a full complement of software and student learning materials even in these financially troubled times.
We have compiled a list of 10 high quality Linux educational games/suites that all have the virtue of being free to play. The selection is predominately aimed at a young target audience, but the software nevertheless offers a wide variety of learning experiences.
Here’s our recommendations captured in a legendary ratings chart.
Let’s explore the 10 open source educational games at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources. Help your children develop by combining learning and having fun at the same time.
|GCompris||Educational games for small children|
|Colobot||Educational game aiming to teach programming|
|Childsplay||Suite of educational games for young children|
|KDE Education Project||Educational applications from KDE|
|JClic||Create, play and evaluate multimedia educational activities|
|TuxMath||Math game for kids with Tux|
|Piano Booster||Boost your piano playing skills|
|Dr. Geo||Educational oriented interactive geometry|
|Omnitux||Educational activities based on multimedia elements|
|Tux Typing||Educational Typing Tutor Game Starring Tux, the Linux Penguin|
All articles in this series:
|Open Source Games|
|2D Shooter: Part 1, Part 2 - They are a subgenre of shooter game, which in turn is a type of action game. It’s difficult to exactly define which specific design elements make up a shooter game.|
|Action-Adventure - They combine core elements from both the action game and adventure game genres. Expect both your reflexes and problem-solving skills to be tested.|
|Arcade is a video game genre with a focus on gameplay rather than story or content. They reached their peak in the late 1970s and 1980s.|
|Board - This genre of game is a device of social interaction, they challenge the mind and, most importantly, they are great fun to play.|
|Card - They offer many positive attributes. They can improve mental skills, memory and logic. They can test your patience, help you focus, and are popular for all ages.|
|Chess: Apps, Chess Engines, Online Chess Clients - Chess is a recreational and competitive board game played between two players. It is a very popular game, played by millions across the world, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.|
|Educational - These games designed to teach people, typically children, about a certain subject or help them learn a skill as they play. They are sometimes known as games edutainment because they combine education and entertainment.|
|First-Person Shooter: Part 1, Part 2 - This is a computer game genre focused on guns and other weapon-based fighting using a first-person perspective. Fast and furious gameplay guaranteed.|
|Platform: Part 1, Part 2 - Subgenre of action games in which the core objective is to move the player character between points in a rendered environment. They are also known as jump 'n' run games.|
|Puzzle - They make up a broad genre of games that emphasize puzzle solving. The types of puzzles can test problem-solving skills, including logic, pattern recognition, sequence solving, spatial recognition, and word completion.|
|Racing - This is a video game genre in which the player participates in a racing competition. The most common types of sub-genres are arcade-style, simulation, futuristic and kart.|
|Real-Time Strategy - A time-based game which typically focuses on finding resources, managing resources, and building an empire. You can engage other players and make alliances, and find different ways to conquer foes.|
|Rhythm - Music-themed action video game that challenges a player's sense of rhythm. Games in the genre typically focus on dance or the simulated performance of musical instruments.|
|Roguelike - A subgenre of role-playing games characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, grid-based movement, and permanent death of the player character.|
|Role-Play: Part 1, Part 2- Players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. There are several forms of role-playing games.|
|Sandbox - This genre provides the player a great degree of creativity to interact with, usually without any predetermined goal, or alternatively with a goal that the player sets for themselves.|
|Simulation - A simulation video game describes a diverse category of video games, generally designed to closely simulate real world activities. These games do not necessarily offer entertainment, at least not primarily.|
|Sports is a video game genre that simulates the practice of sports such as football, golf, pool. and more.|
|Text Based: Part 1, Part 2 - These games often receive little coverage in the Linux press. However, there are some real ASCII gems out there waiting to be explored which are immensely addictive and great fun to play.|
|Turn-Based Strategy: Part 1, Part 2 - We examine games that require intelligence, and the ability to come up with an innovative plan that will leave the competition mesmerized. Players take turns when playing, strategically seeking to outsmart the enemy.
|Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.
There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.