Environmental Games That Are *Actually* Fun
Having a game shelf has always been an essential part of any home that I have lived in, and the past few years I have been sneaking eco-themed games in! For my first article back since graduating college, I wanted to share my game list with all of you to add a little bit of environmental nerdiness into your lives too.
Of course, getting a secondhand game will be the more sustainable option. But I am also a huge supporter of learning and engaging with environmental information to become a better activist in life. Plus, these games are fun and make great gifts that help people become more connected with the earth!
Card and Board Games:
*Ecologies is the first game that I bought that was environment related, and it is such a beautiful and interesting game. You build and maintain food webs in diverse biomes around the world, and gain unique rewards when your ecosystem is healthy and balanced in the face of competition.
*Wingspan is a card-driven board game where players try to attract optimal birds to different ecosystems that you create and maintain against competition.
*Earthopoly is a spin on traditional Monopoly, where players buy properties and collect carbon credits, then trade them for clean air. While playing, you learn about the planet and even pick up green tips from each deed card. The game pieces are made of natural materials and are recyclable, and the game is printed with soy-based ink!
*Yahtzee National Parks is a perfect travel game to have in your arsenal. The game dice are themed with pine trees, deer, a hiker, binoculars, and a canoe. The game comes with a little booklet that includes information on U.S. National Parks, and a portion of each sale goes to the National Parks Foundation!
*Bicycle Eco Edition playing cards are printed with vegetable-based inks, laminated with a starch-based glue, can be recycled, and are made in the U.S.A! They also have a version of the cards made entirely from hemp, which is even more sustainable in the long run.
*Go to a thrift store and search their game aisle to divert games from the landfill!
*Photosynthesis is a board game with one main goal: to grow trees using sunlight. The sun travels around the board, and the bigger your tree, the more light points it collects. This game can get as competitive as you make it, while being beautiful and fun at the same time!
*Uno Wilderness is a great compact game that is fun and engaging for all ages. It is the same Uno game that we know and love, just with beautiful wilderness photos on the cards!
Online Games and Video Games:
*Wildverse is a mobile wildlife game. Working with scientists, you’ll help to conserve the apes through various missions, such as looking for tracks and poo, and finding out what food the apes have been eating. This is less of a competitive game, and more of an exploring a different career field type simulation that is engaging and interesting.
*In the online game Bee Simulator, you can explore the world of a honeybee. Born to a hive in a world inspired by New York’s Central Park, you’ll gradually learn how to fly, collect pollen, help other bees, dodge spider webs, and even how to fight wasps! After playing this game, I can guarantee you will never look at pollinators the same again.
*Beyond Blue is a marine science-forward game that includes audio playback experiments, collecting DNA samples and using UV light on sharks, all accompanied by interesting facts.
*Plasticity is a choose-your-own-adventure about a plastic-ridden world and the choices you make to save it. Every one of your actions dynamically change both the game play and the story.
*Never Alone is an atmospheric puzzle platformer, you play as the young Iñupiaq girl Nuna and her Arctic fox. Together you solve puzzles that swap control between Nuna and the fox. The game was built in partnership with the Alaska Native community, it delves deep into the innate relationship the Iñupiaq people of Alaska share with the world around them.
*Eco is an online multiplayer survival game where players must build civilization using resources from an incredibly reactive ecosystem, and whatever actions the players take affects everything within the world.
What are some of your favorite games? I would love to keep growing this resource based on real feedback! Submit a message through the About page.