Image 1 of 11
Bee Leader is an award-winning arcade game that became available for iOS, Microsoft, and Android a few years ago. You fly around the world as a bee and collect nectar, while avoiding bad weather and enemies. Its social cause is the effects of climate change on bee populations and honey supplies.
The Migrant Trail
The Migrant Trail was released in early 2014. It is a single-player simulation game that examines the life of migrants and border patrol agents on the US-Mexico border. It’s styled after the Oregon Trail, the well-known 90s computer game. This game is part of the film The Undocumented‘s media campaign.
Half the Sky Movement: The Game
Half the Sky is a book by journalists Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn that argues the oppression of women is the moral challenge of our time. It turned into a PBS documentary, nonprofit organization, and then, a Facebook game to raise awareness. Players help an Indian mother make decisions about caring for her family that lead her in different directions. This was a big movement for social cause gaming, particularly on social media networks.
This app’s message is about saving trees and stopping deforestation. It’s a simple game: Stop Orima from woodcutting, and help Arimo water trees so they can grow. Available for free for Android.
High School Story
This game allows users to create their own high school experience, including building the school, making the classes, starting relationships and organizing parties. After the founders heard teen suicide stories, however, they decided to add some anti-bullying storylines to it, to help teens realize they are not alone in their feelings and help them work through them using the game. Available for free for iOS and Android.
Pipe Trouble takes a new spin on the oil and gas industries. In this satirical game, the user has to build their own pipeline and try to balance the financial demands with the least amount of environmental impact. A gas company rep keeps track of the budget, and a local farmer gauges the impact on the community. Available for $0.99 on iOS and Android.
Back off Bullies
This is an Android app made to teach users about the consequences of cyberbullying. Help the Android battle his way past bullies and answer questions during the levels about when to talk to an adult when you become aware of cyberbullying. Available for free.
This game isn’t out yet, but there’s quite a bit of hype awaiting its arrival. It gives anyone the chance to organize, create, and host their own pride parade in their city. Atari actually created this social-sim game for tablets and smartphones.
Dumb Ways to Die
This consists of 15 mini games of various dumb ways to die, like getting eaten by a bear, using old medications, and setting your hair on fire. Dumb Ways To Die has a silly little song that gets stuck in your head, but the message is bigger — it started out as a PSA from Metro Trains Melbourne, which operates the railway netowork, to get Australians to be safer around trains. Available on Apple and Android for free.
Tampon Run is a mobile game created by high schoolers Sophie Houser and Andrea Gonzales to de-stigmatize periods. It’s an 8-bit game where you shoot tampons at period shamers, boys who yell crude things about menstruation and make the subject taboo. The girls initially created the game with Girls Who Code.
Sidekick Cycle is for iOS, and it’s a downhill biking game where you brave hazardous terrain to deliver bikes to kids in need. The best part is, when you make an in-app purchase, the Global Gaming Initiative helps deliver bikes to disadvantaged children.