The 6 best games about climate change

Climate change is an important issue that needs to be addressed. One way to start on that is by educating more people about it, through video games.


Climate change is a grave and concerning issue that doesn't get as much attention as it should. Although we frequently hear about its effects, it isn't only after a disaster resulting from it that we learn of the potential consequences of letting the environment go to waste.

Think Blue Planet, but in video game form. That's what you get with Beyond Blue.

So, how do we change this?

One way of educating audiences on environmental issues is to find an interesting medium. For many people, this is video games.

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Video games have universal appeal. Everyone plays them, both young and old. They've also been used as a form of education many times previously, which is why we're taking a look at some of the best games about climate change, that help you learn more about the environment and our roles in it, all the while letting you have a good time.

The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle Expansion

Yes. Those are solar panels and wind turbines on top of the roof.

Maxis' The Sims' games have occasionally dabbled in saving the environment and that sort of stuff, but not to this extent.

With the Eco Lifestyle expansion pick for The Sims 4, you can take your virtual eco-friendly ways to a whole other level, going as far as to build wind turbines to become self-sustaining and collecting dew to use for your morning showers.

While it is an atypical and goofy approach to sustainable living, the Eco Lifestyle expansion pack leaves a very timely message: we all play a role in saving the planet.

Beyond Blue

For a game, Beyond Blue takes you through a very intimate journey of the Earth's oceans.

There's something about underwater world settings that make them so captivating. It's as if it's a cheat code to drawing in the attention of gamers. This is probably why Beyond Blue makes for such an engaging experience and one that's also quite educational.

Whereas most games like Ghosts of Tsushima and The Last of Us transport you to a different time and place for a healthy dose of escapism, Beyond Blue takes you through a mesmerizing journey that will open your eyes to every terrible thing that's happening all around you.

As stressful as that might sound (and it is), the game does a masterful job of relaxing your senses with its non-commital gameplay that will quite literally let you swim your problems away.

Endling

We often only think about how climate change affects us. We rarely think about the other creatures that inhabit this earth. This is why it's so important to try and look through life from another perspective.

Endling is a good example of a game that lets you do this. In Endling, you take control of a mother fox who must protect and guide her cubs from other predators and the environment. It works similarly to RPGs where your cubs will evolve, grow, and learn. At the same time, Endling also shows how the modern world is affecting every other creature on this planet.

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The game addresses everything from intensive livestock farming to pollution on the oceans and rivers, as well as overpopulation, and of course, climate change. All of these issues are through the eyes of an innocent mother fox.

Bee Simulator

If nothing else, Bee Simulator is a good way to waste time.

Bee Simulator isn't one of the best games around. There's a reason why we didn't include it in our list of the best simulator games today. But, in the context of climate change, this RPG-like bee title is one of the best around.

Just make sure that you pay no mind to how it refers to bees gathering pollen to make honey. This isn't true. Bees gather nectar to make honey. The pollen transfer is more of a byproduct of the bees moving from one flower to another to gather nectar. It's more of something that benefits the plants, not the bees, which is something that the game gets so wrong.

Overall, Bee Simulator is a great family-friendly title with enough gameplay depth to be fun to play even for adults.

Eco

Eco is an ambitious action-adventure sandbox title that is essentially a civilization simulator. In this game, players have to collaborate in a shared online world where everything they do can potentially have a world-changing impact. Players can suggest laws and even enact them to see just how it affects the environment. This is all in the name of preventing an impending disaster.

Because of how central communication and working together is to Eco, there are a lot of lessons to be learned and picked up from it that can be applied in real life.

Plasticity

The sad part about Plasticity is that it is happening all around the globe right now.

What happens if the world doesn't curb is plastic consumption? This is what the puzzle platformer, Plasticity, aims to answer.

The free title, which was developed by USC Games Program students, is set in a plastic-filled world. Your goal is to try and save it as a bright young girl named Noa. You'll guide her through every decision, regardless of whether it will have good or bad consequences. The game features a very real depiction of how you can't backtrack after making certain decisions. Yet, even so, you'll have to push through because you're the only one who can save the environment.

There's not much content in Plasticity. It's less than an hour long. However, it accomplishes something that most games that are far longer never do.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.