Best Tools to Make Online Games

Best Tools to Make Online Games

Creating online games for students is one of the best ways to motivate them to study. Building games turn students from content consumers into confident digital creators. They build games to “show what they know” about any topic. They build games to inform and persuade, and to tell their epic stories.

Game design and development builds art, math, and coding skills, and offers students an outlet to show what they know. These game-making apps, games, and websites are great examples of this, balancing the fun of play with the challenge of coding and design.

With these tools, students will embark on creative, energizing experiences that'll get them thinking in new, exciting ways. On this list, we've curated options for entry-level designers that ease kids into building stuff that's a blast to play.

We've also made sure to include tools that help students create games that feel authentic and that help students obtain skills they can use when they level up to more pro-grade software. 

Here’s a list of the tools you can use to start creating your game today.

1. TinyTap: Kids' Learning Games

TinyTap lets you create your own educational games in the web browser on your computer. You can make games that are perfectly tailored to your students' needs.

If you'd like some inspiration for creating your own TinyTap games, browse through the public gallery of teacher-created games. The gallery is organized according to age, topic, and skill. When you find a game that you like you can use it as is or copy it and customize it in your account.

TinyTap games can be shared with your students via Google Classroom and through the TinyTap platform. Additionally, you can link to the games in any LMS. Games can also be embedded into blog posts and websites.

Grades: Pre-K–5

Price: Free to try

2. Bloxels EDU

Bloxels EDU is the most intuitive platform for creating video games in the classroom. In the Bloxels app, students can create characters, art, animations, backgrounds and more to make games big and small. 

Students across K-12 use Bloxels to create characters, art, stories, and games to share with the world. In the EDU Hub, teachers can view student work, review and showcase their games and stories, and control sharing, arcade, and asset pack features.

Grades: 1–7

Price: Free to try, Paid

3. Unruly Splats

Plenty of tutorials and examples are available right from the app that can help get students coding competitive or cooperative games and activities. Creating games while stomping on Splats engages in ways traditional coding doesn't. 

The Splats app is a fun and easy to use. The block coding is all color coded and well organized, making it easy for students to learn, follow and have success with the coding and game.  The Splats are shown on the left hand side and when they run the program, they can test out the game they are creating.  

Grades: 1–8

Price: Contact for pricing

4. The Infinite Arcade by Tinybop

The Infinite Arcade by Tinybop is a video-game-design app. Kids can create, play, and modify their own arcade-style games. If they want someone else to play the game they designed, kids must share the device. 

More than simple arcade fun, this game creator is a powerful learning tool because kids define problems, develop possible solutions, test the game, and then come back to make improvements.

Grades: 2–6

Price: $3.99

5. Scratch

Scratch is a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations. Students will learn to code and create their own interactive stories, games, and animations with Scratch.

With a simple drag-and-drop interface and endless possibilities, Scratch is perfect for beginners and advanced programmers alike. 

Grades: 2–12

Price: Free

6. Gamestar Mechanic

Engaging manga-themed quest to become a game designer

Bottom line: Game design quests have everything students want but perhaps not everything teachers need.

Grades: 3–8 Price: Free to try

7. Minecraft

Spiraling sandbox of adventure and creation gets kids to dig deep

Bottom line: An irresistible and seemingly limitless incubator for 21st-century skills that, with a little guidance, can chart new courses for learning.

Grades: 3–12 Price: Paid

8. Roblox

Popular game development platform has classroom potential, pitfalls

Bottom line: Creating games for an authentic audience encourages coding and design skills, but real risks require extra caution.

Grades: 3–12 Price: Free, Paid

9. Codesters

Differentiated text-based coding makes for truly authentic experiences

Bottom line: The well-designed Python lessons and user interface make this a great choice for serious coding instruction.

Grades: 5–8 Price: Free to try

10. Gamefroot

Fun and challenging platform for aspiring game designers

Bottom line: A great launchpad for students who love games and code.

Grades: 4–12 Price: Free

11. LittleBigPlanet 2

Accessible yet deep game creator will dazzle and challenge

Bottom line: A deeply charming experience for teachers and students interested in pushing boundaries, making things, and participating in a healthy community focused on boundless creativity.

Grades: 4–12 Price: $19.99

12. Ready Maker

Fun and easy game design yields surprisingly complex creations

Bottom line: With teacher support, a creative introduction to coding and game design.

Grades: 4–12 Price: Free, Paid

13. Swift Playgrounds

Brilliantly designed iOS coding app great for newbies or pros

Bottom line: If you have iPads or Macs, this is an inspired choice for learning how to create and tweak code.

Grades: 4–12 Price: Free

14. Wick Editor

Design interactive games and animations with creative online platform

Bottom line: A great starting place for aspiring creators to design and share engaging content.

Grades: 4–12 Price: Free

15. LearnToMod

Modify Minecraft with this fun, applied use of coding

Bottom line: For students who already know and love Minecraft, this is a valuable way to hook students into coding.

Grades: 5–12 Price: Paid

16. Stencyl

Code-free game development tool helps kids program and publish

Bottom line: It ups the sophistication of building block coding by connecting student work to major publishing platforms.

Grades: 5–12 Price: Free, Paid

17. Construct 3

Ideal 2D game builder supports students to create, innovate

Bottom line: Limitless game options, reasonable cost, and extensive support make this programming environment perfect for an educational setting.

Grades: 6–12 Price: Free to try

18. micro:bit

Code games or fun displays with mini piece of hardware

Bottom line: This versatile tool for learning how to program with blocks or text is a nice fit for STEM classes and clubs.

Grades: 6–12 Price: Free, Paid

19. Textadventures.co.uk

Play or design text adventures, but creation can get technical

Bottom line: Text adventures can be a blast to play and make, but the Quest game-making tool, while offering some decent support, can be tough to use effectively without coding experience.

Grades: 6–12 Price: Free

20. Unity Learn

Complete game creation curriculum gives students real-world experience

Bottom line: It's a slick, fun, and effective way to get students building games right away, with plenty of room for depth.

Grades: 6–12 Price: Free

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