Last-Minute Gift: Video Games That Improve Decision-Making

Triple Town is among the best mobile games that improve decision-making skills

The planning and quick thinking kids need to in the irresistibly adorable Triple Town makes it a great game for improving decision making skills

Making good decisions is a timeless skill. But especially in the 21st century, decision-making is often far more important than academic grades or SAT scores in determining success, happiness in relationships, and job satisfaction.

Video games are fertile ground for practicing these decision-making skills, providing players with opportunities to learn from both success and failure in a low-risk setting. Many of the best video games require planning, metacognitive, and cognitive flexibility skills, all core components of making good decisions. You may already have video games on your Christmas 2015 list, and we’re getting down to the wire. What better last-minute gift to give your child than games that improve decision-making?

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is the newest game from Blizzard, makers of World of Warcraft. It’s an online multi-player game that uses the kind of trading card model as Magic: The Gathering. Kids will exercise flexibility and focus as they plan and execute combat strategies. The app is free, but purchase of additional card packs (with an average cost of $1.50) is inevitable. It’s affordable considering the price of most current console and PC games, and they’ll get hours of fun and the added benefit of having something to play and talk about with their peers.

Star Wars Battlefront – Star Wars is at peak popularity, and this addition to the video game universe broke digital download records. Aside from the sheer size and beauty of the game itself, Star Wars Battlefront tests players’ self-control, self-awareness, and flexibility as they face swarms of Stormtroopers in survival mode or join a team of up to 20 players online to explore and conquer Endor, Hoth, Tatooine, and other planets. Star Wars Battlefront is easily one of the best games that improve decision-making this Christmas 2015.

Triple Town is a puzzle game for ages 6 and older that challenges players to build a village one random item at a time, using a match-three (or more) approach similar to Bejeweled. Simply placing objects willy-nilly in the village will fill the board up quickly and waste a player’s limited turns without netting many points. By resisting that impulse, and planning out moves, a player tallies up more points, and thus more coins to trade for extra objects or playtime. This exercise of planning and self-control skills makes Triple Town an excellent game for improving decision-making skills.

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Thomas Was Alone Once a browser game with a cult following, Thomas Was Alone is now an incredibly popular game that can be played on a variety of platforms. Your child will practice important self-awareness and flexibility skills as they follow a team of newly-sentient rectangular AIs who are attempting to escape from the computer. Unique graphics and gameplay and a dry-humorous narrator earn Thomas Was Alone a spot among the best games that improve decision-making skills.

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