Remember when you were a kid and playing a game in class was the best part of your day at school?
Looking back as adults, most of us finally understand that educational games were definitely used to get our young minds focused on learning.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? Not every child had the type of mind to sit still, listen to a lecture and fill out worksheets!
Educational games helped those who were more hands-on get the most out of their education.
It’s no different now than it was back then. If you had a hands-on learning style as a child, you’ll probably have a hands-on mind forever.
So why not use Chinese learning games to aid you on your language-learning journey?
How Can These Chinese Learning Games Improve My Language Skills?
Don’t get us wrong, studying with textbooks and worksheets is useful! But it can get boring to learn exclusively with traditional resources.
Throwing in a Chinese learning game or two can ensure you stay entertained while taking in new information. If you’re having fun, you’re probably more likely to stick to your studying routine!
All of the games on this list are designed to help learners improve their Chinese reading, listening, writing and speaking skills. No stone is left unturned with these super useful Chinese learning games, so you know you’re covering all the necessary linguistic bases while playing them.
Let the Games Begin! 9 Chinese Learning Games for All Levels of Learners
Chinese Learning Games for Beginners
These resources focus on helping newbies master vocabulary words, 拼音 (pīn yīn) — Chinese romanization, 汉字 (hàn zì) — Chinese characters and all of the basics of the Chinese language.
Chinese Greetings Memory Audio Game
This Flash game from Chinese-iLAB is a bit dated, but it’s still very useful for novice learners who are struggling to remember spoken Chinese vocabulary and phrases.
To play, select an audio clip from the top row of the castle. A Chinese word or phrase will play. Then, select an audio clip on the bottom row and an English phrase will play. The idea is to match the Chinese audio with its English definition. This is really helpful for beginners who want to improve their listening skills.
Website | iOS | Android
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
The material resembles a game in that you watch a video, then review interactive flashcards, then take a personalized quiz, then go back to the video… the material is ever-changing, so you won’t find yourself bored with studying Chinese!
You can even create your own flashcard sets to review vocab and play flashcard games you already know.
It’s an entertaining method to immerse yourself in Chinese the way native speakers really use it, while actively building your vocabulary.
Access the full FluentU video library on your web browser or, better yet, have fun learning on the go by downloading the app at the iTunes or Google Play store.
Chinese Word and Vocabulary Game
If you want a Chinese resource designed for your Android smartphone, look no further than this one! This word game includes thousands of Chinese vocabulary words, game mechanics that are challenging but fun to engage with and an offline option so you can save data while learning Chinese.
Match English definitions with their Chinese audio or hanzi to effectively memorize how Chinese words are spoken, written and read.
Chinese Learning Games for Intermediate Learners
When you’re definitely no longer a beginner but nowhere near an expert at Mandarin, these lessons will help you bridge that gap.
iOS | Android
If you appreciate clean and visually stimulating lessons, this is an app worth trying out. Infinite Chinese is unique in that you won’t be listening to or reading any English throughout the lessons. Rather, you’ll match written or spoken Chinese with images.
This is great for intermediate students who want to improve their fluency and learn Chinese natively through digital immersion.
The Magistrate’s Gallery
Are you somewhere between intermediate and advanced in your Mandarin studies? This game from Wordswing is designed just for you.
The Magistrate’s Gallery is a text-based mystery storytelling game. Do your best to comprehend the characters and audio for each chapter before moving on. If you come across an unfamiliar character, look it up or use context clues to figure out its meaning.
It’s vital to completely understand every line in this game in order to solve the mystery. This game also boasts 691 distinct Chinese characters that you’ll learn from playing.
Escape! Intermediate Chinese Text Game
Escape! is another fun, text-based adventure game from Wordswing. In this game, you have to figure out how to get out of a locked room and how you got there in the first place.
This game is different from The Magistrate’s Gallery in that you’ll be dealing exclusively with text, whereas The Magistrate’s Gallery also involves some audio components. Comprehension is key here, and you won’t be able to win the game unless you figure out the meaning of each and every hanzi. Escape! will introduce you to 411 vocabulary words, as well.
Chinese Learning Games for Advanced Learners
Are you an advanced learner who still wants to kick your fluency up a notch? Try out these awesome advanced games.
Influent is great for learners who are post-intermediate but unsure of which path to take for advanced learning. Influent is a fun, immersive Chinese learning game available for PC and designed to help you learn Chinese in a real-world setting.
When you find something in the game that you don’t know the proper Chinese word for, save it to your in-game flashcard list for future study.
Chinese in Flow
Website | Android
This advanced Chinese Flash game is based on vocabulary words from HSK 5 and 6, which are the highest levels of the Chinese Proficiency Exam. Beginners and intermediate students can also select HSK 1-4, but the advanced portion of this game is valuable for advanced learners trying to achieve the highest grade possible on the HSK.
To play Chinese in Flow, you’ll match the pinyin and English to the headlining hanzi. Work quickly, because if you don’t pick the right definition before the timer runs out, you lose!
Chinese Grammar Sentence Formation Matching Game
Chinese grammar and sentence structure nuances are definitely the most challenging aspect of Chinese, even if you’re a seasoned learner. This game seeks to help advanced students get the hang of word order in both basic and unique situations.
Simply organize each hanzi character in the correct order based on the English sentence you’re presented with. If you’re incorrect, the game will educate you on the proper sentence structure and why it’s organized in that particular way.
Learning Chinese can be difficult and even frustrating at times. Playing Chinese learning games here and there will surely make it a little more fun!
Em Casalena is a published author, freelance writer and music columnist. They write about a lot of stuff, from music to films to language.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Chinese with real-world videos.