German Games to Take Your Language Learning to the Next Level [2023 Update]
Anyone can get into gaming.
And when you play German games specifically designed for language learners, you have so much fun that you don’t realize you’re actually in a lesson!
These tools won’t only boost your awareness of German culture. Used right, they can also spruce up your learning experience and make it more interesting.
- 1. German-Games.net
- 2. Der Die Das
- 3. Quizlet
- 4. Stadt Land Fluss – Wörterspiel
- 5. Kreuzworträtsel-online.com
- 6. Digital Dialects
- 7. Polly Lingual
- 8. Hello-World
- 9. Soft Schools
- Why Are German Games So Awesome for Learning?
Aimed mainly at beginners, German-Games.net has some of the more comprehensive games on this list.
The site asks you to select the activity and topic you’d like to cover (e.g., means of transportation, hair color and styles). Then you choose whether you’d like a game, tutorial or test.
You can find classic games like The Frog Flies and Hangman. If you’re past the beginner level, you can also check out their intermediate topics.
Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have anything for advanced learners. But if you need a refresher on the basics, German-Games.net can help you out and let you have fun along the way!
2. Der Die Das
German is a gendered language, and it can be tricky to know when to use der, die or das. Luckily, this game has you covered! Although it’s designed for children, anyone of any age can use it to get their German articles straight.
The game has stages with six parts each. The first is a test where you have to match the icon with its corresponding noun and article. The next three parts will take you through five German nouns with masculine, feminine and neutral genders, respectively. The fifth is more challenging: You have to figure out on your own whether the nouns are masculine, feminine or neutral. The last part basically tests everything you’ve learned beforehand.
As you can see, the game gets increasingly challenging—but that’s where the fun is!
Quizlet isn’t strictly a gaming site. It’s more of a general resource for study tools like flashcards and quizzes. However, it does have matching games.
Basically, you have to drag German words or phrases to their English counterparts. Although the game is timed, you’re not really pressured to finish the game ASAP. The time only tells you how long it took you to identify the translation of each German word or phrase.
That said, the timed component might give you an incentive to do even better next time. A high replayability factor is a sign of a good game, after all.
4. Stadt Land Fluss – Wörterspiel
If you don’t like playing games solo, have your fellow German enthusiasts over and play a game of Stadt Land Fluss (literally “City Country River”).
The game goes like this: You’re given a random letter, from which you have to write a word that starts with that letter. As the name of the game implies, the word is usually a city, country or river, though you can make it more fun by adding in other categories. The winner is whoever forms the most words in the shortest amount of time.
Plus, you can pick up fancy rewards along the way! You can get skins, themes, different player modes and more.
No German games list would be complete without kreuzworträtsel (crossword puzzles).
To be sure, there are plenty of German crossword puzzles online. But what I like about the Kreuzworträtsel-online.com version is its no-frills feel.
When you play the game, it’s almost like you’re tearing out the crossword section of your (German) newspaper and scribbling words away, oblivious to the outside world. There aren’t any fancy graphics or distracting sound effects, which is a plus for me.
If you shell out a little extra, you can access their premium puzzles with additional images.
6. Digital Dialects
A great place to get your German gaming fix is the Digital Dialects website. You’ll find a ton of links on fun gaming topics such as phrases and greetings, numbers, colors, food, clothing and animals.
These highly visual games are designed for you to move through quickly. For example, one of the games covers animals, revealing images and vocab words for you to click and match with the right photos.
Another game has a list of German verbs you drag to the right translations. Although I’d say the advanced games are a little too basic, this is a wonderful site for beginners and intermediates.
7. Polly Lingual
The Polly Lingual site provides some of the more exciting games on the list—including Hangman, Whack-a-Word, Alphabet Soup and a Verb Conjugation Trainer. The games run smoothly in your browser (or your smartphone, if you choose to download the Android or iOS versions).
To sweeten the deal, the app tallies up points you accumulate along the way. Beginner, intermediate and advanced games are included, and you can play them solo or with a friend.
Of course, if you want to take a break from all that gaming for any reason, you can take advantage of more conventional learning features like review lists and bookmarked words.
Hello-World promises “Total immersion, Serious fun!” in its tagline. While the “total immersion” part is a bit debatable, I think the site delivers on the “fun” part.
Here, you can find a whole load of games for learners of all levels. There are children’s games, logic puzzles, balloon games, memory games and the like.
Even the sections that contain more conventional lessons (basic greetings, culture, worksheets) are fun to work with! They have interactive clips where you can push a button and listen in to brush up on your pronunciation.
9. Soft Schools
Three categories round out the Soft Schools gaming page, with matching, vocab and scatter games. The scatter games are the most interesting, allowing you to look through a jumbled-up group of words and match the English and German versions together. Although audio pronunciations aren’t available, the varying levels help you see how much you’ve improved.
Soft Schools offers the following categories: family, food, fruit, house, medicine, profession, sports, time, transport, vegetable, weather and numbers. I would argue that the hardest games you’re going to find here are at the intermediate level, but they come in handy for those trying to improve their vocabulary range. After all, it’s not that often you get to practice areas like medicine and sports.
Why Are German Games So Awesome for Learning?
- Games are fun. This is probably the main reason you’re playing games in the first place. Why go through the same flashcards again and again when you can up the ante with a memory game instead?
- Games teach you valuable skills. By playing games, you hone your problem-solving abilities and creativity.
- Games have an interactive component. Most German games force you to utilize many of your language skills—speaking, reading, typing and listening. This allows you to really strengthen the connections between what you’re learning and what you have in your working language memory.
- Games are immersive. Remember the last time you played a game? Whether you sat down for a game of Monopoly with your friends or tried to beat a complete stranger in chess online, some part of the experience took you away from the real world.
So there you have it! The above sites have what you need to indulge in a pleasurable world of German learning for hours.
If you’re looking for more immersive material, I recommend FluentU.
FluentU is one of the best websites and apps for learning German the way native speakers really use it. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Watch authentic media to simultaneously immerse yourself in the German language and build an understanding of the German culture.
By using real-life videos, the content is kept fresh and current. Topics cover a lot of ground as you can see here:
Vocabulary and phrases are learned with the help of interactive subtitles and full transcripts.
Hovering over or tapping on any word in the subtitles will automatically pause the video and instantly display its meaning. Interesting words you don’t know yet can be added to a to-learn list for later.
For every lesson, a list of vocabulary is provided for easy reference and bolstered with plenty of examples of how each word is used in a sentence.
Your existing knowledge is tested with the help of adaptive quizzes in which words are learned in context.
To keep things fresh, FluentU keeps track of the words you’re learning and recommends further lessons and videos based on what you've already studied.
This way, you have a truly personalized learning experience.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.