There’s a little bit of gamer in everyone nowadays.
The internet is full of fun games to be played, more than anyone can keep track of.
If you’ve ever spent an afternoon buried in an online quest, you know that many of these games can end up distracting you from stuff that you need to be doing.
But wait a second, don’t dismiss them as useless just yet!
If you choose the right ones, online games can actually be an effective way to brush up your language skills. They can take your Italian study routine and turn it around in a way that makes it more fresh and exciting.
Computer games are just as beloved in Italy as they are here, and as a result there are plenty of engaging online games to choose from, including several specifically made for language learners and others straight from the Boot.
We’ll show you a mix of language learning games and authentic Italian game sites to help get you fluent the fun way.
So don’t be afraid to let your inner gamer loose—it’s good for your language skills!
But Why Use Games to Learn Italian?
A fair question. Like we said, computer games have a bit of a bad rap as far as being productive goes. The key is to use them the right way.
For starters, you can pick up games especially created for language learners. Those games are made to help. You’ll be in a fun, engaging environment that’s designed to improve your language skills.
But you don’t have to avoid games made for Italian native speakers. Playing authentic, just-for-fun games from Italy can be a big boost to your progress. You’ll be immersing yourself in the language at an everyday level, absorbing Italian in ways you wouldn’t if you only relied on textbooks or formal classes.
Besides all that, games offer a great way to break up your study routine and have a little fun!
Sounds great, right? The next question is: where do you even find these games?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
This article is going to tip you off to a bunch of different spots around the internet where you can find easy, accessible Italian games to bring out your brain’s playful side.
6 Online Game Sites for Learning Italian the Fun Way
Disney Giochi (Disney Games)
Have you ever wanted to brush up on your Italian with Topolino? Actually, you might know him by a more familiar name: Mickey Mouse.
Disney’s Italian website has a wide variety of games available to play completely free. While these games are already fun, they also boast familiar characters who you can see in a whole new way when their stories are shown in Italian.
You’ll get a fair share of reading practice from the Italian text included in the titles and features in this game. Clicking around this highly visual website, you’ll practice using context clues to understand Italian terms and sentences. The game titles are usually pretty simple, so it doesn’t take much work to figure out what you’re getting into when you click on one.
Even if you’re a beginner, it shouldn’t be hard to have a good time with these games. Your best bet is to start with games whose titles you can understand, and work up as your skills grow. Consider it a ladder for your skills. As you learn, you can play more!
Using the Italian Disney website can also teach you a little bit about Italian culture and how pop culture translates there. Remember how we mentioned Topolino earlier? Did you also know that Donald Duck is called Paolino Paperino or that Goofy is Pippo?
The bonus is the more Italian you learn, the more you can understand. It’s a good way to practice and a solid motivator. Even if it’s just to figure out some game instructions, you’re still learning something new in the process.
There are lots of language apps on the market, but most of them tend to be pretty straightforward. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but we’re talking about games here. Some apps take a more creative approach to the language-learning process, and MindSnacks is one of them.
MindSnacks Italian is formatted in a cartoony, colorful style that can easily draw in any learner. Its lessons come in the form of nine catchy games, each aiming to teach Italian in different ways.
It gives you plenty of options, so you can go with the games that suit you the best and are the most fun to play. Your progress is measured with a cute little avatar who grows as you learn.
You’ll watch your character hatch from an egg and continue to develop alongside your language skills. It’s a neat motivator to keep you going, because you never know what’ll change next.
The app boasts over a thousand words and phrases to learn, so there’s lots to work with. You’ll start off with simple vocabulary—things like furniture and colors—but will also pick up important phrases and terms that are invaluable for everyday speaking. This includes things like how to talk about the weather or how to conjugate useful verbs.
It’s easy to pick up and put down, and you can take it with you anywhere as a mobile app, so get tapping!
FluentU is another entertaining Italian app with a unique take on language learning. It takes you through exercises with essential Italian words and phrases, pulled from videos originally made by and for native speakers.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons, as you can see here:
FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles.
Tap on any word to instantly see an image, in-context definition, example sentences and other videos in which the word is used.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.
Once you’ve watched a video, you can use FluentU’s quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
FluentU will even keep track of all the Italian words you’ve learned to recommend videos and ask you questions based on what you already know.
Plus, it’ll tell you exactly when it’s time for review. Now that’s a 100% personalized experience!
The best part? You can try FluentU for free with a 15-day trial.
Start using Fluent on the website, or better yet, download the app from the iTunes or Google Play store for iOS and Android devices. Even if you’re away from your computer or in the middle of your commute, you can quickly pick up where you left off and fit in some fun lessons at a pace that works for you.
Nickelodeon Giochi (Nickelodeon Games)
Like Disney, the children’s TV network Nickelodeon also has an Italian website with a bunch of easily-accessed games. They’re completely free to play and come from all sorts of genres to satisfy any preferences.
These games are geared toward children, though usually an older demographic than the Disney games, which can make them potentially more challenging.
These games are probably best for learners who are already in the thick of their studies and able to understand basic sentences. These games are primarily text-based, so they’ll both benefit and require some solid reading skills. In general these games might be best geared toward intermediate learners, though beginners shouldn’t struggle too much if they want to try something new.
Nickelodeon’s Italian website has a few extra benefits along the way. Not all learners may recognize these characters, especially if you’re an older learner, but this is a great way to learn as a family.
If you want to share your language study with your kids, younger siblings or other family, they’ll be excited to learn something new with characters that they might find familiar.
The website also has the bonus of clickable features that add to the website’s wacky tone, also in Italian. It’s definitely a fun way to pass some time while still learning.
Sometimes you just want to sit down and play a straightforward study game. We’ve got you covered for that, too.
Hello-World has plenty of Italian learning games to choose from, in a format that’s simple and easy to understand for even the most inexperienced beginner students. The games are laid out by genre with basic titles that you can jump into without fear. The selection includes puzzles, memory games, bingo and even just flash cards.
Alongside the games, however, are supplementary tools that you can use to sharpen your skills in different ways. The site also hosts Italian songs and cultural information, which can support important parts of language learning like vocabulary and immersion.
There’s also the conversation section, which has a large volume of different conversational examples that you can play out to help take on Italian practice in a fun, colorful way. It’s a very bare-bones approach that can be a great way to study when other unconventional methods seem like a bit too much.
Interesting name, right?
Boing is an Italian TV channel that caters to children and teens with a large library of programming, and their online game library matches up just fine. Boing’s website has a well-stocked selection of games, based both on original local programming and characters you might recognize, all formatted in everyday Italian.
This is another great site for practicing with kids, as it contains its fair share of games with familiar shows like “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Adventure Time.” It’s not all geared exclusively for younger generations, though. You might spot Bugs Bunny in the mix, too.
Boing is arguably one of the more immersive options on this list, as the games come directly from Italian-made media. Like Nickelodeon, you might want to be at a more intermediate level before tackling these games, as they use text-based instructions to play.
Some of them even have introductory comics that you’ll need to read to get the game! You’ll need to brush up your reading comprehension to play, and you’ll no-doubt pick up new skills along the way.
On top of all this, the game variety never lets you get bored. You can choose from puzzles, action games and lots of other types to suit your fancy. There’s something for everyone in this long list of titles, and they’re made for native Italian speakers, so you’re getting that same triple threat of fun, study and immersion. It doesn’t hurt that these games are all completely free to play, either.
Studying a new language can be a little dull sometimes, but that doesn’t mean it has to be that way.
If you get a little creative and start searching around the web, you can find a ton of different resources where you can get in your daily practice and get a new high score at the same time.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Italian with real-world videos.