- Ancient History Games and Animations
- Medieval History Games and Animations
- Early Modern History Games Early U.S History Games
- Nation-Building U.S. History Games and Animations
- Modern U.S. History Games and Animations
- Modern World History Games and Animations
- Animated Maps
- Animated Timelines
Welcome to the Best of History Web Sites Games and Animations section. Below you will find an annotated list of fun history games and animations organized around broad historical periods. Most of these games and animation are aimed at students ages 10-16. We hope you enjoy these selections and encourage you to submit a recommended history game or animation to us via the contact form. Many thanks to Joshua Dale for his help in organizing and developing this section. – Tom Daccord
Curator’s Corner at the British Museum
These short videos highlight the stories behind items at British Museum passionately told by the curators who study and preserve them. Lively and often humorous, this series features mostly ancient artifacts, but has a few videos on more modern collections as well. Highlights include Greek pots have “B-sides”, How to Write Cuneiform, and Jesus and Bubbha do Christmas in Tokyo.
TED-Ed Animated Lessons
TED offers short, animated lessons in history, covering everything from the assassination of Julius Caesar to the Atlantic slave trade to the writings of Alexia Komnena. The animations are supplemented with discussion questions and short quizzes, and you can browse TED’s full list of history-related video lessons here.
Extra History: Pre-History – 1699 CE ☆
A lively, animated video series covering a variety of historical topics from Pre-History to 1699 CE. Rather than giving a brief overview of a civilization or event, Extra History goes in-depth into the stories of individual historical figures to draw in a viewer’s attention, then explains general history concepts as they become relevant to narrative. This story-focused approach makes for enticing content.
Death in Rome ☆
This game presents the user with a scene where a Roman dies and the user then has to figure out how the Roman died. The player uses evidence from the scene and information both from witnesses and modern experts.
Gladiator: Dressed to Kill
This game has the player choose the correct armor for three different types of Roman gladiators within a time limit. Each gladiator then fights and wins or loses based on what the player’s choices were.
Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii in 79 AD
This is a scavenger hunt that presents the user with several web sites and asks them to research the answers to various questions.
The Mummy Maker
Test your knowledge of history with an interactive challenge. Enter the embalmer’s workshop and prepare a body for burial.
The Roman Domus (House): Architecture and Reconstruction:
A 3D reconstruction of a typical Roman home. It is supplemented with colored images and diagrams that show what such a dwelling may have looked like in ancient times.
This game presents the user with a series of challenges related to building a pyramid for the Egyptian Pharaoh. The construction of the pyramid succeeds or fails based on the player’s decisions.
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
This quiz has the user match the wonders of the ancient world with descriptions in a variety of formats.
In this game you learn stories behind the coins and try to make “money talk.”
Players investigate maps and artifacts to learn what life was once like in Huánuco Pampa.
1066 The Game ☆
You’ll take the field with the Saxons, the Normans, and the Vikings to fight battles which decided England’s fate.
Tasting History ☆
A fun, educational series with an entertaining host, Tasting History is a show that recreates historical recipes. Cooking is interspersed with fun facts, trivia, and an overview of the food’s historical context.
This game quizzes the user on events in the Middle Ages.
Asian Middle Ages Chronology
This game prompts the player to reorder several events that took place in Asia during the Middle Ages.
Asian Middle Ages People, Places, and Things
This game quizzes the user on Asia during the Middle Ages.
Destroy the Castle
Build your own virtual trebuchet and fire giant sandstone balls at a castle wall. You decide on the size of your projectiles, where to place your trebuchet, and other factors critical to success.
Build a Medieval Arch
find out how medieval masons built cathedral arches – without the benefits of modern technology.
How to be a Pirate ☆
This is a well-polished and thorough animation about the politics and economics running underneath the hull of a typical pirate ship in the Golden Age of Piracy. It is largely adapted from The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of pirates by historian Peter Leeson. Delivered in two parts: Captain and Quartermaster editions.
Extra History: 1700 CE – Present ☆
A lively, animated video series covering a variety of historical topics from 1700 CE to the present. Rather than giving a brief overview of a civilization or event, Extra History goes in-depth into the stories of individual historical figures to draw in a viewer’s attention, then explains general history concepts as they become relevant to narrative. This story-focused approach makes for enticing content.
The Battle of Waterloo Game
This game allows the user to replay the Battle of Waterloo and make the decisions that both generals faced.
Great Fire of London Animation
see contemporary etchings of the London skyline, showing the extent of the devastation. Afterwards, you could view the changing designs for St Paul’s Cathedral, rebuilt in the aftermath of the fire by Sir Christopher Wren.
Abolition of Slavery
BBC History has created an interactive Google Maps mashup about the end of British Slavery.
Take this quiz about pirate lore and find out if you’ll have to walk the plank!
Gunpowder Plot Game
Guy Fawkes was among a gang of Roman Catholic conspirators who wanted to blow up the House of Lords and assassinate King James VI of Scotland and I of England. As part of their plan, they stored gunpowder kegs in the cellars of the House of Lords. You must find those kegs before the fizzing fuse causes disaster!
London: A Life in Google Maps
This British Library creation charts the growth of London through the ages via seven chronological themes.
Places of the American Revolution
This game quizzes the user on important locations in the American Revolution in the form of a matching game, flashcards, concentration, or a word search.
On the Trail of Captain John Smith: A Jamestown Adventure
Follow in the footsteps of Captain John Smith to discover what life was like in the New World 400 years ago.
This is a strategy game based on the game Colonization where the objective is to create an independent nation.
Bill of Rights
This game quizzes the user on the Bill of Rights in a variety of formats.
Explore Benjamin Franklin’s life through a variety of interactive exhibits.
Argument Wars ☆
Players debate the some of the most famous Supreme Court cases such as texas v. Johnson, Gideon v. Wainwright, and Snyder v. Phelps in this critical thinking game. By advancing arguments and backing them up, students have the chance to turn the tide of history if their arguments line up! After the game, students can view how the actual Supremem Court voted on their case. See iCivics for more great games like Argument Wars.
Test your constitution IQ with an interactive quiz and see how you scored against others in your state and nationally.
Which Founding Father Are You?
Answer five questions to see who you best match up with.
Strike it Rich!
This PBS game will see if you have what it takes to strike it rich in the gold rush!
Early American Reformers of the 1800’s
This game quizzes the user on important terms from reform movements in the 1800s.
When Rivers Were Trails ☆
When Rivers Were Trails is a downloadable point-and-click adventure game about the impact of colonization on Indigenous communities in the 1890’s. The player follows the life of an Anishinaabeg who is placed from their traditional territory in Minnesota and heads west to California due to the impact of allotment acts on Indigenous communities. On their journey, they face Indian Agents, meet people from different nations, and hunt, fish, and canoe along the way as they balance their wellbeing.
Do I Have a Right? ☆
Explore the Bill of Rights in the context of operating and growing a Constitutional law firm from obscure to distinguished status.
World War I Study Activity
This game quizzes the user on World War I in a variety of ways.
Electoral College by States
This game quizzes the user on how many electoral votes states have in a variety of ways.
America Becomes a World Power
This game quizzes the user on how America became a world power.
U.S. Navy Fleet
This Google Earth Tour for the 2010 San Francisco Fleet Week includes a voice overlay, images, video and more.
The Redistricting Game
The game introduces the redistricting system, explores potential abuses, and offers info about reform.
This game quizzes the user on events in the U.S. between 1960 and 1980.
This game asks the user 10 questions about the presidents of the U.S.
Characteristics of Geographic Regions
This game quizzes the user on geographic regions in the U.S. in a variety of formats.
This Google Earth tour portrays the landing, moon walks, and the return to space of Apollo 11 YouTube videos, astronaut narrations, sound effects, and 3D models.
How Big is the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill?
This website uses Google Maps to compare the size of the 2010 Deep Horizon oil spill to various cities.
Build armies and send them into battle. Certain death, or ultimate victory?
Between the Wars Vocabulary
This feature presents the user with flashcards about World Wars I and II. The questions it offers are very good, though it does not allow the user to enter an answer.
The Changing British Population
Play the animation and track how key events in British history have affected the size of the British population.
In this free and open-source empire-building strategy game your mission is to lead your tribe from the stone age to the space age.
This is a clone of the board game Axis and Allies and can be played online.
Animated Battle Maps of U.S. History ☆
These narrated, well-polished, and professionally-animated maps cover the entirety of the Revolutionary War and Civil War, with detailed spinoff videos for the most important battles. The narration adds important historical context to the action happening on-screen.
Mapping the Holocaust ☆
This animated map, created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, charts key Holocaust sites with historic content illustrating the enormous scope and impact of the Holocaust.
Crisis in Darfur ☆
“Crisis in Darfur” is an impressive, interactive Google Earth file from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as part of their “Mapping Initiatives.” Students can view images of burned-out Darfur villages and gain a deeper understanding of the destruction as a result of the civil strife in the area.
The True Size ☆
This site allows students to drag-and-drop countries on a Mercator-projection map to directly compare their size; however, the size of the countries changes to fit their new location on the map. Very useful for visually demonstrating how certain map projections distort area.
This geography game has students fitting states, countries, and provinces onto the map, tetris-style! A very useful resource for memorizing basic geography.
The Western Front, 1914-1918 Animation
This animated map shows the Western Front of World War I.
Animated Map: The Fall of France (Dunkirk)
This animated map shows the fall of France during World War II.
Kings and Queens Through Time
In this animated timeline you put the kings and queens of England, and later the United Kingdom, in their proper place. There are four periods to explore.
Plague in Gotham!
Interactive Google Map of 1832 cholera outbreak in New York.
Mapping America: Every City, Every Block
New York Times interactive map that allows users to browse local data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey –based on samples from 2005 to 2009.
This is a timeline and Google Map of world conflicts from 3000 BC to the 1970’s.
Maps of every location in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Do you know about US@ Geography?
This website offers four activities for learning about the geography of the United States.
Animated Map: Battle of Somme
This is an animated map showing the Battle of Somme in WWI.
Animated Map: The Burma Campaign
This animated map shows the campaign in Burma during World War II.
Animated Maps of European Mapmaking
Explore the changing European view of the world in the animated history of maps across the centuries.
interactive maps allow you to choose a time period and demographic feature to look at census data from 1790 to 2000.
The Traveler IQ Challenge
The Traveler IQ Challenge is a fun online geography game that tests your knowledge of various places in the world.
Story of the Jews: Explore the Diaspora
An interactive map of the most significant sites in the history of Judaism and the Jewish Diaspora. Each of the 45 pins succintly explains the history of the location and displays a photo of the site.
This website connects stories in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods interactively via maps through personal accounts, videos and photographs.
As part of a project to digitize California artifacts, five Google Maps have been created to showcase digitized historical photographs.
Users can overlay (mainly historical) photographs on top of Google Maps Street View and add a story!
Scavenger Hunt Through History
This PBS game challenges players to match a historical event with the time period in which it occured.
History of Religion
This animated map and timeline gives a brief history of the world’s most well-known religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism.
March of Democracy
This map flashes democracy’s “march across history” in 90 seconds.
Science and Technology in World War II
This engaging timeline is from the National World War II Museum.
This New York Times interactive timeline/map shows how immigrants settled in the U.S. over time.