LEARNING. Wait, don’t click away! Educational games sometimes get a bad rap for being “boring” - but there are some brilliant developers out there who know how to make learning genuinely fun. We should know: while we at Media Molecule made Dreams, our community of creators are always teaching us a thing or two about what it’s actually capable of. And that’s always a delight!
Case in point - the below creations. Here, we’ve selected a mere 7 of the many, many excellent educational creations made in Dreams, from high-speed maths to full-scale solar systems, tasty recipes to Dreams tutorials and… interactive pigeon history? Told you it wouldn’t be boring.
Estimated playtime: 10 mins
They say the truth is stranger than fiction - and that is certainly the case in this historically-accurate pigeon simulator. Yes, you play as a pigeon. Yes, everything in this target-pecking game is based on a true story. And yes, you will learn a variety of pigeon trivia as you hit your quotas and are rewarded with delicious seeds, your beady eyes rolling with glee - until you learn what’s really going on here. The tone shifts from goofy to sincere, as Project Pigeon cleverly blends humour and historical fact to tell the tale of a highly unusual World War II-era experiment.
Estimated playtime: Replayable
The binary system is pretty crucial to life as we know it today - it’s the basis of almost all modern computers and computer-based devices. You wouldn’t be reading this article without binary! Which, in our eyes, makes this deep computer lore well worth learning about. But strings of ones and zeros can look intimidating, which is why danikaka’s approachable game feels so special. You play as Bernard the monkey (for whom successful mathematicians can unlock a variety of fun costumes), then jump to bop with your head any of the seven blocks from a zero to a one. Each block is helpfully labelled with its numeric value; scoring points, then, is a matter of matching the numbers shown at the top of the screen by doing simple addition.
This is a fantastic, simple visual learning device for a complex topic. And with multiple modes, - including one with a countdown timer and a Survival mode with limited lives - whether its competition, challenge or simply chill calculations you’re looking for, Binary Bash has you covered.
The True Scale Of The Solar System#
Estimated playtime: 5 mins
Space is - to put it in scientific terms - bonkers massive. But if you’re after a more specific representation of the sheer scale of our universe, then check out this Dreams creation. It puts all eight planets (sorry, Pluto) on a scrollable timeline; move your thumbstick back and forth, and you’ll zoom millions of kilometres from one planet to the next. At each stop, you’ll be treated to some fun facts about each planet, alongside a visual representation that you can zoom in on to study closer.
While the information is fascinating, and the presentation very sleek, the subtle design details are what makes this a really valuable educational tool. Each planet’s size is proportional, so you can really sense how teeny-tiny Mercury is compared to the enormity of Jupiter, and the length of the journeys between each of them correspond to the differing distances. Poor old Neptune, all the way out over there.
Estimated playtime: Replayable
Anyone else got a memory like Swiss cheese? Just us? Well, we’re finding Jimmyjules153’s memory game very useful to give our ol’ brain-biceps a workout. It lays out a set of cards face-down on your screen, each one having its own picture that matches one on another card. Your job is to flip over the cards two at a time to see if you can get a matching pair - but they flip face-down again after each try, so success depends on your ability to mentally keep track of which picture cards are where.
Cards are randomly shuffled for each round, and there are varying levels of difficulty to try (that’s a lotta cards, Hard Mode) - even a couch co-op two-player mode, if you’d like to challenge a friend or family member to remember. Studies suggest that memory games like these may help some people maintain healthy, active brains - but Re-Mind is also well worth a try just for fun, even if you’re not as scatterbrained as we are. Anyone else got a memory like Swiss cheese?
Thai Massaman Curry#
Estimated runtime: 1 hr (if you’re cooking along)
Getting educated isn’t all about becoming a mathematics genius or a trivia whiz. Life skills are important, too - and what could be more important than learning how to cook a delicious meal? (Apart from putting it directly in your mouth as quickly as possible afterwards, naturally.) Originally made as part of the Recipe Jam, this interactive animation is a detailed and easy-to-follow guide for making Thai Massaman Curry, a mildly spicy and majorly tasty dish.
It features mouth-wateringly accurate animations for each step, some lo-fi beats to sauté to - even a handy, up-to-the minute clock display that lets you know exactly when to add ingredients, and how far you are through the recipe. Cook along with these instructions, and you’ll end up not only with knowledge in your head, but good stuff in your belly.
A Handy Guide to Voice Acting & Directing in Dreams!#
Estimated runtime: 1 hr
We couldn’t bring you an article about the best educational creations in Dreams without recommending a few of them that teach you how to use Dreams itself. ZIIQ’s tutorial on how to sculpt a human head in Dreams is a must for all budding artists, as is fluximux’s Flat Color 3D Tutorial - and we’ll sneak in a cheeky plug for Media Molecule’s own Play & Edit game-making tutorials, available on the front page of DreamShaping.
But we have to make special mention of A Handy Guide to Voice Acting & Directing in Dreams. Put together by professional voice actor kimerakii, it’s a clear, concise, organised, fully narrated and well-presented series of lessons that cover a variety of useful topics related to the craft. There are tips on how to get started as a voice actor yourself, as well as insights on how to find voice actors for your project, give direction on lines, and ensure your communication with artists is clear, kind and reasonable. With the benefit of industry experience behind it, this ever-growing guide is an invaluable source for those looking to learn these skills - indeed, even though the title mentions Dreams specifically, there’s plenty here that would be helpful for creation outside of Dreams, too.
The War to End All Wars#
Estimated playtime: 30 mins
An amazing piece of art can transport you to a different place, or a different time - even place you in different shoes for a moment. The War to End All Wars does all three. In this first-person walking simulator, you begin at a historical exhibit in the present day, before you’re suddenly swept back in time to World War I. Even though you won’t meet another soul on your journey through the past, the environment paints a vivid picture of what it might have felt like to live through the conflict as a soldier: huddling in dimly-lit bunkers, viewing the aftermath of struggles in the street, stomping through the trenches and having to go “over the top” and into battle.
As you flit back and forth in time, the past constantly bumps up against the present. This contrast - alongside the thoroughly researched and well-written details, as well as the choice to stick to the personal perspective of just one solider - means The Wars to End All Wars helps history feel closer than you might ever have expected.
There’s always more to learn! If you’re still thirsting for knowledge, then never fear: our Educational playlists in Dreams will provide you with the cool glass of enlightenment you crave. Select Dreams By Genre on the front page of DreamSurfing, then head into Educational and get ready to be taught a thing or two.
You can find all of our Educational playlists in one collection right here - hit the button below while you’re logged into your PlayStation account, and it’ll be added to your Play Later queue.
As for us, that’s quite enough thinking for one day. Our brain hurts. We’re off to go stare at a wall.
The Dreams User Guide is a work-in-progress. Keep an eye out for updates as we add more learning resources and articles over time.