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App of the Week: Making politics fun with sims

Charming political campaign sim mixes data analysis and civics.

Ed. noteApp of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

Political Animals is an election simulation/political strategy game set in a fictional world filled with animal candidates and constituents from mice to pigs to crocodiles. While they look adorable and cartoony, the characters run the gamut from rule-abiding to corrupt. The goal of the game is to choose a candidate, mold a platform, and win the election. Along the way, players can discover just how corruptible or incorruptible they are.

Price: $14.99

Grades: 8-12

Rating: 5/5

Pros: Appealing artwork, data-rich statistics, and infinite strategies guarantee replayability.

Cons: High learning curve and no final wrap-up or postmortem to aid learning.

Bottom line: It’s a highly entertaining and surprisingly deep way to help students see the strategy — as well as ethical choices — involved in elections.

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