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I've tried Googling / searching on Amazon for books on this, but I end up get all types of resources on "How to Gamify XYZ" rather than the mechanics of simple games.

I'm trying to build a collection of "simple game mecahnics" that often shows up in Children's games. For example:

  • color in the picture

  • fill in pieces of a puzzle

  • memory/matching game


Is there some gigantic list of these "mechanics of simple games" ? Somewhere?

I don't need actual implementation (I can do that on my own).

I just need english descriptions of what the mechanics are.


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This is an interesting question you bring up. Which touches on a fairly broad scope.

The problem is that children's games are still games. The subset of mechanics that are in children's games, is not substantially smaller than the set of all game mechanics.

What's more, people are making up new mechanics constantly. It's a trivial process that anyone can, and does do.

And in order to get any sense of those mechanics... while then you're asking for a complete study on game design itself.

May I ask what it is you're building this list for? There might be an easier way of doing this.

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Considering that organized, interpersonal games have existed for several thousand years and probably longer... I'd say that "fairly broad scope" is a huge understatement =) This question is similar to asking for a quick list of all kinds of candy. – Patrick Hughes Jul 14 '12 at 15:10
Points taken. Is there a list of "20 famous/popular" types of digital games? I'm looking for things that are interactive, and people play for 10-15 minutes, rather than things like Crysis / Quake / Baldur's gate. – user16534 Jul 14 '12 at 19:05

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