Best Gamified Learning Platforms & Apps in 2024 - Deepstash

Best Gamified Learning Platforms & Apps in 2024

We are all most likely guilty of having a few games loaded on our smartphones, tablets, or laptops. Any time we have a few minutes (or sometimes seconds!) to spare, we unconsciously reach for our mobile devices and zone out into the digital world of instant gratification. While these are fun and help to kill time, we could make better choices with our spare moments by using what makes games fun over the latest trending yet mindless mobile game.

Deepstash Team • 9 minute read

Best Gamified Learning Platforms & Apps in 2024 Image

If you want to increase your knowledge but have difficulties staying interested and motivated, maybe it’s time to consider gamified learning platforms.

Intense study sessions don’t work for everyone, and many end their continuous learning due to boredom or feeling overwhelmed. Fortunately, these gamified platforms and apps are an emerging alternative to doomscrolling.

What Is a Gamified Learning Platform?

Example from Deepstash on how gamified learning is integrated into a mobile platform

A gamified learning platform adds game elements to educational material. In a nutshell, gamified learning platforms and apps incorporate everything a standard game would have, but their primary purpose is to educate. You may have already played some online games that somewhat masked their educational function.

As per Jesper Juul's definition of Games and Play, where games are goal centric while play is free-form, we're seeing a similar pattern here when it comes to Chunked learning, where Microlearning is goal focused, while Bite-sized Learning is more of a free form , play-like approach to learning.

To better understand this concept, we’ve got to look at why games are engaging and fun in the first place. Intrinsic Motivation, Action & Reward cycles, Progress & Stats Tracking are core principles of why we’re even considering gamification, as such, elements like progress tracking, gratification/instant gratification, competition are often manifested through, now ubiquitous, mechanics like these:

Core and Usual Gamification Elements found in Gamified Learning Apps

Example of different gamification elements found on Deepstash

  • Progress Bars: Visual representation of advancement toward a goal.
  • Levels & Experience Points: Measure of skill or knowledge attainment, motivating users to progress.
  • Daily Streaks & Rewards: Encourage consistent engagement by rewarding consecutive participation.
  • Achievements & Badges: Recognize, materialize and reward specific accomplishments, encouraging motivation and validating the sense of pride.
  • User Profiles & Stats: Provide personalized progress tracking and comparison with others.
  • Points and Scoring Systems: Quantify performance and incentivize desired behaviors.
  • Challenges & Quests: Present structured tasks or objectives, enhancing engagement and helps visualize and channel learning goals.
  • Rarity & Tier Systems: Add depth and instill importance by introducing varying degrees of rarity and scarcity, which are often associated with the sense of value.
  • Social Engagement Elements & Interaction: Foster engagement through likes, emotes, avatars, and leaderboards, promoting interaction, pride and competition.

Learning platforms are uniquely suited for gamification elements due to their goal-oriented nature. Learning inherently involves progression and achievement, elements often associated with other modern education principles and applications like, microlearning apps , bite-sized learning or continuous learning , making it compatible with mechanics like progress tracking, achievements, and challenges. Yu-Kai Chou’s Book Actionable Gamification explain these gamified elements through his Octalysis Framework way better. Additionally, the personalized nature of user profiles and stats allows learners to track their own progress and compare it with others. Another popular tool used by professional game designers is the MDA framework (Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics) which is a game design framework that categorizes elements of games into three layers: mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics—to analyze and understand the player experience. creating a sense of competition and fulfilment.

In essence, learning platforms serve as the ideal medium for gamification elements to thrive, as they not only enhance engagement and motivation but also facilitate the goal-oriented nature of learning and skill development. By harnessing the principles of game design, these platforms create an environment where learning becomes not just a task, but an enjoyable journey of discovery and growth.

How a key idea looks within Deepstash

Octalysis: The 8 Core Drives of Gamification

  • Epic Meaning & Calling: believing we are doing something greater than ourselves
  • Development & Accomplishment: make progress, develop skills, achieve mastery
  • Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: figuring new things out
  • Ownership & Possession: feeling like we own/control something
  • Social Influence: mentorship, acceptance, feedback, companionship, competition & envy
  • Scarcity & Impatience: wanting something simply because it is extremely rare
  • Unpredictability: when we don’t know what is going to happen next
  • Loss & Avoidance: avoiding something negative from happening

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The idea format used by Deepstash is important because it condenses complex concepts and profound thoughts into easy to understand sentences. It makes ideas easier to apply in daily life, helping you to make positive changes and achieve your goals.

Best Gamified Learning Platforms & Apps in 2024

Now that you’re convinced just how valuable (and fun) gamified learning platforms and apps can be, you must wonder which ones you should check out. Hundreds of them are available, and the right ones for you will depend upon your interests, goals, and what you like in a gaming platform. Many gamified learning apps are good examples of microlearning , where users spend a short time digesting hyperfocused material .

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the unique and interesting Gamified Learning Platforms to try out in 2024:


Deepstash's app screens featuring elements of a gamified learning platform

Deepstash is a modern Microlearning Platform that uses learning nuggets in the form of idea flashcard-like digests . These ideas are core or key points derived from that person’s understanding of a book, podcast episode, article, video or media. Since this form of Micro-content is easy to consume, share and produce it greatly benefits from gamified elements like Daily Streaks, Progress Bars, Achievements, Avatars and User Profiles or Social Elements.

As users curate and create learning nuggets , others are able to microlearn in short bursts those informative, key ideas. Continuously learning in this “gameplay loop” users earn experience points, levels, achievements and recognition that is showcased in both their individual profiles as well as in the Leaderboards of the different available Topics like Personal Development , Psychology , Science , Time Management , Exercise or even Communication Strategies.

Moreover, each user can view its own personal stats and learning styles, a feedback loop that is often used to keep the user engaged, aware of its progress and in control of its own style or approach to learning.

Key features:
  • An ever expanding pool of Idea Learning Nuggets to explore across various Topics
  • Badges and leaderboards encourage friendly competition
  • Microlearning platform focusing on gamified elements
  • Enables users to continuously learn.
  • Perfect for on-the-go learning as it has a mobile learning app
Price & Offers:
  • Freemium model that leans towards pay-for-convenience
  • Free content available Online and in the App
  • Offers a paid subscription starting at 8.99$ to access the full convenience features
  • Friendly, consumer-oriented monetization model
  • One time, permanent purchase for lifetime access plan
  • Offers and Discounts to snag it at an even lower price


Duolingo' app screens featuring elements of a gamified learning platform

One of the more popular language learning apps, Duolingo, combines learning with friendly competition among other users. It utilizes a leaderboard to encourage users to practice more, gain points, and see their names at the top of the list. This gamified learning app encourages daily use by giving users bonus points for learning streaks to be used to unlock exclusive content, move up their progression curve, adapt their learning to their current level or ensure daily commitment through streaks.

This language app focuses on short-form content, making it easy for users to learn a new language. Learners can set their own pace and practice their new language skills while on the go. Duolingo allows users to take a placement test to assess their skills and skip some of the more basic lessons.

Key features:
  • Fun, easy-to-follow lessons
  • Bite-sized lessons
  • Great for mobile learning and on the go learning
  • Adapts to the user’s level to ensure it remains challenging
  • Uses leaderboards, levels, and streaks to encourage friendly competition
Price & Offers:
  • A great example of Freemium done right
  • 9.99$ Starting Subscription with many different tiers and plans
  • A very user-friendly free plan model
  • Many convenience features and paid boosts that are optional
  • Possibility of going Free-to-Play


Quizlet' app screens featuring elements of a gamified learning platform

This app utilizes digital flashcards to present information to users, but they go much beyond the basics of what typical flashcards do. Lessons can be turned into a game of “beat the clock” by attempting to pair terms and definitions. Quizlet also uses spaced repetition, a teaching technique that helps store information in your long-term memory faster than cramming facts with intensive study.

Its well-written algorithm uses adaptive learning, so students face increasingly challenging material. Using the app's “Your AI Tutor,” a chat feature, users can choose a study topic and have the chatbot act as a study coach or prepare a quiz based on what they’ve already learned.

Key features:
  • Lots of flashcard variety
  • Smart use of AI for adaptive learning
  • Perfect for topics that require memorization
  • Flashcard decks can be shared to encourage friendly competition
  • Uses both visual and audio to help with the retention of information
Price & Offers:
  • Free Plan and features
  • 7.99$ Monthly Subscription, 35.99$ Yearly
  • Fair and Simple pricing model
  • Convenient and Free user-friendly gamified elements with little restrictions

Codecademy Go

Codecademy Go app screens featuring elements of a gamified learning platform

Codecademy Go is a gamified app that teaches coding and software development. Perfect for those seeking a better understanding of programming and the IT world, it offers users badges to show off accomplishments and points for completing exercises. Like most other gamified apps, Codecademy Go has a progress dashboard, so users can see what they’ve already learned and what’s to come.

Great for new IT students who want to learn the basics of coding and building websites. Users can choose from JavaScript, cybersecurity, C++, Python, and more courses. You’ll build upon your skills with each lesson and face new challenges.

Key features:
  • Awards badges for accomplishments and streaks to motivate users
  • Progress Tracking: Utilizes progress bars and user profiles to visually represent advancement and provide personalized stat tracking.
  • Skill Advancement: Implements levels, experience points, and challenges to motivate users to improve their coding abilities and unlock new content.
  • Competition and Community: Facilitates social interaction through leaderboards and social engagement elements.
  • Uses adaptive learning based on the user’s proficiency level to keep the courses challenging without feeling overwhelmed.
Price & Offers:
  • Free Plan & Free Trials and Features
  • 11.99$ and 15.99$ Subscription plans for additional features
  • Pricing adjusted for Personal, Student, and Teams/Enterprise

Monkey Word School Adventure

Monkey Wordschoot Adventure app screens featuring elements of a gamified learning platform

Gamified learning apps are a fantastic way to excite children about learning. While some may shun traditional teaching methods, most kids are more interested in learning when presented in a game-like setting. Monkey Word School Adventure is designed for children between 3 and 7 and uses fun scenarios to teach the alphabet and basic spelling.

Children go on a fun adventure and progress through lessons by choosing the correct answers. Monkey Word School Adventure has gamified courses in everything from spelling to writing to phonics. Kids can collect plants and animals for passing lessons to add to their online terrarium. This gamified children's app is a great way to introduce kids to learning when they reach for your phone or tablet.

Key features:
  • Kid & Toddler-centric, encourages continuous learning and critical thinking in a fun-to-play game
  • Keeps children engaged by awarding badges for completing tasks
  • Parents can monitor their child’s progress through a leaderboard
  • Ideal for children with short attention spans by employing the concept of bite-sized learning
  • Simple and Clear purpose to reward progress and goal accomplishment
Price & Offers:
  • Simple One-time purchase of 2$


Scavify's app screens featuring elements of a gamified learning platform

Gamified apps aren’t limited to teaching children or adults seeking more knowledge of a particular topic. Many businesses and corporations use gamified apps to build teamwork amongst co-workers or for on-the-job training. Scavify creates journeys for employees to explore and is much like a scavenger hunt, asking them to take photos or scan bar codes. This employee motivation app uses leaderboards to encourage friendly competition, and by completing challenges, employees can earn points and win rewards.

Employers are more likely to gain better usable information when their employees use the Scavify app. Employee surveys and performance metrics are easily obtained when presented to workers as a fun and friendly gamified app.

Key features:
  • Creates a sense of community with challenges & Quests
  • Scalable and not just for businesses; works well with community events
  • Text, photo, and video challenges to offer variety
  • Gamified elements like points, leaderboards, and rewards for friendly competition
  • Transforms learning into a treasure hunt-like game
Price & Offers:
  • Pricing on-demand targeted to different entities and use cases

Zombies, Run!

Zombie, Run! app screens featuring elements of a gamified learning platform

Learning isn’t limited to facts, ideas, skills, and concepts. Some gamified apps are geared towards learning more about our bodies and how to stay motivated to keep them in tip-top shape. With a fun name, this app encourages users to move their bodies and provides friendly competition with others using the app. Users will need to speed up their workouts when zombies appear, adding more motivation to get their blood pumping.

Users launch the app just before running, jogging, or even an indoor treadmill session. After selecting a “mission,” they watch a short video that outlines its entails. Next, they pop in their headphones and begin running or jogging while listening to music and occasional instructions. When they hear that zombies are near, this is the time to increase their running speed.

Key features:
  • Its story-driven game line keeps users engaged during exercise and afterward by completing missions
  • Mission variety keeps users interested by completing tasks, rescues, and zombie reconnaissance
  • Leaderboards and challenges allow for friendly online competition
  • Provides structured training plans for beginners to those already in shape
  • Users collect resources while running or jogging to add to their virtual reality
Price & Offers:
  • Free App with modern monetization techniques (Season Passes, Membership, Premium features)
  • 6.99$ Starting plan up to 89.99$ for VIP
  • Various Events and Passes


Kahoot's app screens featuring elements of a gamified learning platform

Kahoot is a learning platform that gamifies quizzes and assessments to boost engagement. Educators create interactive quizzes tailored to their lessons, which students access on their devices. In a live session, students compete against each other in real-time, earning points for correct answers and speed. For example, in a history class, students might race to answer questions about historical events, earning points and seeing their ranks on a leaderboard. This gamified approach not only makes learning fun but also encourages active participation and critical thinking.

Key features:
  • Interactive Quizzes: Educators create customized quizzes tailored to their lessons, fostering engagement and relevance.
  • Live Sessions: Students participate in quizzes in real-time, competing against classmates.
  • Points and Rankings: Students earn points for correct answers and speed, with rankings displayed on leaderboards.
  • Learning Reports: Educators receive detailed reports on student performance to track progress and identify areas for improvement.
  • Customization: Educators can customize quizzes with multimedia elements like images and videos to enhance learning.
Price & Offers:
  • Can be used for Free
  • Multiple plans that include Pro features
  • Plans adapted for various team sizes

What Are the Benefits of Gamified Learning Platforms?

While more scientific study may be needed to quantify the benefits of gamified learning platforms, some benefits are obvious and don’t need much evidence to prove they’re helpful. In today’s world of doomscrolling, online games, and shortened attention spans, gamified apps have apparent benefits.

  • Engagement: Gamified learning platforms bring fun into learning. Rather than diving into textbooks for intense study, these platforms and apps keep users engaged in a game-like experience. The more engaged a user is, the more likely they will enjoy the activity and not lose interest.
  • Quantifying Learning Effort: Many gamified apps and platforms provide immediate feedback and a more personalized learning environment. Masking education as a fun-to-play game while providing incentives and rewards can be much more appealing than traditional learning methods.
  • Flexibility: Most gamified learning platforms can be used on different devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. So, no matter which device you have available at any given moment, you can devote some time to learning. Since many gamified apps encompass bite-size learning, they encourage users to use their free time more wisely, even just for a few minutes.
  • Lifelong learning: Gamified platforms encourage users to continue their education without taking college or university classes, which can be time-consuming, expensive, and require a much more significant commitment.

Learning in short blasts can help combat this. Many have found that when coupled with a competition or the ability to “win” something, bite-sized learning significantly improves their motivation to stay focused when using a learning app.

Is Gamified Learning Effective?

As children, playing games was a big part of our routines. Depending on your age, this could have been board games like checkers or something more interactive like Super Nintendo. Even as adults, many of us still play games like Mortal Kombat, Minecraft, and Grand Theft Auto. Games occupy our minds and keep us entertained. However, the learning curve in this games is different than what we normally associate with learning.

So, is gamified learning effective? The National Library of Medicine published a 2023 report that suggests that gamified learning increases motivation to learn, and most who used gamified apps in the study were more excited about learning. A similar study, as reported by Frontiers in Psychology, also suggested that those who used gamified learning platforms were more apt to enhance student learning.

However, beyond case studies and papers, the intricacies of game design and how they work have already been proven and documented in renowned books like "The Game, the Player, the World" by the famous game researcher Jesper Juul or recent gamification books like Yu-Kai Chou's "Actionable Gamification" and Gabe Zimmerman's "Gamification by Design" which not only look at all the above presented game mechanics, but also showcase effectiveness.

What Are the Benefits of Gamified Learning Platforms?

While more scientific study may be needed to quantify the benefits of gamified learning platforms, some benefits are obvious and don’t need much evidence to prove they’re helpful. In today’s world of doomscrolling, online games, and shortened attention spans, gamified apps have apparent benefits.

Gamification and Our Mobile Lives

Mobile learning and Microlearning are emerging educational concepts that aim to make the process of learning a more enjoyable experience. With retention and the understanding of information being huge pitfalls with the traditional learning methods, game design concepts like these are a prime example of taking what worked in gaming and applying it to different mediums.

Media has already shifted significantly to a mobile-first form factor and concept, just look at how popular shorts, reels, or TikToks have become over the long-form YouTube videos. It could be that our attention span has diminished, but a more believable idea is that since we've got so much information available, chunking is the best way of making the most out of our precious time when it comes to media consumption.

These applications are just some of the more unique and interesting gamified learning platforms in 2024, yet only in the educational field, there are already hundreds to try out, as gamification is no longer an emerging concept, but an established strategy that is found everywhere in our lives, look at Uber, Food Delivery Apps, Retail Apps, Every Subscription Service, Banking and so on.

Further Exploration: Learn more about Gamified Learning and related Concepts

Gamified Learning and its applications can become a very intricate study subject, since it is often comprised of smaller topics that enable it. Discover our Journey Collections related to this concept and explore unique curated ideas:

  • Design Frameworks: Gamified Learning Platforms make use of several Design Frameworks, like the Octalysis or MDA Framework, however there are many more! Check them out here and learn new Design Frameworks while you’re at it!
  • Product Management Starter Kit: Product Management in the Tech Startup space is all about Gamification and smart ways of tracking engagement. Among Game elements, you can learn more about what you need to take up a product management role.
  • Video Game Guide to Life: Among game elements and their role to foster intrinsic motivation, gaming and video games often teach us about real life concepts that we never deliberately thought about applying.
  • The Art of Decision-Making: Daniel Khaneman’s work is among the foundations of today’s gamification and game elements. Discover the Nobel Winning key ideas from books like Thinking Fast and Slow and find outstanding ideas about Behaviour Economics and Game Theory.

Gamified Learning is a foundational concept for us here at Deepstash, as we’re looking to integrate game elements into our Microlearning Platform we’re offering our Stashers the possibility to share the rewards of learning with people interested in the same topics as them. Learning is never an easy task, but as the knowledge is often its own reward, with the help of gamification we’re making that process a little bit more fun each idea at a time.

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