Effective immediately, all Zachtronics games are free for public schools and school-like non-profit organizations.

Before we get to the specifics, one important note. Chances are if you’re an educator who has found this page, it’s because someone said there were free games here. Free things are understandably compelling in the underfunded world of education; however, in this case we want to be sure you understand that these games are probably not the kind of thing you can sit a student in front of without some amount of introduction and scaffolding from a real human being. This isn’t to say you need to have beaten the games (most of our players don’t), but you should at least understand how to play them yourself before introducing them to students.

There are no demos for our games, so your options for evaluation are to either buy a game on Steam (or another digital distribution platform) and play it on your own computer, or to apply for a license guessing which games would be most appropriate and learning them afterward. Either way, feel free to ask for as many licenses as you need and as many games as you could use. Our aim is to provide as much value to our target institutions as possible.

To get access, please send an email to zach@zachtronics.com from your organizational email address with the following information:

  • Your name and title
  • Your organization’s name, address, and tax ID number (if applicable)
  • A link to something online that proves your affiliation with the organization
  • Which games you want licenses for (see list below)
  • How many computers the games will be installed on
  • Where the computers are located (lab, classroom, student laptops, etc.)
  • How many students will have access to the games
  • How you plan to use the games (with curriculum, as a reward, after-school club, etc.)

Like most things in life, there are rules:

  • Licenses are only for installation on computers that are school property (lab computers, classroom computers, school-owned laptops that students can take home with them). Personal computers owned by students are not included.
  • Private and/or for-profit schools are not included. However, if you email us with the information listed above we can put together a quote that includes an educational discount (usually 25% - 75% off depending on the number of licenses). If you think that your school should be included despite being private and/or for-profit, email me and tell me why.
  • Home-schools are not included. The commercial versions of our games are regularly discounted on Steam and other digital distribution platforms and provide better experiences for individual users on their own computers than the institutional versions of our games.
  • If you’ve already purchased a DRM-free version of one of our games you must still contact us to request a free institutional license before installing it on any computers other than your own.

I’d like to take this opportunity to admit that, although we think our games can successfully be used as educational experiences for children, we are not children ourselves and do not design games for children. All of our games with ratings have been T-rated by the ESRB and include the occasional swear word and references to violence, sex, alcohol, and drugs (usually in text and not depicted visually, with some exceptions detailed below). Generally speaking, we have no interest in glamorizing or focusing on this content— it’s just that we try to make games about life, and in life these topics come up. I happen to think that this makes our games even more appropriate for children, as they reflect the real views of real adults and are less pandering than other games made for children. Nevertheless, some people may object, so we have attempted to describe this content on a per-game basis below.