• Nicky

5 Binary Games To Help Teach Computing

Binary games are a good way for pupils to reinforce binary and converting between different number bases. They can be used as a starter, plenary, homework task or simply as an activity in the classroom to move away from filling in yet another worksheet. So, lets have a look at some different options.


Cisco Binary Game

4 stars


The most popular binary game is probably the Cisco Binary Game. For a while they toyed with the idea of making it a paid game but thankfully they have see reason and once again it is free!


The idea is simple. You either have to change the binary digits by clicking on them to make the total for that row or type in the total for the binary digits given.


Easy to play and as a new row is added every few seconds it has a sense of jeopardy which pupils enjoy.


Can feel a bit monotonous after a while so best to only plan to use it for a short activity.


Skills covered: Binary-denary and denary-binary conversion

Preparation needed: None

Access it: You need internet access to play the game https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/s/binary-game

Cisco Binary Game

Binary Numbers Unplugged

3 stars


An interactive whole class activity that helps pupils understand the patterns used in counting with binary numbers.


This isn’t a game as such but is a useful activity. It does require some preparation and the teacher's guide is a little long winded but once you understand the principles it can be used with great effect.


Skills covered: Binary-denary and denary-binary conversion

Preparation needed: You need to print the cards and read the teachers notes before the lesson to familiarise yourself with how the activity works

Access it: https://classic.csunplugged.org/binary-numbers/

Binary Numbers Unplugged

Binary Bonanza

5 stars


This works a bit like a word search but using binary numbers.


In level 1 you need to drag your pointer over 3 digits in a row to highlight them and make the totals shown. In level 2 you need to highlight 4 digits and so on. You can highlight digits in a straight line both horizontally and vertically.


It can be tricky to understand at first but it will not take long before your students will love it. There is a timed option available if your students wish to use it.


Seems to hold student's attention for longer than the Cisco game.


Skills covered: Binary-denary conversion only

Preparation needed: None

Access it: You need internet access to play the game https://games.penjee.com/binary-bonanza/

Binary Bonanza Game

Hexadecimal Test



The pupils are shown a 4 bit binary number at the top of the game and they need to select the correct hexadecimal option from the pink area.


They can see the time it takes to complete it along with how many they got wrong, and it gives them a percentage score. This allows them to play again and try to beat their previous score which many pupils enjoy.


It doesn’t have the most exciting graphics, but it is simple to understand and play. Good for a short summative assessment or short plenary activity.


Skills covered: Binary-hexadecimal conversion only

Preparation needed: None

Access it: You need internet access to play the game https://games.penjee.com/binary-bonanza/

Hexadecimal TEst

Hexadecimal Bee Game



This is more like a quiz but there is the option of single player or two player modes making this more fun for students.


You spin the spinner and the number in the hexagon is the possible score you can win. You need to answer the multiple choice questionscorrectly to win the points.


Skills covered: Binary-hexadecimal and hexadecimal-binary conversions

Preparation needed: None

Access it: You need internet access to play the game https://dev.wisc-online.com/arcade/games/computer-science/foundational-it-skills/2169/hexadecimal-bee-game

Hexadecimal Bee Game


For more binary activities which can be completed off-line, download my Binary Activity Bundle from TES today.



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