Purble Place: Kid-friendly gaming suite

Purble Place: Kid-friendly gaming suite
Juliet Childers

Juliet Childers

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Purble Place is a video game for kids that hearkens back to a simpler time in all of our lives. But it has elements that never get old in it, too. Remember classic games from your childhood like Mathblaster? You could play video games and learn something at the same time.

This suite of games did exactly that for a younger audience in the late 2000s and you can still play it today. In fact, some people have been revisiting it in a walk down memory lane. For those who don’t know of it, let’s review Purble Place for its game design, features, and more to see if it lives up to our nostalgia.

What is Purble Place?

Game designer Jane Jensen co-founded the games company Oberon Media after working on many high-profile games. Her experience with games like King’s Quest VI inspired her to create more casual games.

This led her to also create educational games aimed at a younger audience. Thus, Purble Place came about with 3 original games in tandem with a suite of other Windows-based titles.

It was originally released in 2007 for Windows Vista as published by Microsoft. People looking to play it now can download it on Softonic as it no longer comes pre-installed with Windows.

image of Purble Place game Purble Shop

Purble Place design style

Like many early video games designed for kids, Purble Place features a very bright and animated design style. The characters are very cute with expressive eyes, silly hats, and non-human proportions.

Since it’s a simpler Windows game, the UI is not complicated at all with merely a red “X” at the bottom left of the screen to close the game. In keeping with this trend, each game is siloed in a different structure on the main screen. Entering the building or game reveals a different setup for the player to interact with.

Overall, the style is colorful and appealing with an easy-to-use interface. But it can be a bit overwhelming at first — especially if kids aren’t used to absorbing so much visual information.

image of Purble Place Microsoft suite of games like Freecell

All games in Purble Place

Though the game includes 3 original titles, Purble Place also comes with the whole suite of Windows games. You’ll remember all of these classics if you grew up with anything earlier than Windows 8.1:

  • Solitaire
  • Spider Solitaire
  • Minesweeper
  • Mahjong
  • FreeCell
  • Hearts
  • Chess Titans

Many of the downloads for Purble Place available now still include these games, as well.

image of Purble Place game Comfy Cakes

Comfy cakes

Most people want their cakes to be rich and moist rather than “comfortable”, but let’s not nitpick the alliteration here. This hand-eye coordination game develops pattern recognition by having players build cakes according to orders. Think of games such as Overcooked or Cook, Serve, Delicious! that require you to accurately prepare food orders.

Players control a conveyor belt with simple left and right arrow buttons. Then, you select the correct options from the below combinations based on the order:

  • Pan shape: round, heart, or square
  • Cake batter: yellow, chocolate, or strawberry
  • Middle layer icing: white, green, or dark red
  • Top layer icing: brown, pink, or yellow
  • Cake topping: gumdrop buttons, clover, smiley face, or heart

Depending on the selected difficulty, players make 5 or 6 cakes with more variety. Cake accuracy, player speed, and cake number all affect a player’s final score.

image of Purble Place game Purble Pairs

Purble pairs

Everyone loves a good memory game, right? This one is pretty straightforward and similar to other common memory games. Players must select a card to reveal what’s on the other side of the card. Then, they must match it with another tile with the same image on it.

Harder difficulties add a timer, increase the grid size, and use images that are more difficult to tell apart. They also have more levels per game with up to four different card backs: gumdrops, clovers, hearts, and smiley faces.

This game helps to develop working and short-term memory while also developing concentration skills.

List of special cards and what they do in the game:

  • Time card: adds more time to the game timer
  • Cake batter station card: shuffles the board
  • Joker card: automatically locates a match for another card
  • Cake chef card: finds and matches cards with cakes on them
  • Sneak peek coin bonus card: lets a player select as many cards as they want in an allotted time to make matches
image of Purble Place game Purble Shop

Purble shop

Like some games that allow players to create custom avatars, Purble Place has lots of customized characters called Purbles. This game has players assembling the right combination of Purble features for each character including eyes, nose, mouth, topper, and clothes.

However, these all come in one of 5 colors: blue, yellow, purple, red, and green. That means that there are tons of different combinations for players to choose from — and lots of ways to get it wrong. But there are three different difficulty levels as with the other two Purble Place games.

Like the popular game Wordle, Purble Shop tells players which objects are correct and only gives them a set number of guesses. In the highest difficulty, players only know what number of objects are correct instead of which objects are correct.

For instance, on Easy, a player might have “Purple Eyes” correct; that same thing on Advanced would be “1 Feature” correct. Note: this can be color or placement.

image of Purble Place competing games

Similar video games for kids

Nowadays, video games that teach players something are much more common. In fact, they don’t need to be labeled “educational” in order to be educational. However, some children’s games do still place a focus on the more educational aspects of video games.

If you want something similar to Purble Place, here are four alternatives that offer different experiences. Keep in mind that some of these games veer toward older age ranges than Purble Place.

PBS Kids Games

PBS, short for Public Broadcasting Service, has long dedicated itself to educational kid’s TV programs like Sesame Street, Curious George, and Arthur. But the company also produces tons of different interactive games for kids, too. They have options for every kind of genre like:

  • Music
  • Reading
  • Math
  • Exploration
  • Fashion games
  • Sandbox games
  • Hide and Seek
  • Vehicle games

That’s just scratching the surface. There are also food games, games to learn the ABCs, animal games, matching games like Purble Pairs, and even games to learn Spanish. Since many of the games are available in-browser, parents can play with their kids or better monitor how their kids play the games.

It makes for a fantastic free option for those who may not be able to spend money on video games.

Dragonbox Games

Getting kids interested in mathematical concepts early is a great way to ensure that they don’t struggle with math later in school. A solid strategy is to introduce them to math in ways that feel more engaging and fun like using video games.

Dragonbox has games for kids of many ages in two categories: 4 – 8 and 8+. But each game focuses on different aspects of mathematical concepts starting with things as simple as numbers and how they work to Euclidian geometry and algebra.

You’ll have to download them on a mobile device or tablet as the games only support Android and iOS platforms. These apps do require a subscription service to play, so they aren’t free. However, Dragonbox also offers Educational downloads at a discounted price for institutions, as well as Teacher access which provides free access for a class.

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Some people might be familiar with the Scribblenauts franchise that first launched in 2009. The action puzzle games created this title specifically for kids and released it in 2012 originally. Scribblenauts Unlimited has been ported over to many platforms including Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch. That makes it a very accessible kid’s game alternative to something like Purble Place.

The game follows the same main character, Maxwell, as he and the player solves puzzles, create things, and explore the world. It is more adventure-based than Purble Place, so it may not work for younger children.

Kerbal Space Program

This is definitely one for older kids, but Kerbal Space Program can teach them a ton about physics and literal rocket science. It also features the adorably doomed green aliens known as Kerbals. It features realistic orbital physics, as well as aerodynamics, rocket construction, space exploration, and base building. NASA even lauded the game for its educational purposes and accuracy.

Play in one of thee modes:

  • Career: players oversee the whole space program like strategy, construction, funding, and more.
  • Science: players unlock technology to advance the Kerbal race through experimentation.
  • Sandbox: players can play in a more freeform manner using all tech and parts available in the game.

It makes for a fantastic primer for understanding the basics of certain scientific concepts. Kids can also learn that they don’t need to be rocket scientists in order to be interested in physics. The studio has also announced Kerbal Space Program 2 for a 2022 release, so keep an eye for that, as well.

image of Purble Place home screen

Verdict on Purble Place

Video games for kids don’t need to be overly simple or clunky. Purble Place, given that it is an older game, remains very easy to use and even fun to look at. The simple UI has aged well even if the sound effects on Comfy Cakes are a little more splat and less “cake icing”.

If you want to introduce your younger child to video games, this makes a great start — especially with the matching game. The different difficulty levels allow for incremental learning over multiple playthroughs. However, kids will likely want to move on from the game after a certain point since it only has three experiences in it.


  • Fantastic introduction to video games for kids
  • Helps players learn as they play
  • Fun design style
  • Doesn’t take up too much disk space


  • Limited number of games
  • Older graphics due to earlier release year
  • Not available on a digital storefront such as Steam or Epic Games

Developer: Oberon Media

Publisher: Microsoft

Game Modes: Single-player

Juliet Childers

Juliet Childers

Juliet Childers is an avid reader, writer, editor, and gamer based in Texas. She attended the University of Houston where she majored in Creative Writing with a business minor. She works mainly as a freelance writer, editor, SEO specialist, and proofreader. Her beat: video games, tech, and pop culture.

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