Anatomy, given how huge a subject it is, is often one of the first proper challenges you’ll face in med school. Anatomy games however? Add a little bit of spice to your study sessions.
Here are some of the best free anatomy game resources out there on the web. I’ve tried and tested each and can safely say they’re excellent for college-aged adults. They’re also suitable for anyone in their late teens and up too.
Sadly my scores playing these games were anything but perfect. But then anatomy was a couple of years ago for me now!
Free Anatomy Study Games for College Students:
- University of Minnesota’s Web Anatomy
- PurposeGames Anatomy
- Anatomy Arcade
- Real Bodywork
- Quizlet Anatomy
- Sporcle Anatomy
- Free Anatomy Quiz
- Get Body Smart
- Learning Nurse
University of Minnesota’s Web Anatomy
UM’s WebAnatomy portal might be bordering on the old and unsupported but it’s still a treasure trove of quizzes, games, general questions and identification challenges.
Land on the main menu and you’ll find individual sub-links to further content areas, including each major system, a general anatomy introduction, biochemistry and histology too.
The quizzes here are varied. You have drop down multiple choice questions (the types seen in most University’s medical school examinations) as well as diagram label matching for muscles, nerves, functions and everything else.
Well worth burning a few hours on. Check out the site by clicking this link.
PurposeGames (not a typo) are a user-generated content site where both students and teachers can submit games in exchange for rewards. From a learning anatomy perspective that means there’s tons of great free content that can help you in getting an edge.
Check out the anatomy tag of the site here. There you’ll find hundreds of games covering many different areas. Topics include; brain anatomy (as shown in the game above), bones, anatomy of the heart, skin, ear and eye. Just to name a few.
One great thing about this resource? The diversity of the quiz formats and the images used.
You’ll also have to work to a timer with most of these too. Getting you even further into serious examination mode.
Anatomy Arcade is well known for developing iPad apps designed to ease high-school aged people into the vast area of anatomy. Their website though, although it requires Flash to be installed to run games properly (don’t worry that’s free), is still quite a smart resource too.
Head there and you’ll find games catering to each organ system that’ll get you up to speed fast. Particularly useful for first year med students looking for a quick overview first before diving into the details.
Here’s a teacher demonstrating how Whack-A-Bone, a super fast way to learn skeletal anatomy, works.
Notice how the games work on a level by level basis. This separates anatomy arcade from the other quiz-based games as the challenge builds alongside your progress.
Real Bodywork is a site that’s focused primarily on muscles, organs and the skeleton, giving students 60 second quick-fire quizzes to help the memorisation process.
Games work on a round basis, meaning the challenges progress in difficulty as you move up. Each game has three levels. You don’t need to install or add anything to your browser to get started either.
Like Anatomy Arcade, they too specialise in mobile app development. But you can access the games by following this link without having to download or pay anything.
The company is actually a massage company that specialises in educational content and online courses.
Readers of this site will know just how much of a fan I am of flashcards as a tool for effectively studying medicine.
Quizlet, an online portal that collects user-created flashcard sets, is a prime candidate for that. Unlike Anki, it doesn’t require any downloads. Meaning you can go through the anatomy-based decks here straight in your browser in a matter of seconds.
Just search the site by anatomy tags by clicking here. You’ll find pages and pages of submissions covering histology, organ system anatomy and even anatomical terminology.
Sporcle is very similar to PurposeGames in that it collects user-generated quizzes and houses them all in one place. At the time of writing the anatomy section of the site boasts over 2,000 individual quizzes. All of which can be played for free, in browser with a simple click.
Sign-up to the site and you can earn badges as you play quizzes too. Which is a nice touch if you’re into the gamification side of things.
Personally, I’d go for higher quality user-submitted games than the types of activities there are here. But that’s not to say there aren’t some hidden gems. Just as the eye anatomy quiz I attempted (pictured above) can prove.
Free Anatomy Quiz
Free Anatomy Quiz delivers exactly what it says. Hosting more than 200 multiple choice question quizzes spanning all the major areas of the subject.
From general anatomy – and anatomical planes and movement, to questions on Latin word roots, you’ll find a lot of top quality questions here.
According to the site’s data, the five most popular features are the skeleton, the brain, the cell, the skull and the axial skeleton. And they also have anatomy-based crosswords and printable activity sheets too.
Get Body Smart
Get Body Smart offers animated text narration and quizzes teaching structures, functions, features and a lot more. The photo above shows my progress playing with their muscular system quiz.
What I like about this site? It’s design. It’s clean, sleek and features both illustrated versions of images (the types you’d expect to see in a high quality textbook) next to images representing the real thing.
This makes studying more complicated areas of anatomy, like cranial floor bones, a lot more easier.
Another nice feature is that most of the quizzes are short, timed and focused only on the essentials. Effectively 80/20ing the subject and making sure you get take the most from your study sessions.
Learning Nurse, as the name suggests, isn’t directly aimed at medical students. But anatomy is just as much a nursing subject as it is for doctors!
What’s great about this site is the design of its game module. You get roughly a minute and half to answer a sprinkle of both anatomy and physiology-based questions. As well as 25, 50 or 90 question round choices too.
Unlike some of other resources talked about here, the questions on Learning Nurse are selected randomly from a pool. Meaning no one quiz you do will be the same.
Particularly useful when preparing for your real anatomy exams.
Learning anatomy effectively, as it is for all subjects on a medical curriculum, comes down to practice. The recommendations above? Give you several useful platforms to do just that.
For more study tips check out my article; how to study medicine more effectively.
To brush up on the knowledge that will truly enable you to master these games and quizzes, check out my recommendations on the best anatomy websites for medical students.