Happy 10th Birthday, Match The Memory!

The first version of Match The Memory launched exactly 10 years ago today. Since then, you’ve made thousands and thousands of memory games (25,000+!), which have been played more than 12 million times. Today, we’re celebrating not just the site itself, but the creators who made the best games on the site.

Most Popular Games of All Time

Rank Title Address Created User
1 Phases of the Moon Matching Game https://matchthememory.com/BESLclass
11/08/13 07:29 AM Tori Keim
2 Mr. Polum’s Landform Game https://matchthememory.com/mrpolum
01/03/13 01:12 PM Chris Polum
3 Irregular Verb Memory Match https://matchthememory.com/irregularverbs
02/22/11 01:59 PM Unknown User
4 PARTS OF THE HOUSE https://matchthememory.com/partsofthehouse
02/05/13 10:05 AM Felipe C.
5 Computer Parts Match https://matchthememory.com/computermatch
08/08/12 03:48 PM BTTF1987
6 Cell Organelle Functions https://matchthememory.com/organellefunctions
04/01/14 01:11 PM Mrs Vergara
7 Nonfiction Text Features https://matchthememory.com/goldmine
11/17/14 12:09 PM Suzanne Hurley
8 The past participle Memory Game https://matchthememory.com/pastparticiple
08/15/12 03:41 PM william jurado
9 Wild Animals Memory Game https://matchthememory.com/jungle
05/21/14 11:29 AM Unknown User
10 U.S. Symbols Matching Game https://matchthememory.com/kimbrowning
06/21/10 07:52 PM John Browning
11 Daily Routines Memory Game 2 https://matchthememory.com/dailyroutines2
10/23/12 05:26 PM paola marchant
12 The Earth’s Spheres Game 1 https://matchthememory.com/Earthspheres
10/23/13 06:06 PM Jessica Vergara
13 spanish greetings https://matchthememory.com/emilyarnold
06/17/14 03:42 PM mrbojngles7 .
14 Formal vs. Informal Language https://matchthememory.com/English102
02/22/11 07:00 PM Patricia Cady
15 Regular & Irregular Plural Nouns https://matchthememory.com/nouns
09/26/13 07:18 AM Shannon Jessman
16 States of Matter Breakout EDU https://matchthememory.com/matterBreakout
03/29/17 07:54 AM Shellye Wardensky
17 Gintama Matching Game (Series 3 Part 1) https://matchthememory.com/GintamaS3P1
03/11/18 07:39 PM Unknown User
18 Family Memory Game https://matchthememory.com/familymemorygame
10/05/13 04:24 AM Unknown User
19 ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ Vocabulary Game https://matchthememory.com/caskbreakout
09/10/17 11:57 AM Your Teacher
10 FHS Cooking Terms Memory Game https://matchthememory.com/CookingTerms
08/02/13 10:58 AM Unknown User
21 Carnivore, Herbivore and Omnivore https://matchthememory.com/Animalmatch
11/13/12 05:37 PM Unknown User
22 Halloween Concentration https://matchthememory.com/halloween
10/29/10 07:08 AM Match The Memory
23 Read Across America Day! https://matchthememory.com/raa
01/13/17 11:37 AM Unknown User
24 Emotions Memory Game https://matchthememory.com/seec
12/12/11 05:05 PM Unknown User
25 Body Parts Memory Game https://matchthememory.com/body-parts
05/05/14 11:59 AM Unknown User
26 Dinosaur Matching Game https://matchthememory.com/dinosaurs
08/27/11 04:12 PM Match The Memory
27 Laboratory Equipment Memory Game https://matchthememory.com/laboratoryequipment
01/31/15 01:19 AM Rachel Zammit
28 The Enlightenment Thinkers https://matchthememory.com/EnlightenmentThinkers
11/03/14 04:07 AM Aimee Maturi
29 Thanksgiving Memory Game https://matchthememory.com/thanksgiving
11/09/10 07:14 AM Match The Memory
30 Coin Matching Game https://matchthememory.com/huskeycoins
03/17/13 10:52 AM Lainie Sowell

Users with Most Approved Games

Rank Name Approved Game Count Example Game
1 Debra Smith
662 https://matchthememory.com/Murder
2 Stephens
153 https://matchthememory.com/Stephens-emotions
3 John Wallace
82 https://matchthememory.com/nsmodgb28sept2018h
4 The TV Dude
78 https://matchthememory.com/moms
5 Wendy Miller
69 https://matchthememory.com/aug-octswreview
6 Mary Waters
68 https://matchthememory.com/oppositesdirections
7 Jose Maria Aguilera Romero
61 https://matchthememory.com/theschool1
8 Match The Memory
60 https://matchthememory.com/paintings
9 Letterland Almere
59 https://matchthememory.com/brandaangr71
10 Alice Lucas
53 https://matchthememory.com/friends1unit11
11 The Match The Movie Guy
49 https://matchthememory.com/hungergames
12 Katerina Menerte
49 https://matchthememory.com/Vegetableska
13 Milan Rkman
47 https://matchthememory.com/italicarsntc
14 Melissa Samson
46 https://matchthememory.com/animalesdelmarsamson
15 beatriz rodriguez muñoz
45 https://matchthememory.com/Alltagsgegenstaendefotosundtext
16 iaint2
45 https://matchthememory.com/2vocab1
17 Carmela Diaz Grados
45 https://matchthememory.com/adjectives1com
18 Brittney Fletcher
45 https://matchthememory.com/HPFamiliars1
19 The Rosetta Stone
42 https://matchthememory.com/spanishvocab
20 Jack Nowee
38 https://matchthememory.com/schelpen
21 Kimberly Austin
38 https://matchthememory.com/therewasanoldladywhoswallowedafrog
22 Klaudia Mołodowska
37 https://matchthememory.com/maluszki
23 DeAnna Meyers
37 https://matchthememory.com/DeAnnaGame
24 Michelle Coyle MS CCC/SLP
36 https://matchthememory.com/mixedarticthshskch1
25 Mormon Matching
35 https://matchthememory.com/ldsapostles
26 Christina Villani
35 https://matchthememory.com/numbermatching
27 Jan Juventino
34 https://matchthememory.com/Aghadar
28 Susan Boller
34 https://matchthememory.com/longway
29 Laurens van der Laan
31 https://matchthememory.com/H2CVOCAB
30 Karen Lawson
29 https://matchthememory.com/initiall

Thanks to everyone who’s created a memory game or two over the last decade! We look forward to serving you for many more years to come!

Creator control

Since nearly the beginning of Match The Memory, the person who plays the game has had a lot of control when it comes to the number of cards with which to play the game. The card count feature allows a player to select any number of cards, as I explained in a previous blog entry:

By default, when you come to play one of our memory games, you get all of that game’s cards. But at any point in the game play, you can decide to use fewer cards. Just use the “# of Cards” dropdown and select a lower number. Boom, you’re playing a much easier version of the game.

This can be somewhat problematic, for a couple of reasons. First, the player has to know to switch the dropdown. Some games (like the periodic table matching games that we created) contain a huge number of cards, which isn’t a great experience for the people trying to match those cards. Sure, a teacher could link to the version of the game that contains an appropriate number of cards, but not a lot of people know that trick.

The second reason this isn’t ideal is that the person who creates a game may want their players to use all of the cards, for whatever reason. It could be that they’re a teacher who wants their students to cover all of the material that the game presents. It could be that they’re a company running a contest, checking how many seconds or how many flips it took each player to complete the game. (Using the “# of cards” dropdown in this case could be an easy way to “cheat” and get a lower score.)

So this week, we decided to add a few new features that fix both of those problems and give creators more control over how their games are played, while still allowing players some flexibility in how they choose to play the game. All of these features are managed in the game editor page’s “Game Details” tab, under the new “Gameplay Options” section.

To address the first issue, we added the ability to set a default card count to each game. The game creator can decide what a reasonable default for their game is. That is, if someone goes to our “The Periodic Table Memory Game” without choosing anything from the dropdown, they’ll now get 30 pairs of cards, instead of cards representing all 118 elements. Each time they reload the game, they’ll get a random subset of all of the possible cards, the same as if the teacher had linked directly to https://matchthememory.com/PeriodicTableAll?card_count=30.

Any masochistic students may choose to still play with all 118 pairs of cards, but the default experience is much more manageable. If a teacher decided that 118 cards was too many, they could make a game with all 118 cards, but set the new maximum card count option to 50, or 20, or 10, to limit players to a random subset of 10 cards of the possible 118.

The default default number of cards, and the default maximum number of cards is the same as it always was — as many cards as there are in a game. However, we have updated all of the games that we created with large numbers of cards to have more reasonable defaults: 30 for the periodic table games mentioned above, 20 for our “US States” based games (capitals, shapes, flags, and nicknames), and 20 each for the vast number of characters in The Simpsons and Game of Thrones. We didn’t change any of our maximums — go nuts, GoT fans.

To fix the second problem, we created a new minimum card count feature that lets a user force their players to play with at least the number of cards specified. We could decide that our shapes game is too easy for those lazy preschoolers who only want to match two shapes. So instead, we can set the minimum to 4 cards, and allow the player to choose anywhere between 4 and 7 pairs to play with.

The minimum number of cards could be the same as the maximum, in which case the “# of cards” dropdown doesn’t even show up for the player.

We hope that these changes help you create games that your players will enjoy!

How Match The Memory is better than a physical memory game

I have a lot of experience playing matching games, since I create quite a few myself, and I curate all of the public games built by others on the site. So when my 3-year-old son got an old-school physical matching game for Christmas this year, I immediately started contrasting the experience with playing a similar game online with Match The Memory.

The Contenders

In this corner, the PJ Masks Memory Game from Ravensburger. It’s a basic physical matching game of the traditional Hasbro variety — a bunch of characters on cards, with each picture appearing on a pair of cards.

And in this corner, the PJ Masks Characters Matching Game on Match The Memory. At first glance, it’s pretty similar: you can find Catboy and Gekko and Owlette on both games. There’s a PJ Masks logo on the back. But we’ll see some significant differences as we get into actually using each game.

Storage and Maintenance

The first difference between these games is that the physical version is just that: physical. It takes up room on a shelf or in a closet. I know that in my house, our game cupboards are already packed to the gills, and it’s hard to find room for a new game. That’s not a problem with the Match The Memory version, which just takes up a few bytes on your computer’s hard drive. (You do have to have an Internet connection to start playing it, but other than during the occasional power outage, that’s rarely a problem in modern life.)

Another problem associated with being a physical game is that you can lose the pieces (especially when a 3-year-old is involved). In contrast, every time you pull up the digital version of the game, you’ll know that your Luna Girl card will be exactly where it belongs. Also, a physical version of the game can get banged up and chewed on, while the digital version will always look as new as the day you first created it.

Additionally, once a physical matching game is printed and sold, that’s it. You can’t exactly create a new pair of cards when a great new character is introduced, unless you’re extremely good with a magic marker and some Mod Podge. A Match The Memory game, on the other hand, can be edited at any point. If in season 8 of PJ Masks, they add a breakout dog character (Poochie?), it will be super simple to edit the game to add him. (If you weren’t the person who created the original game on Match The Memory, you can go make your own game that’s very similar and include that character.)

Setup and Gameplay

When you want to start playing, you notice some other big differences between a physical memory game and a digital one from Match The Memory. I noticed when my 3-year-old wanted to play with his grandma that it took several moments to actually lay out the cards on the table, aligning them all into a grid pattern that everyone could reach. (This process was delayed even further by his “helping” her place the cards.) In contrast, on Match The Memory, the computer does all of the shuffling and arranging for you, in less than a second.

Once you actually get going, playing a Match The Memory game is simpler than the real-life version too. Picking up a card and turning it over can be tough for a 3-year-old’s chubby fingers, especially if you’re trying not to disturb the other cards out on the table. On the other hand, selecting a card in the online version is as simple and pointing and clicking with a mouse, or tapping on a phone or tablet, both of which my son could do before his second birthday.

If you determine that you didn’t get a match in a physical game, you have to go through the whole process in reverse: take the flipped up cards, turn them back over, and put them back in their original place. I noticed that my son had a hard time with this last piece — he just wanted to put the card back wherever his fancy struck him, which took the “memory” part of this game to challenging new levels for his grown-up partner, and extremely frustrating levels for a pre-schooler. In contrast, in a Match The Memory game, the cards always flip back down exactly where they started that round, so you always know where that first Romeo card is once you locate the second one. (You can also turn on a grid feature that labels each card with a number and letter, if that helps you remember where the matches are.)

Finally, a physical game cannot automatically link you to additional content or encouragement when you find a pair or win the game. In the PJ Masks game on Match The Memory, however, there’s a fun surprise that pops up when you find all of the matches: a YouTube video showing the TV show’s opening title song, which my son loves to watch every time he plays that game. (You can also add custom content like this when the player matches a specific pair of cards, like a GIF or a link or message.)

To Block or Not To Block

A year and a half ago, we made a strategic decision to add Google Ads to our site pages. In general, it has been a good move for us, helping to offset the cost of running our servers.

But we understand that not everyone likes having ads show up on their games. Some people run ad-blocker software in their browsers that prevent our ads from showing up; we’re fine with this. We do it ourselves.

Recently, we got a request from a game creator to remove advertisements on their games. We decided to turn it into a win-win opportunity, and created a new product that allows a user to disable those ads while still providing some revenue to keep the lights on at Match The Memory.

You can see this new product on any game’s Buy page. After you purchase it, Google Ads will be removed for all visitors who come to play that game.

Most Popular Games – Week of 2 Dec. 2017

I’m surprised that there aren’t any holiday games in here yet. I’m sure we’ll see more of these as the month goes on.

All Games

Rank Title/Image Creator
1 Phases of the Moon Matching Game
Tori Keim
2 Irregular Verb Memory Match
Unknown User
3 Nonfiction Text Features
Suzanne Hurley
4 Mr. Polum’s Landform Game
Chris Polum
Felipe C.

New Games

We’re covering a lot of the basics here: language, math, geology, civics. If you used all of these new games this week, you’d probably wind up with a pretty solid education. 🙂

Rank Title/Image Creator
1 Culture
Unknown User
2 Module 7 Review
Unknown User
3 Weathering
Unknown User
4 DiSalvi’s Vocab Review Game
Christopher Disalvi
5 Chapter 4 Vocabulary Matching with Pictures
Kyle Heaslip

It’s hip to be square

In general, pictures are best shown either horizontally or vertically. Pictures of people are usually shot in the “portrait” orientation, while most other photos are generally taken in “landscape” orientation. That’s why we built Match The Memory to default a game’s cards to the Landscape layout, with the option of switching them to Portrait. This lets you have your images as big as possible on your cards. (Pro tip: if more of your cards are vertical than horizontal, we suggest that you change that game to Portrait.)

However, sometimes you have a picture that doesn’t really fit either Landscape or Portrait. Whether it’s a drawing of an atom or your latest Instagram selfie, sometimes you need a square. That’s why we just added a new Square layout option to Match The Memory.

In addition to possibly fitting your images better, Square cards are bigger — the same height as Portrait cards and the same width as Landscape cards.

Try out the new Square orientation on a new or existing custom memory game. Let us know about specific games that you think are better having square cards rather than horizontal or vertical ones.