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Great Single Developer Games for 13-year-olds (Year 9 Secondary School)

Video games are complicated. The era of a lone developer making a hit game in their bedrooms is long gone. Or is it? We have found a swath of amazing games that have been driven into existence by just one person.

These games often stand out because of their singular vision and focused scope. Although, as the discussion surrounding this list has uncovered, almost all games have some contribution from other people. Coding, designing, creating art, writing music, recording dialogue.

Still, these are games where there has been a single driving force (auteur) willing their creation into existence. This list aims to highlight these games not to hold up the ideal of solo development (which can lead to unhealthy work-life balance) but to uncover this deep pool of fascinating games with a singular vision.

As Lewis Procter tweeted, it's exciting to realise that "you can make a game without needing permission or support from a big company, and many great tools are readily available." But, as he continued, in reality "games are almost always at some level a collaborative effort."

The games we are including here are those that were created by a single person. Sometimes this is in a final form, sometimes a single developers vision was released and has subsequent versions that expands this with more people. This is our thank-you to all these tireless individuals who have created something singular and pure that we now enjoy.

This list includes 10 games from the last 10 years, with 747 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play games created by one person.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 12
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Collecting, Communication, Fighting, Narrative, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 747
 

 

A Short Hike

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Open World, Pixels and Weather

In A Short Hike you play penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to explore the park, help other animals, find...

Stardew Valley

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid, Open World and Pixels

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is inviting for young players to try...

Thomas Was Alone

Release Date: 18/04/2013, updated in 2014

Platforms: PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Thomas Was Alone is jumping and puzzle solving platform game where you control different-coloured rectangles. It sounds boring and derivative but each of the distinctly coloured shapes comes to life in the game as a character embroiled in this escape...

Spelunky 2 (Series)

Release Date: 29/09/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Spelunky 2 is, like the classic Spelunky, a running and jumping game where you exploring mysterious caves on the moon looking for your missing parents. On your journey, you will find unique environments, treasure, and people to join you as you delve...

Towerfall

Release Date: 25/06/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

In Towerfall each player selects a pixelated knight and fights to eliminate opponents by shooting them with arrows or jumping on their heads. The arena is a single shared screen. What makes it so competitive is the limited resource of arrows and the...

Five Nights at Freddy's (Series)

Release Date: 23/07/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Five Nights at Freddy's (FNaF) is a series of puzzle horror games with jump scares rather than blood and gore. You play the night-guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and have to survive the night while in your office, checking the cameras and closing the...

Undertale

Release Date: 15/09/2015, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Undertale is a 2D adventure game where you don't have to kill anyone. Providing you unique ways to avoid combat, from dancing with a slime to whispering your deepest secret to a knight. However, you could just ignore this option and rain destruction...

The Falconeer

Release Date: 10/11/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Weather

The Falconeer is an action game where you play a pilot who flies a weaponised falcon through dramatic locations. You battle the rivalling factions to uncover the secrets of long-forgotten gods and ancestors. Although the game-play is all flying and...

Axiom Verge 2 (Series)

Release Date: 31/03/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Axiom Verge is a series of running, jumping and fighting games where you play as Trace, a scientist who wakes up in an unknown ancient world. It's similar to retro games like Metroid and Contra where you explore levels, collect items and progress your...

Astronite

Release Date: 30/11/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Astronite is a running, jumping and shooting game where you control a brave explorer working through challenging zones full of hidden secrets, enemies and big bosses. Play combines action, exploration, puzzles and jumping. It stands out for it's simple...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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