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Pastoral Playtime Games Rated Parental Guidance (PG) and Older

Cottagecore is an online term celebrating an idealised rural life. Although games are usually considered to be hard, harsh and technological, many of them play to this aesthetic that is sentimental about traditional skills and crafts such as foraging, baking, and pottery.

Games sometimes use these rural pursuits as play mechanics, like Stardew Valley, Potion Craft, Terraria and Fantasy Life. Others use Cottagecore as a guide to how they look and feel, like Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, The Stillness of the Wind and Mutazione.

However it plays out in the game, Cottagecore aims to satisfy a desire for aspirational nostalgia and an escape from stress or trauma. The New York Times described it as a reaction to hustle culture and the advent of personal branding. The Guardian called it a "visual and lifestyle movement designed to fetishize the wholesome purity of the outdoors."

These games emphasize simplicity and the slow pace of pastoral life as an escape from the modern world in favour of the bucolic. Unsurprisingly this has become more popular on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. In some ways the resurgence of retro games could be seen in a similar light, although here the sentimental nostalgia is for virtual entertainment rather than rural lifestyle.

This list includes 15 games from the last 18 years, with 385 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to escape into cottagecore .

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 7 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: PG to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Strategy and World Building
Total Likes: 385
 

 

Fable (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/09/2004

Platforms: Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Role-Play

Developer: We Are Playground (@WeArePlayground)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is an adventure role-playing game set in a fantasy world where your interactions with the world and villagers, and decisions about your use of magical power, substantially alter the story and the environment.

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC and PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Chinese Room (@ChineseRoom)

Players: This is a single-player game

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture lands you in a fictional deserted English village in 1984. As you walk the streets of another era you discover bright human forms who re-enact events like a radio play. Through their eyes, you see a web of fear,...

Terraria

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 25/11/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Platform, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Terraria Logic (@Terraria_Logic)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 8-player online game

Terraria looks like a 2D, lesser, version of Minecraft. However, this is a game every bit as complex and creative as the better-known block building game. To the world-crafting and survival it adds hundreds of items to collect, characters to defeat and...

Stardew Valley

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Concerned Ape (@ConcernedApe)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

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 as inviting for young players to...

Thousand Threads

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 30/07/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 36 features

Developer: Threads Game (@ThreadsGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

Thousand Threads is an open world game of consequences. You are free to interact with the world, animals and people however you like, give, take, save, kill, inform, hide, befriend, betray. But how you do this will have ongoing and unavoidable...

One Hour One Life

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 27/02/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Jason Rohrer (@JasonRohrer)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 100-player online game

This is a civilisation survival game where each player lives a whole life in an hour of play and then passes away. Born as a baby into the care of anonymous other online players, you initially depend on them for food. Quickly growing, you can soon fend...

Tchia

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Rhythm and Simulation

Accessibility: 36 features

Developer: Awaceb (@Awaceb)

Players: This is a single-player game

Tchia is an adventure where you play a young girl (Tchia) who can climb, glide, swim, and sail around a beautiful archipelago. Along with the usual sandbox missions and play the game offers an unusual ability to take control (and become) any animal or...

Mutazione

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 23/09/2019

Platforms: Mac, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Creative and Narrative

Developer: Gute Fabrik (@GuteFabrik)

Players: This is a single-player game

In Mutazione you play as a 15-year-old girl visiting her grandfather on a faraway island inhabited by friendly but mutated villagers. By finding seeds, tending to gardens and talking to people, you uncover a tightly knit web of characters with...

The Good Life

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 15/10/2021

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Swery 65 (@Swery65)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Good Life is a narrative adventure, where you experience a slower pace of life in an English town. Although, before long you are drawn into an intriguing web of murder, bodily transformations into cats and dogs and photographic tasks. It's an...

Deiland Pocket Planet

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 09/08/2018

Price: 60% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Chibig Studio (@ChibigStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Deiland is an adventure set on a small spherical planet. You farm, craft, and build your own world. Improve your skills, craft tools, cook food, brew potions, and create tools. As you make your home, you will attract merchants to trade materials and...

Wylde Flowers

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 18/02/2022

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Role-Play, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Studio Drydock (@StudioDrydock)

Players: This is a single-player game

Wylde Flowers is a cozy life and farming strategy game with a witchy twist. It's a charming world of diverse characters, magical spells and player choices. You play Tara, who has moved in to help her grandma and the family farm. By day you work the farm...

Baldo: The Guardian Owls

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 27/08/2021

Price: 30% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Puzzle and Role-Play

Developer: Baldos Tale (@BaldosTale)

Players: This is a single-player game

Baldo: The Guardian Owls is an adventure into a magical world. As you explore the overworld and solve the intricately puzzling dungeons you discover new towns, fight ferocious foes, locate hidden temples, and collect magical objects and weapons.

Future Unfolding

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 15/03/2017

Platforms: Mac, PC and PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Developer: Spaces Of Play (@SpacesOfPlay)

Players: This is a single-player game

Future Unfolding is an exploration adventure where you travel into beautiful landscapes to unfold the mysteries hidden around you. Viewed from above, you have a bird's eye view as you encounter different types of wild animals, some helpful and some...

Little King's Story

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/04/2009, updated in 2016

Platforms: PC, PS Vita and Wii

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Role-Play and Strategy

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Onion Games (@OnionGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Little King's Story is a real-time strategy game that simulates life in a fictional kingdom. You play a timid boy who finds a crown that gives him power to make people follow orders. You slowly expand your village by gathering resources and gaining...

Wildmender

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Open World, Simulation, Strategy and World Building

Developer: Muse Games (@MuseGames)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

Wildmender is a world building game where you unearth the past in the desert. Play involves exploring to discover what has gone before, so you can restore the environment for your future. You work to revive withering plant life, cultivate a garden and...

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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