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Space For Grief Games for 4 Year-Olds and Over

Games include interactions, narratives and characters dealing with all aspects of life (and death). This means that some care is necessary if players are sensitive to losing significant people. But also, games can provide a helpful space in which to process, consider and understand death and loss.

Image 162 I've come up with some games that explore this topic, along with help and suggestions from Gaming The Mind (Twitter), an organisation of UK-based mental health professionals who aim to promote positive mental health within the gaming community. By focusing on the intersection between gaming and mental health, they want to raise awareness of mental health challenges and reduce the stigma surrounding these issues.

"We express grief in different ways depending on our age," they said. "To help children cope with loss, it is important that they receive honest explanations about death, appropriate to their level of understanding. With these games, players may find valuable space in which to acknowledge grief as a completely normal reaction to bereavement."

"The games we have selected don't necessarily offer an ideal way to cope with death but tackle the topic of death openly and with a positive attitude. They can help show the player that they are not alone in what they are going through. Playing these games with young people, and answering questions they might have along the way, can be a useful starting point for important conversations about grief."

This list includes 23 games from the last 24 years, with 450 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to process loss.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation and Stealth
Total Likes: 450
 

 

Knights And Bikes!

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/08/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Foam Sword Games (@FoamSwordGames)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room or as a 2-player online game

Enter a hand-painted adventure in a fictional late-eighties British island and work together as Nessa and Demelza to explore its coast on bikes to find treasure, mystery and trouble. There’s fighting with frisbees, water balloons, tape cassettes and...

Florence

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/02/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: Mountains Games (@MountainsGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is a little puzzle game that tells the story of a relationship, following the usual stages of loneliness, meeting, dating, falling for and moving in with another person. At first, the puzzle interactions seem trivial and the game doesn’t change...

Planet of Lana

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Wishfully Games (@Wishfully_Games)

Players: This is a single-player game

Planet of Lana is an adventure where you play a young girl Lana and her loyal animal friend Mui, on a rescue mission. Set on a planet under siege from cold machines and unfamiliar creatures. Rather than the war, though, this is a game about the vibrant...

Assemble With Care

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-9 year-olds

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: PC and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Us Two Games (@UsTwoGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

From the makers of Monument Valley, this puzzle game is a unique way to consider how physical objects become meaningful and hold our memories. You play a restorer who repairs people's favourite possessions: from family heirlooms to broken statues to...

Firewatch

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/09/2016

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Camposanto (@Camposanto)

Players: This is a single-player game

Firewatch is an explorative adventure where you play a fire lookout in America’s Shoshone National Forest. It has a relational and conspiracy undertone similar to the podcast/radio drama and Netflix show [link to...

Spiritfarer

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/08/2020

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

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

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Thunder Lotus (@ThunderLotus)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Spiritfarer is a boat building exploration game. Unusually though, you play Stella, ferry master to the deceased and the boat you manage takes them to the next life.

The Last Of Us

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 16-18 year-olds

Release Date: 14/06/2013

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: This is a single-player game

You play a father, Joel, whose daughter was killed during the early stages of a deadly fungal outbreak. It’s now 20 years later, and he has clearly suffered from the loss. When Joel is given charge of a girl, Ellie, about the same age his daughter...

What Remains of Edith Finch

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/04/2017, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Giant Sparrow (@GiantSparrow)

Players: This is a single-player game

Edith Finch is the surviving member of the Finch family, who seem to have died from a curse. In first-person perspective, you return to the family’s coastal home to learn about each relative’s final hours by exploring their rooms in turn.

The Garden Path

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: From Carrot Cake (@FromCarrotCake)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Garden Path is a slice-of-life simulation game about the small pleasures of gardening. You tend to a world and make it your own through fishing, growing, trading and making new friends. As you do an adventure emerges.

Cloud Gardens

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 09/09/2020, updated in 2021

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

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Noio Games (@Noio_Games)

Players: This is a single-player game

Cloud Gardens is a puzzle game where you grow vegetation over a dilapidated post-apocalyptic world. It's a low-pressure puzzle, from the team behind Kingdom. It has the same pixel-art style, but here you are left to take your time...

Kuro: A Shadow's Dream (Dreams)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/02/2020, updated in 2021

Price: Free

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: A Bawnanable (@ABawnanable)

Players: This is a single-player game

Kuro: A Shadow's Dream is a running and jumping puzzle game. You play as a boy ninja called Kuro who is chasing a mysterious caped figure through a colourful painted landscape. It's unusual because although you collect special abilities (higher jumps or...

Orchids to Dusk

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 03/12/2015

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Ko Op Mode (@KoOpMode)

Players: This is a single-player game

Orchids to Dusk is a short wandering adventure. You are an astronaut stranded on an alien planet, with only a few minutes of oxygen. You explore the world and discover fantastic gardens on the planet.

Shine – Journey of Light

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-11 year-olds

Release Date: 17/11/2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Fox and Sheep (@_FoxAndSheep)

Players: This is a single-player game

Shine – Journey of Light is an adventure puzzle game where you guide a ball of light through a world of light and shadow. As you delve deep into the world you discover a lost civilisation and piece together the stories of the past.

Black Book

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/08/2021

Price: 40% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Role-Play

Accessibility: 24 features

Pieces: Cards

Developer: V Beletsky (@VBeletsky)

Players: This is a single-player game

Black Book is a dark adventure, based on Slavic myths where you are a young sorceress. It combines a visual novel point-and-click adventure with card collecting to gain abilities to fight evil forces and explore the world where humans live alongside...

Leaving Lyndow

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/02/2017

Platforms: Mac, PC and PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Eastshade (@Eastshade)

Players: This is a single-player game

Leaving Lyndow is a narrative adventure set a couple of generations before Eastshade. Sharing the same anthropomorphized animal society, although here at an earlier stage, it's a game about the memories we make in the places we...

Unworded

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 17/11/2000, updated in 2017

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Brain Game, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Bento Studio (@Bento_Studio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Unworded is a narrative visual puzzle where you use letter shapes to create objects and solve puzzles. As you progress through the five chapters, you uncover the story of a writer who is in the hospital recovering from a serious accident.

Gorogoa

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/12/2017, updated in 2018

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

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Rebuscube (@Rebuscube)

Players: This is a single-player game

Gorogoa is a puzzle game where you rearrange and resize tiles to make a singular picture. It appears to be simple, but to solve the puzzles you need to play close attention to how they interrelate. This Matryoshka Russian-Doll puzzle combines with...

Eidolon

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/08/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: Ice Water Games (@IceWaterGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Eidolon is a narrative game where you slowly explore a massive, post-human Western Washington. Unlike other action-oriented adventures, here you navigate an open world without threat. It's simply been reclaimed by nature, so your task is to discover...

I Am Alive

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/03/2012, updated in 2013

Platforms: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

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

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: This is a single-player game

I Am Alive is an action adventure in a post apocalyptic future where an event has reduced cities to rubble. You traverse the country to find your wife and child. It draws on end of humanity fiction like The Road, and stands out for its commitment to...

The War to End All Wars (Dreams)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/02/2021

Price: Free

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Dreams Heini (@DreamsHeini)

Players: This is a single-player game

The War to End All Wars is a point-and-click game set in a World War One battlefield visitor centre. However, as you interact with the exhibits you get taken back in time to live the experience through the eyes of a soldier. Unusual, it uses traditional...

How To Say Goodbye

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Developer: ARTE Interactif (@ARTE_Interactif)

Players: This is a single-player game

How to Say Goodbye is a narrative puzzle game where you interact with the illustrations to help a group of ghosts reach the other side. As you progress you discover the story of a character recently turned into a ghost and lost in an unknown world. Your...

Takeshi and Hiroshi

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-12 year-olds

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Platforms: Mac, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure and Role-Play

Developer: Oink Gms (@OinkGms)

Players: This is a single-player game

Takeshi & Hiroshi is a role-play adventure game about two brothers. Its unusual animation and light touch battles, where you chose your enemies rather than how to fight them, make it an ideal game to introduce the genre and for younger players.
...

Grim Fandango Remastered

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/10/1998, updated in 2015

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Role-Play

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Double Fine (@DoubleFine)

Players: This is a single-player game

Grim Fandango Remastered is a point and click adventure. Set in the Mexican Land of the Dead, you are Manny Calavera, a travel agent for the recently deceased. After struggling to earn enough commission you steal a virtuous client from a colleague 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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