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53 Great Games Like Disco Elysium

Our experts have spent time searching for great games similar to Disco Elysium and have found the following:

Disco Elysium The Final Cut is a role-playing game set in the fictional city of Revachol where you play Harrier "Harry" Du Bois who must solve a complex murder. Unusually, your choices and actions not only determine how the story unfolds but affect Harry's mental cacophony of competing personalities. What starts as a whodunnit, soon evolves into an exploration of human brokenness, empathy and how mental health affects everyday life.

Unfortunately, Disco Elysium is not available on Android, PS5, Xbox Series X|S or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme, and at a lower age rating:

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 15/10/2019, updated in 2021

Price: 40% off

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Play

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Studio ZAUM (@StudioZAUM)

Players: 1

Costs: Purchase cost

37 Hand Picked Video Games Like Disco Elysium

These are our hand-picked Video Game games similar to Disco Elysium. This doesn't use automatic matching, instead, we hand-pick games that are good to play if you have enjoyed Disco Elysium, or as younger rated alternatives for players not ready for PEGI 18 or ESRB MATURE 17+ games. These selections also include Video Game games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

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...

Life Is Strange (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 19/01/2016

Price: 60% off

Platforms: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

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

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: DONTNOD Ent (@DONTNOD_Ent)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is a click/tap-to-move adventure where you play a student at high school in a sleepy American town. Despite the idyllic setting, you have a foreboding premonition of a disastrous storm. Along with this prophetic vision, you discover the ability to...

Detroit: Become Human

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 25/05/2018

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 9 features

Developer: Quantic Dream (@Quantic_Dream)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is a branching narrative game from Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. This is the third game in the series and offers a more refined version of the filmic branching experience.

Celeste

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2018

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

Genres: Platform

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Exok Games (@Exok_Games)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, haunted by self-doubt at the task in hand. She presses on...

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Narrative

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Ninja Theory (@NinjaTheory)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is a dark fantasy adventure, drawing on Norse and Celtic mythology, where you play a young female Pict warrior, Senua. You explore and fight your way to Helheim to rescue the soul of her dead lover. As you play, though, you hear multiple voices in...

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.

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-14 year-olds

Release Date: 12/12/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, GBA, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

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

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Capcom USA (@CapcomUSA_)

Players: This is a single-player game

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a courtroom murder mystery series where you piece together clues to challenge testimonies and uncover the truth. It’s like a visual novel, although you must interact with characters and evidence to progress.

Twelve Minutes

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 19/08/2021, updated in 2021

Price: 40% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Faca Electrica (@FacaElectrica)

Players: This is a single-player game

12 Minutes is an adventure thriller game about a single apartment building. You view things from above and can interact with a simple click and drag interface. What starts as a romantic evening with your wife turns into a nightmare when a police...

A Place for the Unwilling

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 25/07/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and Stadia

Genres: Narrative and Simulation

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: Al Pixel Games (@AlPixelGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

A Place for the Unwilling is a narrative adventure set in the final 21 days of a dying city. You investigate the city and its inhabitants to piece together what has happened. However, the clock is always ticking and the city carries on, with or without...

The White Door

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 09/01/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Rusty Lake Com (@RustyLakeCom)

Players: This is a single-player game

The White Door is an adventure that you play by exploring each room, finding and interacting with items and people. Along with its unusual black and white visuals, The White Door is also notable for the topic of mental health and memory loss it takes on.

Octopath Traveler

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 13/07/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Role-Play

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Square Enix (@SquareEnix)

Players: This is a single-player game

Octopath Traveler is a combat-focused role-playing game where you follow eight characters on their personal quests. Like other role playing games, you explore the vast open world, interact with citizens and fight enemies as you progress through the...

She Dreams Elsewhere

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Play

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Studio Zevere (@StudioZevere)

Players: This is a single-player game

She Dreams Elsewhere is a surreal adventure. You explore the dreams and real life of Thalia, an anxiety-ridden, comatose woman on a journey to confront the nightmares preventing her from awakening.

Persona

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 20/09/1996, updated in 2017

Price: 80% off

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Play

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: Atlus jp (@Atlus_jp)

Players: This is a single-player game

Persona 5 (also known as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona) is the latest game in a series of role-playing games that focus on a group of students. You explore the world and take on enemies like other role play games. Here though, you manage relationships...

Frequency Missing

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 07/11/2018

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

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

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: UN Iof Skovde (@UNIofSkovde)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is a point and click adventure. You play young radio reporter Patricia who has just started her first job at a radio station. However, strange things are happening. Richard, her friend who got her the job has vanished and someone is tampering with...

Rusty Lake: Roots

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/10/2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Brain Game, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Rusty Lake Com (@RustyLakeCom)

Players: This is a single-player game

Rusty Lake: Roots is an unusual point-and-click puzzle-horror game that has you piecing together your family tree. With a wide range unusual puzzles and game mechanics, like growing a literal family tree, it tells a story of a broken family and dark...

Where the Heart Leads

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 13/07/2021

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: Armature Studio (@ArmatureStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Where the Heart Leads is an adventure game where you make life-choices and then see their impact. You play Whit Anderson, as he revisits and alters his past, present, and future. It's a game that creates a surreal dream-like narrative, but one that is...

Backbone

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 24/04/2019

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

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

Developer: Egg Nut Games (@EggNutGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Backbone is an adventure game inspired by film noir where you role-play as a human-like raccoon detective. As a detective, you search for clues and evidence, talk to witnesses, and choose which leads to follow.

Pitch Black: A Detective's Demise

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/10/2020

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Dusk Light Pro (@DuskLightPro)

Players: This is a single-player game

Pitch Black: A Detective's Demise is an adventure game set in a technological noir-detective world. You play using sound alone which offers voice acting and environmental sound effects to enable you to navigate.

Samsara Room

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 06/09/2013, updated in 2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Brain Game, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Rusty Lake Com (@RustyLakeCom)

Players: This is a single-player game

Samsara Room is an abstract point-and-click puzzle-horror game. By solving the puzzles hidden throughout the room, you uncover an uneasy story about judgement and atonement told through the things you find.

Sunless Sea

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 06/02/2015, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Play and Traversal

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Failbetter Games (@FailbetterGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sunless Sea is a sea-faring adventure where you pilot a small steamship to explore a Victorian-era London that has been moved beneath the earth's surface. You take on the role of captain but select different ambitions that determine how you will play.

The Outbound Ghost

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Role-Play

Accessibility: 36 features

Developer: Conradical Games (@ConradicalGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Outbound Ghost is a narrative role-play about a ghost on a quest to solve the cause of their own death, and help other ghosts come to terms with their own post-mortal existence. It's inspired by [link to game/Paper+Mario+The+Origami+King Paper...

Rusty Lake Hotel

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/12/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Rusty Lake Com (@RustyLakeCom)

Players: This is a single-player game

Rusty Lake Hotel is a surreal point-and-click adventure with a tangential horror narrative. While set in the same universe as the other games in the Rusty Lake series, it tells its own standalone story that only shares loose connections with the other...

The Magister

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 16/06/2020, updated in 2021

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC and Switch

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

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Nerdook (@Nerdook)

Players: You can play with 0 players in the same room

The Magister is a roleplaying adventure where you play a detective sent to investigate the murder of a fellow Magister. You explore the point-and-click adventure to find clues, follow leads and befriend villagers. But then there's a card game to uncover...

Ambition: A Minuet in Power

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/08/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Joy Manu Co (@JoyManuCo)

Players: This is a single-player game

Ambition: A Minuet in Power is a text adventure that offers a historical twist on the dating game genre. You play a young woman far from home, abandoned by the love of her life in the city of Paris. Rather than sorrow or shame, this ignites ambition for...

Black Mirror Bandersnatch

Release Date: 28/12/2018

Platforms: Web

Genres: Action, Narrative and Role-Play

Players: This is a single-player game

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (Netflix) takes the interactive mystery genre a step further towards a traditional TV series. You watch it on your television but make decisions for the characters which then branches the narrative. With 150 minutes to watch...

South Park: The Fractured but Whole (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 21/12/1998, updated in 2017

Price: 70% off

Platforms: Android, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Role-Play

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: This is a single-player game

The South Park games are based on the sitcom of the same name, and the most notable recent games, South Park: The Stick of Truth and South Park: The Fractured but Whole are role-playing games where you explore the South Park world and gather a team to...

Citizen Sleeper

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/05/2022

Price: 10% off

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

Genres: Communication, Narrative, Point-and-Click, Role-Play and Sequencing

Accessibility: 24 features

Pieces: Dice

Developer: Jump Over The Age (@JumpOverTheAge)

Players: This is a single-player game

Citizen Sleeper is a role-play game set in the ruins of interplanetary capitalism. You are an escaped worker exploring a lawless space station, making friends and (ultimately) trying to escape your past. Each cycle you roll dice and decide how to spend...

Neo: The World Ends with You (The World Ends With You)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 27/07/2007, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, DS, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting, Narrative, Rhythm and Role-Play

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Square Enix (@SquareEnix)

Players: This is a single-player game

The World Ends with You is a role-playing game set in the modern-day Shibuya shopping district of Tokyo. The place is a ghost town where the dead are forced to battle to try and gain their lives back. With stylized art and a fantasy story it stands out...

Norco

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 24/03/2022

Platforms: PC

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

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Robotic Geo (@RoboticGeo)

Players: This is a single-player game

Norco is a gothic point-and-click narrative adventure set in the decaying suburbs and industrial swamps of an alternative South Louisiana. Your brother goes missing after your mother's death and you set out to find him by following a fugitive security...

Soulitaire

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative, Role-Play and Sequencing

Pieces: Cards

Developer: Wolkilula (@Wolkilula)

Players: This is a single-player game

Soulitaire is a solitaire puzzle game where you play cards to get a peak into the future of the people you play against. However, play is as much about interpretation of the cards as which cards they get. It's an unusual game about the impact of others...

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 26/09/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Developer: The Astro Crew (@TheAstroCrew)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a narrative mystery game about Paul Prospero, an occult-minded detective who receives a disturbing letter from Ethan Carter saying he is in danger. It turns out that Ethan vanished in the wake of a brutal murder. You...

A Case of Distrust

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 08/02/2018

Platforms: PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: The Wandering Ben (@TheWanderingBen)

Players: This is a single-player game

A Case of Distrust is a narrative game set in the roaring 20's where you play a hardboiled detective, Phyllis Cadence Malone, investigating a mystery full of deception and doubt. You help her struggle to overcome insecurities amidst pushback against...

Pentiment

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Play

Developer: Obsidian (@Obsidian)

Players: This is a single-player game

Pentiment is a historical role-playing game where you explore 16th century Germany world to solve a murder. Play involves exploring the world, talking to people and discovering new ways the narrative evolves. It all takes place on the pages of an old book.

Rusty Lake Paradise

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 11/01/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Rusty Lake Com (@RustyLakeCom)

Players: This is a single-player game

Rusty Lake Paradise is an unusual point-and-click puzzle set in the Rusty Lake universe where you play through plagues reminiscent of the ten plagues of Egypt in the biblical story of Exodus. With a unique mystery at the core of the story, challenging...

Streets of Rogue

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 10/03/2017, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Role-Play, Stealth and Traversal

Developer: Mad Guy 90 (@MadGuy90)

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

Streets of Rogue is a fast-paced action roleplaying game where your overarching goal is to take down the mayor, and how you do it is completely up to you: clever hacker, charming bartender soldier, thief or assassin. It's all about experimentation and...

Sunday Gold

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Battle, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Shooting

Developer: Bkom Studios (@BkomStudios)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sunday Gold is a point-and-click adventure game set in a grim future London. You play three criminals out to uncover the dark secrets of an evil corporation and billionaire. It's an unusual mix of collecting items to solve puzzles and strategic turn...

The Last Case of Benedict Fox

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: Rogue Co (@Rogue_Co)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Last Case of Benedict Fox is a running, jumping and fighting game where a demon invites you to explore the minds of the recently deceased. You work through an old mansion to uncover the mystery of a double murder and missing child. It's an elegant...

1 Board Game Alternative to Disco Elysium

This is our hand-picked alternative to Disco Elysium. This doesn't use automatic matching, instead, we hand-pick games that are good to play if you have enjoyed Labyrinth. These selections also include games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

16 Video Games Like Disco Elysium Based on Genre

These are games of a similar genre mix to Disco Elysium. This includes games from the Role-Play, Puzzle, Adventure and Narrative genres. We pick out games of a similar PEGI rating to further hone these generated suggestions.
 

8 Video Games With More Documented Accessibility Features than Disco Elysium

If you like the sound of Disco Elysium but it doesn’t offer the accessibility you require, the games in this section offer a similar experience but with more Accessibility Features. You can view a full breakdown in our Disco Elysium Accessibility Report.
 

Disco Elysium is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Disco Elysium in the following lists:

Inhabit Another World

Whether it’s a simple puzzle grid, a battlefield or a universe of planets to visit, all games create virtual spaces in which to play. Some of these are simply the background to a campaign - the game’s unfolding drama, missions or challenge. But others invite you to invest in the worlds they create, move in, tend to and inhabit in fantastical ways.

The games in this section invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character. Worlds that hold history and lore in their landscapes, flora, fauna and inhabitants; environments that respond to your presence and invite you to restore them to their former glory.
 

The Besties Podcast's Games of the Years

The Besties is a podcast about video games with a focus on a Game of Year format. Although episodes do cover new games like other podcasts, much of the content builds towards yearly Game of the Year shows, and head-to-head showdowns for best games in a series (Zelda, Grand Theft Auto and so on).

"It's Game of the Year meets King of the Hill as four of Earth's best friends – Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Chris Plante, and Russ Frushtick – rank and review their favorite video games. Because shouldn't the world's best friends pick the world's best games?"

This is a list of the games that they have picked for their final game of the year show from 2014 to 2021. In some cases we didn't have the game on the database, but generally this is a good representation of their picks over the time of the show.
 

Face Tough Decisions

Games create virtual worlds where you can experience life from other perspectives. This can be entertaining and light-hearted, but also presents ethical scenarios that require you to think carefully about consequences.

The games selected here each place you in a challenging situation to give you a first-hand experience of what it’s like. It may be nail-biting, heart-breaking or desperate, but often, through all the trials and tribulations, there is still hope. Either way, unlike reading books or watching films about these subjects, here you are emotionally implicated in the choices you are faced with.
 

Solve a Mystery

Like a good crime drama or whodunnit novel, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. However, rather than just watching these mysteries while someone else does the heavy lifting, these video games place you firmly in the role of the detective. Gathering statements, sifting evidence and making intelligent leaps of deduction requires care and attention. These investigations makes these games slower than others, but it’s worth the effort each time you find the correct conclusion and move the story on.

These games present you with a mysterious scenario to be solved. Whether with direct puzzles, locations to investigate or crime scenarios to deduce, they offer a unique, first-hand sleuthing challenge.
 

Space For Grief

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."
 

Space For Loneliness

In a culture that often assumes that the route to happiness is with another person, it can benefit us to acknowledge that being alone is not always a bad thing. We teamed up with Courtney Garcia’s Screen Therapy channel to curate a list of games that give us a chance to experience being alone in different ways.

Garcia’s Screen Therapy project employs Positive Media Psychology research to highlight and interpret meaningful experiences with games and movies. “With mindfulness, there are even more benefits to gain from intentional consumption of media,” she says, “games can be tools we use to recover or grow, psychologically, and our time with them isn't wasted if they provide us insights or rest we need.”

This list was inspired by the experience of playing the unusually solitary (and long) game The Longing and the Twitter thread that followed. In it, you spend 400 elapsed days waiting for the King to wake up and living at a slow pace. The other games offer their own lens on loneliness and solitary seasons of life. These games offer us insight into the benefits of appreciating time alone, such as opportunities for self-reflection, self-discovery, and the chance to curate enriching experiences or environments for ourselves.

Some of the games, like Never Alone, Journey and The Long Dark place you in a harsh environment that emphasises your diminutive size when faced with the expanse of nature. Other games in the list, like Thomas Was Alone and Bird Alone offer you the chance to reflect on friendship and the need to nurture relationships. Then there are games we included like Shadow of the Colossus that let you get lost in the vastness of its landscape. Finally, a few of the games like The First Tree and Sunlight invite you to make a connection to other players, once you have come to terms with a journey on your own.
 

Eggplant Podcast's Games of the Years

Eggplant: The Secret Lives of Games, is a podcast that offers a candid conversation with game creators that dives deep into the art, craft, and process of making games. It's an amazing insight into the mind of people who understand and highlight how game/play mechanics can do unexpected, magical and surprising things.

This is the list of games they have picked as their Game of the Year 2018-2021. These awards also include board games, escape rooms and game-like TV series. We have included video games here, where we have them on the database. (And in many cases have added video games to the database after listening to the show.)

It's hosted by:
  • Nick Suttner, an independent game writer/designer/consultant, who has worked on games like Celeste, Bloodroots, and Carto.
  • Andy Nealen, a game creator and scholar, artist and music maker, architect and structural engineer, and professor of cinematic arts and computer science at USC.
  • Sarah Elmaleh, actor, consultant and event organizer with a passion for collaborative creation - both as a seasoned performer and as an advocate for best practices in the games industry.
  • Zach Gage, who makes deep games that are easy to get into, like Really Bad Chess and SpellTower.
  • Douglas Wilson, who is a co-owner of Die Gute Fabrik, a games studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has worked on Johann Sebastian Joust, Sportsfriends, and Mutazione.
  • Laura E. Hall, is an an artist, writer, puzzle-maker, immersive environment and narrative designer focusing on the playful intersections of arts, culture, and technology, especially in gaming.

The team is usually joined by Laura E. Hall for the game of the year episodes. She is an artist, writer, puzzle-maker, immersive environment and narrative designer who focuses on the playful intersections of arts, culture, and technology, especially in gaming.
 

Develop Critical Thinking

Being able to discern between reliable sources and unreliable sources of information is an important skill for children to develop. This starts with questions of trust and authority but then leads to decisions about how we use and share information ourselves.

We've worked with Childnet International on this list of games that help children and young people experiment with what they should trust and the potential unintended consequences. Childnet International is an online safety charity working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people. They believe that the internet is a wonderfully positive tool for children and young people. Childnet are also part of the UK Safer Internet Centre and organise Safer Internet Day in the UK every February.

Some of the games, like Thousand Threads, either put them in a world where what people say and believe impacts the other characters. Other games, like Headliner, put the player in charge of information so they can see the consequences first hand of its misuse. There are even games, like Papers Please, that enable the player to police who is and isn't allowed access to information or even access to the country.

As Childnet write, "Critical Thinking is an important skill that we need in order to navigate the internet safely and find the latest news headlines or facts and information. With the amount of content that is online sometimes it’s quite easy to be reading something that is inaccurate without realising."

These games each provide different ways for players to develop critical thinking. They provide a space where trust and authority can be experienced first hand, and where the negative and positive consequences of how we handle these topics play out.