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Explore Physicality

Video games offer an opportunity to inhabit another body. Whether we step into the powerful frame of a trained marksman or brave adventurer, while we play we have a different sense of our physicality.

This is not only an enjoyable way to escape the reality of daily life but a chance to reflect on and understand ourselves, and our bodies, better. Stepping into the shoes of a vulnerable, small or endangered character can help us understand for a short while some of what it is like to be someone else.

Whether this is into the awkward teenage years of Mord and Ben in Wide Ocean Big Jacket, the grandparent-escaping Tiger and Bee in Kissy Kissy, the fractured heartbroken body in Gris or the haphazard movement of Octodad we have a chance to reassess our own physicality and how we respond to and treat other people's physicality.

More specifically, to use body therapy language, games offer us a chance to discover the inviolability of our bodies, personal autonomy, self-ownership, and self-determination. In travel, as Andrew Soloman says, we go somewhere else to see properly the place where we have come from. In video games, we step into other bodies so we can better understand our own and those of the people around us.

This list includes 191 games from the last 27 years, with 1,882 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to engage embodiment.

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, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 1,882
 

 

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Release Date: 22/11/2013

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Open World

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is an action-adventure game in the Zelda series. It's the seventeenth game and spiritual successor to the 1991 game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A more open adventure with a novel world-jumping...

Hindsight

Release Date: 04/08/2022

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Hindsight is a narrative point-and-click game where you revisit the past by finding objects that trigger memories. Play involves exploring each scene, locating objects and listening to the story as you move the camera to look within what you've found...

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

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...

Wavetale

Release Date: 10/11/2021, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Wavetale is a surfing and jumping adventure in a world of sunken cities, dangerous water and oppressive fog. You play as Sigrid, a young girl who works to restore the decaying archipelago and befriends a mysterious shadow that lets her walk on water....

Boomerang X

Release Date: 08/07/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Boomerang X is a shooting platform game where you explore worlds and fight enemies with a boomerang-like shuriken weapon. Unusually, you can warp to your boomerang once thrown meaning you can slice, fly, and blast through arenas swarming with evil...

Supraland

Release Date: 09/03/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Supraland is an adventure game that involves exploring, running, jumping, solving puzzles, and fighting monsters. You play a member of the Red Village and you must discover why the Blue Village has sabotaged your water supply. Your character is a...

Omno

Release Date: 29/07/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Omno is a running, jumping and surfing game where you explore an ancient fantastical world. As you explore you meet all manner of strange and wonderful lifeforms, from cute critters to enigmatic giants. It stands out for the approachable collectibility...

The Last Guardian

Release Date: 28/10/2016

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

The Last Guardian is a running, jumping and exploring adventure about a boy who befriends a giant half-bird, half-mammal creature, Trico. You work together to navigate the world, solve puzzles and reach new heights. Unusually, you have to build trust...

Tchia

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Open World and Weather

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...

Storyteller

Release Date: 23/03/2023

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Storyteller is a puzzle game about building stories. You use a set of icons to matching what is happening in each frame of the story. It's a simple challenge that gets the mind-stretching as you construct some of history’s greatest stories using...

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Release Date: 17/10/2010, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Kirby's Epic Yarn is a running and jumping game starring Nintendo's Kirby character that can (usually) suck enemies into their large mouth to gain new abilities. It's set in Patch Land, a world made completely out of fabric. You use your platforming...

Abzu

Release Date: 02/11/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Abzu is an adventure in a lush underwater world. You descend into the heart of the ocean to find ancient secrets and encounter majestic creatures. This combines the beautiful weightlessness of diving with an ancient story of meaning and place in the world.

Osu!

Release Date: 16/09/2007, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Osu is a rhythm action game where you tap the screen in time to the music similar to the Elite Beat Agents games. This starts as a simple challenge but develops in speed and complexity. At higher levels, the games is an esport with people competing to...

Rainbow Billy

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from a colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and...

Sea of Solitude

Release Date: 05/07/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Sea of Solitude is an adventure where you play a young woman, Kay, with such strong loneliness that her feelings turn her into a monster. As you explore a flooded city you discover dark creatures that you must deal with -- by uncovering their underlying...

Inscryption

Release Date: 19/10/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Components: Cards

Inscryption starts as a card-based adventure where you build a deck of cards to take on adventures and battles. To this, it adds escape-room style puzzles, both in the card game and in the room in which you are playing. The result is a psychological...

BedWars (Roblox)

Release Date: 19/01/2017, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Bed Wars is a game played on Minecraft (since 2017) or Roblox servers (since 2021). It's a team game where you start on an island and must protect your bed and build bridges to attack other teams' beds. The trick is the ecosystem of items and crafting...

A Little To The Left

Release Date: 01/08/2022

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

A Little To The Left is a puzzle game where you are tidying a house into meticulous order. Each puzzle presents everyday objects and some evidence of how they should be organised. The challenge is you have to deal with the mischievous cat who likes to...

Gris

Release Date: 06/10/2019

Platforms: Android, Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Gris is a platform game where you guide a young girl through a crumbling world. Through beautiful metaphoric landscapes and soaring music, the game touches on emotions of loss and longing but doesn’t resolve to a firm narrative. Although not hugely...

Celeste

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

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Celeste 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...

Last Minute Love

Release Date: 27/12/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Web

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Last Minute Love is an adventure where you play an "old person" in a nursing home who is looking for love. This takes the dating simulator style of game in an unusual direction. You explore the home in your wheelchair, meet a quirky cast of people and...

Tell Me Why

Release Date: 27/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Tell Me Why is a narrative game following the story of twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan, as they unravel the truth about their childhood and why they were separated. It's a story about the impact of families and the lengths we go to make them right.

Karlson

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Karlson is a platform game where you take on shooting, running and jumping challenges to complete the level by getting to the tongue-in-cheek Milk prize. The focus is on skilled movement and precision shooting. As you fight your way out of the facility,...

Metamorphosis

Release Date: 12/08/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 3D First-Person

Metamorphosis is a surrealist adventure game about a man turned into a small insect. It's inspired by Franz Kafka books. From a first-person view you run, jump and climb around in unusual ways on your insect legs, meet bizarre characters and solve...

Never Alone

Release Date: 18/12/2014

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Never Alone is a running, jumping and exploring game based on the traditional Iñupiaq tale, "Kunuuksaayuka". You swap between controlling an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion as you complete puzzles and move the story forwards.

A Rat's Quest

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: Open World

A Rat's Quest is a running, jumping, hiding adventure where you play a young male rat called Mat who lives in a burrow in an abandoned wine cellar. It's part platform game part Pixar story as you help Mat escape with his partner Nat. But out in the big...

Adventures With Anxiety

Release Date: 10/12/2019

Platforms: Web

Adventures With Anxiety is a mini-adventure where you play, as a red dog who is the inner protective voice of a young person. Your role is to guard them against danger, although as you do you cause them anxiety in different ways.

Party Animals

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Party Animals is a fighting game where wobbly animal characters go toe-to-toe. Like Gang Beasts, the novelty is in the game physics that recreate realistic movement and impact with a cartoon rag-doll feel.

Fishy 3D (Sokpop)

Release Date: 07/10/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Fishy 3D is a small game where you play a little fish in a polluted riverbed. Your objective is simply to escape to the sea! This is done by navigating through your pond and eventually releasing enough water that you can reach the pipe that leads to the...

Fugl

Release Date: 14/09/2017

Platforms: Mac and PC

Components: Open World

Fugl is a game that simulates flying. You play a bird and launch yourself into the sky to explore a vast world. Rather than search for things, fight, or take on challenges, all you have to do is wend your way through the air currents and glide your way...

Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Release Date: 30/01/2014, updated in 2017

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Most games design their controls to be easy and accessible. Octodad: Dadliest Catch takes a different approach. Using a combination of sticks and buttons, it creates an awkward, stomach-churning feeling of having too many limbs that you can’t directly...

Resident Evil Village (Series)

Release Date: 22/03/1996, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Components: 3D First-Person

Resident Evil Village is a survival horror adventure. It follows on the narrative of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and the first person perspective. As in the other games, you play Ethan Winters who is searching for his kidnapped daughter in a village...

Sifu

Release Date: 22/02/2022, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Sifu is a martial arts fighting game with a flowing control system and ageing protagonist. You fight with Kung-Fu combat designed with impact and authenticity in mind. The twist is, each time you die you age which means eventually you are too old to...

Splitgate Arena Warfare

Release Date: 24/05/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Splitgate: Arena Warfare is a movement-focused shooting game. Building on classic quick-motion gun battles, Splitgate adds a gun that can create portals between any two locations. This combines the frantic close-quarters arena combat that was popular in...

Build A Boat for Treasure (Roblox)

Release Date: 02/11/2016, updated in 2022

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Build A Boat for Treasure (Roblox) is a strategy game where build your ship (or anything else) from different materials and set sail for adventure. Doing this successfully earns new items and materials for your next build. Although this churn does...

Death's Door

Release Date: 20/07/2021

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Death's Door is a noir adventure game where you play a crow whose job it is to reap the souls of the dead. When one goes missing you must fight, run and jump through a fantasy world to get it back. It's a simple combat game at heart, but the unusual...

The Good Life

Release Date: 15/10/2021

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

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...

Buildings Have Feelings Too

Release Date: 22/04/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Buildings Have Feelings Too is set in a city where buildings can walk and talk. Not only that, but each has aspirations, hopes and fears. Your job is to create a city that works for all the buildings, a task that will see your city planning pulled in...

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Release Date: 25/03/2022

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a running, jumping game where you explore a mysterious world with Nintendo's famous character who can inhale enemies to gain their powers. With a nod to Super Mario Odyssey, this version of Kirby has a full 3D world to...

Tren (Dreams)

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Tren is a puzzle platform game where you explore a hand-crafted world as a wooden train, sailing boats and helicopters. You control points, shunt trucks around, operate cranes and generally move cargo from one location to the next. Like an escape room...

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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