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Games Picked For Taming Gaming Book

When we wrote the Taming Gaming book we packed the second half with full colour game ‘recipes’ as a resource for parents and families. They are grouped in categories depending on the style of game you are looking for, whether you want to play on your own, or with your family and friends.

The Family Gaming Database grew out of the book. At first it was just going to be a way to search the 60 or so games in the book. With 1000’s of parents soon using the database it became clear we should grow it to cover more games. So, today we have 2484 games.

Here are all the games from the book:

Games for non-gaming grown-ups

These games are perfect if you have never played one before. They open the door to the gaming world for non-gaming parents and carers.

Nurture child-like imagination

These games are for children under seven years old who will, with some help, discover activities they want to try that will expand their imaginations, while establishing the role of your guidance and engagement as part of the gaming world as they grow up.

Nourish Youthful Ambition

As children get older, they develop stronger ideas of what they want to play. Friends at school and YouTube stars create popular gaming fabs for the latest titles. The games suggested here go beyond the usual suspects.

Laugh at Silliness

Video games have their roots in fun and play. This makes them an excellent way to forget the worries of the day and dive into some silly fun together. The games on this list have been selected because they get players doing absurd activities and chuckling together.

Inhabit Another World

The games in this list invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character.

Compete on the Couch

Raucous, unbounded, exuberant all-age, competitive fun is something video games are known for. These games can play a bit-part in raising children to be magnanimous in victory and generous in defeat.

Work Together to Thrive

Play is more fun when it’s shared. Along with team work the games on this list use the fact that the players are all sitting next to each other. The fun is often as much about the conversations (and arguments) that happen in the room as what’s happening on the screen.

Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

While many games include characters to interact with, some are specifically designed to make relationships a central element. These games offer a unique way to think deeply about how we relate to each other to the games people play.

Wake up Your Emotions

Video games are known for high-octane, adrenaline fuelled entertainment, but there are many that address the players emotions as much as their dexterity. The games in the following list create emotionally rich spaces in which to explore scenarios with feelings rather than facts.

Matinee Fisticuffs and Shoot-outs

Sometimes you just want to play the hero. These games are violent and include shooting but as with B-movies and 1980’s TV series, it’s as much about the quips, characters and fantasy settings as it is about the killing.

Face Tough Decisions

Games create virtual worlds where you can experience life from another perspective. This can be lighthearted but also presents ethical scenarios that require you to think carefully about consequences. These games each place you in a challenging situation to give you a first hand experience of what it’s like.

Solve a Mystery

Like a good crime drama or whodunnit, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. The following 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.

This list includes 75 games from the last 22 years, with 3,374 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play games picked for our book.

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, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 3,374
 

 

Bury Me My Love

Release Date: 26/10/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Bury Me My Love is a narrative adventure game where you play the husband of a Syrian woman, Nour, travelling to Europe. Play involves receiving and sending simple messages where Nout tells you how she is getting on and you influence her choices. It...

Kingdom (Series)

Release Date: 21/10/2015

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Kingdome is a retro-look strategy game where you must defend your town from the nightly attack of zombies as you develop your technology and civilisation day-by-day. But unlike other tower-defence games – where you set up defences and fend off waves...

Tearaway

Release Date: 22/11/2013, updated in 2015

Platforms: PS Vita and PS4

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Tearaway on PlayStation Vita and Tearaway Unfolded on PlayStation 4 create a game world entirely from paper as the setting for this fantastical adventure. It’s beautiful and funny, and offers a running, jumping exploration challenge. Drawing on...

Fe

Release Date: 16/02/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

You play a fox in a magical fairy tale forest. The world extends in front of you in stylised form, with trees, mountains and streams glistening with sparkles of life. You run, jump, climb and dip your paws in every aspect of the world. But it’s the...

Knights And Bikes!

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

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Knights And Bikes! is a hand-painted adventure in a fictional late-eighties British island. You 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,...

Go Vacation

Release Date: 01/10/2011, updated in 2018

Platforms: Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Go Vacation is a resort exploration game where 50 mini-games can be discovered and played. The mini-golf, skating, surfing, volleyball, car racing, tennis and other games use the Wii and Switch motion-sensitive controllers and are simple fun for...

Horizon Zero Dawn

Release Date: 01/03/2017

Platforms: PC and PS4

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Horizon Zero Dawn, and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, has a post-apocalyptic feel familiar from movies like Planet of the Apes. It plunges you into an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life where animalistic machines...

Alto's Odyssey (Series)

Release Date: 19/02/2015, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Apple TV, Mac, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Descend beautiful mountains, dunes and canyons on a snowboarding journey full of serenity and secrets. All you have to worry about is tapping to jump to avoid chasms, rockfall and other hazards. It’s simple and moreish due to the stunning landscapes...

Flower

Release Date: 12/02/2009

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

In Flower you control the breeze blowing across fields of grass and blow petals into other flowers to make them bloom. Flower is simple and single-purpose in evoking the feeling of the wind. What starts as an awkward struggle to control the breeze soon...

Nintendo Land

Release Date: 30/11/2012

Platforms: Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Nintendoland is a collection of Nintendo games was created for the Nintendo Wii U launch. It uses the console’s tablet screen to create specific roles for different players. In Mario Chase, the hiding player uses the tablet controller screen while the...

Mini Metro

Release Date: 06/01/2015

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Mini Metro is a game where you create an ordered, efficient underground train system. It sounds like hard work, but the simple Tube-map visuals, calm music, and streamlined interactions make this relaxing, like sudoku. Dip your toe in this strategy...

Halo (Series)

Release Date: 15/11/2001, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Halo is the longstanding sci-fi shooting video game series that started when Halo: Combat Evolved launched alongside the Xbox in 2001. The franchise has featured on every Xbox platform since then, with Halo 5: Guardians serving as the latest entry in...

Florence

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Florence 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...

Firewatch

Release Date: 20/09/2016

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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...

Journey

Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sand-scape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...

Subnautica (Series)

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and...

Animal Crossing (Series)

Release Date: 14/12/2001, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected drama of the world and characters...

My Child Lebensborn

Release Date: 08/05/2018, updated in 2021

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

In My Child Lebensborn, you nurture a Lebensborn child in Norway after World War II who faces a hostile community because they’ve been born to parents of both occupied and occupying forces. With meagre resources yourself, you must feed, clothe and...

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Release Date: 13/10/2016

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes you’re confronted with a bomb on the screen that has to be defused, requiring a series of modules to be disarmed. The bomb defuser player can see and operate the bomb but the other players, who have the defuse...

Just Dance 2022 (Series)

Release Date: 17/11/2009, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Web, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Dancing in front of each other isn’t something we often do in families. Just Dance is released with new songs and features each year. It gets parents, carers, children and even grandparents off the couch and dancing along with the on-screen moves....

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

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

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

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...

Untitled Goose Game

Release Date: 03/10/2019

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

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Untitled Goose game is a silly and funny game but with a dastardly vibe. You play a mean goose who is intent on ruining the day of the inhabitants of a sleepy English village. By stealing items, squawking and otherwise making a nuisance of yourself you...

Return of the Obra Dinn

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

You play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have all mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the moment of death for each body in order to identify each...

The Last Of Us

Release Date: 14/06/2013

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

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...

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...

Life Is Strange (Series)

Release Date: 19/01/2016

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

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...

Portal (Series)

Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

You are in a science laboratory where you seem to be being tested. Watched by the artificial intelligence GLaDOS, you have a gun that can create a pair of magic portals on any surface: one is an entrance and the other is an exit. Through a series of...

Splatoon 3 (Series)

Release Date: 21/07/2017, updated in 2022

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Splatoon on the Wii U, Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 on the Switch are games where you shoot ink rather than bullets in this deeply skilled combat game. As well as taking out opponents, teams work together to cover the arena with their colour of ink. This...

Roblox (Series)

Release Date: 15/06/2016, updated in 2022

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

In this game, amateur game-makers create simple online games that often mimic real-world grown-up scenarios, like working in a pizza restaurant, surviving natural disasters, escaping prison, scuba diving or playing hide-and-seek. The library of games is...

Toca Life: World (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/2019

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

The Toca Boca, Toca Life, series of games comprise what are essentially toys in electronic form. They build on the Sago Mini games for 6-10-year-old children. Recreating interactive everyday settings like shopping, hospital,...

Hollow Knight (Series)

Release Date: 12/06/2018, updated in 2019

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Hollow Knight is a game where you run, jump, and battle your way through the underground kingdom of Hallownest. It’s not uncommon for platform games to invest in the environments through which you pass, but the haunting depths in this game contain...

Detroit: Become Human

Release Date: 25/05/2018

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

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.

Sky Children of the Light

Release Date: 18/07/2019

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Sky Children of the Light (Sky Children of Light) is a huge open-world online game designed to create altruism between players. From the developer of Flower and Journey, it takes you on a social adventure in an ever-expanding world with up to 8 other...

One Hour One Life

Release Date: 27/02/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

One Hour One Life 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...

What Remains of Edith Finch

Release Date: 18/04/2017, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

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.

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Release Date: 19/11/2007

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is an action-adventure where you, treasure hunter Nathan Drake, follow in the footsteps of your ancestor Sir Francis Drake in search of El Dorado. You run, jump, fight, shoot, and explore a rich world that unfolds a film-like...

God of War

Release Date: 20/04/2018

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

You play super-strong Norse fantasy hero Kratos as he takes his son Atreus on a brutal quest in the wake of his mother’s death. The exploration, puzzle solving, climbing and fighting gameplay intertwines with a mythological family drama played out in...

Tunic

Release Date: 16/03/2022, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Tunic is an action adventure game where you play a small small fox who wakes with no memory of where he is. You push through trees, pick up weapons and learn new moves to discover an expanse of forests, caves and landscapes. You can do anything from the...

Alan Wake

Release Date: 14/05/2010

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

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Bright Falls is the sleepy Midwest setting for this Twilight Zone-style horror game. The action focuses on surviving attacks from possessed ‘Taken’ locals. You use flashlights to burn away the possession before dispatching them with firearms. It’s...

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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