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Get Children Into Writing Letters

Online games are often about immediate communication either spoken or typed in the heat of battle or survival. There are some online games that encourage communication much more like writing a letter to someone.

These games offer players the chance to write a note and then place it in the game world for others to discover. They can also, of course, also read messages and notes from other players.

With a little guidance it can be a lovely way to introduce children to the skill of letter writing, as well as engaging with other players online without the usual bad language (although that can happen here too).

Games like Subnautica, offer the ability to leave time capsules for others, that include a handful items, a short text message and a screenshot. Similarly, games like, Dark Souls and Demons Souls enable you to leave messages for other players to help them with tips. In Nier Automata you find the bodies of other fallen players that have a customized message left on them when they met their end.

Other games weave the letters and messages into the gameplay. Kind Words, for example, is a game all about responding to letters that other people have sent. The Things We Lost In The Flood, builds its play around the ability to send and find messages in bottles. In Animal Crossing New Horizons on the 3DS you can also put messages in bottles for other players to find.

This list includes 9 games from the last 22 years, with 526 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to write letters to strangers.


 

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...

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...

The First Tree

Release Date: 11/10/2018

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

The First Tree is an exploration narrative game. In a dream, you explore a forest wilderness as a mother fox looking for her cubs. Simultaneously, you revisit childhood memories in spoken reflection from two lovers remembering the dream and their...

Nier: Automata

Release Date: 23/02/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Nier: Automata is a role-playing game, that span off from the Drakengard series. It's set in an alternate future where there is a war between alien machines and human androids. But this isn't a game about winning the war. It's more focused on the plight...

Demon's Souls (Series)

Release Date: 04/10/2011

Platforms: PS3 and PS5

Demons Souls is first a series of fighting and exploration games recently re-released on PlayStation 5. From third-person perspective you navigate interconnected locations while fighting enemies with weapons and magic. Larger boss enemy encounters...

Kind Words

Release Date: 12/11/2019

Platforms: PC

Kind Words is unusual because of the main interaction. You write letters to real people and receive back encouraging letters in return. Set in a cosy room with soft furnishings and relaxing music, it creates a space in which to find support and...

Unworded

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

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

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.

Letters: A Written Adventure

Release Date: 09/02/2022

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Letters - A Written Adventure is a running and jumping literary puzzle where you write letters to your pen pal throughout the stages of your life. What's unique is that you physically explore each letter, using the lines as platforms and changing words...

The Things We Lost In The Flood

Release Date: 19/06/2019

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

The Things We Lost In The Flood is a minimalist adventure. You sail through a flooded world, building and improving your pixelated boat as you go. Along the way you can write messages for others to discover, and toss them into the drink in a bottle.

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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