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Hope Through Play

Games that embed a sense of hope by playing them. Sometimes a hopeful story, sometimes a hopeful interaction, and sometimes just an uplifting aesthetic to spend time in. These are games that leave you with an uplifted spirit, maybe not immediately (like Horizon Zero Dawn) but by the time you have finished them.

There is something innocent and childlike in play, and video games each have a slice of that in different ways. Sometimes simple and sometimes complex, games can help us return to the hope we had as children, or call us on to the wisdom and perspective of older years.

This list includes 89 games from the last 21 years, with 1,747 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to find hope.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Racing, Rhythm, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 1,747
 

 

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 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

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...

Rainbow Billy

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform, Rhythm and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: We Are Mana Void (@WeAreManaVoid)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

The Last Guardian

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 28/10/2016

Price: 60% off

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform and Simulation

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Hoa

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 24/08/2021

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

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Hoa The Game (@HoaTheGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Hoa is an adventure game where you walk and jump through a hand-painted world as the mysterious main character. You solve environmental puzzles and meet magical creatures while trying to find your way back home. It's unusual because of its handcrafted...

Animal Crossing (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-16 year-olds

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

Price: 26% off

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

Genres: Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

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...

A Short Hike

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Open World

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Adam Gryu (@AdamGryu)

Players: This is a single player game

In A Short Hike you play penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to explore the park, help other animals, find...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-10 year-olds

Release Date: 11/12/2020

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Us Two (@UsTwo)

Players: This is a single player game

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. When Alba visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island, she is excited for a summer of exploring with her friend Ines. But when...

Stardew Valley

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

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

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

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Concerned Ape (@ConcernedApe)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

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...

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Asobo Studio (@AsoboStudio)

Players: You can play this with 30 players online

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Microsoft Flight Sim 2020) is the latest flight simulator game in the long running series. Along with a huge range of aircraft you can learn to fly, the game recreates the entire Earth using textures and data from data maps...

Haven Park

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/08/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Creative, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Fabien Weibel (@FabienWeibel)

Players: This is a single player game

Haven Park is a strategy game where you build camping spots in a national park. You play Flint, who is repairing his grandma's park to attract new campers. It's an intricate open island that packs in plenty to discover. As a game made by one person,...

Seasons

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and PS5

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: Scav Studio (@ScavStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

Seasons is a narrative adventure where you take a bicycle road trip game. You play as a young woman leaving a secluded community, exploring the world for the first time. Collect artefacts and memories as you explore because soon, a mysterious cataclysm...

Coffee Talk

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 29/01/2020

Price: 40% off

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

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Narrative and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Toge Productions (@TogeProductions)

Players: This is a single player game

Coffee Talk is an interactive story about a barista working in a coffee shop in Seattle. You listen to customer's concerns about life and love, in a retro pixilated world backed with lo-fi chilled hip-hop music.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14-18 year-olds

Release Date: 01/03/2017

Platforms: PC and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Shooting

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Guerrilla (@Guerrilla)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

The Longest Road on Earth

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 20/05/2021

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Point-and-Click

Developer: Raw Fury (@RawFury)

Players: This is a single player game

The Longest Road on Earth is a narrative game of four chapters about everyday life. You play as different anthropomorphic animals living mundane lives. Its combination of minimal interaction and slow-paced stories aims to uncover moments in time that...

The Pathless

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 12/11/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and iPhone, iPad

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

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Giant Squidology (@GiantSquidology)

Players: This is a single player game

The Pathless is a mythic adventure about an archer and an eagle in a vast forest. You use timed button presses to use your bow and discover the open world, and unlock a mystical island and dispel a curse of darkness that grips the world.

Teacup

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 23/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

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

Developer: Smarto Club (@Smarto_Club)

Players: This is a single player game

Teacup is a narrative adventure about a shy young frog who loves drinking tea and reading. You explore the Wind In The Willows world and make choices that change the direction of the story. It's a gentle game about friendship, stepping out into the...

Rime

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 26/05/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Developer: Tequila Works (@TequilaWorks)

Players: This is a single player game

Rime is an adventure on an island where you play a boy led a fox-like spirit as a guide. To progress through the beautiful environments you solve puzzles across five large levels. You can run, climb, carry objects, and push or pull larger objects across...

Voyage

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 19/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Venturous Games (@VenturousGames)

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

Voyage is a short cinematic adventure puzzle game, where you play alone or cooperatively to guide two survivors on their journey to unravel a mystery from the past and find their way home.

Dordogne

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Cedric Babouche (@Cedric_Babouche)

Players: This is a single player game

Dordogne is a narrative adventure where you play as Mimi, a 32-year-old woman who returns to the house of her recently deceased grandmother. You explore the house and area to find letters and puzzles that bring back memories of the past.

Hitchhiker

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12-16 year-olds

Release Date: 15/04/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Mad About Pandas (@MadAboutPandas)

Players: This is a single player game

Hitchhiker is a narrative game set on lost highways. Unlike other interactive stories, Hitchhiker is intentionally dense and hard to follow. In fact, your goal is to unravel the puzzle of your own backstory.

House Flipper

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 17/05/2018, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Creative, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Frozen District (@FrozenDistrict)

Players: This is a single player game

House Flipper is a simulation game where you renovate old broken houses to make money. It's a blend of money management, detailed interior design and repair right down to the electric circuitry. It fosters a sense of creativity and imagination in how...

The Wild At Heart

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 20/05/2021

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Moonlight Kids (@MoonlightKids_)

Players: This is a single player game

The Wild At Heart is an adventure puzzle game where you play two children fleeing hardship. Unlike other adventures, play here extends beyond conversations, exploring and fetch quests. You interact with the world by collecting a swarm of small magical...

Unruly Heroes

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 23/01/2019

Price: 60% off

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 10 features

Developer: Magic Design Game (@MagicDesignGame)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Unruly Heroes is a hectic martial arts running, jumping and hitting game. You play one of four heroes on a quest to collect all the scroll fragments and restore balance.

If Found

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 19/05/2020

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: Dream Feelx (@DreamFeelx)

Players: This is a single player game

If Found is an interactive narrative game about searching for connection. You touch the screen to rub out and erase text and drawings. Set on December 31st 1993 in the crumbling ruins of a mansion on Achill Island, you play Kasio as she destroys her diary.

Lost in Random

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 10/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Zoink Games (@ZoinkGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Lost in Random is an adventure where you play an anthropomorphic dice and a young girl called Even. In her world, when she turns 12 she must roll a magical die to be assigned a region to live in and a life to live. But seeing her sister go through this...

Terra Nil

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Open World, Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 6 features

Developer: Free Lives (@Free_Lives)

Players: This is a single player game

Terra Nil is a strategy game where you are using clean technology to bring back life to a barren world. It's a city building game where you aren't building a city at all, but a clean thriving ecology. It raises interesting themes of how humanity plays...

The First Tree

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 11/10/2018

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

Genres: Narrative, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: David Wehle (@DavidWehle)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

The Last Campfire

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 27/08/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Hello Games (@HelloGames)

Players: This is a single player game

The Last Campfire, from the same developer as No Man's Sky, is an adventure about Ember who is trapped a puzzling place, searching for meaning and a way home. As you travel you take a flame with you to the world, lighting...

This Is Reality

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative and Platform

Developer: Scribble Scape (@ScribbleScape)

Players: This is a single player game

This Is Reality is a running, jumping and exploration game about a couple's relationship. You play as Liam and Lana, as they navigate the highs, lows and struggles of their relationship. The twist is that the state of the relationship affects what you...

Mutazione

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 23/09/2019

Platforms: Mac, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Creative and Narrative

Developer: Gute Fabrik (@GuteFabrik)

Players: This is a single player game

In Mutazione you play as a 15-year-old girl visiting her grandfather on a faraway island inhabited by friendly but mutated villagers. By finding seeds, tending to gardens and talking to people, you uncover a tightly knit web of characters with...

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...

Concrete Genie

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 20/08/2019

Price: 60% off

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Pixelopus (@Pixelopus)

Players: This is a single player game

Concrete Genie is a running and jumping game about a young boy, who is isolated and bullied, in this exploration platform game with a twist. Using motion controls and buttons you can draw beautiful graffiti on the buildings, which come to life. These...

Everwild

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Developer: Rare Ltd (@RareLtd)

Players: This is a single player game

Everwild is a fantasy adventure where characters work together to tame the wild and survive the night. Working with the indigenous creature of the land and with the power of ritual and combat you need to subdue nature by working with it.

Fantasian

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 02/04/2021

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure and Role-Playing

Developer: Mist Walker (@MistWalker)

Players: This is a single player game

Fantasian is a role-play adventure from the team behind Final Fantasy, Lost Odyssey and The Last Story games. The environments are crafted as real-world models to give it a hand made feel.

Rescue: Mayday

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-12 year-olds

Release Date: 15/09/2021

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Strategy

Accessibility: 34 features

Developer: Tech People Lab (@TechPeopleLab)

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Rescue: Mayday is a helicopter adventure where you are putting out fires and rescuing civilians. You play the game in a team of two, each on your own device. The Pilot player flies the helicopter but has no visibility and must use information from the...

AER Memories of Old

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 28/08/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Forgotten Key SE (@ForgottenKeySE)

Players: This is a single player game

AER Memories of Old is an exploration game where you transform from a woman to a golden eagle at will. As Auk, your quest is to save the world by finding the lost keys and restoring balance.

Behind the Frame

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 25/08/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 6 features

Developer: Silver Lining WW (@SilverLiningWW)

Players: This is a single player game

Behind the Frame is a narrative adventure where you click and interact with different scenes to help a young woman become an artist. You explore the different locations to uncover and work on the different paintings. It's a combination of escape room...

Far: Changing Tides

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 01/03/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Far The Game (@FarTheGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Far: Changing Tides is an exploration adventure that follows Far: Lone Sail. You work to keep your dilapidated craft from breaking as you explore the ruins of a flooded world.

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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