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Space For Loneliness Games Rated ESRB MATURE 17 and Older

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.

This list includes 12 games from the last 12 years, with 200 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to understand loneliness.

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DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 12 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: M to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation and Stealth
Total Likes: 200
 

 

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC and PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Chinese Room (@ChineseRoom)

Players: This is a single-player game

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture lands you in a fictional deserted English village in 1984. As you walk the streets of another era you discover bright human forms who re-enact events like a radio play. Through their eyes, you see a web of fear,...

Firewatch

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/09/2016

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Camposanto (@Camposanto)

Players: This is a single-player game

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...

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...

Heavy Rain

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 06/10/2010, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Quantic Dream (@Quantic_Dream)

Players: This is a single-player game

Heavy Rain is from the same Quantic Dream studio who made Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human. It preceded these games but shared the same branching narrative and photo-realistic aspirations.

Alien: Isolation

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 06/10/2014, updated in 2019

Price: 40% off

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Stealth

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Feral Games (@FeralGames)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 1-player online game

Alien: Isolation is an adventure horror game set in space, remastered in 2019 from the 2014 game due to its popularity. You play Amanda who is trying to find out the truth behind her mother's disappearance. You explore Sevastopol, a decommissioned...

Limbo

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 05/06/2013, updated in 2015

Price: 80% off

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

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Playdead (@Playdead)

Players: This is a single-player game

Control a small boy as he runs, jumps and climbs through a dark, silhouetted forest that clanks and hums with foreboding. As the age-rating suggests, he is killed in all manner of gruesome ways. But this is not without reason. Rather than violent...

Disco Elysium

Content Rating: PEGI 18

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

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Play

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Studio ZAUM (@StudioZAUM)

Players: This is a single-player game

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...

The Magnificent Trufflepigs

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 03/06/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative and Simulation

Developer: Thunkd Games (@ThunkdGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Magnificent Trufflepigs is a narrative game where you use a metal detector to explore an old farm. As you do you retread old relationships in the English countryside. You'll find and dig up treasures to share with your friend Beth over a...

I Am Alive

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/03/2012, updated in 2013

Platforms: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

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

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: This is a single-player game

I Am Alive is an action adventure in a post apocalyptic future where an event has reduced cities to rubble. You traverse the country to find your wife and child. It draws on end of humanity fiction like The Road, and stands out for its commitment to...

Death Trash

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/08/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Play, Shooting and Stealth

Developer: Death Trash (@DeathTrash)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Death Trash is a role-play game set in a post-apocalyptic, horror open world. Humans travelled to the stars, but unearthed machines and killer worms so had to flee into enclosed habitats. You play an outcast in the wasteland with a dangerous burden to...

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/02/2018, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Play

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Dim Bulb Games (@DimBulbGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a narrative adventure game about sharing stories. You travel across the Depression-era United States discovering and collecting the stories of the people and places you encounter on your journey. You use this...

A Plague Tale: Requiem

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Puzzle, Shooting, Simulation and Stealth

Developer: Asobo Studio (@AsoboStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

A Plague Tale: Requiem is an action adventure where you play a pair of siblings Hugo and Amicia. The story continues from the first game's discovery of the plague of rats and Hugo's latent abilities. Standing out again for weaving the sibling...

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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