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Space For Loneliness Games on Nintendo Switch

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 48 games from the last 36 years, with 913 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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DetailsPlatform 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, Communication, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth and Strategy
Era: 1986 - 2022
Total Games: 48
Total Likes: 913
 

 

Florence

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: Mountains Games (@MountainsGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

This 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 change...

Subnautica (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

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

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

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

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Unknown Worlds (@UnknownWorlds)

Players: This is a single-player game

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...

Thomas Was Alone

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/04/2013, updated in 2014

Platforms: PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Mike Bithell (@MikeBithell)

Players: This is a single-player game

Control different-coloured rectangles in this simple running, jumping and puzzle solving platform game. 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 story...

Abzu

Content Rating: PEGI 7

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

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure

Accessibility: 6 features

Developer: Giant Squidology (@GiantSquidology)

Players: This is a single-player game

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.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-18 year-olds

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

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

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single-player game

This game 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 the passage of the sun and moon...

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...

The Long Dark

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/09/2014

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Hinterland Games (@HinterlandGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body...

Gris

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 06/10/2019

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Nomada Studiobcn (@NomadaStudiobcn)

Players: This is a single-player game

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...

Portal (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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

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

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Valve Software (@ValveSoftware)

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

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...

Celeste

Content Rating: PEGI 7

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

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

Genres: Platform

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Exok Games (@Exok_Games)

Players: This is a single-player game

This 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 on...

Subnautica Below Zero (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 30/01/2019, updated in 2021

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

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

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Unknown Worlds (@UnknownWorlds)

Players: This is a single-player game

Subnautica: Below Zero is an open-world adventure game that follows the original game, Subnautica. You play a scientist on an alien planet searching for clues about the research team that vanished there. To do this you explore and...

Road 96

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 16/08/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Digix Art (@DigixArt)

Players: This is a single-player game

Road 96 is a narrative adventure where you play a teenager trying to escape an oppressive, authoritarian country by reaching the border. Through a series of vignettes, you experience the most important and poignant parts on an epic road trip through a...

Alien: Isolation

Content Rating: PEGI 18

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

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...

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.

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/08/2013, updated in 2015

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Starbreeze AB (@StarbreezeAB)

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

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an action-adventure game where you control two brothers at the same time with a single controller. After their mother passes away, they must find some water from the Tree of Life to save their father. The controls weave...

The First Tree

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 11/10/2018

Price: 70% off

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...

Sea of Solitude

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 05/07/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 11 features

Developer: Cornelia Geppert (@CorneliaGeppert)

Players: This is a single-player game

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...

She Dreams Elsewhere

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Play

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Studio Zevere (@StudioZevere)

Players: This is a single-player game

She Dreams Elsewhere is a surreal adventure. You explore the dreams and real life of Thalia, an anxiety-ridden, comatose woman on a journey to confront the nightmares preventing her from awakening.

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.

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...

Chrono Sword

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Action, Adventure and Role-Play

Developer: David Space Duck (@DavidSpaceDuck)

Players: This is a single-player game

Chrono Sword is an adventure game about Aenor, a time traveller attempting to prevent the death of her loved ones. You learn technical combat, explore the world, switch timelines and fight off enemies to discover the secrets of the past.

Far: Lone Sails

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 02/04/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Far The Game (@FarTheGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

Far: Lone Sails is an exploration adventure video game. You pilot a ramshackle amphibious vehicle propelled by large sails to explore a post-apocalypse world.

The Stillness of the Wind

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 07/02/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 10 features

Developer: Stillness Game (@StillnessGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

In The Stillness of the Wind you are an old woman who looks after a dilapidated farm. Over the course of a few hours, no matter what your efforts, the farm falls apart as you learn about the woman’s family and have the chance to ruminate on her...

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 27/04/2011, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

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

Developer: Super Brothers HQ (@SuperBrothersHQ)

Players: This is a single-player game

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is an adventure game in miniature. You explore a myth-rich world and use your sword to do battle and evoke spells to solve musical puzzles. It's a world that changes with the moon as you guide your wandering warrior monk.

The Longing

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 05/03/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

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

Developer: Studio Seufz (@StudioSeufz)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Longing is a point-and-click adventure about waiting and loneliness. It's an intentionally slow game that takes 400 elapsed days to finish. It draws on the Idle Game genre, where you use minor interactions to incrementally advance. Here though, the...

Vokabulantis

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: The Kong Orange (@TheKongOrange)

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

Vokabulantis is a puppet-animated running and jumping game about two children, Karla and Kurt, who have fallen in love. Just as they find each other though, the world starts falling apart and they discover they can’t speak to each other because their...

Black Book

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/08/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Role-Play

Accessibility: 24 features

Pieces: Cards

Developer: V Beletsky (@VBeletsky)

Players: This is a single-player game

Black Book is a dark adventure, based on Slavic myths where you are a young sorceress. It combines a visual novel point-and-click adventure with card collecting to gain abilities to fight evil forces and explore the world where humans live alongside...

Hypnospace Outlaw

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 12/04/2019, updated in 2020

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

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

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Tendershoot (@Tendershoot_)

Players: This is a single-player game

Hypnospace Outlaw is a puzzle game where you explore a simulation of the internet in the 1990s. Your role is to enforce good behaviour by finding misconduct on the pixelated pages. It's not only a unique piece of historical fiction but because its web...

Land of Screens

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 04/02/2022

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Serenity Forge (@SerenityForge)

Players: This is a single-player game

Land of Screens is a narrative adventure about someone who has had a recent relationship breakup. We soon discover that despite best efforts to keep things private, her shared connected world immediately knows all about it. In her rush to get away and...

Metroid

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 06/08/1986, updated in 2017

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

Genres: Fighting, Platform, Puzzle, Role-Play and Shooting

Developer: Retro Studios (@RetroStudios)

Players: This is a single-player game

Metroid is a series of running, jumping and exploration games where you play bounty hunter Samus Aran who protects the galaxy from the Space Pirates. It includes the platforming of a Mario game, but the focus is more on fighting enemies, finding new...

Please, Touch The Artwork

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/01/2022

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Studio Waterzooi (@StudioWaterzooi)

Players: This is a single-player game

Please, Touch The Artwork is a puzzle game that tells a story with real abstract paintings. Unconventionally it asks, what would happen if we did touch the artwork in museums? The answer is revealed over three stories each focusing on a different...

The Talos Principle

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 11/12/2014, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Croteam (@Croteam)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Talos Principle is a narrative driven puzzle game, praised for its cerebral and philosophical nature, where you play an android with a human conscience. You explore environments to complete complex brain-teasing puzzles to collect "sigils".

Sunless Sea

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 06/02/2015, updated in 2020

Price: 70% off

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Failbetter Games (@FailbetterGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sunless Sea is a sea-faring adventure where you pilot a small steamship to explore a Victorian-era London that has been moved beneath the earth's surface. You take on the role of captain but select different ambitions that determine how you will play.

The Outbound Ghost

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Role-Play

Accessibility: 36 features

Developer: Conradical Games (@ConradicalGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Outbound Ghost is a narrative role-play about a ghost on a quest to solve the cause of their own death, and help other ghosts come to terms with their own post-mortal existence. It's inspired by [link to game/Paper+Mario+The+Origami+King Paper...

Golf Club: Wasteland

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11-14 year-olds

Release Date: 16/06/2021, updated in 2021

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

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Demagog Studio (@Demagog_Studio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Golf Club: Wasteland is a golf game in an unusual setting. You play on an earth decimated by an environmental catastrophe. Through beautiful visuals and eerie audio, you piece together what has happened to the planet to cause such devastation. It's an...

One Night Hot Springs

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 30/08/2018

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

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: npckc (@npckc)

Players: This is a single-player game

One Night, Hot Springs is a narrative game where you play Haru, a 19-year-old transgender woman in Japan. She's invited by an old friend on an overnight trip to a hot springs resort. You make dialogue and interactive choices as you discover that Haru is...

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...

Minute of Islands

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 13/06/2021

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

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 4 features

Developer: Minute Of Islands (@MinuteOfIslands)

Players: This is a single-player game

Minute of Islands is a running, jumping and exploring game where you play Mo, a skilled tinkerer living in the dilapidated poisoned ruins of an ancient race of giants. You scavenge parts from their strange machines to get them running and clean the air....

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...

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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