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Osu!

Release Date: 16/09/2007, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Osu is a rhythm action game where you tap the screen in time to the music similar to the Elite Beat Agents games. This starts as a simple challenge but develops in speed and complexity. At higher levels, the games is an esport with people competing to...

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...

Astro's Playroom

Release Date: 19/11/2020

Platforms: PS5

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Astro's Playroom is a running and jumping game that launched with the PlayStation 5. It not only showcases the PS5's new DualSense controller but offers a loveable adventure with novel interactions and considerable substance.

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...

Rocket League

Release Date: 28/08/2018

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It’s another game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What’s not obvious from the start is the level of control that...

Townscaper

Release Date: 30/06/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Web, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Townscaper is a town building toy. You pick colours from the range available and click to put down a house in the sea. As you continue to add houses of different colours the game automatically orientates the architecture for you.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Series)

Release Date: 27/08/1992, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Mario Kart is a go-kart racing game on Nintendo systems. You race against other Nintendo characters around different circuits, picking up power-ups, attacks and speed boosts. It is frantic and chaotic, but still requires skills to do well.

Lake

Release Date: 01/09/2021

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

Lake is a narrative adventure where you play Meredith Weiss on a career break in 1986 while she returns to her hometown and ends up delivering the mail. As you talk to locals, meet up with old school friends and even fan a few romantic flames from your...

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...

Hello Neighbor (Series)

Release Date: 08/12/2017

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Hello Neighbor is a stealth survival game with a horror feel. You try and sneak into the basement of their neighbour’s house to uncover a "horrible secret". The game responds to your strategy by setting traps along paths the player followed in...

Teardown

Release Date: 29/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Teardown is a strategic game where you plan and execute a heist in fully destructible environments. Your objective is to claim the key cards that are hidden around the map. However taking one triggers the alarm, giving you only sixty seconds before...

Before Your Eyes

Release Date: 08/04/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Before Your Eyes is a narrative game about an 11-year-old boy revisiting his life before "crossing over" to the other side. You play by exploring scenes that represent snapshots of his life. Unusually, you make choices and interact with the game by...

Unpacking

Release Date: 02/11/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Unpacking is a meditative puzzle game where you unpack belongings into a series of spaces, each representing a stage in life. You get to know the owner of the objects by their possessions and circumstances. To finish a level you need to work out where...

Sneaky Sasquatch

Release Date: 30/07/2019, updated in 2022

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Sneaky Sasquatch is an adventure game where you sneak around in campsites and try to find food from coolers and picnic baskets without getting caught. From this simple premise grows a game with endless ways to play and explore its open world: race, play...

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...

A Short Hike

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

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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...

Fortnite

Release Date: 25/07/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Fortnite (sometimes misspelled Fortnight) rose to popularity via its Battle Royale mode where 100 players fight against each other in online battles to the death. While they play, using shooting, evasion and building skills to survive, a storm is...

Adopt Me! (Roblox)

Release Date: 14/07/2017

Platforms: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Adopt Me is one of the most popular Roblox games. In a rudimentary way, it simulates daily life. You can build a home, look after pets and make friends. Like many Roblox games, it's the combination of an avid community of players...

Among Us

Release Date: 16/11/2018, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Among Us is a strategy game where crew-mates prepare their spaceship for launch by completing tasks. However, one of the players is an impostor intent on sabotaging the ship and killing the crew. As the game progresses in real-time the impostor...

Jailbreak (Roblox)

Release Date: 01/08/2017

Platforms: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Jailbreak is a popular Roblox game about escaping prison and getting away with various crimes. Based on the popular Prison Life and Madcity Roblox games, but adds a large open world in which you could drive vehicles, earn weapons and rob various...

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...

MeepCity (Roblox)

Release Date: 23/02/2016

Platforms: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

MeepCity is a popular Roblox Game. It's a social game where you role-play a character to interact with other people and customise their looks. Like Toontown Online or the now-defunct Club Penguin, MeepCity is an evolving virtual space for players to...

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,...

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and...

Welcome to Bloxburg (Roblox)

Release Date: 01/11/2014

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

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Welcome to Bloxburg is a simulation Roblox game where you take on daily activities in a fictional city. Drawing on gameplay from The Sims, you care for your character and keep their mood positive, by building and customizing your house, learning skills...

Impostor (Roblox)

Release Date: 17/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Impostor is a space survival game like Among Us. It is a community-created version of that official game on Roblox as Impostor, but also on Minecraft as a couple of minigames called Among Us and Impostor. The Roblox game is a version of Among Us for...

Tracks The Train Set Game

Release Date: 11/10/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Tracks The Train Set Game is a digital version of wooden toy train sets, without the costs of buying more and more track pieces. You build your toy train set and towns and then jump into the driver's seat and drive the train, seeing your toy world to...

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Release Date: 16/10/2020

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Mario Kart Live, MarioKart Home Circuit) is a kart racing game with a difference. You play on the Switch but use it to control a real life Mario kart that races around...

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Release Date: 04/08/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a whacky obstacle race where up to 60 people compete to get to the end of the course and advance to the next round. Drawing on TV shows like Takeshi's Castle, Wipeout or It's a Knock Out you have to control top-heavy...

Assemble With Care

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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...

Crab Game

Release Date: 29/10/2021

Platforms: PC

Crab Game is a competitive action game where you play mini-games based on the Squid Game Netflix show challenges. Similar to Fall Guys, each requires you to be the last player standing to claim the win. Here, however, the game has a darker feel with...

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Release Date: 01/04/2019, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (known as TABS) is a fighting game where you choose different armies and troops to battle each other in an automatic simulation that models their offensive and defensive abilities. Once set up, the fight is largely...

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Release Date: 06/11/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy is a strange game about movement and momentum. You are tasked with climbing a mountain. However, your only means of locomotion is a hammer that can stick to objects and drag you forwards.

BedWars (Roblox)

Release Date: 19/01/2017, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Bed Wars is a game played on Minecraft (since 2017) or Roblox servers (since 2021). It's a team game where you start on an island and must protect your bed and build bridges to attack other teams' beds. The trick is the ecosystem of items and crafting...

Pokémon Cafe Mix

Release Date: 15/12/2020

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Pokemon Cafe Mix is a puzzle game. Similar to the icon-connection challenge of Disney Tsum Tsum, you play as Eevee and delivering orders in a cafe by linking Pokemon icons in a ring. It's a low pressure puzzle with a swirl-to-connect interaction that is...

Royale High (Roblox)

Release Date: 04/10/2017

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Royale High Roblox is a role-play game about a fantasy school. You dress up, visit differently themed realms collect items and interact with other people. It draws inspiration from the pageantry world and integrates it with different locations to...

Krunker

Release Date: 29/01/2019

Platforms: Web

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Krunker (Krunker.io and Krunker Free) is a shooting game where you compete against online opponents on various maps. As you level up you unlock weapons that help you in the game. It's unusual because you play it in any web browser with no need to...

A Little To The Left

Release Date: 01/08/2022

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

A Little To The Left is a puzzle game where you are tidying a house into meticulous order. Each puzzle presents everyday objects and some evidence of how they should be organised. The challenge is you have to deal with the mischievous cat who likes to...

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

Release Date: 16/12/2021, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is a survival-horror game where you explore a vast pizzeria and shopping centre while hunted by a murderer. In addition to continuing the intricate and multi-layered story of the previous games, this is the first...

Blankos Block Party

Release Date: 17/11/2020

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Blankos Block Party is an online game where you collect and create custom characters based on toy figurines. Along with the built-in modes of racing, platforming and shooting, you can also plug and play your own levels in a similar fashion how [link to...

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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