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71 Great Games Like A Fold Apart

Our experts have spent time searching for great games similar to A Fold Apart and have found the following:

A Fold Apart is a puzzle game that explores the emotional rollercoaster of a long-distance relationship — in a world of folding paper. After career choices force them along separate paths, a Teacher and Architect vow to make their long-distance relationship work at any cost. Choose the gender of both characters and experience both sides of their story as the couple navigate the complexities of (mis)communication and the emotional ups and downs that physical separation brings. By flipping, folding and unfolding the paper puzzles in their handcrafted worlds, you can help the couple overcome the emotional barriers of their relationship and reunite.

Unfortunately, A Fold Apart is not available on Android, Mac or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme:

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 11/04/2020

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

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Platform

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: LR Gthunder (@LRGthunder)

Costs: Purchase cost

65 Hand Picked Video Games Like A Fold Apart

These are our hand-picked Video Game games similar to A Fold Apart. This doesn't use automatic matching, instead, we hand-pick games that are good to play if you have enjoyed A Fold Apart. These selections also include Video Game games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

Florence

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

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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...

Chariot

Release Date: 30/09/2014, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Chariot is a co-op platform game where you haul around a wheeled Chariot, to the end of each level. Pushing, pulling or dragging with ropes, you need to use the real physics of the game to solve puzzles and time jumps to get the heavy object to the...

Framed (Series)

Release Date: 12/11/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

Framed is a puzzle adventure where you rearrange panels of an animated comic book to change the outcome and timeline of the story. With a noir-detective look, the puzzles start simply but soon get complex.

Lumino City

Release Date: 02/11/2014

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Lumino City is a puzzle adventure game in a hand made world. This is not unusual for a video game, but this world was literally made by hand in a physical studio and then filmed. It creates a unique experience that feels like you are poking around a...

Fez

Release Date: 13/04/2012

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and iOS

Fez is a dimension based puzzle game where you, as a small character called Gomez, can rotate between four 2D views of the 3D world (as four sides around a cube-like space). This sounds confusing but actually develops into a mind-stretching and...

Braid

Release Date: 06/08/2008

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

Braid is a platform game, not dissimilar to Mario World, that appears simple but has a twist. The movement of your character is connected to the progression of time in a mind-bending manner. The resulting puzzles are fascinating and connected to a story...

Portal (Series)

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

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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...

Assemble With Care

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: PC and iPhone, iPad

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...

Unravel (Series)

Release Date: 09/02/2016, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Unravel and the two-player Unravel Two are a pair of jumping and swinging platform games where you control a character made out of wool. As well as making him look super cute, the wool is used to swing around and interact with objects.

Inscryption

Release Date: 19/10/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Pieces: Cards

Inscryption starts as a card-based adventure where you build a deck of cards to take on adventures and battles. To this, it adds escape-room style puzzles, both in the card game and in the room in which you are playing. The result is a psychological...

Snipperclips

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

This is a game where you play a piece of paper that can be cut into different shapes. Through a series of puzzle levels, you adjust your shape by clipping and overlapping other players. Sometimes this is to match a shape, at others it is to catch a ball...

Empty

Release Date: 25/09/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Empty is a minimalist puzzle game that teaches the value of simplicity in life. You rotate and interact with different vignettes to line up items with the same background colour. As you do this they disappear and the scene slowly empties.

LocoRoco

Release Date: 23/06/2006

Platforms: PS Vita, PS4 and PSP

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

This creates a world of plants and creatures to investigate. The novelty, besides the character’s singing and cute aesthetic, is that you control the game with just two buttons, tilting and bumping your characters through each level.

Donut County

Release Date: 15/08/2018, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Donut County offers a simple style of play. You drag a hole around the screen; the more things you can make fall in, the bigger the hole gets. You start with bricks, road cones and bushes, but eventually you’re swallowing whole houses.

Old Man's Journey

Release Date: 17/05/2017

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Old Man’s Journey is a game about memory and old age. You help a grandfather-figure traverse the countryside by raising and lowering the landscape. Along the way he visits places that evoke the story of his life: a wife, a child and a love of the sea.

Superliminal

Release Date: 12/11/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Superliminal is a puzzle game incorporating optical illusions and forced perspective. As you play and explore you can manipulate objects so that when put down their perspective, scale and size has changed. This enables you to progress through areas...

My Child Lebensborn

Release Date: 08/05/2018, updated in 2021

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

You nurture a Lebensborn child in Norway after World War II who faces a hostile community because they’ve been born to parents of both occupied and occupying forces. With meagre resources yourself, you must feed, clothe and bathe the child, but more...

Ibb and Obb

Release Date: 01/08/2013, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3 and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Ibb & Obb is a puzzle game where you run, jump, land on enemies and solve momentum puzzles. The novelty is that it's a game designed for co-operation. One player controls the green creature, Ibb, and the other controls the pink creature, Obb. The world...

This Is Reality

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

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...

The White Door

Release Date: 09/01/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

The White Door is an adventure that you play by exploring each room, finding and interacting with items and people. Along with its unusual black and white visuals, The White Door is also notable for the topic of mental health and memory loss it takes on.

The Wild At Heart

Release Date: 20/05/2021

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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...

Our Personal Space

Release Date: 14/02/2015

Platforms: Android, Mac and PC

Our Personal Space is a text adventure where, rather than surviving alien attack or harsh environments, it's your marriage that you are fighting for. You play a newly married doctor on a space colony and must decide how she spends her time, responds to...

All Of You

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Platforms: Mac and iOS

All of You is a platform game where you can pause time and control the levels rather than the character. By rearranging the timing, order and orientation of the world you play in you can help the mother hen get her chicks back.

Grace's Diary

Release Date: 09/08/2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and Web

Grace's Diary is a role playing game where you play, Grace, who is concerned about her friend Natalie who's behaviour has changed since she started dating her current boyfriend. By experiencing the conversations first hand and making notes in your...

Last Day of June

Release Date: 31/08/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Last Day of June is a game about a couple called Carl and June, who suffer a tragedy when a car accident takes June's life and leaves Carl in a wheelchair. You control Carl, remembering life with June and discover that you can interact with her...

The Stillness of the Wind

Release Date: 07/02/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

In The Stillness of the Wind you play 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...

Maquette

Release Date: 02/03/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Maquette is a puzzle game played in a series of nested identical worlds. What you do in the larger world effects things in the smaller one, and so on. Every building, plant, and object are simultaneously tiny and staggeringly huge.

Phogs

Release Date: 01/06/2020

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Phogs is a game where you control a stretchy dog that has a head at both ends of its body. It sounds a little strange, but is actually an endearing adventure where, on your own or with another person, you control each end of the dog separately to...

Where Cards Fall

Release Date: 15/09/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Pieces: Cards

Where Cards Fall, from the same developer as Alto's Adventure, is an adventure where you build houses of cards to advance. In a beautifully hand-drawn world, you need to create pathways with the cards through the dreamlike...

Boyfriend Dungeon

Release Date: 11/08/2021

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Boyfriend Dungeon is an adventure set in an urban dungeon where weapons transform into potential dating partners. It's a mix of a brawling action game and a dating simulator.

Ete

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Ete (été, which means summer) is a gentle adventure where you discover memories by exploring with your camera, music and paint. The screen starts almost entirely blank, and as you move around and interact you create vivid colourful memories.

Fate of Kai

Release Date: 19/03/2021

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Fate of Kai is a narrative puzzle game where you control the story rather than the characters. You discover Kai's story by walking through the panels of a comic book. It's a tale about a boy who wakes in a strange land handcuffed to a mysterious chest....

Journey of the Broken Circle

Release Date: 18/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Journey of the Broken Circle is a rolling and jumping game about looking for a life partner. You play as a simple circle with a piece missing. As you progress by making jumps and solving puzzles, you meet partners who slot in specific abilities and...

Arise: A Simple Story

Release Date: 03/12/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Arise: A Simple Story is a narrative game about an old man living in a pre-agricultural tribe. He has just been cremated and as get travels to the next life, begins a pilgrimage of revisiting memories of his life.

Gravity Rush

Release Date: 09/02/2012, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS Vita and PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Gravity Rush is a running, jumping and exploration adventure game. You play as Kat, an amnesiac with the power to manipulate gravity. She uses this ability to help her community and uncover the mystery of her past.

Love You To Bits

Release Date: 19/10/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Love You to Bits is an adventure where you tap to move and interact with objects, like classic point-and-click games. You play Kosmo, a clumsy, rookie space explorer in search of Nova, his robot girlfriend. After a fatal accident, all of Nova’s pieces...

Vokabulantis

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

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...

Apart Of Me

Release Date: 12/12/2016

Platforms: PC

This is an exploration game were you visit a peaceful island, meet friendly characters, and complete quests. The theme of grief intertwines through these things. At their own pace, the player can collect various tools designed to help with coping....

Draw a Stickman: Epic 3 (Series)

Release Date: 03/12/2013, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Draw a Stickman: Epic 3 s Epic 3 is the latest game in the series, and you are on a mission to save your friends who have been scattered throughout the world by an earthquake. Work out the puzzles so you can progress through the game.

Degrees of Separation

Release Date: 14/02/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Degrees of Separation is a running and jumping game where you control two characters from different seasons, Ember and Rime. Each has different abilities to change the environment and help you to progress: freezing water, melting ice and the like.

Lair Of The Clockwork God

Release Date: 21/02/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Lair Of The Clockwork God is an adventure played with two characters from different game genres. Ben is a die-hard, old-school LucasArts Adventure fan, one foot stuck in the 90s. Dan is younger, running and jumping platform character, he's hip, he's...

Snake Pass

Release Date: 29/03/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Snake Pass is a puzzle game where you move around objects and through the world like a snake. Rather than running around the levels like you do in games like Mario games, you have to slither along the ground and coil around...

Toodee and Topdee

Release Date: 04/08/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Toodee and Topdee is a platform puzzle game where you control two characters to complete single-screen levels. The twist is that each character exists in a different plane. Toodee is a top-down block-pushing 3D world, while Topdee is side-on 2D...

Bring You Home

Release Date: 29/10/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Bring You Home is a running and jumping game with a difference. You play a doddery Polo trying to get your pet back by completing various platform levels. Unusually, though, when you die the game rewinds so you can change the level by swiping the panels...

Hot Swap

Release Date: 10/11/2016

Platforms: Android and iOS

Hop Swap is a platform game where you can flip gravity and jump through the ground. The sky becomes the ground and the ground becomes the sky. This simple premise is used to create a complex and weaving adventure where you journey through two worlds at...

Paper Trail

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Paper Trail is a traversal puzzle game about a budding academic, Paige, leaving home. Play is set in a foldable paper world that you manipulate to join paths, move rocks and overlap the two sides of reality. It's a unique two sided puzzle that tells the...

Splitter Critters

Release Date: 15/05/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Splitter Critters is a puzzle game where you cut up the world to connect platforms and get to the exit. You split and rearrange each level so you can avoid deadly lasers and create floating swimming pools to guide alien critters back to their spaceship.

A Little Perspective (Dreams)

Release Date: 06/04/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

A Little Perspective is a puzzle game where you rotate the world to see things from a different angle and find new paths to the goal. Like an Escher picture (and like the PlayStation 3 game, Echochrome) the perspective affects which platforms you can...

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams

Release Date: 23/10/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is a running and jumping game where you can switch between two forms, and with that, two versions of the world. Each form has different platforming abilities so you need to juggle the two to complete levels and find every...

Mutant Mudds

Release Date: 26/01/2012, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and iOS

Mutant Mudds is a retro platform video game. It's unusual because it is unforgiving and hard to play so presents a substantial challenge. Also, playing to the 3D feature of the Nintendo 3DS console, the game allows you to jump into the background of the...

Shadow Puppeteer

Release Date: 29/09/2014, updated in 2016

Platforms: PC and Wii U

In Shadow Puppeteer one player controls a shadow and the other player controls the main character. Their task is to help each other progress through a series of platform levels to recover stolen shadows from their hometown.

Spitkiss

Release Date: 06/11/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Spitkiss is a game where you control a ball of saliva around the dangerous interior of different organs. The spittle is the carrier of a message of love and hope between people, but it can only get there if you precisely aim and navigate the different...

Timelie

Release Date: 21/05/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Timelie is a stealth puzzle game played in a surreal world where a girl and a mysterious cat work together to escape a series of rooms patrolled by enemy robots. The novelty is that you can control and rewind time to help you solve each puzzle. This not...

YesterMorrow

Release Date: 05/11/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

YesterMorrow is running, jumping, climbing and collecting game where you play Yui, whose world has been destroyed and family kidnapped. To save them you journey through the four islands, forest, desert, ice, and clockwork, to collect "everlight" and...

Candleman

Release Date: 01/02/2017

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Candleman is a running and jumping game. You play as a tiny candle in the dark lighting its way through a dark and foreboding environment. It's unusual because your candle only last for 10 seconds, after which it's dark and really hard to navigate so...

No Time to Explain

Release Date: 17/06/2015

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Wii U and Xbox One

No Time to Explain is a running, jumping and shooting game where you play a man chasing his future self through time. As the game evolves you must progress to solve time puzzles and complete platforming challenges.

One Person Story

Release Date: 23/08/2018

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

This is a simple puzzle game played by pressing a single button to help a bouncing ball through a maze. It's voiced with a narrative about life's difficulties and challenges. It starts simply but gets more difficult as you have to open and close doors,...

The Pedestrian

Release Date: 29/01/2020

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

The Pedestrian is a puzzle game where you control a stick man navigating a series of road signs around a virtual city. It sounds a little odd and quite simple, but by layering its interconnected sign-based puzzles it creates an experience that is both...

Trine (Series)

Release Date: 08/10/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is the latest game in the Trine series of running, jumping, fighting and puzzle adventures. You play as one of three characters in a beautifully drawn fantasy realm; a wizard, thief or knight, each with their own special...

World Splitter

Release Date: 21/04/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

World Splitter is a platform puzzle game with a dual dimension challenge. In each level, you need to collect a series of characters and get to the exit. Sounds familiar, but adds a unique dimensional line that gives you access to two different versions...

Stitch

Release Date: 28/10/2022

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Stitch is an embroidery puzzle game where you fill in numbered areas of the right size to create pictures. While it sounds simple, the limited ways you can add yarn to the hoop creates a head-scratching challenge. This slow, thoughtful, and relaxing...

Cubric (Dreams)

Release Date: 15/06/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Cubric is a puzzle game where you play a robot trapped inside a maze. Unusually, the maze is three dimensions and made up of six moveable cubes. To escape you turn and twist the cubes in three dimensions to match up paths, avoid hazards, and enable your...

Draw! (Dreams)

Release Date: 09/03/2021, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Draw! is a puzzle game where you draw your own platforms in order to get a stick figure to run and jump through the level to an exit. It is designed to look like drawings on a notepad with you as the artist.

Kami 2

Release Date: 23/01/2014, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Kami, and Kami 2 are origami-themed puzzle games where you aim to fill the screen with the same coloured paper. You play by a location to unfold paper of that colour that then spreads until it hits another colour.

The Entropy Centre

Release Date: 03/11/2022

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

The Entropy Centre is a time-shifting puzzle adventure where you can move objects back through time. You explore the futuristic levels and solve puzzle by using you gun to move object in space but also in time. It's a game that gets you thinking in...

6 Video Games Like A Fold Apart Based on Genre

These are games of a similar genre mix to A Fold Apart. This includes games from the Platform genre. We pick out games of a similar PEGI rating to further hone these generated suggestions.
 

7 Easier Video Games than A Fold Apart

If you like the sound of A Fold Apart but find it too complex or challenging, the games in this section offer a similar experience but with a lower Skill Rating.
 

9 Video Games With More Documented Accessibility Features than A Fold Apart

If you like the sound of A Fold Apart but it doesn’t offer the accessibility you require, the games in this section offer a similar experience but with more Accessibility Features. You can view a full breakdown in our A Fold Apart Accessibility Report.
 

A Fold Apart is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to A Fold Apart in the following lists:

Games Picked For Taming Gaming Book

When we wrote the Taming Gaming book we packed the second half with full colour game ‘recipes’ as a resource for parents and families. They are grouped in categories depending on the style of game you are looking for, whether you want to play on your own, or with your family and friends.

The Family Gaming Database grew out of the book. At first it was just going to be a way to search the 60 or so games in the book. With 1000’s of parents soon using the database it became clear we should grow it to cover more games. So, today we have 2400 games.

Here are all the games from the book:

Games for non-gaming grown-ups

These games are perfect if you have never played one before. They open the door to the gaming world for non-gaming parents and carers.

Nurture child-like imagination

These games are for children under seven years old who will, with some help, discover activities they want to try that will expand their imaginations, while establishing the role of your guidance and engagement as part of the gaming world as they grow up.

Nourish Youthful Ambition

As children get older, they develop stronger ideas of what they want to play. Friends at school and YouTube stars create popular gaming fabs for the latest titles. The games suggested here go beyond the usual suspects.

Laugh at Silliness

Video games have their roots in fun and play. This makes them an excellent way to forget the worries of the day and dive into some silly fun together. The games on this list have been selected because they get players doing absurd activities and chuckling together.

Inhabit Another World

The games in this list invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character.

Compete on the Couch

Raucous, unbounded, exuberant all-age, competitive fun is something video games are known for. These games can play a bit-part in raising children to be magnanimous in victory and generous in defeat.

Work Together to Thrive

Play is more fun when it’s shared. Along with team work the games on this list use the fact that the players are all sitting next to each other. The fun is often as much about the conversations (and arguments) that happen in the room as what’s happening on the screen.

Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

While many games include characters to interact with, some are specifically designed to make relationships a central element. These games offer a unique way to think deeply about how we relate to each other to the games people play.

Wake up Your Emotions

Video games are known for high-octane, adrenaline fuelled entertainment, but there are many that address the players emotions as much as their dexterity. The games in the following list create emotionally rich spaces in which to explore scenarios with feelings rather than facts.

Matinee Fisticuffs and Shoot-outs

Sometimes you just want to play the hero. These games are violent and include shooting but as with B-movies and 1980’s TV series, it’s as much about the quips, characters and fantasy settings as it is about the killing.

Face Tough Decisions

Games create virtual worlds where you can experience life from another perspective. This can be lighthearted but also presents ethical scenarios that require you to think carefully about consequences. These games each place you in a challenging situation to give you a first hand experience of what it’s like.

Solve a Mystery

Like a good crime drama or whodunnit, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. The following games present you with a mysterious scenario to be solved. Whether with direct puzzles, locations to investigate or crime scenarios to deduce, they offer a unique first-hand sleuthing challenge.

 

Commit No Violence

While a significant portion of video games focus on combat and competition, these titles offer a less aggressive way to progress and win. None of these games enable or require the player to cause harm to another living thing -- even Mario's merciless campaign to stomp on every Goomba he meets bars him from this list. Or then there's catching and selling fish in Animal Crossing that rule that one out.

Many of them are aimed at children and families, but you'll be surprised how many explore deeper, more mature themes in their narratives, or require just as much skill as a fast-paced first-person shooter. This means there's plenty of offer for parents who might lack the reflexes (or interest) to survive a round of Fortnite.

We've focused on the games you might not expect to be played non-violently here, but you can find the full list at Non-Violent Games Of the Day curated by James Batchelor.
 

Walk in Someone Else's Shoes

While many games include characters to interact with, some are specifically designed to make relationships a central element. Whether this is during the rounds of a puzzle game amidst a zombie outbreak or as we race cars around a circuit, they can offer a unique way to think deeply about how we relate to each other and to the games people play.

In contrast to films or books, characters and relationships in video games need to be discovered by the player. Some of my favourite relational moments in games happen amidst other action. Often these other actions – whether shooting, puzzle-solving, or fetching and carrying – serve to underline the difficult, awkward and snatched nature of interpersonal interactions.
 

Space for Gender

We've worked with the Mermaids charity to find games that create space for gender identity including trans, non-binary, gender diverse perspectives. Mermaids has been supporting trans, non-binary and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families since 1995.

The games in this list offer a chance to play as a wide range of genders as well as assigning various roles to characters regardless of their identity.

Some games, like Animal Crossing, offer a chance to step out of the common binary choices and instead play as a character without having to define a specific gender identity. Other games, like A Fold Apart, allow players to combine genders, roles, careers and relationships as they want. Then there are games, like The Last Of Us II, that include trans, non-binary, gender diverse characters.

The games in this list all offer space to consider these topics and themes through different lenses and experiences. They can provide parents, carers and young people with common (non-confrontational) ground and are a unique way to gain understanding of this complex area of life.
 

Get Children Reading

We have partnered with the National Literacy Trust to create this resource of video games that encourage and enable reading and writing skills.

The National Literacy Trust is a charity dedicated to improving the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of children and young people who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life.

Video games have significant benefits for children who are reluctant or struggling readers. They give them access to stories through interaction and world building which they may not have been able to read in print. Video games also have benefits for families where parents may not be confident readers, meaning that sharing stories as a family is still accessible to all. The rise of video games on smartphones and tablets, as well as more affordable game consoles has made the sharing of interactive stories easier.

There are different ways that video games create this kind of collateral reading and aid literacy:
  • Reading In Games: Video games offer all sorts of reading at all levels. This can be from simple narrative in a game like Florence to dialogue in a game like Mutazione or even just identifying useful items and game mechanics with in-game descriptions in a game like Zelda Breath of the Wild. Then there are games like Thousand Threads that help players think about the power and the consequence of words.
  • Reading Around Games: Video games create worlds that often spawn secondary texts. This can be official novels that expand the world or guide books that offer instructions and help. Knights and Bikes, for example, has spin off books, a cartoon series and recipes to read.
  • Routes Into Books: Many popular book series, such as Beast Quest, offer a range of video games as an easy first step into those worlds that lead to then reading the books themselves.
  • Communication Around Games: As well as reading, games encourage all sorts of creative output. This can be to contribute to the many online forums and message boards to talk about the game. This can also be to write fan-fiction after being inspired about a game world or character. The Sims, for example, has an avid community writing and creating all kinds of content online.

 

Paper Play in Digital Places

From paper fortune tellers we used to make in school, to intricate origami birds, the playful folding of paper into interesting objects has long overlapped with other types of games. Origami appears in video games and board games surprisingly often. This list looks at the best games that put paper folding to the test.

This is sometimes the inclusion of origami objects, like Heavy Rain's killer leaving folded objects as a calling card. In other games, the world itself is made out of paper, that leads to a variety of unusual settings, like Tearaway, Paper Mario and Rappa the Rapper.

Perhaps most interesting are games that use paper as the mechanic for puzzles and interactions. This includes games like A Fold Apart and Paper Trail where you fold the world you play in to solve increasingly complex puzzles. Or Snipperclips where you angle interactions to cut shapes out of your character so you can achieve specific goals and progress.

Then there are games that reward your video game prowess in the real world. Tearaway is the headlines title here, as it let you download and print foldable-paper versions of the characters you met in the game. Nintendo Labo also stands out for using physical folding to create tangible objects you use to control the play.
 
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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