Lovely Planet 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 Lovely Planet in the following lists:
Games offer us challenges on many levels. When someone plays a game too much it’s easy to think they are taking an easy route to something entertaining, like junk food. But video games are generally hard work. It takes time to understand their systems, mechanics, objectives and worlds.
There are a small group of games that hone this challenge down to the mechanics of moving around the environment. Whereas many games simplify getting around, these games make the complexity and depth of their movement systems part of the joy of playing them.
Rather than relying on the stats of your character or player, you have to execute the moves yourself with timing proficiency and instinct. Rather than offering assistance, these games leave you to it. Whether you rise through the league tables, or just improve compared to your family, the satisfaction or getting to grips with something so monumentally challenging is really satisfying.
This might be understanding how the propulsion of your car lets you take to the air and hit a perfect shot in Rocket League. Or, perhaps, it’s using the limited running and jumping slightly better than other players to get a win in Fall Guys
. Maybe it’s learning the perfect combination of angles and trajectories in Videoball
. Or it could be learning the complex move lists in a game like Street Fighter.
These games all have in common, a complex control system that can be put to use in imaginative and creative ways to get the edge over your opponents.
Shooting and video games have gone together almost since they were invented. While this can understandably make parents of young players nervous, there are lots of games that steer down the sport-shooting route rather than military violence.
This includes games that turn the violence into tests of skill, like Neon White, as well as those that place the player on the sports field rather than the battlefield, like Wii Sports Archery. Then there are some games that retain a bit of the battle, but in stylised form, like Robobeat.
The Digital Futures Commission's A Vision of Free Play in a Digital World report
that outlines the key qualities of "free play" for what "good" looks like in a digital world. The team from 5 Rights Foundation and Digital Futures LSE set out ambitious expectations for children’s free play in all contexts. To claim the label ‘Playful by Design’, digital products and services should adopt seven principles:
Be Welcoming: Prioritise digital features that are inclusive, sociable and welcoming to all, reducing hateful communication and forms of exclusion and reflecting multiple identities.
Enhance Imagination: Prioritise creative resources and imaginative, open ended play over pre-determined pathways built on popularity metrics or driven by advertising or other commercial pressures.
Open-Ended Play: Provide and enhance features that offer easy-to use pathways, flexibility and variety as these support children’s agency and encourage their imaginative, stimulating and open-ended play.
No commercial exploitation: Reduce compulsive features designed to prolong user engagement or cultivate dependency on games, apps or platforms, so children’s immersive play is intrinsically motivated and freely chosen.
Ensure safety: Ensure children’s play in online spaces is safe, including by giving them control over who can contact them and supplying help when needed.
Allow for experimentation: Recognise that exploration, invention and a degree of risk taking is important in children’s play and that the burden should not fall on them always to be cautious or anxious, or to follow rules set by others.
Be age-appropriate: Respect the needs of children of different ages by providing age-appropriate opportunities for play, while also allowing for safe intergenerational play.
I asked Sonia Livingstone, lead researcher and report author, whether there were many games that already met this criteria. "Children bring a lot to their play that for them is imaginative and sociable. Where it's more difficult is in the voluntary and intrinsically motivated play. Games very rarely leave children to play at their own pace and rate. The freedom for risk taking is sometimes present but here, children themselves take on the safety burden from society at large and limit play themselves."
Inspired and challenged by the report, we searched our database to identify games that came closest to meeting these high standards. Like the report, this aims to concentrate energy on identifying opportunities for free play that should be enriched and expanded to make play online more child-centred.
In the report, children identify their need to play in ways that perhaps adults don’t understand or that some digital designs deny. They don't want a completely "whole-food experience", nor to turn back the clock to an offline world. They want digital products designed to enhance the qualities of play and at the same time want those aspects of design that are exploitative or invasive to be dialled down.
Examples on this list include playful offline video games. Games like Lonely Mountains Downhill
and Microsoft Flight Simulator
offer open-ended play where you can go where you want and make your own fun. Spelunky 2
, Mini Metro
enable free-play that is intrinsically and experimentally motivated without commercial exploitation. Then games like A Short Hike
and Wilmot's Warehouse
offer play that is welcoming for newcomers and specifically age appropriate. Risk taking and rule breaking play that doesn't become a burden on the child is found in games like Untitled Goose Game
and The Longing
Examples on this list also include playful online video games. Games like Journey
and One Hour One Life
offer a welcoming experience by encouraging (in some cases requiring) other players to help newcomers. Phantom Abyss
offers an unusual competitive play space that celebrates experimentation and is safe by design through minimal communication. Sea of Thieves
offer age appropriate play for older teenagers that is built around experimentation and discovery through risk taking that is lead by imagination. Stormworks
combines open ended play like Minecraft
, but offers a context more age appropriate to ambitious teenagers through its float-mechanics and boat design. Sky Children of the Light
combines many of the criteria, offering a welcoming experience for newcomers, imaginative play. It subverts the commercial feel of other app games by focusing purchases on items that are primarily to give away to other players.
Video games and toys are two separate things in a child's life. Online and in stores they are sold separately. At home, however, children will move from toys to video games without such strong distinctions. This list draws together all the games that cross over with toys in this way.
Very young players are often drawn to games with toy-like play. Whether Toca Boca
or Sago Mini
offer video game interactions but without missions, tasks or scores. They are games that create space, characters, locations and items for children to make up their own fun.
Then there are games that import physical toys into the play-process of the game. Sometimes this is to have a figure unlock items and save progress like in Skylanders
or sometimes this is to create new ways to interact like Tori
, Hotwheels id or Anki
Video games are often known for their gun play. However, not all shooting games are the same. The simple aiming and firing mechanic is creatively combined with other aspects of play that greatly alters the experience.
Movement Shooters are shooting games where you have a high degree of control of how your character moves around the world. Along with the usual walking, running, crouching, there are ways to swing, jetpack, climb, wall-run and generally use parkour-style motion to get where you need to be.
This not only adds novelty to the otherwise repetitive nature of shooting games, but changes how they are played more generally. In a standard shooting game, a viable tactic is to hide somewhere and pick off enemies as they appear in the distance. Movement Shooters get around this unpopular technique (sometimes called "camping") because the ability to rapidly move through the world enables you to find and deal with hiding snipers.
The movement aspect of play also adds another significant skill to learn in these games. Techniques like Strafe-jumping, Circle Jumping and Bunny Hopping enable players to squeeze fast motion from their character. Add to this the combination of swinging, gliding and using architecture to transition smoothly from floor to sky and its clear that this can take many years to perfect.
You can aid the happiness of your brain by taking on activities that generate key experiences and chemicals:
Dopamine for motivation, learning and pleasure.
Oxytocin for trust and building relationships.
Serotonin for significance and importance.
Endorphins for euphoria and elation.
Without dopamine you can be subject to procrastination, low self-esteem, inability to focus and feelings of hopelessness. It's the chemical that can give you determination to accomplish goals, desires and needs.
Along with getting outside for exercise, eating well and nurturing conversations, video games can also help. Games that generate dopamine are those where you can complete repeating tasks, like Fortnite or Rocket League, which have a lot of chances to win or excel. Other games, like Animal Crossing or Adopt Me, offer the the feeling of a job well done. This is increased in games where you are doing this not only for yourself but for the group you are a part of, like playing in a team in Sea of Thieves, Apex Legends or Sky Children of Light, where new players also need help and kindness.