Not Tonight 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 Not Tonight in the following lists:
There are many reasons, stages of life and circumstances that can leave us feeling isolated and lonely. Being unable to be in the same place as loved ones. Not understanding the modern world. Barriers of mobility or impairments. Social anxiety and other mental health issues.
Video games are one way that we can reconnect with each other, without needing to be in the same place. Finding games to play online with grandparents and carers is not only a good way to keep in touch but a lot of fun.
The games on this page are part of the PLAY&TALK Weekend
, which has launched in time for National Loneliness Awareness Week, aims to reduce feelings of isolation by getting people to talk with friends or family safely online. Backed by over 30 companies in the games industry, the Play&Talk weekend hopes to initiate 10,000 extra conversations across the UK through the power of games.
Co-operative: Some of the games are good ways to connect and play co-operatively online (like Feather, Overcooked 2, Ibb and Obb, Skylanders Children of Light).
Competitive: With some practice there are easy and fun online competitive games (like Tricky Towers, Videoball)
Asynchronous: Other games are a way to connect and play without being online at the same time (like Horizon Chase Turbo, Worms, Words With Friends, Wargroove, Animal Crossing).
Community: Then there are games that connect you with a wider player community in a gentle non-invasive way (like The First Tree, Journey, Lost Words, The Endless Forrest).
All the games have been select to be easy to play for new gamers and many of them have been used in a broad range of cultural settings, being incorporated into Cathedral services, arts festivals, well-being retreats and educational contexts.
We are used to books, films and radio programs challenging our assumptions on subjects. Adam Curtis, Louis Theroux and David Attenborough have powerfully used film to change perspectives and values.
Less well known is how many video games tread a similar furrow. These are games that not only tackle difficult subjects, but get beneath the usual binary perspectives to create new ways of thinking about these themes.
Games aren't only about quick reactions and shooting things. Many games, like the parlour games of the past, are about communication and quick wits. There is a whole group of games that are more about talking to other players than anything else.
These social deduction games put players in an unusual situation to work together to survive. However, one or more participants are secretly tasks with bringing the group down from the inside. These traitors usually need to do this carefully, because being found out means the main group can expel them from the game.
Some of these games, like Thief Town
, Spy Party
, challenge players to act in such a way that their in-game behaviour won't give them away. Other games in the list, like Among Us
or First Class Trouble
, require players to talk in the real world as well as in-game to build a case against each other.
Things don’t stay put. You’re the only one keeping the ship afloat. You can’t get people to do what you tell them. The effort you spend doesn’t produce the results it deserves. Well, in these video games you get to wield complete control over people, things, situations or even whole worlds.
If games offer an escape from chaos, these games are particularly good at granting a sense of satisfying agency and power as they do that. Whether it’s ordering the perfect stock room in Wilmot’s Warehouse
, organising your island in Animal Crossing
, perfectly controlling the flow of traffic in Mini Motorways
or even build civilisation just the way you want it in Civilization
the sense of satisfaction and calm from the achievement is second to none.
Games tell stories about people and places. This can be similar to books and films, offering snapshots, flashbacks and poignant scenes that form a life. Because we can explore the spaces where games happen, they can also tell stories by the things we find.
Games often use their character's possessions to tell us about them, as much as what they say or look like. Favourite toys, carefully written letters, hurried notes, pictures on the walls, dilapidated architecture, menus, vehicles, ticket stubs. The objects of our lives tell a story about who we are and what is happening to us.
Games like The Sims
or Animal Crossing
enable us to use possessions to create spaces that reflect the character we are playing. In
, we are given a prized camera and bird book from our grandparents to tell the story of their bond and trust.
Some games let us get to know characters solely through their possessions. In Unpacking
we spend hours placing and arranging someone's things, and as we do we get to know them (and their hopes, loves, losses and travels) deeply. In The Last of Us
we find people's notes and possessions abandoned. In this we find the story of a world in panic, but also of the people's lives before everything went wrong.
Other games use possessions as an important part of how we interact with the world. In Overboard
, for example, we need to use medication, ear rings and clothing to tell a story that the other characters in the world believe (one where we didn't murder our husband).
Finally, games use possessions sentimentally to connect us to the past of characters. In Hindsight
we are asked to decide which objects to keep and which to let go of. In Before I Forget
, possessions offer a gateway to our own fraying memories.
However games use these possessions to tell stories, it's always worth slowing down, noticing the objects we are rushing past and reading the literal and metaphorical notes about the world in which we are playing.
All games offer you agency. You can win or lose. You can complete them or stop at any time. But there are some games that offer a story that genuinely branches. Where you end up will be different from other players. This not only makes your actions really matter but also gives you a reason to play them again.
Setting aside games that evolve through simulation, or games where once you die it's game over, these branching narrative games tell a story that ends in a certain way because of the choices you made.
Success in video games is often framed at the personal level: the last person standing in Fortnite
, achieving high viewership on a Twitch stream, the best player in Rocket League
. However, many video games choose to focus players on a wider view, on working for the greater good of the world in which they live.
Games can develop a deep sense of civic identity. Civics is the study of the rights and obligations of citizens in society. Our civic identity comes from situating oneself within a larger group, often committing oneself to public action. Games give children a chance to try out taking public action within society for the greater good.
This list of games offers space for players to develop a sense of civic identity. We put it together with Barry Joseph
, who has worked in many contexts to empower children to achieve this. Whether at Global Kids, Inc, where he helped youth to acquire leadership skills and engage in efforts to address global issues through the production of digital media, in founding Games For Change, where he worked with video games as a form of youth media, or at Girl Scouts of the U.S.A, where he piloted digital engagement for girls around the country.
There are many mainstream games, not created specifically for education, that are a great way to engage with civic identity. This includes games that invite players to take control of civic space, like Alba
, One Hour, One Life
, Sim City
, Thousand Threads
Then there are games where civic space is presented as dysfunctional and in need of repair, like Papers Please
, Not For Broadcast
, Do Not Feed The Monkeys
. Other games let you take civic space in questionable or futile directions, like Headliner: NoviNews
, Bad News
and Photographs Puzzle Stories
Finally, there are some games specifically created to teach children about civics. The always-growing collection of games from iCivics explore U.S. Government functions, including Argument Wars
, Branches of Power
and Immigration Nation
. There is the novel Civics! An American Musical
that teaches US History through creating a Hamilton-style musical. Digital Compass
teaches digital citizenship through an interactive story and MP For A Week
that teaches children about being an MP in UK Parliament. Finally, the Democratic Socialism Simulator
is a puzzle game where you run for office and then run a country.
Games often offer us the chance to step into the shoes of powerful and fantastical characters. These power fantasies are exciting and exhilarating. There are many games that invite us to step into the shoes of the disempowered.
Games where you play the underprivileged or discriminated against, not only provide information about how these unjust imbalances exist in the world, but (to some extent) what it feels like to be on the receiving end of discrimination.
The logo on this page is the PEGI Discrimination descriptor. It indicates that the "game contains depictions of ethnic, religious, nationalistic or other stereotypes likely to encourage hatred. This content is always restricted to a PEGI 18 rating (and likely to infringe national criminal laws)." You won't see this on any game because the game would also be breaking the law.
The games in this list address ethnic, religious and nationalistic themes, but in a way that shines a light on discrimination and injustice. In a small way they can help us grow in our sensitivity and awareness of these issues.
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.
Video games are sometimes criticised for pillaged historical cultural contexts as places to pitch their shooting battles. Many games do treat historic periods or military battles to embellish the visuals with a realism.
There are, however, all sorts of games that use history as more than window dressing. This might be something as simple as accurately creating period-appropriate weapons and uniforms, like in War Thunder
. This might also be offering the player to experience battles not from the perspective of the victors. Or, like in This War of Mine
, what is was like for those caught up in conflict as civilians.
Beyond warfare, games offer a wide array of accurate depictions of different civilisations and eras. Through the Darkest of Times
is a strategy game that conveys the sombre mood of the dark period of history between January 1933 and May 1945. The Forgotten City
is a mystery adventure set in the final days of a cursed Roman city. Treasures of the Aegean
is a Tin Tin-style tomb raiding adventure game with a surprisingly accurate bronze age Aegean civilisation.
There are other games that introduce historical techniques and tools. In Heaven’s Vault
you play an archaeologist translating an ancient alien language whose decrypting weaves through an unfolding drama. In Return of the Obra Dinn
you revisit the moment of death of 60 sailors on an ancient ship and use evidence to piece together their identity and what happened.
Other game recreate a time periods' architecture and culture so you can explore it first hand. Discovery Tour
is a special mode that uses the worlds created for the main Assassin’s Creed games to offer an historical exploration experience. Discovery Tour: Viking Age is set in Britain and Norway, around 870 AD. It sheds light on the Viking era and allows players to discover more about the history and traditions of the time. Raji: An Ancient Epic
is a running and jumping puzzle game drawing on Hindu and Balinese history. Taking inspiration from tales like Mahabharata and Ramayana you play a young girl named Raji who is chosen by the gods to defend the human race.
There are even games that help players appreciate the scale of history and time. Deep Time Walk
is a game where you go for a walk as you listen to a history of the earth that's tied to each step. The game calculates your speed and distance to match your real-world progress and translates it to a journey across 4.6bn years of time, taking in every key evolutionary event as they occur.
In this list, provided by the LTN
(Love Thy Nerd) editors, we bring together video games that have the potential to offer more than entertainment. It starts with 12 with a challenge us to be a good neighbour, and follows with others added over time. LTN exists to be the love of Jesus to nerds and nerd culture, you can read more about them on their website
"What if video games have more to offer than just an exciting diversion into a digital battlefield, fantasy war, or alien invasion? While these types of games are certainly the loudest and most financially successful, there are a growing number of games asking important questions about life, the human condition, and even God."
"Our list is not 'Christian' games, but rather a list of games that pose important spiritual questions to those who play them. These are games that provide us with the opportunity to consider what a truly 'spiritual' life looks like by encouraging us to have empathy for the suffering, love for our neighbours and our enemies, and an imagination vivid enough to contemplate a better world."Journey's
understated yet deep mythology, lack of guidance and mysterious ways it brings players together will have players thinking about the course of their own lives. Dropsy
is, on the surface, a silly point-and-click adventure game about a creepy but misunderstood clown, dig deeper and you’ll see this a game that challenges players to love everyone, even their enemies. Kentucky Route Zero
is at its core, about rediscovery, of adventure-game mechanics and modernist aesthetics, of a more spiritual outlook on the physical world.Gris
is a platformer about the stages of grief that highlights the indelible impact of our most sacred relationships. That Dragon, Cancer
is a game where Ryan and Amy Green share their grief and their hope by drawing us not only into their lives but into the common grace of the Christian faith. Myst
, one of the best selling titles of all time, is a puzzle game about the beauty and mystery of creation. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
is a game about the spiritual impact our most precious relationships have on us. Wandersong
is a game about transforming the world with music. Heroism isn’t measured in bulk or recognition but in the melodic tones of compassion and kindness. The Last Guardian
confronts us with our own self-centredness and challenges us to give rather than merely take.Pyre
is a game about mercy that deconstructs player’s perceptions of winning and losing, encouraging them to see and meet the needs of those who are oppressed. My Child Lebensborn
is a game that challenges players to care for a child born into a fascist regime--this is a game about the power of empathy. Celeste
strikes at the centre of what it means to be a person in all of our messy humanity a wonderful reminder that even when we fall, we are lifted up again through redemptive love, forgiveness, and grace—both for ourselves and for one another.
Games create virtual worlds where you can experience life from other perspectives. This can be entertaining and light-hearted, but also presents ethical scenarios that require you to think carefully about consequences.
The games selected here each place you in a challenging situation to give you a first-hand experience of what it’s like. It may be nail-biting, heart-breaking or desperate, but often, through all the trials and tribulations, there is still hope. Either way, unlike reading books or watching films about these subjects, here you are emotionally implicated in the choices you are faced with.
Whether it’s a simple puzzle grid, a battlefield or a universe of planets to visit, all games create virtual spaces in which to play. Some of these are simply the background to a campaign - the game’s unfolding drama, missions or challenge. But others invite you to invest in the worlds they create, move in, tend to and inhabit in fantastical ways.
The games in this section invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character. Worlds that hold history and lore in their landscapes, flora, fauna and inhabitants; environments that respond to your presence and invite you to restore them to their former glory.