Phantom Abyss 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 Phantom Abyss in the following lists:
Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.
Games, by design, present players with adversity and much of the joy of gaming comes from taking on and overcoming unnecessary obstacles. Whether you’re saving the universe from an alien invasion or tending crops in your animal community, playing games mimics the process of resilience.
This list of games that can help foster various forms of psychological resilience is compiled with the expert help of Take This
. They aim to decrease the stigma, and increase the support for, mental health in the game enthusiast community and inside the game industry. They encourage a game community that welcomes and supports people experiencing mental health challenges, and that recognizes the humanity and mental health of game creators.
series tell a narrative that you are going to fail. You’re told to give up, but if you ignore this barrage of discouragement you can use it as a way to strengthen your resolve and complete the puzzles even if you have failed twenty times in the process. The Stanley Parable
is all about trying again. You can try and re-try your decision making, reaching a variety of different endings.
Dark Souls is a hallmark for a punishing challenge that require resilience. You journey through elaborate lands to adventure, explore, and take heed lest they encounter a battle with a boss or enemy. Celeste
is the story of Madeline and the enemies she overcomes while climbing Celeste Mountain. The game specifically calls out that Madeline has anxiety, and the challenges she faces in the environment reflect her own internal struggles and triumphs. Cuphead
challenges players to battle relentless bosses in combat-heavy play. Cartoonish and playful, it balances challenging players to grow in skill and offers plenty of entertaining environments and aesthetics to keep you playing.
In Kingdom Hearts
you meet many characters that need help - and many boss battles feel almost insurmountable. With help from friends like Donald and Goofy, the player character Sora overcomes the darkness to save his friends and bring hope back to the world. Death Squared
is a co-op puzzle game where one player’s mistake makes everyone else lose. You learn cooperative resilience in trying again admits humorous judgments from the unseen “hosts” of the game.
In Animal Crossing
you get help from the animal neighbours. You learn to lean on this social and environmental resilience to persevere at building social connections with computer villagers and friends online. Stardew Valley’s
farming is about growing and maintaining a homestead. Interweaving the busy work are relationships with the other villagers, many of whom are social models for resilience in their storylines.
There's a gap when children are starting to outgrow PEGI 12 rated games but aren't necessarily ready for PEGI 16 rated shooting and fighting experiences. The games in this list offer some options that are genuinely exuberant and exhilarating but with lower levels of violence.
It's important to say that parents should take a close look at the rating information for these games and make their own judgement on appropriateness for their child.
These are intended as good first steps into older rating games, when you think your child is ready. We go through some really good examples of these exciting, fast-action game for a range of ages. They are mostly all PEGI 12 or under, apart from games like Halo
or Jedi Fallen Order
, which we have included as this is a lower ESRB TEEN rating in the US.
Online games are great because you have a world of opponents to take on and defeat (or be defeated by). But beyond the competitive element of these games are often a strong sense of community and camaraderie.
We’re supporting the Every Mind Matters
campaign from NHS and bringing you some games that help you connect with friends and family while you look after your mental health.
Players enjoy making new connections in these games, as well as connecting with wider family and friends. Listen to the chatter while children play these games, and you hear as much talk about homework, television, YouTube or what's happening in the world as much as how to win the next race in Mario Kart.
Battle Royale games are played online against 100's of other players. They blend different genres of games: survival, exploration, adventure, shooting and scavenging while introducing the last-man-standing gameplay.
They are usually played in an arena where players start with basic equipment and aim to kill all the other players. The arena area shrinks as play proceeds to bring the game to a crescendo.
"The name for the genre is taken from the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale, itself based on the novel of the same name, which presents a similar theme of a last-man-standing competition in a shrinking play zone." - Wikipedia
How hard a game is considered to be depends on who is playing it. A three-year-old tackling Zelda will struggle. But equally a new-to-games-parents will find Mutant Mudds
quickly gets beyond them. The games in this list are known for being difficult. They wear the difficulty as a badge of honour. "None shall pass," except this with the will, time and belligerence to get good enough at this particular activity to beat the high bar the game sets.
This might be grappling with the flying mechanics in Rocket League
, getting endlessly lost trying to find the next guardian in Shadow of the Colossus
or coming up with the right tactic to get enough money for the ship you need in Elite
. Of course, some of these games can be made easier, but to play them at their best is to ramp up the difficulty to max (crushing on The Last Of Us
for example) and let them give you all they've got.
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.
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.
Enable 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.
These games offer worlds you explore in unusual ways. Maybe it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other, or maybe you get a chance to climb and jump athletically. These games put you in touch what it’s like to move more easily or more difficulty than real life.
Multiplayer games are fun because you go head to head against another person. Whether they are sat next to you on the couch or miles away over the internet, it's instant intense competition.
Asynchronous multiplayer games, create this sense of simultaneous competition when you can't play at the same time. Perhaps your opponent is in a different time zone, you are playing years after the person you are competing against, or perhaps you have a job or family commitments that the only game time is when the person you are playing against is in bed.
In these asynchronous multiplayer games, you usually see the other player as a ghost representation of how they played the level or circuit. Perhaps it's in Forza
where you race against representations of real-world opponents. Perhaps it's in Horizon Chase Turbo
where you see the ghosted cars of your Nintendo Switch friends who have raced the circuit you are on Or, perhaps you see the failed attempts of people you don't know in a temple in Phantom Abyss
However the game provides this, it does so to give you the feel of playing against someone at the same time, although they actually played some time (maybe seconds, maybe hours or maybe years) ago. There have even been stories
of teenagers discovering the ghost laps of deceased parents and being able to race them as if they were still alive.