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Happy Brain with Endorphin Games for 12 to 14 Year-Olds

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 endorphins we can struggle to cope with pain and stress. We also need endorphins when we want to push ourselves beyond our discomfort in chosen activities. They are also needed to help with sleep, particularly when there is anxiety or worries on our minds.

Along with getting outside for exercise, eating well and nurturing conversations, video games can also help. Games that help create endorphins are those that let us experience excess emotions. Video games that make us laugh or cry do this. Also, games that let us feel the exhilaration of creating something beautiful or being part of that creative process help generate endorphins. Horror games can do this for some, offering the stress of fear and jump-scares before the euphoria of escape and mastery of both the situation and our fears. Extreme racing games can also generate endorphins as you narrowly escape a catastrophic crash, or if you take on a super long challenge like Le Mans 24 Hours.

This list includes 24 games from the last 26 years, with 613 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to generate endorphin.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Collecting, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 613
 

 

Cruis’n Blast

Release Date: 14/09/2021

Platforms: Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Cruis’n Blast is a brash over the top racing game based on a series of big arcade machines. Competing with games like Ridge Racer, OutRun and Daytona USA, it offers whacky racing with big and bombastic visuals and characters.

Wavetale

Release Date: 10/11/2021, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Wavetale is a surfing and jumping adventure in a world of sunken cities, dangerous water and oppressive fog. You play as Sigrid, a young girl who works to restore the decaying archipelago and befriends a mysterious shadow that lets her walk on water....

Lonely Mountains Downhill

Release Date: 22/10/2019

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Lonely Mountains Downhill is a racing game where you traverse a mountain on a bike. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash all the way from the peak to the valley. You choose your route...

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

Components: 3D First-Person

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...

Subnautica (Series)

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

Descenders

Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game with a focus on skill. In each downhill run, your goal is to score as many points as possible by completing skill based challenges and executing as many tricks and flips as you can, all while you try to...

Alan Wake

Release Date: 14/05/2010

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Bright Falls is the sleepy Midwest setting for this Twilight Zone-style horror game. The action focuses on surviving attacks from possessed ‘Taken’ locals. You use flashlights to burn away the possession before dispatching them with firearms. It’s...

Karlson

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Karlson is a platform game where you take on shooting, running and jumping challenges to complete the level by getting to the tongue-in-cheek Milk prize. The focus is on skilled movement and precision shooting. As you fight your way out of the facility,...

MultiVersus

Release Date: 26/07/2022

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

MultiVersus is a fighting game like Smash Brothers where you team up with or against other players. The novelty is this teamwork and the deep catalogue of characters you can fight with. Batman, Shaggy from Scooby Do, Superman, Bugs Bunny and so on.

Gran Turismo (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS3, PS4 and PSP

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Gran Turismo is a driving simulator that focuses on a photo-realistic driving experience. Players race real-world cars where bodywork and interiors are perfectly modelled. Whether hatchbacks or super cars, this game lets you step into the world of the...

Burnout Paradise (Series)

Release Date: 16/03/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: GameCube, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

The Burnout series is an over-the-top racing game where you’re encouraged to crash, bash and ram other cars. Throughout the series the bravado and crashing increases, but they all have the same novel core gameplay.

Skate 3 (Series)

Release Date: 14/09/2007, updated in 2010

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Skate is a skateboarding series with innovative controls. One stick is used to control the skater's body and the other his feet. This resulted in the need to quickly motion different patterns to intuitively achieve different tricks - what become coined...

Climber: Sky is the Limit

Release Date: 21/11/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Weather

Climber: Sky is the Limit is a survival climbing adventure, where you scale the peaks of the highest and most famous mountains in the world. Plan the best route, select the correct equipment and avoid dangerous hazards as you ascend. It's a unique blend...

Tony Hawk 1 and 2 (Series)

Release Date: 04/09/2020

Platforms: DS, Mac, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Tony Hawk's is a skateboarding game series. It features the famous skater in 19 different games. From its start in 1999 on PlayStation it is now available on most consoles and has recently been re-released in updated as Tony Hawk's 1 + 2.

Eidolon

Release Date: 01/08/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Eidolon is a narrative game where you slowly explore a massive, post-human Western Washington. Unlike other action-oriented adventures, here you navigate an open world without threat. It's simply been reclaimed by nature, so your task is to discover...

Trombone Champ

Release Date: 16/09/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Trombone Champ is a rhythm-action game where you play a trombone in time to on-screen directions. Play is unlike other music games, because you can play a trombone note at any time and the focus is on fun musicality rather than accuracy. It stands out...

Tiny Tires

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Tiny Tires is a miniature racing game where you control toy cars around super-sized everyday locations. Play is a simple matter of getting around the course ahead of the other drivers, but as you do you must deal with hazards, make use of moveable...

Arcade Archives

Release Date: 19/06/2015, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Arcade Archives is a series of games that faithfully recreates classic Arcade games from their original software. Along with the play modes of the original games you can adjust settings like the difficulty dip-switches, like arcade owners could.

SpiderHeck

Release Date: 22/09/2022

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

SpiderHeck is a chaotic fighting game where a weaponised spider tries to take down opponents. You sling webs, shoot and slash at enemies, while frantically jumping about the dangerous arenas to land the decisive blow for victory. It's a strange concept,...

Super Buckyball Tournament

Release Date: 15/11/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Super Buckyball Tournament is a multiplayer futuristic sport game where teams of three battle each other to get an oversized ball into the goal. It's like Rocket League only without those tricky car physics. Instead you use your character to run, pass,...

Bionic Bay

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Bionic Bay is a running and jumping game with a difference. Set in a burning future you rush through the world with parkour skills and a unique swap ability. This makes play more physics-based than other platform games as you can move objects around the...

From Space

Release Date: 03/11/2022

Platforms: PC, Stadia and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

From Space is a shooting game where squads of four players liberate the earth from an alien infestation. Play is in B-Movie style with over-the-top weaponry and a cartoony post-apocalyptic world. It stands out for combing the classic dungeon action of...

Hi-Fi Rush

Release Date: 23/01/2023

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Hi-Fi Rush is a rhythm fighting game where wannabe rockstar Chai uses the beat to fight an evil corporation. You play by exploring the world and fighting enemies. The twist is that everything moves to the beat, and you must attack in time to do the most...

Terror of Hemasaurus

Release Date: 17/10/2022, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Terror of Hemasaurus is a retro fighting game where you smash up a destructible city as a giant monster. Play is like the classic Rampage arcade game, here though you can use the game's physics to inflict greater damage, chain reactions and combos. It's...

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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