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Pastoral Playtime Games Rated PEGI 12 and Older

Cottagecore is an online term celebrating an idealised rural life. Although games are usually considered to be hard, harsh and technological, many of them play to this aesthetic that is sentimental about traditional skills and crafts such as foraging, baking, and pottery.

Games sometimes use these rural pursuits as play mechanics, like Stardew Valley, Potion Craft, Terraria and Fantasy Life. Others use Cottagecore as a guide to how they look and feel, like Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, The Stillness of the Wind and Mutazione.

However it plays out in the game, Cottagecore aims to satisfy a desire for aspirational nostalgia and an escape from stress or trauma. The New York Times described it as a reaction to hustle culture and the advent of personal branding. The Guardian called it a "visual and lifestyle movement designed to fetishize the wholesome purity of the outdoors."

These games emphasize simplicity and the slow pace of pastoral life as an escape from the modern world in favour of the bucolic. Unsurprisingly this has become more popular on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. In some ways the resurgence of retro games could be seen in a similar light, although here the sentimental nostalgia is for virtual entertainment rather than rural lifestyle.

This list includes 6 games from the last 18 years, with 258 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to escape into cottagecore .

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 12 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE 10+ to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: PG to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy
Total Likes: 258
 

 

Fable (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/09/2004

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Role-Play

Developer: We Are Playground (@WeArePlayground)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is an adventure role-playing game set in a fantasy world where your interactions with the world and villagers, and decisions about your use of magical power, substantially alter the story and the environment.

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC and PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Chinese Room (@ChineseRoom)

Players: This is a single-player game

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture lands you in a fictional deserted English village in 1984. As you walk the streets of another era you discover bright human forms who re-enact events like a radio play. Through their eyes, you see a web of fear,...

Terraria

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 25/11/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Platform, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Terraria Logic (@Terraria_Logic)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 8-player online game

Terraria looks like a 2D, lesser, version of Minecraft. However, this is a game every bit as complex and creative as the better-known block building game. To the world-crafting and survival it adds hundreds of items to collect, characters to defeat and...

Stardew Valley

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Concerned Ape (@ConcernedApe)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

The Good Life

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 15/10/2021

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Swery 65 (@Swery65)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Good Life is a narrative adventure, where you experience a slower pace of life in an English town. Although, before long you are drawn into an intriguing web of murder, bodily transformations into cats and dogs and photographic tasks. It's an...

Little King's Story

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/04/2009, updated in 2016

Platforms: PC, PS Vita and Wii

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Role-Play and Strategy

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Onion Games (@OnionGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Little King's Story is a real-time strategy game that simulates life in a fictional kingdom. You play a timid boy who finds a crown that gives him power to make people follow orders. You slowly expand your village by gathering resources and gaining...

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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