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Space For Loneliness Games for 12-year-olds (Year 8 Secondary School)

In a culture that often assumes that the route to happiness is with another person, it can benefit us to acknowledge that being alone is not always a bad thing. We teamed up with Courtney Garcia’s Screen Therapy channel to curate a list of games that give us a chance to experience being alone in different ways.

Garcia’s Screen Therapy project employs Positive Media Psychology research to highlight and interpret meaningful experiences with games and movies. “With mindfulness, there are even more benefits to gain from intentional consumption of media,” she says, “games can be tools we use to recover or grow, psychologically, and our time with them isn't wasted if they provide us insights or rest we need.”

This list was inspired by the experience of playing the unusually solitary (and long) game The Longing and the Twitter thread that followed. In it, you spend 400 elapsed days waiting for the King to wake up and living at a slow pace. The other games offer their own lens on loneliness and solitary seasons of life. These games offer us insight into the benefits of appreciating time alone, such as opportunities for self-reflection, self-discovery, and the chance to curate enriching experiences or environments for ourselves.

Some of the games, like Never Alone, Journey and The Long Dark place you in a harsh environment that emphasises your diminutive size when faced with the expanse of nature. Other games in the list, like Thomas Was Alone and Bird Alone offer you the chance to reflect on friendship and the need to nurture relationships. Then there are games we included like Shadow of the Colossus that let you get lost in the vastness of its landscape. Finally, a few of the games like The First Tree and Sunlight invite you to make a connection to other players, once you have come to terms with a journey on your own.

This list includes 24 games from the last 11 years, with 603 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to understand loneliness.

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DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth and Strategy
Total Likes: 603
 

 

Florence

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/02/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: Mountains Games (@MountainsGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

This is a little puzzle game that tells the story of a relationship, following the usual stages of loneliness, meeting, dating, falling for and moving in with another person. At first, the puzzle interactions seem trivial and the game doesn’t change...

Journey

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: That Game Company (@ThatGameCompany)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 2-player online game

Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sand-scape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...

Subnautica (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

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

Price: 35% off

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

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

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Unknown Worlds (@UnknownWorlds)

Players: This is a single-player game

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...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-18 year-olds

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single-player game

This game departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and the passage of the sun and moon...

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 11/06/2021

Platforms: PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Insomniac Games (@InsomniacGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a running, jumping and shooting game. The latest in the series, Rift Apart focuses on jumping between parallel worlds.

Subnautica Below Zero (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 30/01/2019, updated in 2021

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

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

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Unknown Worlds (@UnknownWorlds)

Players: This is a single-player game

Subnautica: Below Zero is an open-world adventure game that follows the original game, Subnautica. You play a scientist on an alien planet searching for clues about the research team that vanished there. To do this you explore and...

Hitchhiker

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12-16 year-olds

Release Date: 15/04/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Mad About Pandas (@MadAboutPandas)

Players: This is a single-player game

Hitchhiker is a narrative game set on lost highways. Unlike other interactive stories, Hitchhiker is intentionally dense and hard to follow. In fact, your goal is to unravel the puzzle of your own backstory.

Pupperazzi

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-13 year-olds

Release Date: 20/01/2022

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Puzzle and Shooting

Developer: Kit Fox Games (@KitFoxGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Pupperazzi is an adventure game where you explore an island to find and photograph all manner of canine friends. You interact with the world, climb, skate and explore to get the perfect angle on the perfect pup. It starts as a silly challenge but turns...

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 27/04/2011, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Super Brothers HQ (@SuperBrothersHQ)

Players: This is a single-player game

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is an adventure game in miniature. You explore a myth-rich world and use your sword to do battle and evoke spells to solve musical puzzles. It's a world that changes with the moon as you guide your wandering warrior monk.

The Snowgardens (Dreams)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/07/2020, updated in 2021

Price: Free

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Half Up (@HalfUp_)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Snowgardens is a running, jumping and exploration game where you are a child stranded on a beautiful archipelago. Once the home to an ancient time-altering civilisation but now abandoned, leaving strange technology for you to operate to progress.

Black Book

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/08/2021

Price: 40% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Role-Play

Accessibility: 24 features

Pieces: Cards

Developer: V Beletsky (@VBeletsky)

Players: This is a single-player game

Black Book is a dark adventure, based on Slavic myths where you are a young sorceress. It combines a visual novel point-and-click adventure with card collecting to gain abilities to fight evil forces and explore the world where humans live alongside...

Leaving Lyndow

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/02/2017

Platforms: Mac, PC and PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Eastshade (@Eastshade)

Players: This is a single-player game

Leaving Lyndow is a narrative adventure set a couple of generations before Eastshade. Sharing the same anthropomorphized animal society, although here at an earlier stage, it's a game about the memories we make in the places we...

Vane

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 15/01/2019, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC and PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Friend and Foe Dev (@FriendAndFoeDev)

Players: This is a single-player game

Vane is an ethereal adventure in a ruined desert where strange golden dust transforms a free-spirited bird into a determined young child. The premise is not all that uncommon, but Vane stands out for how you soar over the dessert and climb your way...

The Outbound Ghost

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Role-Play

Accessibility: 36 features

Developer: Conradical Games (@ConradicalGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Outbound Ghost is a narrative role-play about a ghost on a quest to solve the cause of their own death, and help other ghosts come to terms with their own post-mortal existence. It's inspired by [link to game/Paper+Mario+The+Origami+King Paper...

Golf Club: Wasteland

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11-14 year-olds

Release Date: 16/06/2021, updated in 2021

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

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Demagog Studio (@Demagog_Studio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Golf Club: Wasteland is a golf game in an unusual setting. You play on an earth decimated by an environmental catastrophe. Through beautiful visuals and eerie audio, you piece together what has happened to the planet to cause such devastation. It's an...

The Vale: Shadow of the Crown

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 19/08/2021

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

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

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Falling Squirrel (@FallingSquirrel)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Vale: Shadow of the Crown is an audio-based role-play adventure where you play Alex, a blind princess. After your brother takes his place as king, you are made warden of a small castle on the outskirts of the kingdom. Without sight from birth and...

Burd

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/03/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative and Platform

Developer: Crap Weasel (@Crap_Weasel)

Players: This is a single-player game

Burd is a jumping and flying game where you play a pixilated bird who can feed worms to a larger bird to save his world. But to get the worms you have to sacrifice eggs. It starts simple but soon feels ominous, dark and questionable. It's an...

How To Say Goodbye

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Developer: ARTE Interactif (@ARTE_Interactif)

Players: This is a single-player game

How to Say Goodbye is a narrative puzzle game where you interact with the illustrations to help a group of ghosts reach the other side. As you progress you discover the story of a character recently turned into a ghost and lost in an unknown world. Your...

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/02/2018, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Play

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Dim Bulb Games (@DimBulbGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a narrative adventure game about sharing stories. You travel across the Depression-era United States discovering and collecting the stories of the people and places you encounter on your journey. You use this...

Bobby Bombastic

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Shooting

Developer: Pixel Games (@PixelGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Bobby Bombastic is a running, jumping (hovering) and shooting game where you explore volcanic caves on a do-it-yourself rescue mission to find some stranded explorers. You enter the jungle with nothing but your homemade helicopter-backpack, a laser...

Greak: Memories of Azur

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 17/08/2021

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 34 features

Developer: Navegante Games (@NaveganteGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Greak: Memories of Azur is running, jumping and sword fighting game. You play in a hand-animated world as three siblings: Greak, Adara and Raydel who travel through the lands of Azur. It's unusual because you switch control between each of them to use...

Jettomero: Hero of the Universe

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 15/02/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Simulation

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Ghost Time Games (@GhostTimeGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Jettomero is an alien invasion adventure game played in reverse. You are a giant, indestructible (and very clumsy) robot who wants to save rather than destroy the human race. This unusual set-up is underlined by its Pop Art visuals and how it commits to...

Sensorium

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/08/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Brain Game, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Developer: Rbd Jelly Fish (@RbdJellyFish)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sensorium is a puzzle game set in a freely explorable island. You need to solve puzzle to access rooms, which usually contain more puzzles granting access to deeper recesses of the buildings.

Sometimes You Die

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 17/03/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 5 features

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sometimes You Die is an unusual sliding and jumping game. As you play there is a written narrative on the walls of each level that discusses game design, player motivation and the metaphysics of life. More unusual though, is that to progress you have to...

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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