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50 Great Games Like Death's Door

Our experts have spent time searching for great games similar to Death's Door and have found the following:

Death's Door is a noir adventure game where you play a crow whose job it is to reap the souls of the dead. When one goes missing you must fight, run and jump through a fantasy world to get it back. It's a simple combat game at heart, but the unusual setting and absence of natural death create a unique story of social responsibility in a world totally separate to ours.

Unfortunately, Death's Door is not available on Android, Mac, Switch or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme:

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 20/07/2021

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Acid Nerve (@AcidNerve)

Players: 1

Costs: Purchase cost

35 Hand Picked Video Games Like Death's Door

These are our hand-picked Video Game games similar to Death's Door. This doesn't use automatic matching, instead, we hand-pick games that are good to play if you have enjoyed Death's Door, or as younger rated alternatives for players not ready for PEGI 12 or ESRB EVERYONE games. These selections also include Video Game games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

Hades

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 06/12/2018, updated in 2020

Price: 25% off

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Role-Play and Shooting

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Supergiant Games (@SupergiantGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Hades is a fighting game where you battle your way through dungeons to escape hell and the clutches of Hades. You play as Zagreus, the son of Hades and through the game you'll meet many recognisable greek gods like Zeus, Athena and Posiedon who will try...

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...

Minecraft Dungeons

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9-14 year-olds

Release Date: 26/05/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Adventure

Accessibility: 39 features

Developer: Dungeons Game (@DungeonsGame)

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

Minecraft Dungeons is an action-adventure game that takes place in the Minecraft universe. You explore various dungeons to complete missions and collect new gear by exploring and finding treasure chests, or by defeating enemies....

Brawl Stars

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 14/06/2017, updated in 2018

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action and Fighting

Developer: Super Cell (@SuperCell)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 10-player online game

Brawl Stars is a fighting game where you battle the computer or other players in all against all and team matches. You can play as any of the game's 50 plus characters, called "Brawlers", in an arena. The cartoon style lends the game a more lighthearted...

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 21/11/1991

Platforms: GBA, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is an adventure game in a long "Zelda" series. Like the other games, you play Link, who must defeat an evil force in the land of Hyrule. You do this by exploring the world, killing spawning enemies and finding a...

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 24/03/2003, updated in 2013

Platforms: GameCube and Wii U

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

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is an adventure game in the Zelda series. This one is set on a group of islands in a vast sea, and follows Link as he attempts to save his sister from the sorcerer Ganon. This soon develops into a struggle to find the...

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 23/11/2011

Platforms: Switch, Wii and Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Role-Play and Stealth

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an adventure game in the Zelda series. You play Link and navigate the floating island of Skyloft before diving down to the land below it. While the island locations and flight drew from Wind Waker, the combat and...

Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 23/02/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Fighting and Role-Play

Developer: Helio C Studios (@HelioCStudios)

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

Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is a fighting game where you battle Titans and explore the dungeons of an expansive over-world. It's unusual because it combines the homemaking of Stardew Valley with classic Zelda style adventures and lets you play with up...

Tunic

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 16/03/2022

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Puzzle and Role-Play

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Finji Co (@FinjiCo)

Players: This is a single-player game

Tunic is an action adventure game where you play a small small fox who wakes with no memory of where he is. You push through trees, pick up weapons and learn new moves to discover an expanse of forests, caves and landscapes. You can do anything from the...

Legend Of The Skyfish (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 24/02/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: M Gaia Studio (@MGaiaStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Legend of Skyfish is a puzzle exploration game where you head into a dangerous land, hopping from island to island, solving puzzles and battling enemies. Each arcade-style level is a chance to put your unusual weapon to use -- for fighting but also for...

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 19/11/2006, updated in 2016

Platforms: GameCube, Wii and Wii U

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

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an adventure game in the Zelda series. As with the other games, you play Link, who must prevent Hyrule from being engulfed by corruption from a parallel dimension. Unlike other Zelda games, you can take the form...

Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 28/03/2017

Price: 67% off

Platforms: PC and Switch

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

Developer: Castle Pixel (@CastlePixel)

Players: This is a single-player game

Blossom Tales is an adventure game series where, like the Zelda series you explore an enchanted world, battle enemies and solve dungeons. It's a reimagining of the classic Zelda game, Link+to+the+Past.

Lego Star Wars: Castaways

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 19/11/2021

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Genres: Action, Adventure and Fighting

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Gameloft (@Gameloft)

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

Lego Star Wars: Castaways is an action adventure game where you relive moments from the iconic Star Wars saga in Lego's typical tongue-in-cheek style. Explore a vibrant island bursting with minigames and fun details, or go on missions and destroy...

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 17/11/2005, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, Switch and Wii

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Role-Play

Developer: Spike Chunsoft e (@SpikeChunsoft_e)

Players: This is a single-player game

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is a series of fighting games where you control different cartoon creatures as they make their way through randomly-generated dungeons, defeating enemies and adding them to your team. It's a simple roguelike game where you take...

Pokémon Unite

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-15 year-olds

Release Date: 21/07/2021, updated in 2021

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting and Strategy

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Timi Studios (@TimiStudios)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 10-player online game

Pokémon Unite is an online fighting game where you battle Pokémon in an arena and try and score points against an opposing team. Its short, frenetic matches are similar to DotA or [link to game/League+Of+Legends League of...

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 22/04/2021

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Puzzle and Role-Play

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Y Wainczak (@YWainczak)

Players: This is a single-player game

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is an action role-play game where you play a Turnip working hard to pay off a massive tax bill to Mayor Onion. The set-up soon gives way to a series of Zelda-style quests, dungeons and puzzles that earn new items and...

DotA 2

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 09/06/2013, updated in 2013

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Fighting, Shooting and Strategy

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Valve Software (@ValveSoftware)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 10-player online game

DotA 2 (Defence of the Ancients) is a series of fighting and shooting games where you battle enemies and human-controlled characters in online matches. The aim is to destroy the other team's Ancient artefact using one of the many characters. Similar to...

Riverbond

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9-13 year-olds

Release Date: 10/06/2019

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

Genres: Action, Adventure and Fighting

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Cococucumber Co (@CococucumberCo)

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

Riverbond is a frantic adventure in a blocky world. With four people on one system you take on an adventure to defeat evil and free the charming citizens. It's a brawling game with the emphasis on fun and over the top cartoon combat.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/1999, updated in 2019

Platforms: Game Boy and Switch

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

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is an adventure-puzzle game in the Zelda series and universe. A remake of the 1993 Game Boy game of the same name, this one is set on Koholint Island and follows Link after he is stranded and must find a way back to...

League Of Legends

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 27/10/2009

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Fighting, Role-Play and Strategy

Developer: Riot Games (@RiotGames)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 10-player online game

In League of Legends you battle enemies and other players in online arenas. You choose a champion with unique abilities and battle to destroy another human or computer-controlled team's base. Other modes vary the challenge with specific objectives,...

QV

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/11/2020, updated in 2020

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Brain Game, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @JK H41490832 (@JKH41490832)

Players: This is a single-player game

QV (QV: The Dimension Painter on iOS) is a puzzle game about using portals to push buttons with blocks. You are tasked with collecting the shattered crystals to save the realms from impending destruction by solving the series of puzzles. It stands out...

The Binding of Isaac (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 28/09/2011, updated in 2021

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative, Role-Play and Shooting

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Edmund Mc Millen (@EdmundMcMillen)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room

The Binding of Isaac is a series of adventure games where you progress through randomly generated rooms, collecting items and fighting off monsters. It's a twist on the simple Zelda dungeon, with hundreds of enemies, room variations and upgrades. The...

Transistor

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/05/2014, updated in 2018

Price: 75% off

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Genres: Action, Narrative and Role-Play

Developer: Supergiant Games (@SupergiantGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Transistor is an action role-playing game where you explore a futuristic fantasy world. It mixes real-time fighting with an unusual turn-based system that allows you to pause time, plan out your combat in advance, before unleashing your powers on to...

Solar Ash

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 02/12/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World and Platform

Developer: Heart Machine Z (@HeartMachineZ)

Players: This is a single-player game

Solar Ash is a running and jumping game with a strong focus on fluidity of movement and combat. You play Rei, who is trying to reclaim her homeland. You swing and float your way through a vivid, surreal landscape filled with enemies of all shapes and...

Temple of Rubbo (Sokpop)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 6-11 year-olds

Release Date: 08/03/2022

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure and Fighting

Developer: Sok Pop Co (@SokPopCo)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room

Temple of Rubbo is an action adventure game where you fight through dungeons to rescue an ancient wizard as a band of pirates trapped on an island and transformed into animals. Desperate to become human again, they fight their way through all kinds of...

868-Hack

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Strategy

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Smestorp (@Smestorp)

Players: This is a single-player game

868-HACK is a puzzle game where you hack a computer program to collect as much data as you can. It's a unique puzzle as collecting data triggers more enemies to appear so you walk a delicate balance between collecting as much as possible, but not so...

Bastion

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/07/2011, updated in 2018

Price: 75% off

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform and Role-Play

Developer: Supergiant Games (@SupergiantGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Bastion is an action role playing game, where you explore a series of floating, fantasy-themed levels. What starts as a familiar exploration quickly becomes an engaging and interesting game. This change is driven by a mysterious and often hilarious...

Headland

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 06/11/2020, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Hey North Play (@HeyNorthPlay)

Players: This is a single-player game

Headland is an action adventure game in a vibrant fantasy world. You help Nor and his robot friends find the imagination fragments and save the world.

Mana Spark

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 22/12/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure and Strategy

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Kishimoto Studio (@KishimotoStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Mana Spark is a fantasy adventure where you explore a Tolkein-esque dungeon to fight smart enemies that will plan and collaborate between themselves to defeat you. It's a game you play over and over, improving not only your skill but equipment and...

Hawks Quest (Dreams)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 01/02/2021, updated in 2021

Price: Free

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Role-Play

Developer: Pay Off Wizard P S4 (@PayOffWizardPS4)

Players: This is a single-player game

In Hawk's Quest Trials of the Adventurers Guild you explore a toy-like world as a small girl and after the comprehensive tutorial, discover a large world full of enemies and puzzles to solve. It looks like the remastered Legend of Zelda Links Awakening,...

Nobody Saves The World

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 17/01/2022

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

Genres: Action, Puzzle and Role-Play

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Drink Box Studios (@DrinkBoxStudios)

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

Nobody Saves the World is an action role play game where you are a formless nobody, who can magically transform into multiple characters each with vastly different powers. You use these abilities to seek and complete varied challenges in order to save a...

Pitfall Planet

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-12 year-olds

Release Date: 02/05/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Platform, Puzzle and Strategy

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Adam Gryu (@AdamGryu)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Pitfall Planet is a cooperative puzzle game that forces you to think outside the box as you collect gold, fight enemies and escape levels. It features challenging levels that mean that teamwork is central as you grapple, throw and create pathways...

Trifox

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Puzzle, Shooting and Traversal

Developer: Glowfish Int (@GlowfishInt)

Players: This is a single-player game

Trifox is a shooting game where one stick controls your movement and the other controls the aiming. You traverse through the levels, defeating hordes of enemies with a variety of different skills and weapons. While the controls are simple, mastering...

Begone Beast

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Puzzle and Traversal

Developer: Studio Tandemi (@StudioTandemi)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room

Begone Beast is an action-traversal game where you fight monsters and explore a vast, dark cave. With fast-paced combat and different ways to defeat the hordes of monsters, it stands out with four person co-operative team work. It's an adventure the...

The Last Case of Benedict Fox

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: Rogue Co (@Rogue_Co)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Last Case of Benedict Fox is a running, jumping and fighting game where a demon invites you to explore the minds of the recently deceased. You work through an old mansion to uncover the mystery of a double murder and missing child. It's an elegant...

16 Video Games Like Death's Door Based on Genre

These are games of a similar genre mix to Death's Door. This includes games from the Narrative, Fighting, Action, Adventure and Platform genres. We pick out games of a similar PEGI rating to further hone these generated suggestions.
 

4 Video Games With More Documented Accessibility Features than Death's Door

If you like the sound of Death's Door but it doesn’t offer the accessibility you require, the games in this section offer a similar experience but with more Accessibility Features. You can view a full breakdown in our Death's Door Accessibility Report.
 

Death's Door 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 Death's Door in the following lists:

Attempt The Impossible

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.
 

Eggplant Podcast's Games of the Years

Eggplant: The Secret Lives of Games, is a podcast that offers a candid conversation with game creators that dives deep into the art, craft, and process of making games. It's an amazing insight into the mind of people who understand and highlight how game/play mechanics can do unexpected, magical and surprising things.

This is the list of games they have picked as their Game of the Year 2018-2021. These awards also include board games, escape rooms and game-like TV series. We have included video games here, where we have them on the database. (And in many cases have added video games to the database after listening to the show.)

It's hosted by:
  • Nick Suttner, an independent game writer/designer/consultant, who has worked on games like Celeste, Bloodroots, and Carto.
  • Andy Nealen, a game creator and scholar, artist and music maker, architect and structural engineer, and professor of cinematic arts and computer science at USC.
  • Sarah Elmaleh, actor, consultant and event organizer with a passion for collaborative creation - both as a seasoned performer and as an advocate for best practices in the games industry.
  • Zach Gage, who makes deep games that are easy to get into, like Really Bad Chess and SpellTower.
  • Douglas Wilson, who is a co-owner of Die Gute Fabrik, a games studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has worked on Johann Sebastian Joust, Sportsfriends, and Mutazione.
  • Laura E. Hall, is an an artist, writer, puzzle-maker, immersive environment and narrative designer focusing on the playful intersections of arts, culture, and technology, especially in gaming.

The team is usually joined by Laura E. Hall for the game of the year episodes. She is an artist, writer, puzzle-maker, immersive environment and narrative designer who focuses on the playful intersections of arts, culture, and technology, especially in gaming.
 

Build Personal Resilience

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.

The Portal 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.
 

Persevere After Losing

Video games where you adventure into a harsh setting, try your hardest to survive and slowly develop your abilities but then inevitably die are often called Rogue-likes. This is because one of the first games that offered this style of play was called Rogue.

These are interesting games for families, not only because their difficult nature leads to shorter sessions, but also because they foster perseverance and coping with losing. After dying you are sent back to some sort of central village where you can choose upgrades for your next attempt. The incentive to play again once you have been killed is usually that you start with some more equipment or skills.

In this way, by belligerence and a slowly learned understanding of how the game world works and how best to survive, you incrementally get a bit further each time you play. Here are some really good roguelike games for families:
 

Somedays You Just Need A Laugh

Video games are about all sorts of things. Shooting enemies, building forts, winning races and flying to space to name a few. But somedays, you just want some games to make you laugh.

Here are the games we've found (and the families we work with have told us about) that we can't help but laugh at/with/about when we play.
 

Get Indie's Games of the Years

Get Indie is a YouTube channel that aims to aid discovery of really amazing independently made video games. Their approach shuns the common promotion-led cycle of new games, and instead digs deep to fund unusual and compelling games that adults as well as youngers will enjoy playing.

Each year they have selected 10-20 games as their recommended games of the year.
 

The Besties Podcast's Games of the Years

The Besties is a podcast about video games with a focus on a Game of Year format. Although episodes do cover new games like other podcasts, much of the content builds towards yearly Game of the Year shows, and head-to-head showdowns for best games in a series (Zelda, Grand Theft Auto and so on).

"It's Game of the Year meets King of the Hill as four of Earth's best friends – Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Chris Plante, and Russ Frushtick – rank and review their favorite video games. Because shouldn't the world's best friends pick the world's best games?"

This is a list of the games that they have picked for their final game of the year show from 2014 to 2021. In some cases we didn't have the game on the database, but generally this is a good representation of their picks over the time of the show.
 

Explore Physicality

Video games offer an opportunity to inhabit another body. Whether we step into the powerful frame of a trained marksman or brave adventurer, while we play we have a different sense of our physicality.

This is not only an enjoyable way to escape the reality of daily life but a chance to reflect on and understand ourselves, and our bodies, better. Stepping into the shoes of a vulnerable, small or endangered character can help us understand for a short while some of what it is like to be someone else.

Whether this is into the awkward teenage years of Mord and Ben in Wide Ocean Big Jacket, the grandparent-escaping Tiger and Bee in Kissy Kissy, the fractured heartbroken body in Gris or the haphazard movement of Octodad we have a chance to reassess our own physicality and how we respond to and treat other people's physicality.

More specifically, to use body therapy language, games offer us a chance to discover the inviolability of our bodies, personal autonomy, self-ownership, and self-determination. In travel, as Andrew Soloman says, we go somewhere else to see properly the place where we have come from. In video games, we step into other bodies so we can better understand our own and those of the people around us.
 

Mechanical Challenge

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.