Posted: 9 months ago, last updated 3 months ago.
Author: Andy Robertson.
While many games put you in powerful positions, Firewatch is about powerlessness and empathy. "Somethings we can't stop from happening," one of the characters says in the game. It's a theme that applies to the watchful role of the forest lookouts as well as our main character's relationship with his mentally ill wife.
The game is beautiful to look at and explore. It captures what it's like to be a forest lookout in real life. This is paired with fully voiced story (including a role for Rich Sommer of Mad Man fame). It creates what could be seen as an interactive movie, but the participatory nature of the game makes it stand apart from other media in a way that needs to be experienced first hand to fully appreciate.
Release Date: September 2016
ESRB rated this MATURE 17+ with Suggestive Themes, Nudity, Drug and Alcohol Reference and Strong Language.
Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.
The following games are like Firewatch. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to Firewatch for younger age ratings.
Firewatch 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 Firewatch in the following lists:
We've found that it's not just parents who have enjoyed the way these games let them in on the world of gaming, but grandparents, uncles and aunts. In fact it's a great list for anyone who's never played a game and wants to know what all the fuss is about.
These games present you with a mysterious scenario to be solved. Whether with direct puzzles, locations to investigate or crime scenarios to deduce, they offer a unique, first-hand sleuthing challenge.
The awards started in 2004 and are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). For parents, they are a great way of discovering brilliant games to play in their family. The games included here are from the:
- The Family Games award highlights games that will work really well for parents and children. These often include multiplayer features and feature a cast of family-friendly characters.
- The Games Beyond Entertainment award is also of interest as this highlights more unusual games with an emphasis on storytelling that addresses topics that parents may find appealing themselves.
Many of them are aimed at children and families, but you'll be surprised how many explore deeper, more mature themes in their narratives, or require just as much skill as a fast-paced first-person shooter. This means there's plenty of offer for parents who might lack the reflexes (or interest) to survive a round of Fortnite.
We've focused on the games you might not expect to be played non-violently here, but you can find the full list at Non-Violent Games Of the Day curated by James Batchelor.
These are two publications for Christian audiences, that have invited me to shed light on what a range of video games might mean for those communities. I aim to make connections with faith, the bible and the experience of these video games. This is one way to interpret them which of course invites further and possibly counter interpretations from other perspectives.
Firewatch | Everything | Bury Me My Love | Abzu | Wilmot's Warehouse
Proteus | Joust | Uncharted 3 | Alan Wake | This War of Mine | Journey | Limbo | Spaceteam | A Dark Room | Altos Adventure | A Year Walk | Bioshock Infinite | The Last of Us | Disney Infinity | Everybody's Gone to the Rapture | That Dragon Cancer | Spec Ops The Line | Papo and Yo
I've come up with some games that explore this topic, along with help and suggestions from Gaming The Mind (Twitter), an organisation of UK-based mental health professionals who aim to promote positive mental health within the gaming community. By focusing on the intersection between gaming and mental health, they want to raise awareness of mental health challenges and reduce the stigma surrounding these issues.
"We express grief in different ways depending on our age," they said. "To help children cope with loss, it is important that they receive honest explanations about death, appropriate to their level of understanding. With these games, players may find valuable space in which to acknowledge grief as a completely normal reaction to bereavement."
"The games we have selected don't necessarily offer an ideal way to cope with death but tackle the topic of death openly and with a positive attitude. They can help show the player that they are not alone in what they are going through. Playing these games with young people, and answering questions they might have along the way, can be a useful starting point for important conversations about grief."
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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.