Posted: 9 months ago, last updated 5 months ago.
Author: Andy Robertson.
The character we play is the boy, Monroe. His exploration is driven by a desire to recover his deceased mother. She was a painter who is known to have never finished a painting, having created over 300 incomplete works. Monroe is told by his orphanage that he is only allowed to keep one of her paintings, so he chooses her favourite, a painting of a swan missing its neck.
One night, Monroe wakes up to find the swan has escaped its painting, and he chases it until he finds himself in the mysterious painted world. With the help of his mother's magical silver paintbrush, Monroe begins to explore the painted world as he chases the swan. There he finds a king and a kingdom that becomes an allegory about dealing with loss and what comes next.
Along with the unusual interaction, the black, white and primary colours of the game give it an otherworldly feel. Throwing paint to see what is in front of you has been compared to the experience of being partially sighted and feeling your way through the world. You can control the game with a normal PlayStation controller, or the motion-sensitive PlayStation Move controllers
Release Date: 16/10/2012
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping)... read more about system accessibility settings.
The following games are like Unfinished Swan. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to Unfinished Swan for younger age ratings.
Unfinished Swan 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 Unfinished Swan in the following lists:
The games selected below create emotionally rich spaces in which to explore scenarios with feelings rather than facts. In some games this is achieved with beautiful or soothing interactive visuals; others create charged relationships and settings that invite players to take a role in processing these emotions.
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.
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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