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Build Personal Resilience Games Rated PEGI 3 and Younger

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.

Image 163 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.

This list includes 8 games from the last 20 years, with 176 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to build resilience.

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DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3+
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE
Genres: Adventure, Creative, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Racing, Role-Playing, Simulation and Sports
Total Likes: 176
 

 

Animal Crossing (Series)

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 14/12/2001, updated in 2020

Platforms: GameCube, Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Developer: @NintendoAmerica

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected drama of the world and characters...

Seasons

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and PlayStation 5

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @ScavStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Seasons is a narrative adventure where you take a bicycle road trip game. You play as a young woman leaving a secluded community, exploring the world for the first time. Collect artefacts and memories as you explore because soon, a mysterious cataclysm...

Playne

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 22/06/2019

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Physically Active and Simulation

Developer: @playne

Players: This is a single player game

Playne is a narrative-driven meditation game that helps you build daily meditation habits. With each meditation session, Playne's story begins to unfold and the life on your island begins to grow providing you with more environments to meditate in.

Journey of the Broken Circle

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 18/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @NakanaGames

Players: This is a single player game

Journey of the Broken Circle is a rolling and jumping game about looking for a life partner. You play as a simple circle with a piece missing. As you progress by making jumps and solving puzzles, you meet partners who slot in specific abilities and...

Death Squared

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 14/03/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @SmgStudio

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

Death Squared is a cooperative puzzle game for 1, 2 or 4 players. Together, you solve puzzles by guiding a robot to a colour-coded goal. Getting there requires co-operation and communication as each player's path has deadly traps and hazards.

Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 21/07/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @BfB_Labs

Players: This is a single player game

Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage is a role-playing game with puzzles and tasks that help 7-12 year olds deal with anxiety about different situations. You create a character in the game, explore dungeons and find treasure. Along the way characters offer...

HackyZack

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 23/08/2018

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Platform, Puzzle, Simulation and Sports

Developer: @SpaceboyGames

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Hack Zack is a running and jumping game where you also have to hit a ball through the level to win. Because the game simulates real physics this can be quite a challenge. It's an unusual game that requires planning as well as careful execution.

Summer Catchers

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 16/07/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Racing

Developer: @NoodleCakeGames

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

Summer Catchers is a whimsical adventure about driving across the frozen north to find summer, dodging obstacles and fighting bosses along the way. It's super simple to control but hazards require specific power-up button presses. The trial and error...


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