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Build Personal Resilience Games Rated PEGI 7 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 18 games from the last 25 years, with 334 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+ to PEGI 7+
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Simulation, Sports, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 334
 

 

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...

Pokémon Sword and Pokemon Shield (Series)

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 27/02/1996, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Role-Playing, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @NintendoAmerica

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 4 players online

Pokémon Sword and Shield are role-playing games where you explore a fictional world and collect different creatures called Pokémon. You progress through the game by exploring the world, talking to character and winning turn-based battles with the...

Call of the Sea

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 12/08/2020

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

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @OutBlueGames

Players: This is a single player game

Call of the Sea is a narrative adventure set in the 1930s. You explore an island in the Southern Pacific to find your missing husband. As you do you discover what happened and revisit memories of being there before.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Series)

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 11/03/2015, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: @MoonGameStudios

Players: This is a single player game

Both Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps place you in control of a diminutive elfish spirit called Ori. You run, jump and solve platforming challenges to progress through the world. As you do new powers are unlocked that allow you...

Shady Part of Me

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 10/12/2020

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

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @ShadyPartOfMe

Players: This is a single player game

Shady Part of Me is a narrative platform game where you play as a young girl and her shadow. You help her overcome emotional struggles through solving 2D and 3D puzzles. The game world is based within the young girl's dreams. The young girl is afraid of...

Celeste

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2018

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

Genres: Platform

Developer: @Exok_Games

Players: This is a single player game

This is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, haunted by self-doubt at the task in hand. She presses on...

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...

Cuphead

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 29/09/2017, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Action and Platform

Developer: @StudioMDHR

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

Cuphead is a running, jumping and shooting game that looks like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. You play on your own or with someone else and work across the screen, jumping gaps, shooting enemies and avoiding projectiles.

Brawl Stars

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

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

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action and Fighting

Developer: @SuperCell

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 10 players online

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...

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (Series)

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 26/06/2014

Platforms: Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Developer: @YachtClubGames

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

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is a retro-style platform game where you play as a Knight who's primary weapon is a shovel. It can either be used to attack enemies head-on, dig up treasure, or aim below while jumping to bounce on enemies. You can get...

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.

Lost and Hound

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @DaisyAleSounds

Players: This is a single player game

Lost and Hound is an adventure puzzle game where you play as a scent tracking rescue dogs, Corgi and Biscuit. You use your sense of smell to find things and solve mysteries. Your heightened hearing and senses enable you find your goals, eventually...

Mana Spark

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 22/12/2018

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure and Strategy

Developer: @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...

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...

Champions of Shenga

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 18/07/2017

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Fighting, Physically Active and Strategy

Developer: @BfB_Labs

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Champions of Shenga is a fantasy card-battling game. You assemble a deck of creatures, equipment and spells in order to compete, but play is regulated via a special heart rate monitor designed to help players track and master their emotions while...

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.


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