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Build Personal Resilience on Mac

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 19 games from the last 18 years, with 129 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to build resilience.

Game image

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3+ to PEGI 18+
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 129
 

 
Game image Rust

Rust

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PEGI Rating 18+ for RustESRB Rating MATURE 17+ for Rust

Rust

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 08/02/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Shooting and Strategy

Developer: @FcPnchStds

Players: You can play this with 250 players online

Rust (also, Rust: Console Edition) is an online survival game set the wilderness. You explore, gather and craft materials to manage hunger, thirst, health and protection. The preparation is to ward off the threat of bears, wolves and (more commonly)...

Stardew Valley

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @ConcernedApe

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

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...

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Series)

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 15/07/2003, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @Obsidian

Players: This is a single player game

The Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is a series of hard narrative-driven role-playing and combat games set in the Star Wars universe, 4000 years before Luke Skywalker and the Empire. You fight enemies and discover secrets by talking to the...

Game image Portal

Portal

12
PEGI Rating 12+ for PortalESRB Rating TEEN for Portal

Portal (Series)

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, Web Browser, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @ValveSoftware

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

You are in a science laboratory where you seem to be being tested. Watched by the artificial intelligence GLaDOS, you have a gun that can create a pair of magic portals on any surface: one is an entrance and the other is an exit. Through a series of...

There Is No Game

Rating: Not rated by PEGI or ESRB

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @ThereIsNoGame

Players: This is a single player game

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension is a comedic adventure with a strange twist. From the outset the game’s narrator insists that there is no game to play. As you inevitably ignore his instruction you go on a journey through silly and unexpected video...

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.

Forgotton Anne

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 15/05/2018

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: @ThroughLineGame

Players: This is a single player game

Forgotton Anne (Forgotten Anne) is a hand-animated adventure that combines cartoon (Ghibli-inspired) storytelling with running and jumping puzzles. You play as Anne, the enforcer who keeps order in the Forgotten Lands, as she sets out to squash a...

Headliner: NoviNews

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 05/10/2019

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @UnboundCreation

Players: This is a single player game

Headliner: NoviNews is a narrative-driven simulation game where you play as the person in charge of the headlines and stories that are released to the public. Each article you approve from your office has a direct impact of the world outside. Which news...

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.

Hyper Light Drifter

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 31/03/2016, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Action, Role-Playing and Shooting

Developer: @HeartMachineZ

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

Hyper Light Drifter is a fast action role-play game that combines exploration and puzzles with arcade style shooting. You play a Drifter who can access technology in a post-technological world. This grants access to upgradable energy weapons to help you...

A Space for the Unbound

Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @MojikenStudio

Players: This is a single player game

A Space For The Unbound is an adventure about everyday life where you explore your location, chat with people and solve puzzles. Unusually, you do this by stepping into the mind of people you meet and helping them solve their stuck and knotted...

The Stanley Parable

Rating: Not rated by PEGI or ESRB

Release Date: 31/07/2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @HelloCakebread

Players: This is a single player game

The Stanley Parable is an interactive drama with no combat or action to speak of apart from walking around and interacting with everyday objects. You guide a silent protagonist, Stanley, while discouraging narration plays in your ear. As you discover...

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...

The White Door

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 09/01/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Developer: @RustyLakeCom

Players: This is a single player game

The White Door is an adventure that you play by exploring each room, finding and interacting with items and people. Along with its unusual black and white visuals, The White Door is also notable for the topic of mental health and memory loss it takes on.

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.

PiAwk

Rating: Not rated by PEGI or ESRB

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @HiWarp

Players: This is a single player game

PiAwk is an adventure you explore as PiAwk, a little bird-like creature that is both a little awkward and shy, but also bold and curious. As you interact with the environment, architecture, landscape and other characters you realised you are enclosed in...

She Dreams Elsewhere

Expected Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Playing

Developer: @StudioZevere

Players: This is a single player game

She Dreams Elsewhere is a surreal adventure. You explore the dreams and real life of Thalia, an anxiety-ridden, comatose woman on a journey to confront the nightmares preventing her from awakening.


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