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Worried about your children's video games? Get the book that inspired the database. This guide will grant you the confidence to understand and anchor video games as a healthy part of family life. Discover practical advice and insights from the latest research and guidance from psychologists, industry experts, educational bodies and children's charities.
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Digital Nutrition

Jocelyn Brewer coined the phrase Digital Nutrition to introduce a way of thinking about technology that went beyond screen time worries, drug analogies and detoxes. Instead, she encourages us to think about the variety, context and patterns of digital consumption.

"Digital Nutrition is a guilt-free philosophy that guides you towards healthful technology habits and improving your digital literacy and wellbeing. Rather than digital detoxing and unplugging, Digital Nutrition is about intentional and intelligent use of devices and the conscious consumption of news, media and information."

I’ve worked with her on this list of games that provide particularly underserved aspects of our digital play diet. These are the vitamins of the gaming world. Essential to a healthy diet and easy to overlook if we just follow where video game advertising leads us.

Unlike the other lists on the site, it’s an eclectic collection of games. But this is for good reason. These are the games that supplement your digital diet with variety, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are the “digital super-foods” as Jocelyn puts it.

Digital Nutrition is a brilliant antidote to the guilt, muddled advice and finger-pointing of screen time focus advice. Instead, we can consider what specific games have to offer our children and our family.

This leads to other questions about how, where and when we play. Grabbing a Pizza on the street isn’t the same as sitting down to share a slice around the meal table. Only eating Kale is as problematic disordered eating as eating too many sweets. The same is true with video games, so this list is here to offer a varied diet.

This list includes 27 games from the last 12 years, with 327 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to broaden you gaming diet.

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, Racing, Rhythm, Role-Playing, Simulation, Sports and Strategy
Total Likes: 327
 

 

A Short Hike

Rating:

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure and Open World

Developer: @Adamgryu

Players: This is a single player game

In A Short Hike you play penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to explore the park, help other animals, find...

Townscaper

Rating:

Release Date: 30/06/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @OskSta

Players: This is a single player game

Townscaper is a town building toy. You pick colours from the range available and click to put down a house in the sea. As you continue to add houses of different colours the game automatically orientates the architecture for you.

Firewatch

Rating:

Release Date: 20/09/2016

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Developer: @Camposanto

Players: This is a single player game

Firewatch is an explorative adventure where you play a fire lookout in America’s Shoshone National Forest. It has a relational and conspiracy undertone similar to the podcast/radio drama and Netflix show [link to...

Potion Craft

Expected Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @TinyBuild

Players: This is a single player game

Potion Craft is a puzzle adventure game where you create potions in an ancient looking workshop. More than learning recipes, your potions need to strategically combine the qualities of each ingredient to explore the potion-map and create brews to help...

Return of the Obra Dinn

Rating:

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Dukope

Players: This is a single player game

You play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have all mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the moment of death for each body in order to identify each...

Teacup

Expected Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Smarto_Club

Players: This is a single player game

Teacup is a narrative adventure about a shy young frog who loves drinking tea and reading. You explore the world and make choices that change the direction of the story. It's a gentle game about friendship, stepping out into the world and, of course,...

Moonglow Bay

Expected Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Role-Playing and Strategy

Developer: @CoatSink

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

Moonglow Bay is a role play game where you play a rookie angler. Unlike other slice-of-life games, fishing isn't tucked away as a side quest here, it's front and centre. Set along the Canadian coastline in the 1980's, you live in a fishing town that has...

Car Quest

Rating:

Release Date: 25/10/2018

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Puzzle and Racing

Developer: @EZoneCom

Players: This is a single player game

Car Quest is an exploration puzzle adventure you navigate by driving your car. With no time pressure and a relaxed vibe you can take your time to drive, collect, explore, solve, discover.

Everything

Rating:

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @DavidOreilly

Players: This is a single player game

This is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in between.

Drink More Glurp

Rating:

Release Date: 06/08/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Action, Simulation and Sports

Developer: @DrinkMoreGlurp

Players: You can play with 20 players in the same room and up to 1 player online

Drink More Glurp is a wacky sports game where you take turns to play athletic challenges. The twist is that you have to control your over-long arms with a separate joystick and your body is a wheel you can roll along on if you lift your arms right up....

Untitled Goose Game

Rating:

Release Date: 03/10/2019

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

Genres: Action and Puzzle

Developer: @House_house_

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

This is another silly and funny game but with a dastardly vibe. You play a mean goose who is intent on ruining the day of the inhabitants of a sleepy English village. By stealing items, squawking and otherwise making a nuisance of yourself you slowly...

Flower

Rating:

Release Date: 12/02/2009

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and iOS

Genres: Open World, Racing and Simulation

Developer: @ThatGameCompany

Players: This is a single player game

Control the breeze blowing across fields of grass and blow petals into other flowers to make them bloom. Flower is simple and single-purpose in evoking the feeling of the wind. What starts as an awkward struggle to control the breeze soon turns into a...

Wilmot's Warehouse

Rating:

Release Date: 29/08/2019

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

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @FinjiCo

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

This is a game for people who like to organise things. You are in charge of a warehouse and must manage 100s of items of stock. These identical square boxes are labelled with rudimentary icons. On your own or with another player, you must decipher what...

Venba

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 28/11/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @TmoritaA

Players: This is a single player game

Venba is a narrative-cooking game about an Indian mother who immigrated to Canada in the 1980s. You cook various traditional Indian dishes and restore the lost recipes which were damaged in the move to Canada. As you talk to your mother's family you...

Wide Ocean Big Jacket

Rating:

Release Date: 07/02/2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Open World

Developer: @_TurnFollow

Players: This is a single player game

This is a game about camping. Or rather, it's a game about the conversations you have while you are camping. You follow 13-year-old teenage friends Mord and Ben who recently started dating. The camping trip is with Mord’s Uncle Brad and Aunt Cloanne.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @theBanov

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

Chicory: A Colourful Tale is an adventure where you play a dog wielding a magic brush. The world starts black and white and you paint to solve puzzles, help your animal friends and restore colour.

Bounden

Rating:

Release Date: 21/05/2014

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Physically Active and Puzzle

Developer: @AdriaandeJongh

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

Bounden is a smartphone dance game that gets players to use their bodies. Two people hold opposite ends of one smartphone then move together to keep a cursor over the ball.

Love You To Bits

Rating:

Release Date: 19/10/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @AlikeStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Love You to Bits is an adventure where you tap to move and interact with objects, like classic point-and-click games. You play Kosmo, a clumsy, rookie space explorer in search of Nova, his robot girlfriend. After a fatal accident, all of Nova’s pieces...

Spaceteam (Series)

Rating:

Release Date: 01/12/2012

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Physically Active, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @Hengineer

Players: You can play with 8 players in the same room

Players pilot a spaceship, each with their own control panel on their smartphone or tablet screen. The switches, dials, sliders and levers are labelled with randomly-generated peculiar names: ‘Astral Synth’, ‘Gripvent’, ‘Starmesh’,...

Disco Elysium

Rating:

Release Date: 15/10/2019, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @StudioZAUM

Players: This is a single player game

Disco Elysium The Final Cut is a role-playing game set in the fictional city of Revachol where you play Harrier "Harry" Du Bois who must solve a complex murder. Unusually, your choices and actions not only determine how the story unfolds but affect...

Hexagroove: Tactical DJ

Rating:

Release Date: 28/08/2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One

Genres: Puzzle and Rhythm

Developer: @Ichigoichie_Inc

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

Hexagroove is a rhythm game where you mix music using an intuitive and tactical control system. Each level sets goals for you to combine musical loops in real time. Success is not just a matter of matching instructions but creating expressive music and...

Triple Town

Rating:

Release Date: 14/10/2010, updated in 2012

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @SpryFox

Players: This is a single player game

Triple Town is a puzzle game where you expand an empire by building cities in a limited space. You combine lower value pieces into better ones to improve your city and make best use of available space. It's simple and quick to pick up but requires...

In Other Waters

Rating:

Release Date: 03/04/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

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

Developer: @JumpOvertheAge

Players: This is a single player game

This is an underwater exploration game where you play an Artificial Intelligence assistance to a stranded xenobiologist in a mysterious alien ocean. The world is not seen except through the instrumentation available to you. This creates a non-violent...

Yi and the Thousand Moons

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 24/11/2017

Platforms: Mac and PlayStation 2

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @UsDivad

Players: This is a single player game

Yi and the Thousand Moons is an adventure game in the form of a musical. You follow Yi who is told by the gods to bring down the moons, but then has to try and save the people of her village from the unforeseen results.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Rating:

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Narrative and Rhythm

Developer: @Simogo

Players: This is a single player game

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a rhythm-action game where you control a running, flying, dancing or motorbike-riding character to collect coins and hearts in time with pop music. The neon visuals and emotively voiced story make this an unusual and compelling...

Blek

Rating:

Release Date: 01/12/2013

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Wii U and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @KunabiB

Players: This is a single player game

Blek is a puzzle game where you control the repeating motion of a moving line. Your challenge is to pass through coloured dots. However, you can only enter a short motion that repeats. In this way you have to draw in a motion that, as it repeats,...

Super Pole Riders

Rating:

Release Date: 11/06/2013

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4

Genres: Fighting and Sports

Developer: @Bfod

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

A cross between the high jump, jousting and basketball, Super Pole Riders is a simple game where four players must get a ball hanging from a wire to the opponent’s goal using long poles. It’s the controls that make this game so much of a giggle to...


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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.

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