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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 94 games from the last 20 years, with 1,424 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to broaden your gaming diet.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy, Traversal and World Building
Total Likes: 1,424
 

 

Wilmot's Warehouse

Release Date: 29/08/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Wilmot's Warehouse 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...

Drink More Glurp

Release Date: 06/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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....

Flower

Release Date: 12/02/2009

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

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...

Everything

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

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

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.

Untitled Goose Game

Release Date: 03/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

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...

Return of the Obra Dinn

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

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...

Game Builder Garage

Release Date: 11/06/2021

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Game Builder Garage enables anyone to make video games. Unlike other game makers, this offers in-depth lessons to take you from the basics to advanced techniques. The cute Nodon characters that power the visual drag-and-drop construction, enable players...

A Short Hike

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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

Release Date: 30/06/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Web, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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

Release Date: 20/09/2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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...

Venba

Release Date: 28/11/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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...

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Release Date: 10/06/2021, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Chicory: A Colourful Tale is an adventure where you play an everyday dog thrust into the role of wielding a magic brush. The world starts black and white and you paint to solve puzzles, help your animal friends and restore colour. It looks like a...

Moonglow Bay

Release Date: 07/10/2021

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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...

Potion Craft

Release Date: 21/09/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

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...

Triple Town

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

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...

Teacup

Release Date: 23/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

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

Terra Nil

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Terra Nil is a strategy game where you are using clean technology to bring back life to a barren world. It's a city building game where you aren't building a city at all, but a clean thriving ecology. It raises interesting themes of how humanity plays...

Disco Elysium

Release Date: 15/10/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

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...

Timberborn

Release Date: 15/09/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Timberborn is a construction strategy game where you control a population of beavers, building a civilization and preparing for drought. You build waterways, storage houses, dams and more in a densely packed city as you manage resources, allocate...

Cloud Gardens

Release Date: 09/09/2020, updated in 2021

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

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Cloud Gardens is a puzzle game where you grow vegetation over a dilapidated post-apocalyptic world. It's a low-pressure puzzle, from the team behind Kingdom. It has the same pixel-art style, but here you are left to take your time...

In Other Waters

Release Date: 03/04/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

This is an underwater exploration game where you play an Artificial Intelligence assistant 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...

Babble Royale

Release Date: 15/12/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Babble Royale is a puzzle word game played against 16 other players online. You simultaneously race to make words as in Scrabble. Here though, you do this to inch across the board and stay out of the encroaching storm.

Car Quest

Release Date: 25/10/2018

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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.

Dépanneur Nocturne

Release Date: 26/05/2020

Platforms: PC

Dépanneur Nocturne (which means Nighttime Convenience Store) is a short narrative adventure about the value of conversation and local shops. You explore a store late at night, to find a gift for your partner. What unfolds is a gentle search-and-suggest...

Lawn Mowing Simulator

Release Date: 10/08/2021

Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Lawn Mowing Simulator is an adventure game where you ride an authentic and expansive roster of lawnmowers. The novelty is a combination of absolute control over lawn care and weed eradication. This is extended beyond a brief distraction by the inclusion...

Wide Ocean Big Jacket

Release Date: 07/02/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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.

Bounden

Release Date: 21/05/2014

Platforms: Android and iOS

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.

Dance Central 3 (Series)

Release Date: 04/11/2010

Platforms: Oculus, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Dance Central is a dancing rhythm game you play by moving your body in front of the Xbox Kinect camera. The focus on full body movement celebrates accurate, well-timed and energetic moves. As opposed to Just Dance's rough choreography, Dance Central...

Paradise Marsh

Release Date: 03/02/2022

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Paradise Marsh is an open-world collecting and exploring game where the emphasis is on relaxation and contemplation rather than performance. You wander an endless wetland and collect creatures, skim stones and more as you find a way to put the stars...

The Past Within

Release Date: 02/11/2022

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

The Past Within is a co-operative puzzle game where you solve a mystery by communicating with the past. You play the game with another person, either in the same room or elsewhere, by communicating what your different times and perspectives reveal.

Work At A Pizza Place (Roblox)

Release Date: 28/03/2008, updated in 2021

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Work At A Pizza Place is a strategy game where you take on the role of a team member in a pizza restaurant. When you start you choose a role and work with other online players to fulfil orders, cook pizzas, manage stock and other aspects of the business.

Climber: Sky is the Limit

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Climber: Sky is the Limit is a survival climbing adventure, where you scale the peaks of the highest and most famous mountains in the world. Plan the best route, select the correct equipment and avoid dangerous hazards as you ascend. It's a unique blend...

Love You To Bits

Release Date: 19/10/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

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...

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: PS4, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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...

Skye Tales

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Skye Tales is a gentle puzzle game about exploring rich playgrounds as a dragon called Skye. Play involves traversing each chapter, meeting and interacting with different creatures and solving puzzles along the way. It's a game that stands out not only...

Spaceteam (Series)

Release Date: 01/12/2012

Platforms: Android and iOS

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’,...

Stories of Blossom

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Stories of Blossom is a narrative point-and-click game where you play Clara as her grandfather tells her stories. In each story you take on a different character and go on adventures as you solve puzzles.

We Are OFK

Release Date: 18/08/2022

Platforms: PC and Switch

We Are OFK is a narrative game about the indie band OFK. Reminiscent of Gorilla's virtual personas, it's part video game drama and part music video. You play four friends, who are releasing their debut EP. You make choices about their relationships and...

Blackbird

Release Date: 21/04/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Web

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Blackbird is a strategy game where you are a blackbird collecting food for your young. You need to scour the forest to find enough insects to keep them alive and them fly the nest (or die trying).

Ever Seen A Cat?

Release Date: 18/01/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Ever Seen a Cat is a hidden object puzzle game where you are trying to spot monochrome cats in different scenes. It's simple enough for players of any age to enjoy it, but has some randomisation of the levels so you need to play multiple times to get...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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