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Face Tough Decisions

Games create virtual worlds where you can experience life from other perspectives. This can be entertaining and light-hearted, but also presents ethical scenarios that require you to think carefully about consequences.

The games selected here each place you in a challenging situation to give you a first-hand experience of what it’s like. It may be nail-biting, heart-breaking or desperate, but often, through all the trials and tribulations, there is still hope. Either way, unlike reading books or watching films about these subjects, here you are emotionally implicated in the choices you are faced with.

This list includes 126 games from the last 21 years, with 1,398 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to face tough decisions.

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, Platform, Point-and-Click, Push-Your-Luck, Puzzle, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy, Traversal and World Building
Total Likes: 1,398
 

 

Deep Sea Adventure

Release Date: 01/01/2014

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Pieces: Dice and Placeables

Deep Sea Adventure is a pocket-sized strategy game where you dive into the sea to bring back treasure. It’s unusual because although you compete with other players for treasure you share the same limited air supply.

Octopath Traveler II (Series)

Release Date: 13/07/2018, updated in 2023

Platforms: PC, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Octopath Traveler and Octopath Traveller II are combat-focused role-playing game where you follow eight characters on their personal quests. Like other role playing games, you explore the vast open world, interact with citizens and fight enemies as you...

Griftlands

Release Date: 14/06/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Pieces: Cards

Griftlands is an adventure game where you use cards to fight and negotiate your way through a broken-down sci-fi world. You will die or fail often, but then use your knowledge and growing deck of cards to have a better chance of survival on your next...

Bury Me My Love

Release Date: 26/10/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Don’t be put off by the name and theme of this intriguing game. Bury Me My Love is an adventure played by choosing responses in what looks like a messaging app. You take the role of the husband of a Syrian migrant travelling to Europe. As the game...

Don't Starve

Release Date: 23/04/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Don't Starve is an open-world survival game. Here it’s the environment and enemies, rather than other players, that you work with. You need to find and develop food, weapons and shelter to survive. It’s enjoyable because it’s hard, so repeat-plays...

Road 96

Release Date: 16/08/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Road 96 is a narrative adventure where you play a teenager trying to escape an oppressive, authoritarian country by reaching the border. Through a series of vignettes, you experience the most important and poignant parts on an epic road trip through a...

Fable (Series)

Release Date: 14/09/2004

Platforms: Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

This is an adventure role-playing game set in a fantasy world where your interactions with the world and villagers, and decisions about your use of magical power, substantially alter the story and the environment.

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...

The Forgotten City

Release Date: 28/07/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

The Forgotten City is a mystery adventure. You explore and relive the final days of a cursed Roman city, where if one person sins, everyone dies. It starts as a bewildering array of characters, locations and information but over multiple goes your...

Inscryption

Release Date: 19/10/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Pieces: Cards

Inscryption starts as a card-based adventure where you build a deck of cards to take on adventures and battles. To this, it adds escape-room style puzzles, both in the card game and in the room in which you are playing. The result is a psychological...

Life Is Strange (Series)

Release Date: 19/01/2016

Platforms: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

This is a click/tap-to-move adventure where you play a student at high school in a sleepy American town. Despite the idyllic setting, you have a foreboding premonition of a disastrous storm. Along with this prophetic vision, you discover the ability to...

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

Release Date: 16/12/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is a survival-horror game where you explore a vast pizzeria and shopping centre while hunted by a murderer. In addition to continuing the intricate and multi-layered story of the previous games, this is the first...

Detroit: Become Human

Release Date: 25/05/2018

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

This is a branching narrative game from Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. This is the third game in the series and offers a more refined version of the filmic branching experience.

One Hour One Life

Release Date: 27/02/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

One Hour One Life is a civilisation survival game where each player lives a whole life in an hour of play and then passes away. Born as a baby into the care of anonymous other online players, you initially depend on them for food. Quickly growing, you...

Paradise Killer

Release Date: 04/09/2020

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

Paradise Killer is a detective game set in the open world of Paradise Island. It's a strange place with quirky characters and an alien obsessed, demon worshiping world. You are an exiled investigator brought back to solve the mass murder of the island's...

Cyberpunk 2077

Release Date: 10/12/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Cyberpunk 2077 is a massive open-world action-adventure game inspired by cyberpunk themes, focused on the merging of humanity and technology. The line between human and machine is heavily blurred in every corner of its world. You have a fully...

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Series)

Release Date: 15/07/2003, updated in 2021

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

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...

Ghost of Tsushima

Release Date: 17/07/2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Ghost of Tsushima is a stealth and action adventure set in 13th century Japan, where you play as a clan leader and samurai warrior trying to protect your people and the Tsushima Island against Mongol invaders.

Heavy Rain

Release Date: 06/10/2010, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Heavy Rain is from the same Quantic Dream studio who made Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human. It preceded these games but shared the same branching narrative and photo-realistic aspirations.

Beyond: Two Souls

Release Date: 08/10/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Beyond: Two Souls is from the same developer as Detroit: Become Human and Heavy Rain. Although not a series, they follow a similar style and approach. They provide a filmic interactive experience of a story that branches in substantial ways depending on...

Bioshock

Release Date: 21/08/2007, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Bioshock is a first-person shooting game set in a fantastical underwater city. A dark story unfolds about the misuse of surgery and gene therapy, and what happens when a society develops with a power mad genius in control. It's an unusual combination of...

Papers, Please

Release Date: 08/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita and iOS

You play the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. You review each immigrant’s and returning citizens’ passports and paperwork according to an increasing list of changing...

This Is Reality

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

This Is Reality is a running, jumping and exploration game about a couple's relationship. You play as Liam and Lana, as they navigate the highs, lows and struggles of their relationship. The twist is that the state of the relationship affects what you...

Stacklands (Sokpop)

Release Date: 08/04/2022

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Stacklands is a strategy game where you stack cards so that your village can survive. You combine cards to grow food, build structures and fight monsters. Each of these three actions is a choice, make the right choices and your village grows, make 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...

Wytchwood

Release Date: 09/12/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Wytchwood is an adventure in a land of gothic fables and fairytales. You are an old witch of the woods and must explore the countryside, collect magical ingredients and brew enchantments. That much is relatively common, here though, your role is to pass...

We Kill Monsters

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

We Kill Monsters (in early development) is an adventure set in a land lost in a deep valley. You explore on foot through forests, mists and moors with the sole goal of reaching the bottom. The world is huge and labyrinthine and invites you to lose...

A Place for the Unwilling

Release Date: 25/07/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and Stadia

A Place for the Unwilling is a narrative adventure set in the final 21 days of a dying city. You investigate the city and its inhabitants to piece together what has happened. However, the clock is always ticking and the city carries on, with or without...

Photographs - Puzzle Stories

Release Date: 03/04/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

"Have you ever made a mistake, or hurt people you care about?" Asks the Photographs trailer. It's a puzzle game that aims much higher than to distract you while on the way to work.

Through the Darkest of Times

Release Date: 27/05/2020, updated in 2020

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

Through the Darkest of Times is a strategy game that conveys the sombre mood of the dark period of history between January 1933 and May 1945. With interactive drama, it tells the story and the struggles of average people living in the 3rd Reich.

Democratic Socialism Simulator

Release Date: 20/02/2020

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Democratic Socialism Simulator is a puzzle game where you run for office and then run a country. It offers a flow of questions with a yes or no response. Each answer has consequences in the minds of the voters and the prosperity of the country. It's an...

Our Personal Space

Release Date: 14/02/2015

Platforms: Android, Mac and PC

Our Personal Space is a text adventure where, rather than surviving alien attack or harsh environments, it's your marriage that you are fighting for. You play a newly married doctor on a space colony and must decide how she spends her time, responds to...

This War Of Mine

Release Date: 14/11/2014, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Inspired by the 1992–96 Siege of Sarajevo, this is a war game where you play the civilian trying to survive during the fighting. You face tough decisions on how to spend time and resources each day to maintain health, hunger and mood levels until a...

Closed Hands

Release Date: 05/03/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Closed Hands is a text adventure game set in the lead-up and aftermath of a terror attack in a fictional UK city. You follow five core characters brought together by the same event. It's a branching story that you discover and influence as you read and...

The Walking Dead (Series)

Release Date: 24/04/2012, updated in 2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Walking Dead is a survival adventure game series. You explore locations and gather a ragtag group of survivors. How you interact with each of them and make decisions about various dangers results in a branching story where no one is guaranteed to survive.

Beholder (Series)

Release Date: 09/11/2016

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

Beholder is a detective game where you spy on tenants in a building, discover their secrets and report violations of laws to the authorities. As the game unfolds and you see more of the controlling totalitarian state, an uneasy tension develops between...

112 Operator (Series)

Release Date: 23/04/2020, updated in 2020

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

112 Operator and its predecessor, 911 Operator, are strategy games that put you in control of the emergency services as they fight natural disasters, crime and terrorism. You choose how to deal with each scenarios and work your way up the chain of...

Hypnospace Outlaw

Release Date: 12/04/2019, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Hypnospace Outlaw is a puzzle game where you explore a simulation of the internet in the 1990s. Your role is to enforce good behaviour by finding misconduct on the pixelated pages. It's not only a unique piece of historical fiction but because its web...

Beat Cop

Release Date: 27/11/2018, updated in 2019

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

Beat Cop is a police crime drama where you have been framed for murder. Back on the street, you navigate the pixilated 80’s Miami Vice world to find out who did it. Your approach and decisions matter. Will you go in with the mafia or stay straight?...

Dishonored (Series)

Release Date: 09/10/2012, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Dishonored is an adventure game series set in the fictional, plague-ridden industrial city of Dunwall. You play Corvo Attano, bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles. But you are framed for her murder and forced to become an assassin.

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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