These games offer ways to consciously step outside the day's stresses and pressures to create space for self-care. This may be to distract yourself with calming unpressured tasks or to visit a world that is tranquil and relaxing or maybe just spend time reflecting on your emotions in a safe space.
A Short Hike
Platforms: Mac and PC
Genres: Adventure and Open World
Duration: Between 1 hour and 3 hours to complete.
Players: This is a single player game.
Costs: Purchase cost.
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...
The Endless Forest
Genres: Open World and Simulation
Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 50 players online.
This is a whimsical online multiplayer game where you play deer in a peaceful forest. You freely explore ruins and ponds, and meet other players, communicating in symbols. The world is like a moving painting, but one that players have a strong sense of...
Assemble With Care
Platforms: PC and iOS Apple Arcade
Genres: Narrative and Puzzle
Duration: Between 1 and a half hours and 2 hours to complete.
From the makers of Monument Valley, this puzzle game is a unique way to consider how physical objects become meaningful and hold our memories. You play a restorer who repairs people's favourite possessions: from family heirlooms to broken statues to...
Platforms: iOS Apple Arcade
Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Simulation
A puzzle game where objects are seen only in outline and you must travel the world with your dot, by manipulating the perspective. You navigate through minimalist yet colourful environments full of challenging puzzles, dangerous inhabitants, and...
Lego Builder's Journey
Duration: Between 1 and a half hours and 135 minutes to complete.
This isn't what you expect it to be. Rather than a brick-based puzzle for kids it's more like a thoughtful and nostalgic work of art for adults. You work through abstract levels by following instructions but also by breaking the rules. Take the time to...
Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation
Among Trees is a game you play in a forested wilderness full of creatures and fauna. It's handcrafted by a small team and creates a vibrant world to explore. This is a game you aim to win or dominate, but rather find your place in.
SoundSelf: A Technodelic
Duration: Between 15 minutes and 1 hour to play a round.
SoundSelf is an interactive guided meditation. Using the microphone, and optionally enhanced by VR, the game leads you through a landscape that responds to the sounds of your breath. This encourages you to make the Ujjayi Pranayama sound on your...
Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS
Genres: Platform, Puzzle and Simulation
Duration: Between 1 minute and 3 minutes to play a round.
Spring Falls is a puzzle where you erode a geometric landscape to let water flow down the mountain and help plants grow. Along with the low-pressure puzzle play, the game offers a calming experience with soft visuals, ambient music and interactive...
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 20 minutes to play a round.
Patterned is a puzzle game where you piece together beautiful patterns. It's a bit like a jigsaw but without the stress of forever finding more blue sky pieces. Each pattern begins as a sketch and you use visual clues to reassemble its scrambled pieces.
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round.
Tint is a puzzle game you solve by painting. You mix watercolours to match the colour of the origami. The aesthetic and the low-pressure puzzles make for a soothing experience. There are no timers, no countdowns, no points and certainly no rush,...
Duration: Between 2 hours and 2 and a half hours to complete.
Winding Worlds is a colourful puzzle game played in a mythic world where you solve your way through the afterlife. The characters you meet don't always want to help, but you can help them deal with their problems and find peace. The puzzles are logic...
Genres: Adventure and Puzzle
Duration: Between 1 hour and 1 and a half hours to complete.
Naiad is a gentle adventure game where exploration is fuelled not by extreme distances, dangers or enemies, but by the simple joy of floating in rivers and pools. As a story about nature unfolds you control a nymph-like character who swims through...
Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Simulation
Duration: Between 1 minute and half an hour to play a round.
Townscraper 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.
Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS
Genres: Action, Platform and Racing
Duration: Between 1 minute and 20 minutes to play a round.
Descend beautiful mountains, dunes and canyons on a snowboarding journey full of serenity and secrets. All you have to worry about is tapping to jump to avoid chasms, rockfall and other hazards. It’s simple and moreish due to the stunning landscapes...
Platforms: Android and iOS
Genres: Puzzle and Simulation
Duration: Between 3 hours and 5 hours to complete.
Prune involves slicing, but here you must carefully cut off tree branches to encourage the tree to grow in a particular direction. It starts simply but turns into a challenge for parents and young children to work on together.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and iOS
Genres: Open World, Racing and Simulation
Duration: Between 2 hours and 3 hours to complete.
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...
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC
Duration: Between 1 hour and 2 hours to complete.
Players: You can play this with 4 players online.
This game brings you, as a bird, to a beautiful island. You can explore freely, collecting items and soaring on the breeze. Often, other players will join you to create a flock of birds to fly together, making music on the wind. Communication is kept to...
Platforms: GameCube, Nintendo 2DS/3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii
Duration: Between half an hour and 45 minutes to play a round.
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online.
Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.
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 minutiae of this diorama that makes...
Old Man’s Journey
Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch and iOS
Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle
Old Man’s Journey is a game about memory and old age. You help a grandfather-figure traverse the countryside by raising and lowering the landscape. Along the way he visits places that evoke the story of his life: a wife, a child and a love of the sea.
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4
Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation
Duration: Between 3 hours and 7 hours to complete.
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.
The First Tree
Genres: Creative, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Puzzle
The First Tree is an exploration narrative game. In a dream, you explore a forest wilderness as a mother fox looking for her cubs. Simultaneously, you revisit childhood memories in spoken reflection from two lovers remembering the dream and their...
Platforms: Nintendo Wii
Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation
Duration: Between 8 hours and 9 hours to complete.
Endless Ocean (Endless Ocean: Blue World in the US) and its sequel Endless Ocean 2: Adventures of the Deep are versions of a diving adventure game where you explore the Manaurai Sea to identify different fish and recover artefacts. As experience is...
Platforms: Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U
Genres: Action, Physically Active and Rhythm
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 1 hour to play a round.
Wii Fit is a collection of games designed to help you exercise. They use the Wii Balance Board peripheral that works with both Wii Fit on the Wii and Wii Fit Plus on the Wii U. The Balance Board measures the pressure you place on it and enables a range...
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Genres: Puzzle and Rhythm
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 15 minutes to play a round.
Chime is a block-dropping music puzzle game where you control a single shape to move, rotate, and then place it onto a grid. A beatline moves across the grid in time with the music, setting off events when it hits placed shapes.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation
Duration: Between 10 hours and 12 hours to complete.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is an adventure where you explore a world seeking out and collecting magical creatures, known as sprites, to banish an ominous shroud known as the Murk. As you do this, you make your way in the world, farming,...
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Genres: Puzzle, Strategy and Turn-Based
Duration: Between 20 minutes and 45 minutes to play a round.
Players: You can play with 5 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.
Wingspan is a relaxing, award-winning strategy card game about birds for one to five players. You create flocks of birds to extend a chain of powerful combinations in one of your three habitats. Your goal is to discover and attract the best birds to...
Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based
Duration: Between 5 hours and 7 hours to complete.
Inbento is a food-themed puzzle game where you solve puzzles to prepare lunch boxes. As you complete each "bento" lunch box a story unfolds about the highs and lows of parenthood. There are over 100 fun puzzles, aesthetically served with traditional...
Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS
Genres: Puzzle and Sports
Golf Peaks is a golf game you play by picking different shot cards and swiping in a direction. Unlike other golf games it more of a puzzle than a test of skill or timing. You don't even need to understand of golf.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and iOS
Duration: Between 2 and a half hours and 5 hours to complete.
Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 2 players online.
This is an adventure in a desert. Exploring the eerie sandscape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other players, one at...
Abzu is an adventure in a lush underwater world. You descend into the heart of the ocean to find ancient secrets and encounter majestic creatures. This combines the beautiful weightlessness of diving with an ancient story of meaning and place in the world.
Sayonara Wild Hearts
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and iOS Apple Arcade
Genres: Narrative and Rhythm
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...
Wide Ocean Big Jacket
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS
Genres: Narrative and Open World
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.
Milkmaid of the Milky Way
Genres: Adventure and Narrative
Duration: Between 2 hours and 4 hours to complete.
Milkmaid of the Milky Way is a puzzle game where you play a milkmaid Ruth in a remote farm, who is kidnapped by a spaceship. It sounds strange, but what unfolds is a story about boredom, parental expectation and the desire for change.
Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform
Never Alone is a running, jumping and exploring game based on the traditional Iñupiaq tale, "Kunuuksaayuka". You swap between controlling an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion as you complete puzzles and move the story forwards.
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World
Duration: Between 4 hours and 7 hours to complete.
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...