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Happy Brain with Oxytocin Games

You can aid the happiness of your brain by taking on activities that generate key experiences and chemicals:

  • Dopamine for motivation, learning and pleasure.
  • Oxytocin for trust and building relationships.
  • Serotonin for significance and importance.
  • Endorphins for euphoria and elation.

Without oxytocin you can be subject to feelings of loneliness, stress, disconnection and a general lack of motivation. It's important for bonding with loved ones and friends and without it you can feel anxious and on your own. It's the chemical that helps you give and receive love in all its forms.

Along with getting outside for exercise, eating well and nurturing conversations, video games can also help. Games that generate oxytocin are those that let you stay in the present moment with other people. Games that offer ways to communicate for the joy of conversation, or helping and being helped by other players, help your brain make this chemical. Games where you care for a pet, or look after people generate this chemical. This is maximised in experiences that combine this activity with music and a sense of creative flow in what you are doing.

This list includes 26 games from the last 20 years, with 1,052 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to generate oxytocin.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Racing, Rhythm, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Stealth, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 1,052
 

 

Conduct Together (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7-12 year-olds

Release Date: 06/12/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Strategy

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: Hey Northplay (@HeyNorthplay)

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

Conduct Together is a strategy game where you control toy trains along the overlapping train tracks. Each train can be started and stopped with a specific button. Other buttons change different points. The aim is to transport the people from one station...

Knights And Bikes!

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/08/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Foam Sword Games (@FoamSwordGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

Enter a hand-painted adventure in a fictional late-eighties British island and work together as Nessa and Demelza to explore its coast on bikes to find treasure, mystery and trouble. There’s fighting with frisbees, water balloons, tape cassettes and...

It Takes Two

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 26/03/2020

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Hazelight Games (@HazelightGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

It Takes Two is a running, jumping and exploring game that tells a story of a young girl, Rose, whose parents are divorcing. The girl creates two dolls to represent her parents, which unexpectedly trap the clashing-couple in them. You and a friend...

Journey

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: That Game Company (@ThatGameCompany)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 2 players online

Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sand-scape, 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...

Rainbow Billy

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform, Rhythm and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: We Are Mana Void (@WeAreManaVoid)

Players: This is a single player game

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from a colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and...

Affordable Space Adventures

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 09/04/2015

Platforms: Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Puzzle and Shooting

Developer: Nifflas (@Nifflas)

Players: You can play with 3 players in the same room

Three people work to pilot a diminutive spacecraft through a hostile environment. One player uses the Wii U game tablet to control engines, power and shields. A second player controls lights and weapons. A third player steers the craft through the...

Animal Crossing (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/12/2001, updated in 2020

Price: 26% off

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

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 drama of the world and characters...

Adopt Me! (Roblox)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 6-10 year-olds

Release Date: 14/07/2017

Platforms: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: Play Adopt Me (@PlayAdoptMe)

Players: You can play this with 100 players online

Adopt Me is one of the most popular Roblox games. In a rudimentary way it simulates daily life. You can build a home, look after pets and make friends. Like many Roblox games, it's the combination of an avid community of players...

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 10/06/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 42 features

Developer: The Banov (@TheBanov)

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

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...

Heave Ho

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 29/08/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Le Cartel Studio (@LeCartelStudio)

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

Heave Ho is a game where up to four players try and swing themselves across a level. But you can only hang on to certain points and must dangle and swing with both arms to progress. The twist is that you can also hold hands with other players and make...

Overcooked! All You Can Eat (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7-13 year-olds

Release Date: 07/08/2018, updated in 2018

Price: 37% off

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

Genres: Action and Puzzle

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Team 17 (@Team17)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Overcooked, Overcooked 2 and Overcooked! All You Can Eat are collaborative cooking games for up to 4 players. You must keep talking to other players to coordinate the various elements of the dishes. It starts simply enough but soon gets more complicated...

That's You!

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 04/07/2017

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Creative and Puzzle

Developer: Wish Studios (@WishStudios)

Players: You can play with 6 players in the same room and up to 6 players online

That's You! is a family quiz game played on the PlayStation using Android or iOS phones/tablets as controllers. The game displays a challenge on the main TV screen that each player tries to complete on the device in their hand.

Venba

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 28/11/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Venba Game (@VenbaGame)

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...

Last Stop

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 22/07/2021

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: Variable State (@VariableState)

Players: This is a single player game

Last Stop is an adventure set in London. You play three interconnected characters, making choices that shape their conversations, and determine where their stories lead.

One Hour One Life

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 27/02/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Jason Rohrer (@JasonRohrer)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 100 players online

This 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 can soon fend...

Bury Me My Love

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: ARTE Interactif (@ARTE_Interactif)

Players: This is a single player game

Don’t be put off by the name and theme of this intriguing game, 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 unfolds in real time,...

Wilmot's Warehouse

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 29/08/2019

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

Genres: Puzzle

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Finji Co (@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...

A Way Out

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 23/03/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Shooting

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Hazelight Games (@HazelightGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

From the same developer as Brothers A Tale of Two Sons, this is another game centred around two playable characters simultaneously. With another player, you control Leo and Vincent, two convicted prisoners who...

Wide Ocean Big Jacket

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 07/02/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Point-and-Click

Developer: Turn Follow (@_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.

Spaceteam (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 01/12/2012

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Physically Active and Puzzle

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Hengineer (@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’,...

Pikmin Bloom

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 27/10/2021

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Open World, Physically Active, Role-Playing and Strategy

Developer: Niantic Labs (@NianticLabs)

Players: This is a single player game

Pikmin Bloom is an adventure strategy game you play by walking outside, like Pokemon Go. You explore your locale to find and recruit colourful Pikmin creatures with different abilities that can be used to complete in-game tasks.

Jett: The Far Shore

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Racing and Stealth

Developer: Super Brothers HQ (@SuperBrothersHQ)

Players: This is a single player game

Jett: The Far Shore is a sci-fi adventure where you play inquisitive pilot Mei, exploring a mysterious planet on a nimble jet-powered craft. It's a fast action game but with deeper aspirations. Through characters, the world and its history there is a...

Tanknarok

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 23/06/2020, updated in 2021

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

Genres: Shooting

Developer: Poly Block Studio (@PolyBlockStudio)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Tanknarok is a high speed shooting game where 2-4 tanks battle in different toy-like arenas. Controls are simple: one stick for movement and one for aiming. It's a fast and frantic competition with each tank using guns, explosions and rockets to win.

Airhead

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Octato Games (@OctatoGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Airhead is an exploration adventure in a sprawling interconnected world. The twist is that you play as a small Body who must keep the Head (it finds) inflated. Sometimes together, sometimes apart, you must use a growing array of abilities to find a way...

Fru

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 4-10 year-olds

Release Date: 29/06/2016

Platforms: Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Physically Active and Platform

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Aparaitre (@Aparaitre)

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

This is a platform game with a twist. One player uses a controller to run and jump around the level; a second player stands in front of the Xbox Kinect camera and appears on the screen in silhouette. This person must use the outline of their body to...

Lil Gator Game

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Lil Gator Game (@LilGatorGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Lil Gator Game is an adventure set on an island playground. You grapple with your floppy gator protagonist's unusual movement to help them explore the world as you bop cardboard baddies, climb mountain peaks, glide, fling and jump around. It's unlike...

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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