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Happy Brain with Serotonin 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 serotonin you can feel unstable and find your mood changing rapidly. It's a chemical that helps us with routines where we accept ourselves and find calm. With low serotonin it is hard to feel confident in who we are. This can mean that we worry more and find it harder to learn and remember things.

Along with getting outside for exercise, eating well and nurturing conversations, video games can also help. Games that generate serotonin are those that give to regular simple activities you can complete each day. Games that help build routine are helpful. We may not play these games for long, but they help structure other things around them. Fitness games also complement this, particularly those games that give us a reason to get outside.

This list includes 25 games from the last 20 years, with 386 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to generate serotonin.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 12
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Racing, Rhythm, Role-Playing, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 386
 

 

Threes

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 06/02/2014

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Web and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: Sirvo Studios (@SirvoStudios)

Players: This is a single player game

Threes is a puzzle game where you slide numbered tiles on a grid. When they collide they combine their numbers, like Triple Town. You can match 1's and 2's with each other, the white tiles can match cards that are multiples of 3...

Loop Hero

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 03/02/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Puzzle, Role-Playing and Strategy

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: F Qteam (@_FQteam)

Players: This is a single player game

Loop Hero is a dungeon exploring adventure game where you use cards to create a world for your character to survive. Rather than control the hero yourself, you take the role of designer (or Dungeon Master) who use cards to create a world that is hard...

Osu!

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12-16 year-olds

Release Date: 16/09/2007, updated in 2021

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action and Rhythm

Developer: Ppy (@Ppy)

Players: This is a single player game

Osu is a rhythm action game where you tap the screen in time to the music similar to the Elite Beat Agents games. This starts as a simple challenge but develops in speed and complexity. At higher levels the games is an esport with people competing to...

Unpacking

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-14 year-olds

Release Date: 02/11/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 34 features

Developer: Witch Beam Games (@WitchBeamGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Unpacking is a meditative puzzle game where you unpack belongings into a series of either spaces, each representing a stage in life. You get to know the owner of the objects by their possessions and circumstances. To finish a level you need to work out...

Alto's Odyssey (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Release Date: 19/02/2015, updated in 2018

Price: Free

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

Genres: Action, Platform and Racing

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Built By Snowman (@BuiltBySnowman)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Mini Metro

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 06/01/2015

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

Genres: Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Dinopolo Club (@DinopoloClub)

Players: This is a single player game

Create an ordered, efficient underground train system. It sounds like hard work, but the simple Tube-map visuals, calm music, and streamlined interactions make this relaxing, like sudoku. Dip your toe in this strategy challenge and keep the system...

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...

Pokemon Go!

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 06/07/2016

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Physically Active and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Niantic Labs (@NianticLabs)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 20 players online

Pokémon Go is a game you play by walking outside. You play on a smartphone so it can use the GPS to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, which appear as if they are in the player's real-world location.

Ring Fit Adventure

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Physically Active

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

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

This is a running and jumping adventure game with a difference. You control your character with the circular plastic Ring-Con in your hands and Leg-Strap on your leg. The game can then tell how much you are moving and relate that to progress in the game.

Zombies, Run

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 27/02/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Physically Active

Developer: Six To Start (@SixToStart)

Players: This is a single player game

Zombie Run is a combination of fitness app, radio play and zombie game. You choose the distance on the app, run in the real world and the narrative plays in your headphones.

Card of Darkness

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 6-12 year-olds

Release Date: 16/09/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Helvetica (@Helvetica)

Players: This is a single player game

Card of Darkness is a hand-animated adventure game where you attack enemies represented on cards. This isn't unusual. What is, however, are the small set of intricate rules and charm of each character.

Cats Are Cute

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 02/09/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: K Kiruk Studio (@KKirukStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

Cats are Cute is a pet care game where you look after cats and build a town. You collect a variety of cats and buildings around which the cats play and hide. It's really easy to play for youngsters and relaxing for older players.

Good Soduku

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/07/2020

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: Helvetica (@Helvetica)

Players: This is a single player game

Good Soduku is the classic puzzle game but made more accessible by removing the leg work of counting and tracking which numbers have been used where.

Spring Falls

Release Date: 17/11/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Sparse Game Dev (@SparseGameDev)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Cinco Paus

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 25/12/2017, updated in 2021

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: Smestorp (@Smestorp)

Players: This is a single player game

Cinco Paus is a puzzle game where you try and get through 5 rooms picking up treasure as you go. What makes it unusual are the magic wands that help you do this. What appears to be a maze game turns out to be a challenge to discover the effects of each...

Hypnospace Outlaw

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

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

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

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Tendershoot (@Tendershoot_)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Jump Rope Challenge

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Release Date: 15/06/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Action and Rhythm

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

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

Jump Rope Challenge is a virtual skipping game where you hold the Switch controllers like rope handles and skip. The game displays an on-screen counter and you can play with another person at the same time as you compete for a high score.

Letter Rooms

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-16 year-olds

Release Date: 26/05/2021

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Klemens Strasser (@KlemensStrasser)

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Letter Rooms is simple anagram puzzle game. You get a hint and a set of letters and rearrange them to create the answer. This starts simply but adds more complexity like turning letters on and off or flipping letters.

Marching Order

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 2-7 year-olds

Release Date: 28/11/2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: SFB Tom (@SFBTom)

Players: This is a single player game

Marching Order puts you in charge of a disorderly animal marching band. Listen to each animal’s requests to get them in the right order in the game about sequence, rules and order.

Really Bad Chess

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-12 year-olds

Release Date: 13/10/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: Android, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: Helvetica (@Helvetica)

Players: This is a single player game

Really Bad Chess is like chess, but with random pieces selected for each player. Try 8 Knights, 4 Bishops, and 3 pawns. Starting positions are also non-standard. It sounds like a bad idea (hence the name) but actually opens the imposing chess challenge...

SpellTower

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 25/06/2012

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: Helvetica (@Helvetica)

Players: This is a single player game

Spelltower+ is a word-spotting game a little like Boggle mixed with Tetris. As you play, more tiles rise from the bottom of the screen so you need to pick good words to clear down the letters and avoid any letters make it to the top row.

Wii Fit (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 25/04/2008

Platforms: Wii and Wii U

Genres: Action, Physically Active and Rhythm

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Wurdweb

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 08/07/2021

Platforms: Apple TV, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Puzzle

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Adriaande Jongh (@AdriaandeJongh)

Players: This is a single player game

Wurdweb is a word puzzle game modelled on the feeling you get from completing a crossword. Only, unlike a crossword, you are given the words. You select words from your list and connect them to existing words on the board.

Clive ‘N’ Wrench

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Classic GJ (@ClassicGJ)

Players: This is a single player game

Clive ‘N’ Wrench is a 3D running and jumping game where you play duo, Clive the rabbit and Wrench the monkey on his back. Like Banjo Kazooie and more recent Yooka Laylee, you explore the world to collect tokens and unlock new areas. It's novel as a...

Yugo Puzzle

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/10/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Puzzle

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Qrostar En (@Qrostar_En)

Players: This is a single player game

Yugo Puzzle is a simple puzzle game where you move jelly blocks left and right to combine them with the same colour. The novelty is the ingenious challenges this simple premise is used to create. It's the kind of game where a single level might take you...

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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