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Hope Through Play

Games that embed a sense of hope by playing them. Sometimes a hopeful story, sometimes a hopeful interaction, and sometimes just an uplifting aesthetic to spend time in. These are games that leave you with an uplifted spirit, maybe not immediately (like Horizon Zero Dawn) but by the time you have finished them.

There is something innocent and childlike in play, and video games each have a slice of that in different ways. Sometimes simple and sometimes complex, games can help us return to the hope we had as children, or call us on to the wisdom and perspective of older years.

This list includes 47 games from the last 20 years, with 603 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to find hope.

Game image

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3+ to PEGI 16+
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Rhythm, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy
Total Likes: 603
 

 

A Short Hike

Rating:

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure and Open World

Developer: @Adamgryu

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Animal Crossing (Series)

Rating:

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

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

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Developer: @NintendoAmerica

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...

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Rating:

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Developer: @AsoboStudio

Players: You can play this with 30 players online

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Microsoft Flight Sim 2020) is the latest flight simulator game in the long running series. Along with a huge range of aircraft you can learn to fly, the game recreates the entire Earth using textures and data from data Maps...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 11/12/2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @UsTwo

Players: This is a single player game

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. When Alba visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island, she is excited for a summer of exploring with her friend Ines. But when...

Stardew Valley

Rating:

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @ConcernedApe

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

Seasons

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and PlayStation 5

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @ScavStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Seasons is a narrative adventure where you take a bicycle road trip game. You play as a young woman leaving a secluded community, exploring the world for the first time. Collect artefacts and memories as you explore because soon, a mysterious cataclysm...

Voyage

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 19/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @VenturousGames

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

Voyage is a short cinematic adventure puzzle game, where you play alone or cooperatively to guide two survivors on their journey to unravel a mystery from the past and find their way home.

Game image Hoa

Hoa

12

Hoa

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 01/04/2021

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @HoaTheGame

Players: This is a single player game

Hoa is an adventure game where you walk and jump through a hand-painted world as the mysterious main character. You solve environmental puzzles and meet magical creatures while trying to find your way back home.

Knights And Bikes!

Rating:

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

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Narrative

Developer: @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...

The Pathless

Rating:

Release Date: 12/11/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @GiantSquidology

Players: This is a single player game

The Pathless is a mythic adventure about an archer and an eagle in a vast forest. You use timed button presses to use your bow and discover the open world, and unlock a mystical island and dispel a curse of darkness that grips the world.

Coffee Talk

Rating:

Release Date: 29/01/2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Narrative and Role-Playing

Developer: @TogeProductions

Players: This is a single player game

Coffee Talk is an interactive story about a barista working in a coffee shop in Seattle. You listen to customer's concerns about life and love, in a retro pixilated world backed with lo-fi chilled hip-hop music.

If Found

Rating:

Release Date: 19/05/2020

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: @DreamFeelx

Players: This is a single player game

If Found is an interactive narrative game about searching for connection. You touch the screen to rub out and erase text and drawings. Set on December 31st 1993 in the crumbling ruins of a mansion on Achill Island, you play Kasio as she destroys her diary.

Teacup

Expected Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Smarto_Club

Players: This is a single player game

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

Assemble With Care

Rating:

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: PC and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @UsTwoGames

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Fantasian

Expected Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Adventure and Role-Playing

Developer: @MistWalker

Players: This is a single player game

Fantasian is a role-play adventure from the team behind Final Fantasy, Lost Odyssey and The Last Story games. The environments are crafted as real-world models to give it a hand made feel.

The Last Campfire

Rating:

Release Date: 27/08/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @HelloGames

Players: This is a single player game

The Last Campfire, from the same developer as No Man's Sky, is an adventure about Ember who is trapped a puzzling place, searching for meaning and a way home. As you travel you take a flame with you to the world, lighting...

A Space for the Unbound

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @MojikenStudio

Players: This is a single player game

A Space For The Unbound is an adventure about everyday life where you explore your location, chat with people and solve puzzles. Unusually, you do this by stepping into the mind of people you meet and helping them solve their stuck and knotted...

One Hand Clapping

Rating:

Release Date: 14/07/2020

Platforms: Stadia

Genres: Platform, Puzzle and Rhythm

Developer: @BadDreamGames

Players: This is a single player game

One Hand Clapping is a running and jumping game where you sing into a microphone to interact with the world. The game acknowledges how challenging this idea may be, and gently leads you into using your voice to create platforms, adjust the wind and...

The Last Guardian

Rating:

Release Date: 28/10/2016

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform and Simulation

Developer: @SonyJapanStudio

Players: This is a single player game

The Last Guardian is a running, jumping and exploring adventure about a boy who befriends a giant half-bird, half-mammal creature, Trico. You work together to navigate the world, solve puzzles and reach new heights. Unusually, you have to build trust...

Horizon Zero Dawn (Series)

Rating:

Release Date: 01/03/2017

Platforms: PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Shooting

Developer: @Guerrilla

Players: This is a single player game

Horizon Zero Dawn, and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, has a post-apocalyptic feel familiar from movies like Planet of the Apes. It plunges you into an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life where animalistic machines...

Mutazione

Rating:

Release Date: 23/09/2019

Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4 and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Creative and Narrative

Developer: @GuteFabrik

Players: This is a single player game

In Mutazione you play as a 15-year-old girl visiting her grandfather on a faraway island inhabited by friendly but mutated villagers. By finding seeds, tending to gardens and talking to people, you uncover a tightly knit web of characters with...

Game image Rime

Rime

4

Rime

Rating:

Release Date: 26/05/2017

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Developer: @TequilaWorks

Players: This is a single player game

Rime is an adventure on an island where you play a boy led a fox-like spirit as a guide. To progress through the beautiful environments you solve puzzles across five large levels. You can run, climb, carry objects, and push or pull larger objects across...

Lost in Random

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @ZoinkGames

Players: This is a single player game

Lost in Random is an adventure where you play an anthropomorphic dice and a young girl called Even. In her world, when she turns 12 she must roll a magical die to be assigned a region to live in and a life to live. But seeing her sister go through this...

This Is Reality

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative and Platform

Developer: @scribblescape

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Lost and Hound

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @DaisyAleSounds

Players: This is a single player game

Lost and Hound is an adventure puzzle game where you play as a scent tracking rescue dogs, Corgi and Biscuit. You use your sense of smell to find things and solve mysteries. Your heightened hearing and senses enable you find your goals, eventually...

Dordogne

Expected Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Cedric_Babouche

Players: This is a single player game

Dordogne is a narrative adventure where you play as Mimi, a 32-year-old woman who returns to the house of her recently deceased grandmother. You explore the house and area to find letters and puzzles that bring back memories of the past.

Unruly Heroes

Rating:

Release Date: 23/01/2019

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @MagicDesignGame

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

Unruly Heroes is a hectic martial arts running, jumping and hitting game. You play one of four heroes on a quest to collect all the scroll fragments and restore balance.

Concrete Genie

Rating:

Release Date: 20/08/2019

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Pixelopus

Players: This is a single player game

You play a young boy, who is isolated and bullied, in this exploration platform game with a twist. Using motion controls and buttons you can draw beautiful graffiti on the buildings, which come to life. These become the habitat for the creatures you...

Wattam

Rating:

Release Date: 11/06/2019

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Genres: Open World and Puzzle

Developer: @Funomena

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

Wattam is an absurd adventure where characters are everyday objects with problems to solve and fun interactions to enjoy. You play as The Mayor and start on your own. As you complete simple tasks you populate the world with other strange characters.

Kind Words

Rating:

Release Date: 12/11/2019

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative and Narrative

Developer: @Popcannibal

Players: This is a single player game

Kind Words is unusual because of the main interaction. You write letters to real people and receive back encouraging letters in return. Set in a cosy room with soft furnishings and relaxing music, it creates a space in which to find support and...

Way To The Woods

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Xbox

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Tamagotchi44

Players: This is a single player game

Way to the Woods is an adventure game where you play a fawn and a deer trying to survive their long journey home after human civilization has collapsed. Interacting with the world and exploring both urban and barren landscapes leads you to discover the...

Everwild

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @RareLtd

Players: This is a single player game

Everwild is a fantasy adventure where characters work together to tame the wild and survive the night. Working with the indigenous creature of the land and with the power of ritual and combat you need to subdue nature by working with it.

Sunlight

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 14/01/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @Krillbite

Players: This is a single player game

Sunlight is a short adventure game where you explore an uncharted forest, guided by harmonised whispers. As you move from tree to tree you discover different voices, genders and dialects, speaking as one. Taking artistic inspiration from expressionist...

Journey of the Broken Circle

Rating:

Release Date: 18/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @NakanaGames

Players: This is a single player game

Journey of the Broken Circle is a rolling and jumping game about looking for a life partner. You play as a simple circle with a piece missing. As you progress by making jumps and solving puzzles, you meet partners who slot in specific abilities and...

Evergreen Blues

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 20/02/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative and Rhythm

Developer: @UsDivad

Players: This is a single player game

Evergreen Blues is a rhythm narrative game where you and a friend build lyrics to a song in real time. You select the words and timing and the game puts them together into lines of a song. What's unexpected and unusual about the game is that the songs...

Wandersong

Rating:

Release Date: 27/09/2018

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Platform and Rhythm

Developer: @TheBanov

Players: This is a single player game

In Wandersong you play a bard on a quest to gather parts of a song. Uniquely, you interact with the environment and inhabitants by singing. Controlled by one of the direction sticks, you can access different notes on the coloured ‘Song Wheel’. This...

Evergate

Rating:

Release Date: 01/09/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @StnLntrnGames

Players: This is a single player game

Evergate is a running and jumping game where you can slow down time to make difficult jumps through hand-drawn environments. It combines the need for timing and puzzle solving in a game that slowly tells the story of the characters you meet.

YesterMorrow

Rating:

Release Date: 05/11/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @BitmapGalaxy

Players: This is a single player game

YesterMorrow is running, jumping, climbing and collecting game where you play Yui, whose world has been destroyed and family kidnapped. To save them you journey through the four islands, forest, desert, ice, and clockwork, to collect "everlight" and...

DropMix

Rating:

Release Date: 05/12/2017

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Creative, Physically Active and Rhythm

Developer: @Harmonix

Players: You can play with 5 players in the same room

DropMix is a fast-paced music-mixing game. You combine loops of well known music from a wide range of genres by placing physical cards on the DropMix peripheral. Each card you place combines with those already in play to create an automatically...

The First Tree

Rating:

Release Date: 11/10/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS

Genres: Creative, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @DavidWehle

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Tacoma

Rating:

Release Date: 24/04/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Playing

Developer: @Fullbright

Players: This is a single player game

Tacoma is set aboard a space station in the year 2088. As you explore you can discover how the station’s crew lived and worked, using an AR device that lets you review past actions and conversations, you discover clues that unravel a plot of trust,...

Koral

Rating:

Release Date: 16/05/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @CarlosGameDev

Players: This is a single player game

Koral is a diving exploration game where you play the sea current. This sounds a little odd, playing a flow of energy, but works brilliantly.

Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage

Rating:

Release Date: 21/07/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @BfB_Labs

Players: This is a single player game

Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage is a role-playing game with puzzles and tasks that help 7-12 year olds deal with anxiety about different situations. You create a character in the game, explore dungeons and find treasure. Along the way characters offer...

Yi and the Thousand Moons

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 24/11/2017

Platforms: Mac and PlayStation 2

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @UsDivad

Players: This is a single player game

Yi and the Thousand Moons is an adventure game in the form of a musical. You follow Yi who is told by the gods to bring down the moons, but then has to try and save the people of her village from the unforeseen results.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Rating:

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Narrative and Rhythm

Developer: @Simogo

Players: This is a single player game

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...

The Long Return

Rating:

Release Date: 02/10/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @MaxNielsenDev

Players: This is a single player game

The Long Return is a running and jumping game where you guide an orphaned cub on a journey to retrace the steps of the last adventure that he went on with his mother. Throughout the game, you solve puzzles to progress and learn more about the cub's story.

The Magnificent Trufflepigs

Expected Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @ThunkdGames

Players: This is a single player game

The Magnificent Trufflepigs is a narrative game where you use a metal detector to explore an old farm. As you do you retread old relationships in the English countryside. You'll find and dig up treasures to share with your friend Beth over a...


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