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Play At Working

Video games and work don’t usually go together. Not, that is, unless you work in the video game industry. The Safe In Our World charity addresses this world of work and video games to foster positive mental health wellbeing and deliver support for players, developers, publishers and retailers.

Image 244“The worlds we create are a refuge for many,” they say about video games, to highlight the importance of also looking after those people who make these amazing spaces. They have some excellent resources available for free and global helplines for a range of emotions and stresses people might be feeling, not to mention some great training resources for companies. Most recent is their Level Up campaign that challenges businesses within the video games industry to unite and commit to change.

The games in this list offer space to reflect and escape work for a while. But not only to get some distance, but to play something that shines a light on why we do what we do. Some address the world of work directly, while others enable us to consider our choices about how we spend our working hours.

Whether it’s escaping for a lunchtime walk with A Short Hike. Trying to manage crunch time with Going Under, or not succumbing to Tom Nook’s invitation for ever bigger mortgages in Animal Crossing, there are lots of games that can help us find some balance.

Other games, like Coffee Talk and Neo Cab help us consider the people we serve at work. This might be conversations with customers, but also the other people we work with in the office or workplace we find ourselves in. Like the game Good Job encourages us to do.

Then there are games that make us aware of our co-workers. Whether it’s collaborating to identify and store stock in Wilmot’s Warehouse or getting the furniture into the van neatly in Moving Out, how we work together and treat the people around us is important.
 
Game image Bake n SwitchSponsored

Bake 'n Switch

PEGI Rating 3+ for Bake n SwitchESRB Rating EVERYONE for Bake n Switch

Bake 'n Switch

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Fighting, Platform and Puzzle

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

Costs: Purchase cost.

Bake 'n Switch is a puzzle fighting game where 2-4 players are apprentice bakers fighting the "Mould" and taking on various Guardian bosses. It's ridiculously cute and a lot of silly fun, as you catch, merge and sacrifice the anthropomorphised dough...


Kind Words

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative and Narrative

Duration: Between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

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...


Patterned

Platforms: iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Puzzle

Duration: Between 5 minutes and 20 minutes to play a round.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

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.


King Pins

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Fighting, Open World and Strategy

Duration: Between 20 minutes and 1 hour to play a round.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

King Pins is a small real time strategy game where you command a small group of people to gather resources, build bases, farms and towers to defend yourself or attack the three other encampments. It's like Age of Empires but in miniature fashion....


Wilmot's Warehouse

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Duration: Between 9 hours and 11 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

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...


Game image A Short HikeEditor's Choice

A Short Hike

PEGI Rating 3+ for A Short HikeESRB Rating EVERYONE for A Short Hike

A Short Hike

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch 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...


Animal Crossing (Series)

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

Genres: Open World and Simulation

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...


Mini Metro

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

Genres: Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 10 minutes and 20 minutes to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

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...


Mini Motorways

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 20 minutes and 1 hour to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Mini Motorways is by the same developer as Mini Metro but tasks you with planning a road network rather than subway. You lay down roads, traffic lights and motorways to ensure enough cars can get to the buildings that pop up in your city as time passes....


Good Job!

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Genres: Action, Platform and Simulation

Duration: Between 6 hours and 8 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

You play an office employee with a difference. Together with a friend you must climb the corporate ladder to take over the family business. But rather than starting as tea boy and working up, you have a set of more bizarre office problems: building zen...


Moving Out

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

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Duration: Between 5 minutes and 15 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Free-to-start.

Moving Out is an action-puzzle game where you play a removal company. With up to four players you work together to get items out of the house and into the van. Although this starts simply you soon find furniture that is an awkward shape or needs two...


Good Pizza, Great Pizza

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

Genres: Creative and Simulation

Duration: Between 16 hours and 20 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Good Pizza, Great Pizza is a simulation game where you run your own Pizza shop, fulfilling orders from customers while making enough money to keep your shop open. You can upgrade your shop with new toppings and equipment to compete against your...


Space Crew

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 5 minutes and 45 minutes to play a round.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Space Crew is a strategy game where you use a team of characters to control a spaceship and explore the galaxy. Unlike other space flight games, you don't directly control your craft but get your crew to look after different aspects of the mission. It's...


Lost and Hound

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 9 hours and 15 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

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


Going Under

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 1 hour and 2 hours to play a round.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Free-to-start.

Going Under is a satirical adventure game where you play an intern in a failing start-up company. The game proceeds like other dungeon adventures with enemies to defeat and quests to find items, only here it's all in aid of keeping your boss happy while...


Coffee Talk

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

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Narrative and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 3 hours and 5 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

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 back with lo-fi chilled hip-hop music.


Neo Cab

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Narrative, Role-Playing and Simulation

Duration: Between 3 and a half hours and 5 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

This is a narrative adventure from behind the wheel of a cab. You play as Lina, the last human driver-for-hire on the streets of Los Ojos. Your friend and only lifeline has gone missing; with no money and nowhere to stay, your only leads are the...


 




Image 242 Image 243 Thank you for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.

The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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