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Space For Grief Games Rated ESRB TEEN and Older

Games include interactions, narratives and characters dealing with all aspects of life (and death). This means that some care is necessary if players are sensitive to losing significant people. But also, games can provide a helpful space in which to process, consider and understand death and loss.

Image 162 I've come up with some games that explore this topic, along with help and suggestions from Gaming The Mind (Twitter), an organisation of UK-based mental health professionals who aim to promote positive mental health within the gaming community. By focusing on the intersection between gaming and mental health, they want to raise awareness of mental health challenges and reduce the stigma surrounding these issues.

"We express grief in different ways depending on our age," they said. "To help children cope with loss, it is important that they receive honest explanations about death, appropriate to their level of understanding. With these games, players may find valuable space in which to acknowledge grief as a completely normal reaction to bereavement."

"The games we have selected don't necessarily offer an ideal way to cope with death but tackle the topic of death openly and with a positive attitude. They can help show the player that they are not alone in what they are going through. Playing these games with young people, and answering questions they might have along the way, can be a useful starting point for important conversations about grief."

This list includes 27 games from the last 24 years, with 521 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to process loss.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 7 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB TEEN to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: PG to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Stealth and Strategy
Total Likes: 521
 

 

Graveyard Keeper

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 15/08/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Lazy Bear Games (@LazyBearGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Graveyard Keeper is a funeral-themed role-playing game where you are the caretaker of a local cemetery. You make choices about how to lay out the plot, what services to offer and generally how to make money from your unusual enterprise. The pixilated...

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 14/05/2019, updated in 2021

Price: 75% off

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Stealth

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Asobo Studio (@AsoboStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

A Plague Tale: Innocence follows Amicia and her little brother Hugo as they use stealth to escape soldiers and swarms of rats. Against the stark threat and darkness of the world, the sibling relationship develops as the two learn to trust one another....

Firewatch

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/09/2016

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Camposanto (@Camposanto)

Players: This is a single-player game

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...

Roki

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 23/07/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

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

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Poly Treehouse (@PolyTreehouse)

Players: This is a single-player game

Röki is a Scandinavian folklore point-and-click style adventure game where you play Tove on a journey to save her family. As you help her to come to terms with loss, you explore deep into a snowy fairytale landscape with strange locations and creatures.

Call of the Sea

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 12/08/2020, updated in 2020

Price: 35% off

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Out Blue Games (@OutBlueGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Call of the Sea is a narrative adventure set in the 1930s. You explore an island in the Southern Pacific to find your missing husband. As you do you discover what happened and revisit memories of being there before.

Spiritfarer

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Price: 67% off

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

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

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Thunder Lotus (@ThunderLotus)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Spiritfarer is a boat building exploration game. Unusually though, you play Stella, ferry master to the deceased and the boat you manage takes them to the next life.

Last Minute Love

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 27/12/2018, updated in 2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac, PC and Web

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: The Philip Cal (@ThePhilipCal)

Players: This is a single-player game

Last Minute Love is an adventure where you play an "old person" in a nursing home who is looking for love. This takes the dating simulator style of game in an unusual direction. You explore the home in your wheelchair, meet a quirky cast of people and...

The Last Of Us

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 16-18 year-olds

Release Date: 14/06/2013

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: This is a single-player game

You play a father, Joel, whose daughter was killed during the early stages of a deadly fungal outbreak. It’s now 20 years later, and he has clearly suffered from the loss. When Joel is given charge of a girl, Ellie, about the same age his daughter...

Tell Me Why

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 27/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: DONTNOD Ent (@DONTNOD_Ent)

Players: This is a single-player game

Tell Me Why is a narrative game following the story of twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan, as they unravel the truth about their childhood and why they were separated. It's a story about the impact of families and the lengths we go to make them right.

What Remains of Edith Finch

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/04/2017, updated in 2017

Price: 70% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Giant Sparrow (@GiantSparrow)

Players: This is a single-player game

Edith Finch is the surviving member of the Finch family, who seem to have died from a curse. In first-person perspective, you return to the family’s coastal home to learn about each relative’s final hours by exploring their rooms in turn.

Forever Ago

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click

Developer: 3 rd Shift Studio (@3rdShiftStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Forever Ago is a narrative adventure where you embark on a road trip through beautiful places, capturing memories with your camera and making new friends. You explore forest lakes, dusty barrens and sweltering deserts, interacting with objects you find...

God of War

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 20/04/2018

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Role-Play and Shooting

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Sony Santa Monica (@SonySantaMonica)

Players: This is a single-player game

You play super-strong Norse fantasy hero Kratos as he takes his son Atreus on a brutal quest in the wake of his mother’s death. The exploration, puzzle solving, climbing and fighting gameplay intertwines with a mythological family drama played out in...

Shadow Of The Colossus

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/10/2005

Platforms: PS2, PS3 and PS4

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

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

You play a young man who enters a forbidden land to defeat sixteen massive beings to restore the life of a girl he cares about. It sounds like any other video game, although in fact, Shadow of the Colossus stands apart in many ways.

Photographs - Puzzle Stories

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 03/04/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Luca Redwood (@LucaRedwood)

Players: This is a single-player game

"Have you ever made a mistake, or hurt people you care about?" Asks the Photographs trailer. It's a puzzle game that aims much higher than to distract you while on the way to work.

Sea of Solitude

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 05/07/2019

Price: 75% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 11 features

Developer: Cornelia Geppert (@CorneliaGeppert)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sea of Solitude is an adventure where you play a young woman, Kay, with such strong loneliness that her feelings turn her into a monster. As you explore a flooded city you discover dark creatures that you must deal with -- by uncovering their underlying...

Disco Elysium

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 15/10/2019, updated in 2021

Price: 40% off

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Play

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Studio ZAUM (@StudioZAUM)

Players: This is a single-player game

Disco Elysium The Final Cut is a role-playing game set in the fictional city of Revachol where you play Harrier "Harry" Du Bois who must solve a complex murder. Unusually, your choices and actions not only determine how the story unfolds but affect...

Orchids to Dusk

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 03/12/2015

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Ko Op Mode (@KoOpMode)

Players: This is a single-player game

Orchids to Dusk is a short wandering adventure. You are an astronaut stranded on an alien planet, with only a few minutes of oxygen. You explore the world and discover fantastic gardens on the planet.

Where the Heart Leads

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 13/07/2021

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: Armature Studio (@ArmatureStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Where the Heart Leads is an adventure game where you make life-choices and then see their impact. You play Whit Anderson, as he revisits and alters his past, present, and future. It's a game that creates a surreal dream-like narrative, but one that is...

Eliza

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 10/10/2019

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative and Role-Play

Developer: Zachtronics (@Zachtronics)

Players: This is a single-player game

Eliza is an interactive narrative where you play Evelyn, a young woman burnt out from the pressures of a high-tech job. She now works for a virtual counselling service called Eliza, that guides counsellors to provide the ideal response to patients.

#SelfCare

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 29/07/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Simulation

Developer: Luv Tru Luv (@LuvTruLuv)

Players: This is a single-player game

#SelfCare is a companion game that aims to create space for your feelings. Unlike other apps that remind or incentivise you to take a break, breath or even just to stand up, #SelfCare offers interactions and narrative that create a context for you to...

Embracelet

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 24/09/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

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

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Machineboy Com (@MachineboyCom)

Players: This is a single-player game

Embracelet is an adventure game, where you use a magical bracelet to interact with objects and solve puzzles. As you explore the fishing community, make friends and solve puzzles, you subtlety affect the outcome of the story.

I Am Alive

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/03/2012, updated in 2013

Platforms: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

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

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: This is a single-player game

I Am Alive is an action adventure in a post apocalyptic future where an event has reduced cities to rubble. You traverse the country to find your wife and child. It draws on end of humanity fiction like The Road, and stands out for its commitment to...

Nioh 2

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 12/03/2020

Price: 33% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Role-Play

Developer: Team Ninja Studio (@TeamNinjaStudio)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 3-player online game

Nioh 2 is a role-playing game that spans a period both before and after the original Nioh game. It's set in the devastated locales of Japan during the Sengoku period The novelty is the supernatural setting and thrilling horror of taking on hordes of...

Tails of Iron

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 17/09/2021

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Role-Play

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Odd Bug Studio (@OddBugStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Tails of Iron is a role-playing adventure game with a focus on brutal combat. You play Redgi, heir to the Rat Throne, who must restore your broken Kingdom by banishing the merciless Frog Clan. It's a hand-drawn adventure equally endearing and...

A Plague Tale: Requiem

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Puzzle, Shooting, Simulation and Stealth

Developer: Asobo Studio (@AsoboStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

A Plague Tale: Requiem is an action adventure where you play a pair of siblings Hugo and Amicia. The story continues from the first game's discovery of the plague of rats and Hugo's latent abilities. Standing out again for weaving the sibling...

ITTA

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 22/04/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Narrative and Shooting

Developer: Glass Revolver (@Glass__Revolver)

Players: This is a single-player game

Itta is a shooting adventure game set in a world filled with big monsters. You play the young girl Itta, who wakes in a strange place surrounded by her dead family and must seek out the powerful beings that did this to her. The only guide you have is a...

Grim Fandango Remastered

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/10/1998, updated in 2015

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Role-Play

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Double Fine (@DoubleFine)

Players: This is a single-player game

Grim Fandango Remastered is a point and click adventure. Set in the Mexican Land of the Dead, you are Manny Calavera, a travel agent for the recently deceased. After struggling to earn enough commission you steal a virtuous client from a colleague and...

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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