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Tend and Befriend

Video games are usually thought to be about fighting, shooting and adrenaline. As regular readers will know, there are video games about everything. Recently I've been noticing games that combine the stewardship of the land and the nurturing of resources.

These games, like Animal Crossing, present an "ambience of bucolic" and a "reassuring mix of the pastoral and the industrial," wrote Simon Parkin recently. They offer an escape to simpler times, that provides meaningful work along with the possibility of also working at friendships.

The games collected in this list each offer the chance to escape and absorb yourself tending to a plot of land and nurturing often surprisingly moving relationships. Whether you are diligently cleaning someone's empty flat as in Sunset, setting up a farm after retiring from your adventures in Littlewood, reconnecting with grown-up children in The Stillness of The Wind, nurturing a musical garden in Mutazione, establishing a coffee shop in Coffee Talk or even eeking out provisions while you care for children in This War Of Mine all these games have something to tend to and people to get to know while you do it.

This list includes 50 games from the last 20 years, with 1,090 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to farm your own plot of land.

Game image

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3+ to PEGI 18+
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy
Total Likes: 1,090
 

 

Adopt Me!

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 14/07/2017

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @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...

Animal Crossing (Series)

Rating: PEGI 3+

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

Price: 26% off

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...

MeepCity

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 23/02/2016

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Creative, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @Alexnewtron

Players: You can play this with 50 players online

MeepCity is a popular Roblox Game. It's a social game where you role-play a character to interact with other people and customise their look. Like Toontown Online or the now defunct Club Penguin, MeepCity is an evolving virtual space for players to...

Pokémon Cafe Mix

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 15/12/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: This is a single player game

Pokemon Cafe Mix is a puzzle game. Similar to the icon-connection challenge of Disney Tsum Tsum, you play as Eevee and delivering orders in a cafe by linking Pokemon icons in a ring. It's a low pressure puzzle with a swirl-to-connect interaction that is...

Thousand Threads

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 30/07/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @ThreadsGame

Players: This is a single player game

Thousand Threads is an open world game of consequences. You are free to interact with the world, animals and people however you like, give, take, save, kill, inform, hide, befriend, betray. But how you do this will have ongoing and unavoidable...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Expected Rating: PEGI 3+

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...

Pikmin 3

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 26/10/2013, updated in 2020

Price: 28% off

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action, Fighting, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @MonolithSoft

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

Pikmin 3 Deluxe is the latest in a series of puzzle games where you direct hordes of titular plant-like creatures to navigate garden locations. Different colour Pikmins have different abilities so the challenge is to get enough of the right ones to...

Littlewood

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 18/06/2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @SeanYoungSG

Players: This is a single player game

Littlewood (coming to Switch soon) is a town and farming simulator a little like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing. Here though, the twist is that the game is set after a grand adventure. You...

Stardew Valley

Rating: PEGI 12+

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...

Good Pizza, Great Pizza

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 05/06/2018, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Creative and Simulation

Developer: @TapBlaze

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Ooblets

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 15/07/2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Simulation

Developer: @Glumberland

Players: This is a single player game

Ooblets is a farming and creature collecting game where you tend your animals, explore the world and bring home new wild Ooblet animals from the wild. You can then battle in turn-based dance-offs.

Island Saver

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 13/05/2020

Price: Free

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

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @NatWest_Help

Players: This is a single player game

Island Saver is action-adventure about cleaning up litter and goop to make money. It's created by Natwest with the aim of teaching children how to manage money. Unusually for a game with ideological ambitions, it's also a lot of fun.

Potion Craft

Expected Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @TinyBuild

Players: This is a single player game

Potion Craft is a puzzle adventure game where you create potions in an ancient looking workshop. More than learning recipes, your potions need to strategically combine the qualities of each ingredient to explore the potion-map and create brews to help...

Moonglow Bay

Expected Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Role-Playing and Strategy

Developer: @CoatSink

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

Moonglow Bay is a role play game where you play a rookie angler. Unlike other slice-of-life games, fishing isn't tucked away as a side quest here, it's front and centre. Set along the Canadian coastline in the 1980's, you live in a fishing town that has...

Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 23/02/2021

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Action, Fighting and Role-Playing

Developer: @HelioCStudios

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

Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is a fighting game where you battle Titans and explore the dungeons of an expansive over world. It's unusual because it combines the home making of Stardew Valley with classic Zelda style adventures and lets you play with up...

My Time at Sandrock

Expected Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 31/03/2021

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @PatheaGames

Players: This is a single player game

My Time at Sandrock is a life-simulating role-play game where you restore a run down town. It's set in the same wholesome yet post-apocalyptic world as My Time at Portia. You start by working as a builder, but soon...

Coffee Talk

Rating: PEGI 12+

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.

Smalland

Expected Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Action, Adventure and Open World

Developer: @PlaySmalland

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 8 players online

Smalland is a survival adventure where you are a tiny character in an overgrown wilderness. The world is dynamically changing, not only with the weather, seasons, day and night but also in response to what you do. It's as beautiful as it is intimidating...

Hey! Pikmin

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 28/07/2017

Platforms: Nintendo 2DS|3DS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @NintendoUK

Players: This is a single player game

Hey! Pikmin is a spinoff game from the Pikmin series. In this game Captain Olimar crash lands on a planet and needs to find fuel to escape, leading a group of Pikmin through 2D side scrolling levels collecting the Sparklium. Players enter a level and...

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 18/07/2017, updated in 2018

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @PridefulSloth

Players: This is a single player game

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is an adventure where you explore a world seeking out and collecting magical creatures, known as sprites, to banish an ominous shroud known as the Murk. As you do this, you make your way in the world, farming,...

Farm Together

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 25/02/2018, updated in 0019

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

Genres: Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @Milkstone

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 16 players online

Farm Together is a low-pressure farm simulator. You develop your farm by yourself or cooperate with your friends. Starting with an empty plot you can grow crops, plant trees, take care of the animals, add buildings and facilities, and unlock new items...

My Time At Portia

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 15/01/2019

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Strategy

Developer: @PatheaGames

Players: This is a single player game

This game is set after civilization has been destroyed, and humans are emerging from underground to rebuilding society. By gathering resources, crafting and building you slowly gain the tools to collect food, store grain, chop trees and build dwellings....

Teacup

Expected Rating: PEGI 3+

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,...

The Last Guardian

Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 28/10/2016

Price: 50% off

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...

Summer in Mara

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 15/06/2020

Price: 45% off

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

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @ChibigStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Summer in Mara is a farming game with a strong narrative about an adventurous girl called Koa. With a full day-night and season cycle, you can take the challenge on at your own pace as you build your farm and explore the world around you.

Pikmin

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 26/10/2001, updated in 2009

Platforms: GameCube and Nintendo Wii

Genres: Action, Adventure, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @NintendoUK

Players: This is a single player game

Pikmin is a real time strategy game where the main character Captain Olimar crash lands on an alien planet filled with strange small creatures called Pikmin. You are able to control and use these creatures to knock down walls, build bridges and attack...

Mutazione

Rating: PEGI 7+

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...

Bear and Breakfast

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Creative and Strategy

Developer: @ArmorGameStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Bear and Breakfast is a strategy game where you build a bed and breakfast in the woods. You play as an aspiring bear host, renovating a dilapidated area in town into one fit for tourists. However there is an underlying darkness in the woods and you are...

Cozy Grove

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 19/03/2021

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

Genres: Narrative, Open World, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @SpryFox

Players: This is a single player game

Cozy Grove is a life-simulation where you camp on a hand-drawn island. You play a scout and explore the ever changing island's forest to find secrets and help the local ghosts. Like Animal Crossing, it has a children's story-book look, but is a...

Pikmin 2

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 08/10/2004, updated in 2009

Platforms: GameCube and Nintendo Wii

Genres: Action, Adventure, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @NintendoUK

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

Pikmin 2 is the second in the Pikmin Series, Captain Olimar is joined by his assistant Louie on a mysterious planet. You are collecting treasures consisting of scrap metal, broken toys. You do this by controlling plant like creatures called Pikmin,...

Castaway Paradise

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 08/01/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Developer: @StolenCouch

Players: This is a single player game

This game places you on your own tropical island. Make the place your own with decorations and furniture, dress up, collect bugs, fish, grow crops and help your new neighbours. It's an open-world game that offers an Animal Crossing style experience on...

Autonauts

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 17/10/2019

Platforms: Mac and PC

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

Developer: @DenkiGames

Players: This is a single player game

This is an adventure game where you tame new worlds. You start with a blank slate similar to Sim City, but her you must build each dwelling, tool, vehicle yourself. It’s a task that’s too complex for any one person to handle. You are soon forced to...

Ghostopia

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: Coming soon

Price: Free

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

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Strategy

Developer: @SuperSocialPlay

Players: You can play this with 50 players online

Ghostopia is a multiplayer role play game where you own a haunted mansion. The aim is to develop, build and decorate your grand residence to attract a collection of powerful ghosts. It's a more ambitious game than others on Roblox, because the company...

Cats Are Cute

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 02/09/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @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.

Deiland Pocket Planet

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 09/08/2018

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @ChibigStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Deiland is an adventure set on a small spherical planet. You farm, craft, and build your own world. Improve your skills, craft tools, cook food, brew potions, and create tools. As you make your home, you will attract merchants to trade materials and...

The Longing

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 05/03/2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @StudioSeufz

Players: This is a single player game

The Longing is a point-and-click adventure about waiting and loneliness. It's an intentionally slow game that takes 400 elapsed days to finish. It draws on the Idle Game genre, where you use minor interactions to incrementally advance. Here though, the...

Graveyard Keeper

Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 15/08/2018

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

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @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...

Dwarf Fortress

Expected Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 08/08/2006

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Role-Playing and Strategy

Developer: @Bay12Games

Players: This is a single player game

Dwarf Fortress is a longstanding strategy game set in a fantasy world where you control a group of dwarves wanting to construct a wealthy fortress. It's unusual not only for it's text-based appearance but for it's expansive scope, and intricately...

Hokko Life

Expected Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

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

Developer: @RobboDev

Players: This is a single player game

Hokko Life is a community simulation game like Animal Crossing. You pick a town and set up your home, before spending time helping the place develop into a charming rural idyl everyone loves. Even though it's the creation of one person, it has most of...

Sunset

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 21/05/2015

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Playing

Developer: @TaleofTales

Players: This is a single player game

Sunset tasks you with cleaning a large apartment in a fictional 1970s South American city. But outside the apartment, there is unrest and rioting. The chaos of the country and the repetitive daily chores grate against one another to create a meditative...

The Stillness of the Wind

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 07/02/2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @StillnessGame

Players: This is a single player game

In The Stillness of the Wind you are an old woman who looks after a dilapidated farm. Over the course of a few hours, no matter what your efforts, the farm falls apart as you learn about the woman’s family and have the chance to ruminate on her...

Atomicrops

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 28/05/2020

Price: 50% off

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

Genres: Shooting and Strategy

Developer: @RawFury

Players: This is a single player game

Atomicrops is a farming game where you also have to defend your crops from mutant attackers. It sounds like a strange combination, but the shooting and the tending work well to counterbalance each other.

This War Of Mine

Rating: PEGI 18+

Release Date: 14/11/2014

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

Genres: Narrative, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @11BitStudios

Players: This is a single player game

Inspired by the 1992–96 Siege of Sarajevo, this is a war game where you play the civilian trying to survive during the fighting. You face tough decisions on how to spend time and resources each day to maintain health, hunger and mood levels until a...

Bird Alone

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 15/06/2020

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @GeorgeBatch

Players: This is a single player game

Bird Alone is a narrative game where you befriend a bird. Your feathered companion encourages the conversation in the direction of real life worries while you make music, draw pictures and write poetry. It’s a slow game that unfolds in real time with...

Zelter

Rating: PEGI 16+

Release Date: 22/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Open World, Role-Playing and Shooting

Players: This is a single player game

Zelter is a zombie survival game. But you aren't only defending yourself from the oncoming hordes of zombies but developing a safe haven for a new life like Stardew Valley.

Evergarden

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 31/07/2018

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Flippfly

Players: This is a single player game

Evergarden is a puzzle game where you grow gardens by combining plants into strange new forms. You use the tile-based layout to populate each area in flora in connect-four style.

Craftlands Workshoppe

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 13/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @CraftlandsGame

Players: This is a single player game

Craftlands Workshoppe is a strategy game where you build and manage a crafting empire. You start the game by opening your own workshop that can specialize in one of three trades: Blacksmithing, Alchemy, or Cooking.

Dish Life: The Game

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 24/02/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @DishLifeGame

Players: This is a single player game

Dish Life: The Game is a puzzle narrative game where you play a stem cell researcher, managing a laboratory and growing stem cells.

Nira

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 24/04/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Role-Playing, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @BaselineGames_

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

Nira is a survival game where pixilated characters explore the primitive world to find resources to survive. It's unusual not only because of its basic art-style but because its simplicity gives rise to emergent and open play. Something like a cross...

Hive Time

Expected Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 31/05/2019

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @Hive_Time

Players: This is a single player game

Hive Time is a strategy game where you build a beehive and make honey. You command your bees to harvest resources, grow your hive, and produce a new Queen before the current one dies. It's unique for its buzzy subject matter, and because it opts for...


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