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Walk in Someone Else's Shoes

While many games include characters to interact with, some are specifically designed to make relationships a central element. Whether this is during the rounds of a puzzle game amidst a zombie outbreak or as we race cars around a circuit, they can offer a unique way to think deeply about how we relate to each other and to the games people play.

In contrast to films or books, characters and relationships in video games need to be discovered by the player. Some of my favourite relational moments in games happen amidst other action. Often these other actions – whether shooting, puzzle-solving, or fetching and carrying – serve to underline the difficult, awkward and snatched nature of interpersonal interactions.

This list includes 187 games from the last 27 years, with 3,126 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to walk in someone else's shoes.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 3,126
 

 

The Gardens Between

Release Date: 20/09/2018

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

The Gardens Between is a puzzle game set in dreamlike island gardens where you play as best friends Arina and Frendt. You work around the island levels collecting balls of light in your lantern, manipulating time to solve puzzles and removing obstacles....

Horizon Forbidden West

Release Date: 18/02/2022

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Horizon Forbidden West is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure where you explore an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life. The story of Aloy continues as she sets out to investigate a plague terminating from an arcane frontier...

Bury Me My Love

Release Date: 26/10/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Don’t be put off by the name and theme of this intriguing game. Bury Me My Love is an adventure played by choosing responses in what looks like a messaging app. You take the role of the husband of a Syrian migrant travelling to Europe. As the game...

Planet of Lana

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Planet of Lana is an adventure where you play a young girl Lana and her loyal animal friend Mui, on a rescue mission. Set on a planet under siege from cold machines and unfamiliar creatures. Rather than the war, though, this is a game about the vibrant...

A Plague Tale: Innocence

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

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

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

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....

Road 96

Release Date: 16/08/2021

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

Road 96 is a narrative adventure where you play a teenager trying to escape an oppressive, authoritarian country by reaching the border. Through a series of vignettes, you experience the most important and poignant parts on an epic road trip through a...

The Last Of Us Part II

Release Date: 19/06/2020

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie is out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby is a...

Pokémon (Series)

Release Date: 27/02/1996, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Game Boy and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Pokémon Sword and Shield are role-playing games where you explore a fictional world and collect different creatures called Pokémon. You progress through the game by exploring the world, talking to characters and winning turn-based battles with the...

Lake

Release Date: 01/09/2021

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

Lake is a narrative adventure where you play Meredith Weiss on a career break in 1986 while she returns to her hometown and ends up delivering the mail. As you talk to locals, meet up with old school friends and even fan a few romantic flames from your...

Rainbow Billy

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from a colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and...

Before Your Eyes

Release Date: 08/04/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Before Your Eyes is a narrative game about an 11-year-old boy revisiting his life before "crossing over" to the other side. You play by exploring scenes that represent snapshots of his life. Unusually, you make choices and interact with the game by...

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Release Date: 12/11/2020, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an action-adventure game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Miles Morales. It is similar to the first Marvel's Spider-Man game in mechanics although Miles Morales extends this...

Unpacking

Release Date: 02/11/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Unpacking is a meditative puzzle game where you unpack belongings into a series of 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 where...

Carrion

Release Date: 23/07/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Carrion is a horror game where you play the amorphous alien as well as human protagonists. This reverse-horror scenario puts you in control of an organic tentacled monster to make your way through the facility, stalking and killing humans in your path.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Series)

Release Date: 18/05/2010, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Red Dead Redemption is a series of open world adventures with a wild west theme. The rich world offers many things to do along with a main story line. It's this living breathing world that attracts players, both in its diversity and beauty.

Old Man's Journey

Release Date: 17/05/2017

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Old Man’s Journey is a game about memory and old age. You help a grandfather-figure traverse the countryside by raising and lowering the landscape. Along the way he visits places that evoke the story of his life: a wife, a child and a love of the sea.

Oxenfree

Release Date: 14/01/2016, updated in 2016

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Oxenfree is an adventure game where a teenagers’ beach party spirals into a supernatural story. You guide the outcome with your choices as the well-written dialogue reveals characters coming to terms with family breakdown, death of a sibling, blame...

Untitled Goose Game

Release Date: 03/10/2019

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

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Untitled Goose game is a silly and funny game but with a dastardly vibe. You play a mean goose who is intent on ruining the day of the inhabitants of a sleepy English village. By stealing items, squawking and otherwise making a nuisance of yourself you...

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

This is a dark fantasy adventure, drawing on Norse and Celtic mythology, where you play a young female Pict warrior, Senua. You explore and fight your way to Helheim to rescue the soul of her dead lover. As you play, though, you hear multiple voices in...

The Last Of Us

Release Date: 14/06/2013

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

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...

Grand Theft Auto V (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, DS, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Grand Theft Auto is a series of action-adventure game where you travel around one large location taking part in different criminal activities: pulling off heists, with lots of shooting and stealing and driving a variety of cars and other vehicles.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Release Date: 10/11/2020

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

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the twelfth game in the Assassins Creed Series, an open world action-adventure that takes place over several main story quests as well as many optional side missions.

Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond

Release Date: 20/11/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond is a pirate adventure where you run, jump and explore the world of the film. You play as either Pinky or Veronica, and join the legendary pirate Captain Sabertooth’s crew on the hunt for a mysterious magic...

Open Roads

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Open Roads is an adventure game about a girl who finds out that her grandma has a different past than she thought. The girl and her mother go on a journey to look deeper into her grandma's life by revisiting abandoned family properties and looking...

Last Minute Love

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

Platforms: Mac, PC and Web

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

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...

Lost Ember

Release Date: 19/07/2019, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Lost Ember is an animal exploration adventure game. While forward progress is relatively linear, it involves beguiling flying, swimming, digging and running to explore the mysterious world through the eyes of different animals.

Lifeline (Series)

Release Date: 16/04/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Lifeline is a narrative adventure where you interact with an astronaut, Taylor via text messages. You help him return home after crashing his aircraft on a foreign planet.

God of War

Release Date: 20/04/2018

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

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...

Little Misfortune

Release Date: 18/11/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Little Misfortune is a dark adventure where you play a small girl called, Misfortune, who, guided by a voice in her head, seeks the prize of eternal happiness for her mother. It's played side-on and unfolds a narrative about the girl's family as you...

Road to Guangdong

Release Date: 06/06/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Road to Guangdong is a road trip adventure game about family and travel. You drive across 1990’s Guangdong, fix your car and explore the places you pass. You play as Sunny, just after a family tragedy, travelling with Guu Ma, her aunt. They have the...

Shady Part of Me

Release Date: 10/12/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Shady Part of Me is a narrative platform game where you play as a young girl and her shadow. You help her overcome emotional struggles through solving 2D and 3D puzzles. The game world is based within the young girl's dreams. The young girl is afraid of...

Tomb Raider (Series)

Release Date: 09/11/2015, updated in 2019

Platforms: GameCube, Mac, PC, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Tomb Raider is a longstanding series that has been rebooted in recent years. This means it not only gets a fresh coat of paint like a re-release but is built from the ground up. All the games feature Lara Croft as the titular hero. She shoots, runs,...

Alan Wake

Release Date: 14/05/2010

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Bright Falls is the sleepy Midwest setting for this Twilight Zone-style horror game. The action focuses on surviving attacks from possessed ‘Taken’ locals. You use flashlights to burn away the possession before dispatching them with firearms. It’s...

Virginia

Release Date: 22/11/2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Virginia is a mystery adventure game where you play a graduate FBI agent Anne Tarver as she investigates her first case: the disappearance of a boy in rural Virginia. You explore the world and find clues to solve the crime, all the time aware that other...

Assassin's Creed Revelations

Release Date: 15/11/2011, updated in 2012

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Assassin's Creed: Revelations is the fourth adventure game in the Assassin's Creed series. It follows on from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.

Bully

Release Date: 17/10/2006, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Bully (Canis Canem Edit in Europe) is a role play adventure from the people who make Grand Theft Auto. You play juvenile delinquent student Jimmy Hopkins who aims to rise through the ranks of the school system in order to put a stop to bullying.

Last Stop

Release Date: 22/07/2021

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

Last Stop is an adventure set in London. You play three interconnected characters, making choices that shape their conversations, and determine where their stories lead.

If Found

Release Date: 19/05/2020

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

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.

Never Alone

Release Date: 18/12/2014

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Never Alone is a running, jumping and exploring game based on the traditional Iñupiaq tale, "Kunuuksaayuka". You swap between controlling an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion as you complete puzzles and move the story forwards.

Mutazione

Release Date: 23/09/2019

Platforms: Mac, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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...

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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