A Dark Room is in These Lists
In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to A Dark Room in the following lists:
Video games aren't high on the list of most people's spiritual spaces. However, many games offer experiences that invite you to explore buildings, worlds, cities and the countryside full of potential for spiritual reflection.
Games offer a unique way to encounter what is beyond us: other people, the world and possibly even the divine. They include themes of hope, loss and love. They invite us to reconsider how we see the outsider and the marginalised. They offer a chance for response and emotion to grow.
The games in this list have been the subject of a series of articles I have written about video games and faith. Firstly, from 2013-2015 for ThirdWay
magazine, and more recently for Youth and Children's Work
These are two publications for Christian audiences, that have invited me to shed light on what a range of video games might mean for those communities. I aim to make connections with faith, the bible and the experience of these video games. This is one way to interpret them which of course invites further and possibly counter interpretations from other perspectives.
| Bury Me My Love
| Wilmot's Warehouse
| Uncharted 3
| Alan Wake
| This War of Mine
| A Dark Room
| Altos Adventure
| A Year Walk
| Bioshock Infinite
| The Last of Us
| Disney Infinity
| Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
| That Dragon Cancer
| Spec Ops The Line
| Papo and Yo
The progress that large video game publishers are making with low vision or sightless accessibility is impressive. High profile titles like The Last of Us Part II
and Microsoft Flight Simulator
are inspiring and exciting. However, games designed from the ground up for players with low vision or without sight offer many a more satisfying experience.
We’ve worked with Aaron Spelker on this list of games that offer a bespoke experience for low-vision or sightless players. This has expanded our database search for Play Without Sight
and added a new Play Without Sight with VoiceOver
criteria. These games offer experiences that entertain, intrigue and challenge players through spatial audio, text to speech and voice-work. We’re excited about the games here, but first, we want to share Aaron’s story.
Aaron is an author (The Bubonic Reorder
), commentator, accessible game reviewer and father. He runs the Apple iPhone iOS Voiceover Compatible Games
Facebook page where vision-impaired members discover a wide variety of games, swap tips and answer questions.
He has loved console games his entire life. But two and a half years ago, he lost his sight in an accident. “One day I was sighted; the next day I was blind,” as he puts it. He soon sat down to play The Last of Us: Part 2, in the hope of finding an entertaining accessible game but found that the “gameplay felt hollow and unsatisfying”. “The Last of Us: Part 2
has done something exceptional with its extensive accessibility efforts. In fact, I feel guilty that I failed to have a fun experience with the game,” he told us. “But I realized that I was comparing my blind gameplay with my sighted gameplay from earlier years. Playing graphics-rich games as a blind person ultimately made me feel inadequate and depressed. I was so distraught by the interaction that I packed up the controller and have not played a console system since.”
However, my desire to play games did not dissipate. I longed to get lost in a game world. With the loss of my sight, I needed that distraction from life’s daily struggles even more. I began searching the internet for accessible video games for the blind and vision impaired.
He found a deep pool of accessible games on smartphones such as the iPhone and started to work through its catalogue. “While playing these games, I became thoroughly familiar with the iPhone's VoiceOver screen reader. This accessibility tool allows a blind person to have any text on the phone screen read out loud through a series of swipes and taps.”
There were games that went beyond the commonly accessible text adventures, word puzzles and dice games. They were immersive games with 3D Worlds, like A Blind Legend
and A Detective’s Demise.
Or adventure games where the vision-impaired gamer fought enemies, like A Dark Room
. There were also action games where you drove cars (Blind Drive
), manage sports teams (Football Chairman Pro
) and fight dragons (Swordy Quest
“They allowed me to reestablish my love of video games because they are primarily focused on the gameplay rather than high-quality graphics. Therefore, vision-impaired players do not feel left out or left behind. The vision-impaired player can have the same game experience as the sighted player. For me, this was what I needed. It increased my gaming confidence and enjoyment. While I loved 40 years of sighted gaming, I have now found a rich community of non-vision games and gamers to engage with for my next 40 years.”
Video games usually let us step into the role of the hero. Sometimes our heroics result in many henchmen or even innocent bystanders getting killed. But our hearts are thought to be in the right place.
The games on this list, however, are all great examples of where you intentionally ruin other people's days. Whether that's playing the blood sucking alien in Carrion
or just stealing, breaking and hiding things in Untitled Goose Game
it's both intriguing and entertaining to not play by the usual moral rules of the game.
Then there are games where you think you are doing things for the right reason but this turns out not to be the case, like Braid
or Spec Ops The Line
. Or games where the slow drip of doubt builds until you regret your actions, like Shadow of the Colossus
Surviving in games is often a key element. Some games, however, make it the main focus. With minimal resources and little light can you make it through to the morning? Can you prepare a shelter as the daylight dwindles in time for you to cope with the lurking creatures of the dark?
Whether this is as simple as closing the door to keep the zombies out in Minecraft
or as complex as crafting food, clothing and medicine to cope with the freezing blackness of The Long Dark
, these games are exhilarating as they pose a strategic puzzle with personal consequences.
Many of these games offer an open world in which to survive, which opens up more ways of preparing for and then making it through the night time. This, of course, leads to another day where you need to spend time and resources wisely while exploring your surroundings.
For those learning to read, or learning to read English as a second language, video games offer an opportunity play and interact with the meaning of words. Many games include written dialogue or subtitles of the spoken performances, but more interesting in this context are games that use words and sentences as the form of interaction.
There are games like A Dark Room
, that offer nouns and verbs as the means of interacting with the world. There are games like Scribblenauts
, that let the player enter words to conjure items to solve problems. There are games like Nanotale
where you need to enter words to record items in your catalogue and advance the story.
Other games are also useful to those learning English as a second language as you easily can switch between different languages. Also you can play dialogue heavy games at your own pace as the action won’t advance without you.
These games are perfect if you’ve never played one before, opening the door to the gaming world for non-gaming parents and carers. They are short, straightforward and easy to understand, so you don’t need to commit hours to learn to play them, and they are played on technology you probably already have in your pocket or in your home. They address mature themes such as love, hope, power, homelessness and even traffic planning by inviting you to interact and play a part in these worlds and stories.
We've found that it's not just parents who have enjoyed the way these games let them in on the world of gaming, but grandparents, uncles and aunts. In fact it's a great list for anyone who's never played a game and wants to know what all the fuss is about.
We have partnered with the National Literacy Trust
to create this resource of video games that encourage and enable reading and writing skills.
The National Literacy Trust is a charity dedicated to improving the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of children and young people who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life.
Video games have significant benefits for children who are reluctant or struggling readers. They give them access to stories through interaction and world building which they may not have been able to read in print. Video games also have benefits for families where parents may not be confident readers, meaning that sharing stories as a family is still accessible to all. The rise of video games on smartphones and tablets, as well as more affordable game consoles has made the sharing of interactive stories easier.
There are different ways that video games create this kind of collateral reading and aid literacy:
Reading In Games: Video games offer all sorts of reading at all levels. This can be from simple narrative in a game like Florence to dialogue in a game like Mutazione or even just identifying useful items and game mechanics with in-game descriptions in a game like Zelda Breath of the Wild. Then there are games like Thousand Threads that help players think about the power and the consequence of words.
Reading Around Games: Video games create worlds that often spawn secondary texts. This can be official novels that expand the world or guide books that offer instructions and help. Knights and Bikes, for example, has spin off books, a cartoon series and recipes to read.
Routes Into Books: Many popular book series, such as Beast Quest, offer a range of video games as an easy first step into those worlds that lead to then reading the books themselves.
Communication Around Games: As well as reading, games encourage all sorts of creative output. This can be to contribute to the many online forums and message boards to talk about the game. This can also be to write fan-fiction after being inspired about a game world or character. The Sims, for example, has an avid community writing and creating all kinds of content online.