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79 Great Games Like Carrion

Our experts have spent time searching for great games similar to Carrion and have found the following:

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.

Unfortunately, Carrion is not available on Android, PS4, PS5 or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme, and at a lower age rating:

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 23/07/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Players: 1

Genres: Action, Fighting, Platform, Puzzle, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Kroskiewicz (@Kroskiewicz)

Costs: Purchase cost

63 Hand Picked Video Games Like Carrion

These are our hand-picked Video Game games similar to Carrion. This doesn't use automatic matching, instead, we hand-pick games that are good to play if you have enjoyed Carrion, or as younger rated alternatives for players not ready for PEGI 16 or ESRB MATURE 17+ games. These selections also include Video Game games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

Metroid Dread

Release Date: 08/10/2021

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Metroid Dread, the latest Metroid game, is a running, jumping, exploring and fighting game where you progress through levels, fight challenging bosses and uncover secrets. It returns the franchise to the 2D side-scrolling style of...

Alien: Isolation

Release Date: 06/10/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Alien: Isolation is an adventure horror game set in space, remastered in 2019 from the 2014 game due to its popularity. You play Amanda who is trying to find out the truth behind her mother's disappearance. You explore Sevastopol, a decommissioned...

Five Nights at Freddy's (Series)

Release Date: 23/07/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Five Nights at Freddy's (FNaF) is a series of puzzle horror games with jump scares rather than blood and gore. You play the night-guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and have to survive the night while in your office, checking the cameras and closing the...

Returnal

Release Date: 30/04/2021

Platforms: PS5

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Returnal is a sci-fi shooting game played in repeating rounds that slowly change the world and your character. You are a pilot stranded on a mysterious planet and must investigate and fight through the world to both survive and solve the repeating...

Among Us

Release Date: 16/11/2018, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Among Us is a strategy game where crew-mates prepare their space ship for launch by completing tasks. However, one of the players is an impostor intent on sabotaging the ship and killing the crew. As the game progresses in real time the impostor...

Sneaky Sasquatch

Release Date: 30/07/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Sneaky Sasquatch is an adventure game where you sneak around in campsites and try to find food from coolers and picnic baskets without getting caught. There's a large variety of things to do. For example you can race, play golf, ski, find buried...

Granny

Release Date: 24/11/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Granny is a horror adventure game where you are locked in a house by a creepy grandma. You wake up in a dark room and have to carefully work your way through the house to escape without being caught. It's noted for the tense gameplay and jump scares.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

Release Date: 16/12/2021, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is a survival-horror game where you explore a vast pizzeria and shopping centre while hunted by a murderer. In addition to continuing the intricate and multi-layered story of the previous games, this is the first...

Phasmophobia

Release Date: 18/09/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Phasmophobia (Phasmophobia VR) is a horror survival game where you and your team investigate paranormal activity. It focuses on creating a realistic world built to get your heart racing, through the interactive ghost hunting equipment and teamwork.

The Gecko Gods

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

The Gecko Gods is a puzzle game where you control a small lizard reptile exploring a world and solving puzzles. You interact with the flora and fauna, catch insects and visit other animals. Because you have sticky feet you can climb any surface.

Little Nightmares II (Series)

Release Date: 10/02/2021

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

Little Nightmares II is a running and jumping game wrapped in a horror theme. You play a little boy named Mono who explores a dark and disturbing world. On your journey, you meet a little girl called Six and together you try to survive and uncover the...

Journey to the Savage Planet

Release Date: 28/10/2020

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Journey to the Savage Planet is an adventure-shooting game played from a first-person perspective. You explore a planet to catalogue various alien flora and fauna and collect the resources you need to craft items and upgrades like jetpacks and grappling...

Untitled Goose Game

Release Date: 03/10/2019

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

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

This is another 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 slowly...

Papers, Please

Release Date: 08/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita and iOS

You play the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. You review each immigrant’s and returning citizens’ passports and paperwork according to an increasing list of changing...

Far: Changing Tides

Release Date: 01/03/2022

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

Far: Changing Tides is an exploration adventure that follows Far: Lone Sail. You work to keep your dilapidated craft from breaking as you explore the ruins of a flooded world.

Beholder (Series)

Release Date: 09/11/2016

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

Beholder is a detective game where you spy on tenants in a building, discover their secrets and report violations of laws to the authorities. As the game unfolds and you see more of the controlling totalitarian state, an uneasy tension develops between...

Far: Lone Sails

Release Date: 02/04/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Far: Lone Sails is an exploration adventure video game. You pilot a ramshackle amphibious vehicle propelled by large sails to explore a post-apocalypse world.

Until Dawn (Series)

Release Date: 25/08/2015

Platforms: PS4

Until Dawn is a narrative horror game about eight friends staying in a mountainside lodge. As they settle in they are attacked by a foreboding figure that seems to have been following them. You choose how characters interact, where they go and how they...

Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed (Series)

Release Date: 24/06/2005, updated in 2020

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

Destroy All Humans! is an adventure game series that parodies Cold War-era alien invasion films. With open-world like a bit like Grand Theft Auto, you play the alien Crypto, tasked to gather DNA from humans and explore the open-world levels to do this....

Evergate

Release Date: 01/09/2020, updated in 2020

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

Evergate is a running and jumping game where you can slow down time to make difficult jumps through hand-drawn environments. It combines the need for timing and puzzle solving in a game that slowly tells the story of the characters you meet.

Aurascope

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Aurascope is a retro running and jumping game that combines elements from other genres. The platform action is central but you also have a lot of collecting and exploration to do. As much as the gameplay, the game stands out for its fast skill-based...

Beard Blade

Release Date: 20/07/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Beard Blade is a running and jumping game where you use your beard to climb, swing, glide and defeat enemies. It sounds like a silly concept, but along with the day-night cycle that completely changes levels, introduces fresh mechanics into this...

MO: Astray

Release Date: 25/10/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

MO:Astray is a puzzle, jumping and exploration game. Rather than control a character who runs, you control an amorphous blob. To get around you have to use the game's unique movement mechanics to take advantage of the cleverly designed levels.

Unto The End

Release Date: 09/12/2020

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

Unto The End is a cinematic combat-adventure where the fighting is modelled in a read-and-react style. It requires time to master the unusual system but offers many ways to take on foes. Tactics and intelligent decisions are as important for survival as...

XCOM (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/1994, updated in 2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

X-Com (which became XCOM) is a science fiction strategic battle game where you control units to stop an alien invasion. The long running series has come in many forms, but always has in common the finely tuned turn-based ground combat where you control...

Replaced

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Replaced is a platform game set in a grim dystopian alternate 1980s America. You play as an Artificial Intelligence trapped inside a human wanting to escape.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite

Release Date: 24/08/2021

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

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a cooperative shooting game set 23 years after the original films. Unlike the stealthy Alien: Isolation, Fireteam Elite draws on Aliens: Colonial Marines' breathless shooting and racing pulse.

Rog & Roll

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Rog and Roll is a running and jumping game where you fight enemies and avoid traps. Unusually, you play a former henchman on a quest to save his friends from re-emerging tyranny. It features retro-inspired graphics and a humorous story where characters...

Buddy Simulator 1984

Release Date: 18/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Buddy Simulator 1984 is an adventure horror game. What starts as a retro-themed set of mini-games soon evolves into a tale of anxiety, friendship and depression as your buddy makes new games for you to play each with creepy anomalies and glitches. It's...

Colt Canyon

Release Date: 16/06/2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Colt Canyon is a pixel-styled shooting game where you play a cowboy, whose mission is to save his kidnapped partner from the bandits and get back home. Players shoot their way through a hostile canyon using their guns and TNT. Hidden treasures and...

Cyber Shadow

Release Date: 26/01/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Cyber Shadow is a retro running and jumping game where you defeat enemies and dodge obstacles. It combines classic 90's platforming games with modern controls and checkpoints that make it more enjoyable and approachable. Dodge and attack midair to...

Gibbon: Beyond The Trees

Release Date: 25/02/2022

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Gibbon: Beyond The Trees is a swinging, sliding and somersaulting adventure that tells an ecological story about freedom and survival. You explore hand-painted jungle in a parkour style and slowly uncover the story of a lost gibbon searching for home...

Oddworld Soulstorm (Series)

Release Date: 19/09/1997, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, PS5, PSP, Switch, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Oddworld: Soul Storm is a running and jumping game where you guide members of your species through labyrinthine levels to free them from brutal oppression. It's a remake of 1998's Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus and a sequel to Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty. Its...

Tails of Iron

Release Date: 17/09/2021

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

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...

Trek To Yomi

Release Date: 09/05/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Trek To Yomi is samurai action fighting game set in a mythical reimagining of the Edo period of Japan. You follow a young warrior on a journey to confront the people responsible for the destruction of his village. It's a short kaleidoscope of a game,...

Ctrl Alt Ego

Release Date: 22/07/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Ctrl Alt Ego is a puzzle game where you a disembodied character taking control of robots and electronics to move around, interact and solve the puzzles. Using a combination of stealth and problem solving to progress the story and get to the bottom of...

Death Trash

Release Date: 05/08/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Death Trash is a role-play game set in a post-apocalyptic, horror open world. Humans travelled to the stars, but unearthed machines and killer worms so had to flee into enclosed habitats. You play an outcast in the wasteland with a dangerous burden to...

Fossil Echo

Release Date: 08/07/2016

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Fossil Echo is a short running and jumping game about a young boy's mistake and subsequent climb of a giant tower in the middle of the sea. The story is told in short animations and with challenging platform-style gameplay to create a moving and...

Goop Loop

Release Date: 21/07/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Goop Loop is a traversal game where you control a sticky lump of goo stuck inside a concrete loop. You can use the momentum of your goo and the world's gravity to get the loop to roll through the level. In this way you face all sorts of physics...

Spaceland

Release Date: 30/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Spaceland is a quick turn-based strategy game where you command sci-fi troopers to shoot, kick, blow up and destroy the enemy. It's a little like a game of chess as you equip and plan your missions, before carefully moving and attacking on your turn.

Airhead

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Airhead is an exploration adventure in a sprawling interconnected world. The twist is that you play as a small Body who must keep the Head (it finds) inflated. Sometimes together, sometimes apart, you must use a growing array of abilities to find a way...

Demon Spore

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Demon Spore is a shooting game set in a lab with an escaped alien creature that grows organically as you play. You take on the role of a failed lab experiment that gives birth to a rapidly growing viral horror.

Fallen Leaf

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Fallen Leaf is a running, jumping and shooting game where you play a treasure hunter on the trail of a repressive, merciless ruler. It looks like an old school game with pixel visuals, but the game play is right up to date. You use magical gauntlets and...

Jettomero: Hero of the Universe

Release Date: 15/02/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Jettomero is an alien invasion adventure game played in reverse. You are a giant, indestructible (and very clumsy) robot who wants to save rather than destroy the human race. This unusual set-up is underlined by its Pop Art visuals and how it commits to...

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine

Release Date: 24/04/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox 360

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine is a heist simulation game. You control a crew of robbers who escape from jail and take on a series of increasingly complex robberies. The novelty is the simple top-down view of proceedings that allow for complex strategies...

Robotry

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Robotry is an unusual platform game where you don't have a jump button. Instead you use two analog sticks to control each leg of your robot and in this way you take on a range of puzzles and challenges.

Tallowmere (Series)

Release Date: 03/03/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Wii U and iOS

Tallowmere is a series of running, jumping and fighting games. You aim to get a high score as you journey through a vast, randomly generated 2D retro-style dungeon, dodging traps and killing enemies in gory and unusual ways. Its unique combination of...

The Last Case of Benedict Fox

Release Date: Coming soon

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

The Last Case of Benedict Fox is a running, jumping and fighting game where a demon invites you to explore the minds of the recently deceased. You work through an old mansion to uncover the mystery of a double murder and missing child. It's an elegant...

UnMetal

Release Date: 28/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

UnMetal is an adventure shooting game where you play Jesse Fox, who has been unjustifiably imprisoned in a military prison. Set in the early 70's and Drawing on 80's TV shows like The A-Team and games like Metal Gear, you escape using what you can find...

Dead Space: Extraction

Release Date: 24/09/2009, updated in 2011

Platforms: PS3 and Wii

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Dead Space: Extraction is a shooting game where you only control the aiming, like a light gun game. It's a spin-off prequel from the main Dead Space series and follows survivors of a mining colony as it is overrun by deadly monsters.

Itorah

Release Date: 21/03/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Itorah is a running, jumping and fighting game similar to Dead Cells, where you explore a vibrant, handcrafted world, solve a mystery and defeat enemies. The game stands out with an artistic style inspired by Mesoamerican...

Sometimes You Die

Release Date: 17/03/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Sometimes You Die is an unusual sliding and jumping game. As you play there is a written narrative on the walls of each level that discusses game design, player motivation and the metaphysics of life. More unusual though, is that to progress you have to...

Battle Princess Madelyn

Release Date: 05/12/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Battle Princess Madelyn is a running and jumping game where you defeat hordes of enemies like the classic arcade game Ghosts 'n' Goblins. It's similarly fast-paced and difficult, here though you have to pick your way through labyrinthine levels, and use...

Choo-Choo Charles

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Choo-Choo Charles is a survival shooting game that imagines Thomas the Tank Engine in a horror setting. You explore an island in an old upgradable train and hunt down Charles the evil spider train.

Dead Island 2 (Series)

Release Date: 06/09/2011, updated in 2023

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Dead Island 2 is the latest shooting and exploration game in the Dead Island series, where you use a variety of weapons to kill zombies, survive and find comrades. As you explore a deserted California, you meet other survivors who can join your group....

Dead Space (Series)

Release Date: 13/10/2008, updated in 2023

Platforms: Android, PC, PS3, PS5, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Dead Space is a remake of an adventure horror game where you must survive on an abandoned spaceship filled with mutated humans. You explore and solve puzzles, all while shooting enemies and carefully managing your health and limited resources. Like the...

Death's Gambit

Release Date: 14/08/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Death's Gambit is a running, jumping and fighting game where you defeat enemies, collect weapons and progress through levels. Drawing on the platforming of games like the Castlevania and Metroid games, it adds difficult and...

Islets

Release Date: 24/08/2022

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Islets is a running and jumping game about a small mouse exploring a sky kingdom to reunite a fragmented world. You play be defeating enemies in each area to gain powers that let you delve further into the world. It's like other Metroid-style games with...

Lulu's Temple

Release Date: 14/04/2022

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Lulu’s Temple is a retro-inspired fast and furious action-adventure about an archeologist venturing deep into a pyramid filled with horrific creatures with only his torch and gun to protect him.

Nuclear Blaze

Release Date: 18/10/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Nuclear Blaze is a running, jumping and fire extinguishing game from the same developer as Dead Cells. You put out fires and dodge explosions, debris and fiery chasms. Along with its uniquely intricate levels, there are...

Rain World: Downpour

Release Date: 28/03/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Rain World, and the expansion Downpour, are traversal and survival games where you play a half cat, half slug in a living breathing world. You must venture out and brave the other predatory creatures to find food before the rain comes and you have to...

Ravenous Devils

Release Date: 29/04/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Ravenous Devils is a strategy game where you manage a tailor shop with a dark and sadistic secret, they kill clients and serve the bodies in their pub. Drawing on Sweeney Todd themes, you play Percival and Hildred who manage the stomach turning shop....

Salt and Sacrifice (Series)

Release Date: 10/05/2022

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Salt and Sacrifice (and its prequel Salt and Sanctuary) is an fighting adventure game that's intentionally difficult and dark. You play by exploring the side-on world, fighting enemies with swords and other weapons. It's a strange combination of cartoon...

16 Video Games Like Carrion Based on Genre

These are games of a similar genre mix to Carrion. This includes games from the Puzzle, Simulation, Fighting, Action, Platform and Stealth genres. We pick out games of a similar PEGI rating to further hone these generated suggestions.
 

16 Video Games With More Documented Accessibility Features than Carrion

If you like the sound of Carrion but it doesn’t offer the accessibility you require, the games in this section offer a similar experience but with more Accessibility Features. You can view a full breakdown in our Carrion Accessibility Report.
 

Carrion 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 Carrion in the following lists:

Reimagined Retro Classics

Growing up playing video games creates a strong sentimental connection to the sounds, sights and feeling those experiences gave you. Returning to these games in adulthood is a un diversion, but often the experience doesn't live up to the memory.

The games in this list have been recreated (sometimes officially and sometimes unofficially) by developers who love and respect the original while also wanting to update it for modern technology and players.
 

Transgress Intended Play

Video games are a great way for children to play. However, they are also contested spaces often created with profit as well as play in mind. How do we empower children to play, break the rules and self-determination in light of other pressures and owners of these digital spaces?

We worked with Sara Grimes on this list of games that offer new and emergent ways to provide play possibilities to children. Her book, Digital Playgrounds explores the key developments, trends, debates, and controversies that have shaped children’s commercial digital play spaces over the past two decades.

The politics of children’s play aren’t something we often talk about. This is more than decrying big business muscling in on childhood. It’s about understanding digital play in a holistic sense so it can be all it needs to be in the life of a child. Sara describes this as an embrace of the complexity of children’s online playgrounds, virtual worlds, and connected games.

It comes down to something at the heart of our database: seeing games more than mere sources of fun and diversion. “Games serve as the sites of complex negotiations of power between children, parents, developers, politicians, and other actors with a stake in determining what, how, and where children’s play unfolds.”

We’re excited about games in this list as they are not only digital spaces where these things meet, but that children use them in ways they weren’t intended. These games can be places where children push back at the powers-that-be and take ownership of these digital public spheres in unexpected ways.
  • Metaverse rule making and breaking in games like Roblox and Fortnite, where the context offers more than competition. Children often invent their own rules and ways to play not instigated by the developer.
  • Citizenship their own way in games like Alba, Cozy Grove or Unpacking where children have agency to influence and contribute (or not) to public spaces. Then there's games like and Please Touch The Artwork and Sloppy Forgeries that invite usually discouraged behaviour.
  • Undirected play can lead to unintended scenarios in games like Pok Pok Playroom, Kids, A Short Hike or Townscaper where play isn’t directed or capitalised upon, but left alone to be an end in its own right.
  • Purposeless Exploration in games like , Proteus and Ynglet can be used as a way to waste time, not progress and refuse direction.
  • Misbehave in games like Untitled Goose Game, Donut County, Carrion, Fable, Scribblenauts and Beholder is expected. But how children stretch and reinvent (or refuse to partake in) this usually frowned on behaviour opens unexpected possibilities.

The Let's Game It Out YouTube channel is a great example of games you can play in ways (very) unexpected by the developers. These aren't all child friendly, but are fascinating examples of play transgressing intended rules.
 

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.
 

Be The Villain

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.
 

Awkward Controls For Good Reason

Usually when you press a direction in a game, your character moves their limbs (and other parts) to go in that direction automatically. There are some games where you control your character's body directly with the controller sticks and buttons.

At first these games seem uncontrollable. But give them some time (and shouting and swearing and throwing the controller) and these controls can actually be more effective than the more helpful schemes.

Rocket League is super challenging when you start, but once it clicks there's no going back to arcade-style driving controls. Similarly, games like LocoRoco or Just Pogo seem overly limiting at first. But keep trying and you discover that there's much more control than first appeared.
 

Happy Brain With Endorphin Games

You can aid the happiness of your brain by taking on activities that generate key experiences and chemicals:
  • Dopamine for motivation, learning and pleasure.
  • Oxytocin for trust and building relationships.
  • Serotonin for significance and importance.
  • Endorphins for euphoria and elation.

Without endorphins we can struggle to cope with pain and stress. We also need endorphins when we want to push ourselves beyond our discomfort in chosen activities. They are also needed to help with sleep, particularly when there is anxiety or worries on our minds.

Along with getting outside for exercise, eating well and nurturing conversations, video games can also help. Games that help create endorphins are those that let us experience excess emotions. Video games that make us laugh or cry do this. Also, games that let us feel the exhilaration of creating something beautiful or being part of that creative process help generate endorphins. Horror games can do this for some, offering the stress of fear and jump-scares before the euphoria of escape and mastery of both the situation and our fears. Extreme racing games can also generate endorphins as you narrowly escape a catastrophic crash, or if you take on a super long challenge like Le Mans 24 Hours.
 

BAFTA Nominated Games

The British Academy Games Awards are presented annually to recognise, honour and reward outstanding creative achievement in Games. The awards categories reflect the wealth and diversity of the games sector.

The awards started in 2004 and are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). For parents, they are a great way of discovering brilliant games to play in their family. The games included here are from these categories:
  • The Family Games Award highlights games that will work really well for parents and children. These often include multiplayer features and feature a cast of family-friendly characters.
  • The Games Beyond Entertainment award is also of interest as this highlights more unusual games with an emphasis on storytelling that addresses topics that parents may find appealing themselves.

 
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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