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25 Great Games Like Cloud Gardens

Our experts have spent time searching for great games similar to Cloud Gardens. We also offer games selected by matching genre and age rating.
 

Cloud Gardens is a puzzle game where you grow vegetation over a dilapidated post-apocalyptic world. It's a low-pressure puzzle, from the team behind Kingdom. It has the same pixel-art style, but here you are left to take your time to grow each scene with a combination of plants and the detritus of civilisation.

Unfortunately, Cloud Gardens is not available on Android, PS4, PS5, Switch or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme:

DetailsGame Details

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 09/09/2020

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

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @Noio_Games

Players: This is a single player game

Costs: Purchase cost

Hand Picked Games Like Cloud Gardens

These are our hand-picked games similar to Cloud Gardens. We don't use automatic matching, instead, we identify games that are good to play if you have enjoyed Cloud Gardens. These selections also include games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

Townscaper

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/06/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: @OskSta

Players: This is a single player game

Townscaper is a town building toy. You pick colours from the range available and click to put down a house in the sea. As you continue to add houses of different colours the game automatically orientates the architecture for you.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 10/06/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 45 features

Developer: @TheBanov

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

Chicory: A Colourful Tale is an adventure where you play an everyday dog thrust into the role of wielding a magic brush. The world starts black and white and you paint to solve puzzles, help your animal friends and restore colour. It looks like a...

LocoRoco

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/06/2006

Platforms: PS Vita, PS4 and PSP

Genres: Platform

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: @SonyJapanStudio

Players: This is a single player game

This creates a world of plants and creatures to investigate. The novelty, besides the character’s singing and cute aesthetic, is that you control the game with just two buttons, tilting and bumping your characters through each level.

Breath of Light

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 25/03/2015

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @BreathGame

Players: This is a single player game

Breath of Light is a meditative puzzle game where you guide the breath of light through sand and water. With no score or time-limits and with all levels unlocked from the start, the focus is on relaxation and breathing rather than the challenge and its...

Grow Up (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 26/08/2016

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Platform and Simulation

Developer: @UbiReflections

Players: This is a single player game

Grow Up is a running and jumping adventure. It is the sequel to 2015's Grow Home and extends the real physics exploration that lets you push, pull, climb and direct how plants grow in the world.

Viva Pinata

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 09/09/2006

Platforms: DS, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @RareLtd

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

This game is a fantasy garden-simulation game where your tending and care encourages one of 60 different piñata animals to make it their home. You use gardening tools to plough, sow seeds, create ponds and sculpt the land. Do this well and more animals...

Terra Nil

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Open World, Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 6 features

Developer: @Free_Lives

Players: This is a single player game

Terra Nil is a strategy game where you are using clean technology to bring back life to a barren world. It's a city building game where you aren't building a city at all, but a clean thriving ecology. It raises interesting themes of how humanity plays...

Mutazione

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 23/09/2019

Platforms: Mac, PS4 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...

Eco
PEGI Rating 7+ for Eco

Eco

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 06/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @StrangeLoopGame

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 100 players online

Eco extends the resource-collecting and building of Minecraft by introducing environmental implications to your actions. Using resources like trees will erode the soil; mining might pollute the river; and each animal depends on another.

The Gardens Between

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 20/09/2018

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

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: @TheVoxelAgents

Players: This is a single player game

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....

Evergarden

Content 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.

Tree

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 13/08/2018

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative

Accessibility: 12 features

Players: This is a single player game

Tree is a short 15 minute game that tells the story of a boy who plants a small tree. You control the planting, watering and how the tree grows each season. As you do this the years pass and the boy...

Fe
PEGI Rating 7+ for Fe

Fe

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 16/02/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: @ZoinkGames

Players: This is a single player game

You play a fox in a magical fairy tale forest. The world extends in front of you in stylised form, with trees, mountains and streams glistening with sparkles of life. You run, jump, climb and dip your paws in every aspect of the world. But it’s the...

Maquette

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 02/03/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @MaquetteGame

Players: This is a single player game

Maquette is a puzzle game played in a series of nested identical worlds. What you do in the larger world effects things in the smaller one, and so on. Every building, plant, and object are simultaneously tiny and staggeringly huge.

Kingdom (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7+

Skill Rating: 9-16 year-olds

Release Date: 21/10/2015

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Strategy

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: @RawFury

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

In this retro-look strategy game, you must defend your town from the nightly attack of zombies as you develop your technology and civilisation day-by-day. But unlike other tower-defence games – where you set up defences and fend off waves of attacking...

Spring Falls

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 17/11/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @SparseGameDev

Players: This is a single player game

Spring Falls is a puzzle where you erode a geometric landscape to let water flow down the mountain and help plants grow. Along with the low-pressure puzzle play, the game offers a calming experience with soft visuals, ambient music and interactive...

Growbot

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @GrowbotGame

Players: This is a single player game

Growbot is a point-and-click adventure from the developers of Machinarium. In Growbot you explore beautifully drafted locations to find objects and solve puzzles.

Lawn Mowing Simulator

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/08/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Creative, Platform and Simulation

Developer: @SkyhookGames

Players: This is a single player game

Lawn Mowing Simulator is an adventure game where you ride an authentic and expansive roster of lawnmowers. The novelty is a combination of absolute control over lawn care and weed eradication. This is extended beyond a brief distraction by the inclusion...

Prune

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 15/11/2015

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @Mcdjoel

Players: This is a single player game

Prune involves slicing, but here you must carefully cut off tree branches to encourage the tree to grow in a particular direction. It starts simply but turns into a challenge for parents and young children to work on together.

Manifold Garden

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Open World, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @WilliamChyr

Players: This is a single player game

Manifold Garden is inspired by Escher drawings and the reality-bending moments in the film Inception. You play from a first-person perspective and explore a beautiful, and what seems to be an abstract world, bereft of colour. It takes time to master and...

Rudi Rainbow

Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 4-6 year-olds

Release Date: 24/06/2017

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Developer: @_FoxAndSheep

Players: This is a single player game

Rudi Rainbow is an adventure game where you play a rainbow who has lost his colours. It's designed for really young players and offers a combination of story-book narrative and light puzzles. Along the way you learn about the weather and space.

Plasticity

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3+

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 24/05/2019

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @PlasticityGame

Players: This is a single player game

Plasticity is a running and jumping puzzle game about a world overrun with plastic waste. You collect and recycle the plastic to transform your environment back to health. It's a short game designed to raise awareness of the long-lasting damage that...

Games Like Cloud Gardens Based on Genre

These are games of a similar genre mix to Cloud Gardens. This includes games from the Puzzle, Simulation and Creative genres. We pick out games of a similar PEGI rating to further hone these generated suggestions.
 

Cloud Gardens 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 Cloud Gardens in the following lists:

Nourish Youthful Ambition In 7-12 Year-Olds

As children get older, they develop stronger ideas of what they want to play. Friends at school and YouTube stars create popular gaming fads for the latest titles. These are a lot of fun, but children’s choices can end up being narrowed down to big-budget or on-trend games. The games suggested here go beyond the usual suspects. While offering age-appropriate alternatives to older-rated games, they are still exuberant, intriguing and create raucous gaming fun that fires the imagination of children aged 7 to 12 years old.
 
Arms
PEGI Rating 12+ for Arms
Shu
PEGI Rating 7+ for Shu
Eco
PEGI Rating 7+ for Eco

Designed for Autistic Diversity

Autism affects the way people communicate and experience the world around them. It is a spectrum of developmental conditions, including Asperger’s Syndrome. Many autistic people play games to have fun, relax, connect with others and build skills. This is a list of games we have put together with some of Autistica’s Autistica Play Ambassadors, to highlight games that have been enjoyed by autistic people.

Autistica is the UK’s national autism research charity. It focuses on giving autistic people the opportunity to live long, happy, healthy lives. It does this by funding research, shaping policy and working with autistic people to understand their needs.

Cognitive Pressure: Some autistic people may take time to process information and could feel pressured by time limits. Games like A Short Hike or Roki let you progress at your own speed, without being on the clock. Other games, like Townscaper or Stardew Valley, help here by not making game tasks time-limited or requiring quick reactions. Then there are games, including Rocket League, Celeste and Eagle Island, that let you adjust the overall speed of play.

Difficulty Settings: Autistic people may prefer to tailor their experience based on how they are feeling. Some days they may want more of a challenge than others. Adjust how hard the game is. Some games like Subnautica or Bad North let you set the overall difficulty. Others, like Mario Kart or The Last of Us Part II let you adjust specific aspects of difficulty. Then there are games like Marvel’s Spider-Man or Immortals Fenyx Rising, that allow you to adjust the difficulty as you play.

Sense of Control: The real world can be an overwhelming place with constant change and unpredictable situations. Games like Viva Pinata, Civilization or The Sims let you play in a world where you control the variables. Other games, like Mini Metro, Traffix or Mini Motorways offer a chance to work with systems and see how changes impact outcomes. Then there are games that magnify this, like Factorio or Planet Coaster, by letting you create interconnect systems and tweak for the desired result.

As Autistica helpfully highlights, every autistic person is different. While many autistic people are able to learn, live and work independently, some have learning differences or co-occurring health conditions that require specialist support. Finding a game that can be a positive experience can therefore take some time and investigation.
 

Nurture Child-Like Imagination in 3-6 Year-Olds

These games are for children under seven years old, who will, with some help, discover activities they want to try that will expand their imaginations while establishing the role of your guidance and engagement as part of the gaming world as they grow up. The more open imagination of young children lends itself to games that offer an open world. Rather than forcing the player in a particular direction open world games let players explore wherever they want. The games here offer unusual and age-appropriate experiences that are often educational but keep the emphasis on the sheer joy of interactive play rather than hard learning.
 
Ink
PEGI Rating 3+ for Ink
Kids

Digital Toy Boxes

Video games and toys are two seperate things in a child's life. Online and in stores they are sold separately. At home, however, children will move from toys to video games without such strong distinctions. This list draws together all the games that cross over with toys in this way.

Very young players are often drawn to games with toy-like play. Whether Toca Boca or Sago Mini offer video game interactions but without missions, tasks or scores. They are games that create space, characters, locations and items for children to make up their own fun.

Then there are games that import physical toys into the play-process of the game. Sometimes this is to have a figure unlock items and save progress like in Skylanders or sometimes this is to create new ways to interact like Tori, Hotwheels id or game/Anki.
 
Eloh
PEGI Rating 3+ for Eloh
Shu
PEGI Rating 7+ for Shu
PixArk
PEGI Rating 12+ for PixArk
Ink
PEGI Rating 3+ for Ink
Fuel
PEGI Rating 7+ for Fuel

Create An Attraction

Many games let you create your own items, object or levels. But some are specifically designed for you to do this in order to attract characters and visitors to your creation in the game.

Whether it's the perfect garden in Viva Pinata, the ideal visitor island in Animal Crossing or the most thrilling ride in Planet Coaster, these games are fun because they combine creativity and management.

Then there are games where your attractions are more understated. The ideal home and live to keep your Sims happy. Or maybe create something that doesn't impact the environment negatively like in Eco.

Whatever you create, as well as attract characters in the game, the creations you make are ideal to share with other people (parents and carers maybe) to show them what you've been doing.
 

Get Children Gardening

Video games are, of course, inside experiences. However, they offer experiences that can connect players to a love of gardening and the outside. The games in this list have garden of an aspect of their story, game play and interactions.

In some of the games, you use gardening and farming as a central elements, while other games offer gardening as something optional. Either way, these interactions introduce players to concepts of the seasons, crop rotation, soil, fertiliser and the impact on the environment.

If you want to have more time to talk about gardening with a child, or want to introduce them to the idea that they could create their own garden (or crop) then these games are a great way to extend those ideas into reality.
 

Develop Critical Thinking

Being able to discern between reliable sources and unreliable sources of information is an important skill for children to develop. This starts with questions of trust and authority but then leads to decisions about how we use and share information ourselves.

We've worked with Childnet International on this list of games that help children and young people experiment with what they should trust and the potential unintended consequences. Childnet International is an online safety charity working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people. They believe that the internet is a wonderfully positive tool for children and young people. Childnet are also part of the UK Safer Internet Centre and organise Safer Internet Day in the UK every February.

Some of the games, like Thousand Threads, either put them in a world where what people say and believe impacts the other characters. Other games, like Headliner, put the player in charge of information so they can see the consequences first hand of its misuse. There are even games, like Papers Please, that enable the player to police who is and isn't allowed access to information or even access to the country.

As Childnet write, "Critical Thinking is an important skill that we need in order to navigate the internet safely and find the latest news headlines or facts and information. With the amount of content that is online sometimes it’s quite easy to be reading something that is inaccurate without realising."

These games each provide different ways for players to develop critical thinking. They provide a space where trust and authority can be experienced first hand, and where the negative and positive consequences of how we handle these topics play out.
 

Ease Loneliness With Intergenerational Games

There are many reasons, stages of life and circumstances that can leave us feeling isolated and lonely. Being unable to be in the same place as loved ones. Not understanding the modern world. Barriers of mobility or impairments. Social anxiety and other mental health issues.

Video games are one way that we can reconnect with each other, without needing to be in the same place. Finding games to play online with grandparents and carers is not only a good way to keep in touch but a lot of fun.

Image 171 The games on this page are part of the PLAY&TALK Weekend, which has launched in time for National Loneliness Awareness Week, aims to reduce feelings of isolation by getting people to talk with friends or family safely online. Backed by over 30 companies in the games industry, the Play&Talk weekend hopes to initiate 10,000 extra conversations across the UK through the power of games.

All the games have been select to be easy to play for new gamers and many of them have been used in a broad range of cultural settings, being incorporated into Cathedral services, arts festivals, well-being retreats and educational contexts.
 

Be A Good Neighbour

In this list, provided by the LTN (Love Thy Nerd) editors, we bring together video games that have the potential to offer more than entertainment. It starts with 12 with a challenge us to be a good neighbour, and follows with others added over time. LTN exists to be the love of Jesus to nerds and nerd culture, you can read more about them on their website.

"What if video games have more to offer than just an exciting diversion into a digital battlefield, fantasy war, or alien invasion? While these types of games are certainly the loudest and most financially successful, there are a growing number of games asking important questions about life, the human condition, and even God."

"Our list is not 'Christian' games, but rather a list of games that pose important spiritual questions to those who play them. These are games that provide us with the opportunity to consider what a truly 'spiritual' life looks like by encouraging us to have empathy for the suffering, love for our neighbours and our enemies, and an imagination vivid enough to contemplate a better world."

Journey's understated yet deep mythology, lack of guidance and mysterious ways it brings players together will have players thinking about the course of their own lives. Dropsy is, on the surface, a silly point-and-click adventure game about a creepy but misunderstood clown, dig deeper and you’ll see this a game that challenges players to love everyone, even their enemies. Kentucky Route Zero is at its core, about rediscovery, of adventure-game mechanics and modernist aesthetics, of a more spiritual outlook on the physical world.

Gris is a platformer about the stages of grief that highlights the indelible impact of our most sacred relationships. That Dragon, Cancer is a game where Ryan and Amy Green share their grief and their hope by drawing us not only into their lives but into the common grace of the Christian faith. Myst, one of the best selling titles of all time, is a puzzle game about the beauty and mystery of creation. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a game about the spiritual impact our most precious relationships have on us. Wandersong is a game about transforming the world with music. Heroism isn’t measured in bulk or recognition but in the melodic tones of compassion and kindness. The Last Guardian confronts us with our own self-centredness and challenges us to give rather than merely take.

Pyre is a game about mercy that deconstructs player’s perceptions of winning and losing, encouraging them to see and meet the needs of those who are oppressed. My Child Lebensborn is a game that challenges players to care for a child born into a fascist regime--this is a game about the power of empathy. Celeste strikes at the centre of what it means to be a person in all of our messy humanity a wonderful reminder that even when we fall, we are lifted up again through redemptive love, forgiveness, and grace—both for ourselves and for one another.
 
Ico
PEGI Rating 7+ for Ico
Shu
PEGI Rating 7+ for Shu
Pode
PEGI Rating 3+ for Pode
Haven
PEGI Rating 12+ for Haven
Pyre
PEGI Rating 7+ for Pyre
Myst
PEGI Rating 7+ for Myst
Fe
PEGI Rating 7+ for Fe
Gris
PEGI Rating 7+ for Gris

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.
 

Hope Through Play

Games that embed a sense of hope by playing them. Sometimes a hopeful story, sometimes a hopeful interaction, and sometimes just an uplifting aesthetic to spend time in. These are games that leave you with an uplifted spirit, maybe not immediately (like Horizon Zero Dawn) but by the time you have finished them.

There is something innocent and childlike in play, and video games each have a slice of that in different ways. Sometimes simple and sometimes complex, games can help us return to the hope we had as children, or call us on to the wisdom and perspective of older years.
 

Find Calm From The Storm

These games offer ways to consciously step outside the day's stresses and pressures to create space for self-care. This may be to distract yourself with calming unpressured tasks or to visit a world that is tranquil and relaxing or maybe just spend time reflecting on your emotions in a safe space.
 
Eloh
PEGI Rating 3+ for Eloh
Hoa
Shu
PEGI Rating 7+ for Shu
Tint
Abzu
PEGI Rating 7+ for Abzu

Space For Grief

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."
 

Fidget Toys

Fidget spinners burst into the hands of children a number of years ago. While that initial trend subsided, the interest and enjoyment of tactile objects to fiddle with are very much with us.

Fidget toys are like the yo-yo or Rubik's cube but without the focus on skill. The enjoyment comes from doing something that isn't learning or achieving anything. It's no surprise that there are a number of video games that have picked up on this style of play.

Some games, like The Longing, Animal Crossing and Adopt Me, simple slow down the need to progress, so all you do is check-in, fiddle around with the game world and then leave. Then there are other games, like Townscaper and Pok Pok Playroom, that let you craft your own structures but with none of the usual video game emphasis on score and winning. Other games, like Everything and Proteus, offer a huge world to poke and prod without getting embroiled with progression.

Even games that do offer a strong sense of story and development often include post-game play or side-quest distractions that are simply there for you to spend time fiddling with rather than winning or losing. Games like A Short Hike, Alba A Wildlife Adventure or even No Man's Sky.
 

Digital Nutrition

Jocelyn Brewer coined the phrase Digital Nutrition to introduce a way of thinking about technology that went beyond screen time worries, drug analogies and detoxes. Instead, she encourages us to think about the variety, context and patterns of digital consumption.

"Digital Nutrition is a guilt-free philosophy that guides you towards healthful technology habits and improving your digital literacy and wellbeing. Rather than digital detoxing and unplugging, Digital Nutrition is about intentional and intelligent use of devices and the conscious consumption of news, media and information."

I’ve worked with her on this list of games that provide particularly underserved aspects of our digital play diet. These are the vitamins of the gaming world. Essential to a healthy diet and easy to overlook if we just follow where video game advertising leads us.

Unlike the other lists on the site, it’s an eclectic collection of games. But this is for good reason. These are the games that supplement your digital diet with variety, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are the “digital super-foods” as Jocelyn puts it.

Digital Nutrition is a brilliant antidote to the guilt, muddled advice and finger-pointing of screen time focus advice. Instead, we can consider what specific games have to offer our children and our family.

This leads to other questions about how, where and when we play. Grabbing a Pizza on the street isn’t the same as sitting down to share a slice around the meal table. Only eating Kale is as problematic disordered eating as eating too many sweets. The same is true with video games, so this list is here to offer a varied diet.
 

Get Children Into The Environment

It’s easy to assume that video games are all about building big cities or running successful economies. There are, however, many games that offer quite the reverse. These games encourage players to consider the impact of their actions on the environment, as well as their interconnectedness to the world in which they live.

The games in this list take inspiration from Alenda Chang’s Playing Nature book. They offer a chance to consider play from an ecological perspective. As she quotes, “games of environmental responsibility animate our capacity to respond, to affect and be affected, to engage with others: other species, other people, and the otherness of our own planet.”

This might be how a game like Terra Nil makes the land itself a character in the experience. Or it can be how a game like Eco establishes the connection between your actions and the other aspects of the environment. Other games, like The Wandering Village underline how our location in the world impacts on us and others. One family told us about Final Fantasy 7 Remake's commentary on corporations and ecology. Then there are games of dire warning that let us step into a future where humanity is all but disconnected from the wider environment and hangs on just by a thread.

Other games let us experience our connection to the environment by adventuring in it. From getting lost in Shadow of the Colossus to finding our way in Journey, games underline the importance of the spaces in which we play. Experiences like Cloud Gardens or Viva Pinata extend this by using play to put us in charge of tending to the natural world. Games like Eastshade or The Long Dark invite us to linger in these places and gain an understanding that is crucial to our survival.
 


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