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32 Games Like Firewatch

Firewatch is an explorative adventure where you play a fire lookout in America’s Shoshone National Forest. It has a relational and conspiracy undertone similar to the podcast/radio drama and Netflix show Homecoming. As you talk on the radio to your controller, you learn more about your character. A relationship evolves between the two of them through just these interactions. You slowly uncover a story about loneliness, mental health and catharsis in a grand, sun-drenched landscape.
 

These games offer a similar experience or are about a theme that Firewatch addresses. Also, if you want to play a game like Firewatch but don’t have Mac, PC, PS4, Switch or Xbox One, these are a good alternative.

 

Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 20/09/2016

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World.

 

 

Sunset

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 5 hours and 7 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

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


Assemble With Care

Platforms: PC and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 1 and a half hours and 2 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

From the makers of Monument Valley, this puzzle game is a unique way to consider how physical objects become meaningful and hold our memories. You play a restorer who repairs people's favourite possessions: from family heirlooms to broken statues to...


Kind Words

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative and Narrative

Duration: Between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Kind Words is unusual because of the main interaction. You write letters to real people and receive back encouraging letters in return. Set in a cosy room with soft furnishings and relaxing music, it creates a space in which to find support and...


Among Trees

Platforms: PC

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

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Among Trees is a game you play in a forested wilderness full of creatures and fauna. It's handcrafted by a small team and creates a vibrant world to explore. This is a game you aim to win or dominate, but rather find your place in.


Mountain

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Creative and Simulation

Duration: Between 45 hours and 50 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

This is a game from the same developer as Everything that simulates a mountain. You influence how each of the rising land masses turns out by drawing different objects. The game then evolves before you, offer a gentle...


The Stanley Parable

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between half an hour and 1 and a half hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

The Stanley Parable is an interactive drama with no combat or action to speak of apart from walking around and interacting with everyday objects. You guide a silent protagonist, Stanley, while discouraging narration plays in your ear. As you discover...


Over The Alps

Platforms: PC and iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 3 hours and 4 and a half hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Over The Alps is an adventure with intrigue and espionage set in 1939 Switzerland. Designed to look like retro photographs. The story unfolds as you select stamps to indicate how your character should approach interactions. Discover a secret history in...


Before I Forget

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Duration: Between 50 minutes and 75 minutes to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Before I Forget is an exploration adventure, where you play Sunita, a woman alone in a house with early-onset dementia. As you wander from room to room, you discover mysterious objects, each holding a fleeting, fragmented memory. Examine faded...


Lake

Platforms: PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

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...


Adventures With Anxiety

Platforms: Web Browser

Genres: Narrative

Duration: Around half an hour to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Free.

Adventures With Anxiety is a mini-adventure where you play, as a red dog who is the inner protective voice of a young person. Your role is to guard them against danger, although as you do you cause them anxiety in different ways.


South of the Circle

Platforms: iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Duration: Between 3 hours and 4 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Free.

South of the Circle is a narrative adventure game about, Peter, a Cambridge academic who finds himself fighting for survival in Antarctica during the 1960’s Cold War. You must cross desolate terrain to reach British, Norwegian and Soviet Antarctic...


That Dragon, Cancer

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Duration: Between 105 minutes and 3 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

A game about a family with a young son who has terminal brain cancer. It sounds off-putting and morbid but this living biography invites you to join the family and find hope, faith and love in the face of an insurmountable challenge. It’s a unique...


My Brother Rabbit

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

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 2 hours and 3 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

My Brother Rabbit is a hand-drawn hidden-object puzzle game about an ill sister. As her plight is told through water-colour animation, you play her brother's rabbit and unfold a parallel story in a fantasy world.


Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Free.

Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage is a role-playing game with puzzles and tasks that help 7-12 year olds deal with anxiety about different situations. You create a character in the game, explore dungeons and find treasure. Along the way characters offer...


Luna The Shadow Dust

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Luna The Shadow Dust is an adventure game where you play two companions drawn together in a hand-animated world. Each part of the game is beautifully realised and presents a puzzle to solve.


The Last Day of June

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 3 hours and 4 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Last Day of June is a game about a couple called Carl and June, who suffer a tragedy when a car accident takes June's life and leaves Carl in a wheelchair. You control Carl, remembering life with June and discover that you can interact with her...


Night in the Woods

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 9 hours and 16 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Night in the Woods follows college dropout Mae Borowski returning home to the crumbling former mining town of Possum Springs. But the place is different now her friends have grown and changed. There’s something suspicious happening in the nearby...


Dear Esther

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Duration: Between 1 and a half hours and 3 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

In Dear Esther you explore an uninhabited Hebridean island while an old man reads a series of letters to his eponymous deceased wife. Themes of love, loss, guilt and redemption intertwine with the bleak geography and orchestral music. As you explore the...


Kentucky Route Zero (Series)

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

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Duration: Between 6 hours and 10 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist adventure game in five acts. This means that you explore a deep and rich world backed by haunting electronic music and hymns to unfold a story of unpayable debts, abandoned futures, and the human drive to find...


Wide Ocean Big Jacket

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Open World

Duration: Between 1 hour and 2 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

This is a game about camping. Or rather, it's a game about the conversations you have while you are camping. You follow 13-year-old teenage friends Mord and Ben who recently started dating. The camping trip is with Mord’s Uncle Brad and Aunt Cloanne.


Milkmaid of the Milky Way

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

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Duration: Between 2 hours and 4 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Milkmaid of the Milky Way is a puzzle game where you play a milkmaid Ruth in a remote farm, who is kidnapped by a spaceship. It sounds strange, but what unfolds is a story about boredom, parental expectation and the desire for change.


Far From Noise

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Duration: Between 1 and a half hours and 2 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Far From Noise is a narrative game where you play a car balancing on the edge of a cliff. You meet multiple animals that act as spiritual guides and discuss what it means to balance between life and death. When talking, you get the choice of two phrases...


Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Platforms: Mac, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Duration: Between 5 hours and 7 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture lands you in a fictional deserted English village in 1984. As you walk the streets of another era you discover bright human forms who re-enact events like a radio play. Through their eyes, you see a web of fear,...


Telling Lies

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

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 4 hours and 6 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Telling Lies is from the same developer as Her Story. It's named as an investigative thriller game with non-linear storytelling by the developer.


Gone Home

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

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 3 hours and 5 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Gone Home places you in the role of Katie, returning from overseas to her family home. But the house is deserted and by exploring the rooms you piece together what happened to her sister, Sam. It’s a mystery to solve, but a common one of family...


What Remains of Edith Finch

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 2 hours and 4 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Edith Finch is the surviving member of the Finch family, who seem to have died from a curse. In first-person perspective, you return to the family’s coastal home to learn about each relative’s final hours by exploring their rooms in turn.


Tacoma

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 3 hours and 5 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Tacoma is set aboard a space station in the year 2088. As you explore you can discover how the station’s crew lived and worked, using an AR device that lets you review past actions and conversations, you discover clues that unravel a plot of trust,...


The Red Lantern

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One

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

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

The Red Lantern is a personal adventure about making something of your life. You and a team of sled dogs head into the wilderness and must navigate the ever-changing events of the Alaskan bush to find your way home.


Cloudpunk

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

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Duration: Between 11 hours and 14 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Cloudpunk is a cyberpunk adventure where you play Rania, a delivery driver for the illegal company Cloudpunk. You navigate the city in a flying car to get to your destination in time. Sometimes you are transporting people and sometimes it's a package....


Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Platforms: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Narrative

Duration: Between 8 hours and 14 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

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...


Lair Of The Clockwork God

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Duration: Between 9 hours and 10 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Lair Of The Clockwork God is an adventure played with two characters from different game genres. Ben is a die-hard, old-school LucasArts Adventure fan, one foot stuck in the 90s. Dan is younger, running and jumping platform character, he's hip, he's...


Twelve Minutes

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

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Duration: Between 7 hours and 9 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Twelve Minutes is an adventure thriller game about a single apartment building. You view things from above and can interact with a simple click and drag interface. What starts as a romantic evening with your wife turns into a nightmare when a police...


 
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Firewatch 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 Firewatch in the following lists:

Your First Video Game

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.
 

Solve a Mystery

Like a good crime drama or whodunnit novel, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. However, rather than just watching these mysteries while someone else does the heavy lifting, these video games place you firmly in the role of the detective. Gathering statements, sifting evidence and making intelligent leaps of deduction requires care and attention. These investigations makes these games slower than others, but it’s worth the effort each time you find the correct conclusion and move the story on.

These games present you with a mysterious scenario to be solved. Whether with direct puzzles, locations to investigate or crime scenarios to deduce, they offer a unique, first-hand sleuthing challenge.
 

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 the:
  • 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.

 

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.
 

Commit No Violence

While a significant portion of video games focus on combat and competition, these titles offer a less aggressive way to progress and win. None of these games enable or require the player to cause harm to another living thing -- even Mario's merciless campaign to stomp on every Goomba he meets bars him from this list. Or then there's catching and selling fish in Animal Crossing that rule that one out.

Many of them are aimed at children and families, but you'll be surprised how many explore deeper, more mature themes in their narratives, or require just as much skill as a fast-paced first-person shooter. This means there's plenty of offer for parents who might lack the reflexes (or interest) to survive a round of Fortnite.

We've focused on the games you might not expect to be played non-violently here, but you can find the full list at Non-Violent Games Of the Day curated by James Batchelor.
 

Interpret Deeper Meaning

Image 159The 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 (YCW) magazine.

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.

YCW articles:
Firewatch | Everything | Bury Me My Love | Abzu | Wilmot's Warehouse

Thirdway Articles:
Proteus | Joust | Uncharted 3 | Alan Wake | This War of Mine | Journey | Limbo | Spaceteam | 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
 

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."
 
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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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