Flower 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 Flower in the following lists:
Video games are not often used in mature cultural spaces. We expect to find them in bedrooms, living rooms, the chip shop and the motorway services. But we don't expect to find them in arts festivals, church services or park gatherings.
Over the years Andy Robertson (@GeekDadGamer) has worked to cross this line, brining video games to be a central part of aspects of culture usually reserved for more weighty or serious things.
This has sometimes been to great outside video game experiences, with games like That Dragon Cancer
and Jesus Run, at the Greenbelt arts festival. Other times he has set-up unusual video games like Joust Mania
, in local parks. Then he has worked with the Church of England to run acts of worship in Exeter Cathedral where a video game like Flower
are a central element.
Church services integrated with video game:
Video game at Greenbelt art festival:
Video game devotions and discussions:
Whether it’s a simple puzzle grid, a battlefield or a universe of planets to visit, all games create virtual spaces in which to play. Some of these are simply the background to a campaign - the game’s unfolding drama, missions or challenge. But others invite you to invest in the worlds they create, move in, tend to and inhabit in fantastical ways.
The games in this section invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character. Worlds that hold history and lore in their landscapes, flora, fauna and inhabitants; environments that respond to your presence and invite you to restore them to their former glory.
The dream of being able to fly seems to be a universal human desire. It's not surprising then, that many video games are popular because they grant the player the ability to soar through the air.
These games can range from novel superpowers that let you swing, boost or bounce your way into the sky like Marvel's Spider-Man
, to serious experiences that simulate the complexities of flying a jumbo jet in Microsoft Flight Simulator
. Along with games where flying is front and centre, many other games offer nuanced flight as part of their experience, like Rocket League
. There are other examples that use trajectory to get to hard platforms, like Ibb and Obb
and other games like Slime Rancher
where you can unlock a jetpack.
The games we have collected together in this list, enable you to experience flight in some way. Educationally, this isn't only a novelty to inspire other learning but offers an embodied appreciation of gravity, air currents, g-force, pitching, yawing and how materials respond at high speed.
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.
These games offer worlds you explore in unusual ways. Maybe it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other, or maybe you get a chance to climb and jump athletically. These games put you in touch what it’s like to move more easily or more difficulty than real life.
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.
Of the different senses, it's easy to overlook the importance of hearing. We encourage children to read, watch and observe. But just as important is to develop more than just cursory listening.
Despite their name, video
games use sounds just as much as visuals to create their worlds. As well as this, audio is often a crucial aspect of interactions and clues for puzzle solving.
Because of this, video games (like walking in nature) are a powerful way to learn to notice and use the sounds around us. Playing a game with headphones helps the player focus on the sound. Doing this intentionally can help younger players discover a new world of sound in the games they play.
There are games like Limbo
and Super Mario Odyssey
that use sound to set the mood and aesthetic of the play. This is more than just background music as it reacts and integrates with the sounds the player is making while they play.
Then there are games like Uncharted
and Sea of Thieves
that use audio to indicate things happening in the game. Not only what is happening, like the sound of someone boarding your ship, but where that is happening in relation to your character with spatial audio.
There are games where you create the audio with your actions. Touching petals in Flower
adds notes to the classical music. In Mini Metro
you add to the ambient sounds as you place stations and new tube lines.
Finally, there are games where sound is your main way of navigating the world. Games like The Vale
and Frequency Missing
can be played with just sound. This not only offers an accessible experience to those without sight but a chance to engage with a virtual world using just our hearing.
Video games create worlds and then invite us to play in them. These worlds are sometimes nothing like our own. Others, however, look to recreate life-like spaces, or take the real world and bend it in interesting directions.
Weather is a big part of the experience of a video game. It can create a particular mood, a sense of changing time, or can be used to change the mechanics of your interactions.
When we wrote the Taming Gaming book we packed the second half with full colour game ‘recipes’ as a resource for parents and families. They are grouped in categories depending on the style of game you are looking for, whether you want to play on your own, or with your family and friends.
The Family Gaming Database grew out of the book. At first it was just going to be a way to search the 60 or so games in the book. With 1000’s of parents soon using the database it became clear we should grow it to cover more games. So, today we have 1497 games.
Here are all the games from the book:
Games for non-gaming grown-ups
These games are perfect if you have never played one before. They open the door to the gaming world for non-gaming parents and carers.
Nurture child-like imagination
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.
Nourish Youthful Ambition
As children get older, they develop stronger ideas of what they want to play. Friends at school and YouTube stars create popular gaming fabs for the latest titles. The games suggested here go beyond the usual suspects.
Laugh at Silliness
Video games have their roots in fun and play. This makes them an excellent way to forget the worries of the day and dive into some silly fun together. The games on this list have been selected because they get players doing absurd activities and chuckling together.
Inhabit Another World
The games in this list invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character.
Compete on the Couch
Raucous, unbounded, exuberant all-age, competitive fun is something video games are known for. These games can play a bit-part in raising children to be magnanimous in victory and generous in defeat.
Work Together to Thrive
Play is more fun when it’s shared. Along with team work the games on this list use the fact that the players are all sitting next to each other. The fun is often as much about the conversations (and arguments) that happen in the room as what’s happening on the screen.
Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes
While many games include characters to interact with, some are specifically designed to make relationships a central element. These games offer a unique way to think deeply about how we relate to each other to the games people play.
Wake up Your Emotions
Video games are known for high-octane, adrenaline fuelled entertainment, but there are many that address the players emotions as much as their dexterity. The games in the following list create emotionally rich spaces in which to explore scenarios with feelings rather than facts.
Matinee Fisticuffs and Shoot-outs
Sometimes you just want to play the hero. These games are violent and include shooting but as with B-movies and 1980’s TV series, it’s as much about the quips, characters and fantasy settings as it is about the killing.
Face Tough Decisions
Games create virtual worlds where you can experience life from another perspective. This can be lighthearted but also presents ethical scenarios that require you to think carefully about consequences. These games each place you in a challenging situation to give you a first hand experience of what it’s like.
Solve a Mystery
Like a good crime drama or whodunnit, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. The following 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.
Video games often create spaces like beautiful paintings. Designers and artists spend years crafting worlds that invite us to interact with realistic or stylised brushstrokes. The games in this list let the play take part in that painting process.
Some of the games here, like Okami
or Concrete Genie
, use painting as a way to solve puzzles to progress through the game. Other games in the list, like Splatoon
, De Blob
, use painting as a way interact with the game world itself. Then there are games like The Unfinished Swan
, that use painting as a way of revealing what is in front of you, giving the impression of limit faculties. Finally, there are games like Ete
, that use painting in the game to express emotion.
Unlike the world of real painting, in video games anyone can create a masterpiece. The game Sloppy Forgeries
, uses this idea as its main mechanic. You are presented with a classic painting and given a limited time to race other players to recreate it. In amongst the frantic silliness is something lovely. The usual barriers to creativity fall, as we all get stuck in and have a go. Another notable game is If Found
where you are erasing your drawings and paintings in a powerful way that aligns with a narrative of rediscovered identity.
Video games create spaces for us to go and play. These spaces are sometimes an escape from the real world. Equally, games can help us revel and celebrate the real world.
Inspired by an article
written by Keith Stuart about autumnal games, this is a list of games that are played while the leaves are falling.
These games offer, rather than escapism, unique ways to appreciate the season we are living in. They are an exercise in the present moment, where we find writ large, the joys of harvesting apples, warm fires, crisp walks and the breathing in before the long dark of winter.
Children love to play exuberant and exciting video games with their friends. While these offer a wide range of benefits, it can be good to transition to something less energetic as the day draws to a close.
We have worked with Moshi Sleep
on this list of games and apps that are a great way to help children wind down as they transition to night time. It creates mindfulness experiences for children to “enjoy calmer day times and quicker bedtimes”.
These are playful ways to calm the brain, ease anxiety and generally get little heads ready to rest. Some of them are ideal to play right before sleeping and even let you turn off the screen to listen along when you are finished interacting. Others, like Frost
, offer gentle, tranquil interactions to still the mind and escape the world. Some, like Flower
or Alto’s Adventure
, create calm with simple repetition of tasks and process in a world where the sun slowly sets.
These games, together with some screen-free time in the lead up to sleep are a great way for children to develop healthy bedtime habits.
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
, 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