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41 Great Games Like Gris

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

Gris is a platform game where you guide a young girl through a crumbling world. Through beautiful metaphoric landscapes and soaring music, the game touches on emotions of loss and longing but doesn’t resolve to a firm narrative. Although not hugely varied, its commitment to its aesthetic and painterly development of visuals creates an evocative and meditative game that encapsulates both sadness and hope.

Unfortunately, Gris is not available on PS5, Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme:

Gris
PEGI Rating 7 for Gris

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 06/10/2019

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Nomada Studiobcn (@NomadaStudiobcn)

Players: This is a single player game

Costs: Purchase cost

41 Hand Picked Games Like Gris

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

Florence

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/02/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: Mountains Games (@MountainsGames)

Players: This is a single player game

This is a little puzzle game that tells the story of a relationship, following the usual stages of loneliness, meeting, dating, falling for and moving in with another person. At first, the puzzle interactions seem trivial and the game doesn’t change...

Journey

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 7 features

Developer: That Game Company (@ThatGameCompany)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 2 players online

This is an adventure in a desert. Exploring the eerie sand-scape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other players, one...

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: 21 features

Developer: Zoink Games (@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...

Mirror's Edge (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/11/2014, updated in 2016

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Platform

Developer: EA DICE (@EA_DICE)

Players: This is a single player game

Mirror's Edge and the follow up, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst are free-running games where you traverse a futuristic city using aspects of urban exploration and parkour movements to complete missions and evade or fight enemies. The focus is on this...

The Last Guardian

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 28/10/2016

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform and Simulation

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

The Last Guardian is a running, jumping and exploring adventure about a boy who befriends a giant half-bird, half-mammal creature, Trico. You work together to navigate the world, solve puzzles and reach new heights. Unusually, you have to build trust...

Alto's Odyssey (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Release Date: 19/02/2015, updated in 2018

Price: Free

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

Genres: Action, Platform and Racing

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Built By Snowman (@BuiltBySnowman)

Players: This is a single player game

Descend beautiful mountains, dunes and canyons on a snowboarding journey full of serenity and secrets. All you have to worry about is tapping to jump to avoid chasms, rockfall and other hazards. It’s simple and moreish due to the stunning landscapes...

Planet of Lana

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Wishfully Games (@Wishfully_Games)

Players: This is a single player game

Planet of Lana is an adventure where you play a young girl Lana and her loyal animal friend Mui, on a rescue mission. Set on a planet under siege from cold machines and unfamiliar creatures. Rather than the war, though, this is a game about the vibrant...

Hoa

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 24/08/2021

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

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Hoa The Game (@HoaTheGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Hoa is an adventure game where you walk and jump through a hand-painted world as the mysterious main character. You solve environmental puzzles and meet magical creatures while trying to find your way back home. It's unusual because of its handcrafted...

Super Mario Galaxy (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 12/11/2007

Platforms: Wii

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Simulation

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

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

Mario Galaxy is a different style of running, jumping and exploration game. It takes the Mario character to hundreds of different planet shaped levels adding more realistic physics to the platforming play. Each world, or collection of worlds is...

Savior

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Action, Adventure and Platform

Developer: Starsoft PDX (@StarsoftPDX)

Players: This is a single player game

Savior is an action adventure game with hand-animated pixelated graphics. You play as Sam, a mysterious woman with hidden powers and innate acrobatic skills who has lost her memory and all possessions. Use diplomacy, parkour, and intricate combat to...

Spiritfarer

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/08/2020

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

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

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Thunder Lotus (@ThunderLotus)

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

Spiritfarer is a boat building exploration game. Unusually though, you play Stella, ferry master to the deceased and the boat you manage takes them to the next life.

Shady Part of Me

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 10/12/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Shady Part Of Me (@ShadyPartOfMe)

Players: This is a single player game

Shady Part of Me is a narrative platform game where you play as a young girl and her shadow. You help her overcome emotional struggles through solving 2D and 3D puzzles. The game world is based within the young girl's dreams. The young girl is afraid of...

Shadow Of The Colossus

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/10/2005

Platforms: PS2, PS3 and PS4

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

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

You play a young man who enters a forbidden land to defeat sixteen massive beings to restore the life of a girl he cares about. It sounds like any other video game, although in fact, Shadow of the Colossus stands apart in many ways.

Forgotton Anne

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 15/05/2018

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: Through Line Game (@ThroughLineGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Forgotton Anne (Forgotten Anne) is a hand-animated adventure that combines cartoon (Ghibli-inspired) storytelling with running and jumping puzzles. You play as Anne, the enforcer who keeps order in the Forgotten Lands, as she sets out to squash a...

Limbo

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 05/06/2013, updated in 2015

Platforms: Android, PS Vita, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Playdead (@Playdead)

Players: This is a single player game

Control a small boy as he runs, jumps and climbs through a dark, silhouetted forest that clanks and hums with foreboding. As the age-rating suggests, he is killed in all manner of gruesome ways. But this is not without reason. Rather than violent...

When The Past Was Around

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 22/09/2020

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

Genres: Adventure, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 9 features

Developer: Mojiken Studio (@MojikenStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

When The Past Was Around is a short adventure puzzle game, where you point and click on items to gather clues, unlock doors and unraveling the secrets of its silent narrative. Without any words it tells the tale of a young woman, Eda, and her love, the...

Monument Valley (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Release Date: 11/05/2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Ustwo Games (@UstwoGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Monument Valley and Monument Valley 2 are puzzle mazes made from optical illusions. You interact with each level to change the pathway and get your character to the exit. Its striking, calm visual theme is used to build atmosphere and slowly reveal a...

Heaven's Vault

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 16/04/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Inkle Studios (@InkleStudios)

Players: This is a single player game

In Heaven’s Vault you play an archaeologist translating an ancient alien language whose decrypting weaves through an unfolding drama. While doing real linguistic work you interact with companions and locals. Your choices can open or close vast swathes...

Inside

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 29/06/2016, updated in 2018

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: Playdead (@Playdead)

Players: This is a single player game

Inside is from the same developer as Limbo. As such, you play another boy in a dark dream-light and horrific world. Here though, it's more modern-day and realistic.

Ink
PEGI Rating 3 for Ink

Ink

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/08/2015

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

Genres: Creative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Spaceboy Games (@SpaceboyGames)

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

Ink is a running (sliding) and jumping game where you see the platforms you are jumping on by splashing them with ink. You control a little white square that, along with splashing colour everywhere, can jump on enemies and climb walls.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 01/12/2019

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

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Games Sketchbook (@GamesSketchbook)

Players: This is a single player game

Lost Words is an adventure game where you run, jump and explore inside a young girl’s diary. You control Izzy as she writes her diary by walking on words, move them around and solve different puzzles. This develops two parallel stories, one about Izzy...

The Artful Escape

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 09/09/2021

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

Genres: Platform and Rhythm

Developer: A i (@A_i)

Players: This is a single player game

The Artful Escape is a running and jumping game that combines platform action with music-playing. You play as Francis Vendetti as he traverses the universe, jamming on his guitar and harmonising with the various bizarre creatures he encounters on his...

The Unfinished Swan

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 16/10/2012

Platforms: PS Vita, PS3 and PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Giant Sparrow (@GiantSparrow)

Players: This is a single player game

The Unfinished Swan invites you to explore a world by splashing paint on it. The tactile experience leads you into a fairy tale about an unfinished painting that leads a child back to his parent.

Vane

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 15/01/2019, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC and PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Friend and Foe Dev (@FriendAndFoeDev)

Players: This is a single player game

Vane is an ethereal adventure in a ruined desert where strange golden dust transforms a free-spirited bird into a determined young child. The premise is not all that uncommon, but Vane stands out for how you soar over the dessert and climb your way...

Far: Changing Tides

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Far The Game (@FarTheGame)

Players: This is a single player game

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.

Cyber Shadow

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 26/01/2021

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

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Meka Skull (@MekaSkull)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Far: Lone Sails

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 02/04/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Far The Game (@FarTheGame)

Players: This is a single player game

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.

Little Bug

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 25/09/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Buddy System LA (@BuddySystemLA)

Players: This is a single player game

Little Bug is a running and jumping game where you move through a surreal, abstract world by swinging on ropes. Unlike similar games, you control both character movement and the position of a helper spirit that can shoot and levitate you. This unusual...

Little Orpheus

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 12/06/2020

Platforms: Mac and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Chinese Room (@ChineseRoom)

Players: This is a single player game

Little Orpheus is a running and jumping game set in 1962 where you play Ivan Ivanovich as he explores lost civilisations, undersea kingdoms and prehistoric jungles. The game is played in retrospect as you explain your adventures to a general suspicious...

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: PS4, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Narrative and Rhythm

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Simogo (@Simogo)

Players: This is a single player game

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a rhythm-action game where you control a running, flying, dancing or motorbike-riding character to collect coins and hearts in time with pop music. The neon visuals and emotively voiced story make this an unusual and compelling...

Ynglet

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 05/06/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Platform and Simulation

Developer: Nifflas (@Nifflas)

Players: This is a single player game

Ynglet is an exploration game where you jump between bubbles that float in the sky making sounds as you interact with the doodled environment. Part platform game, part dynamic soundtrack, it's a game designed to let you flow through the world to...

Fossil Echo

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/07/2016

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Awaceb (@Awaceb)

Players: This is a single player game

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...

Oddworld Soulstorm (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10-13 year-olds

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Oddworld Inc (@OddworldInc)

Players: This is a single player game

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 Exodus and a sequel to Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty. Its...

She Remembered Caterpillars

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 17/01/2017

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Puzzle

Accessibility: 15 features

Developer: The Jump Suits (@TheJumpSuits)

Players: This is a single player game

She Remembered Caterpillars is a colour-matching puzzle game with an unusual look and emotional story to tell. Through the unsettling fungi-punk aesthetic you work out how to get your characters to the endpoint of each stage. As you do you eavesdrop on...

The Snowgardens (Dreams)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/07/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Half Up (@HalfUp_)

Players: This is a single player game

The Snowgardens is a running, jumping and exploration game where you are a child stranded on a beautiful archipelago. Once the home to an ancient time-altering civilisation but now abandoned, leaving strange technology for you to operate to progress.

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 08/10/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Playtonic Games (@PlaytonicGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a side-on running and jumping game starring the characters from the 3D platform game Yooka-Laylee. You control Yooka, a male chameleon, and Laylee, a female bat and take on a level...

Canabalt

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 31/08/2009

Platforms: Android, PC, PSP and iOS

Genres: Action and Platform

Accessibility: 11 features

Developer: Semisecret (@Semisecret)

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

Canabalt is a side-on running game where you press jump at the right time to keep a small character from falling off buildings or crashing into things. With minimalist visuals, you play the small suited man fleeing from an unknown threat. As the game...

Overwhelm

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 04/04/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Platform and Shooting

Developer: Randomnine (@Randomnine)

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

Overwhelm is a running jumping game set in a pixilated dark bloody world. The twist, apart from the mild-horror theme, is that it's your enemies that power up rather than you. You explore the oppressive caverns of the hive, guided only by a sparse map.

PixelJunk Eden

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 31/07/2008, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS3 and Switch

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Pixel Junk News (@PixelJunkNews)

Players: You can play with 3 players in the same room

PixelJunk Eden is an organic puzzle game. You swing from abstract plant shapes to explore a styalised garden, attacking pollen carriers to gather particles that bring seeds to life. It's a game where you grow a field of plants, each one granting new...

Planet of the Eyes

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 24/08/2015

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Cococucumber Co (@CococucumberCo)

Players: This is a single player game

Planet of the Eyes is an atmospheric running and jumping game where you play a robot stranded on a mysterious planet. You progress by well timed jumps and puzzle solving to traverse a fantastical planet with a dark secret.

Sometimes You Die

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: This is a single player game

Sometimes You Die is an unusual sliding the 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...

12 Games With More Documented Accessibility Features than Gris

If you like the sound of Gris 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 Gris Accessibility Report.
 

Gris 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 Gris in the following lists:

Educational Games That Are Also Good Games

These games have an educational element to them, but also offer experiences that are good games in their own right. This isn't busywork to trick you into learning, but clever and innovative ways to encounter history, physics, engineering, maths, geography and language subjects without feeling like you are in school. They also teach softer, deeper skills like long term strategy, planning, balancing systems, emotional intelligence, compassion, team-work and self-care.

Some of these games are aimed at younger players to play on their own, but others (as indicated by their PEGI ratings) are better for teenagers or played together in a family. Find some games that pique your interest, read through the details and decide how your child might benefit from playing them.
 
Qomp
Eco
PEGI Rating 7 for Eco
Gris
PEGI Rating 7 for Gris

Games for Change Awards

Games for Change is a charity that aims to empower game creators and social innovators to drive real-world change using games and immersive media. These might be games that inspire youth to explore civic issues, learn science skills or look after mental health.

Each year Change Awards celebrates games for social impact and learning through their awards. All awards are competitive, and submissions are reviewed through a rigorous evaluation process by expert jurors. Games that win demonstrate creativity and embrace experimentation to break conventions of form or concept in a manner that may pave new ways for the sector.

This includes:
  • Best Gameplay: Recognizes games that demonstrate highly compelling, polished and engaging gameplay and which incorporate gameplay mechanics that align with and reinforce the intended impact goals of the project.
  • Best Learning: Recognizes games that offer meaningful engagement around intended learning objectives, and successfully balance the ‘learning’ with fun, engaging gameplay.
  • Significant Impact: Recognizes games that target specific social issues with proven outcomes/actions.

 

The Game Awards

The Game Awards highlight the best video games each year. It's an award produced and hosted by Geoff Keighley. Games are selected by video game news organizations who then vote on the games to choose the winners in each of the categories.
 
Gris
PEGI Rating 7 for Gris

Get Children Painting

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 or Chicory, 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 or Dordogne, 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.
 

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
Sable
Pyre
PEGI Rating 7 for Pyre
Myst
PEGI Rating 7 for Myst
Gris
PEGI Rating 7 for Gris

Wake Up Your Emotions

Video games are known for high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled entertainment, but there are many that address the player’s emotions as much as their dexterity. Often overlooked by younger or more competitive players, these experiences can provide a helpful variety in the diet of games your family enjoys.
The games selected below create emotionally rich spaces in which to explore scenarios with feelings rather than facts. In some games this is achieved with beautiful or soothing interactive visuals; others create charged relationships and settings that invite players to take a role in processing these emotions.
 

Space For Loneliness

In a culture that often assumes that the route to happiness is with another person, it can benefit us to acknowledge that being alone is not always a bad thing. We teamed up with Courtney Garcia’s Screen Therapy channel to curate a list of games that give us a chance to experience being alone in different ways.

Garcia’s Screen Therapy project employs Positive Media Psychology research to highlight and interpret meaningful experiences with games and movies. “With mindfulness, there are even more benefits to gain from intentional consumption of media,” she says, “games can be tools we use to recover or grow, psychologically, and our time with them isn't wasted if they provide us insights or rest we need.”

This list was inspired by the experience of playing the unusually solitary (and long) game The Longing and the Twitter thread that followed. In it, you spend 400 elapsed days waiting for the King to wake up and living at a slow pace. The other games offer their own lens on loneliness and solitary seasons of life. These games offer us insight into the benefits of appreciating time alone, such as opportunities for self-reflection, self-discovery, and the chance to curate enriching experiences or environments for ourselves.

Some of the games, like Never Alone, Journey and The Long Dark place you in a harsh environment that emphasises your diminutive size when faced with the expanse of nature. Other games in the list, like Thomas Was Alone and Bird Alone offer you the chance to reflect on friendship and the need to nurture relationships. Then there are games we included like Shadow of the Colossus that let you get lost in the vastness of its landscape. Finally, a few of the games like The First Tree and Sunlight invite you to make a connection to other players, once you have come to terms with a journey on your own.
 

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.
 
Ico
PEGI Rating 7 for Ico
Nuts
Kine
PEGI Rating 3 for Kine
Pode
PEGI Rating 3 for Pode
Roki
PEGI Rating 12 for Roki
Eco
PEGI Rating 7 for Eco
Fez
PEGI Rating 3 for Fez
Gris
PEGI Rating 7 for Gris
Portal
PEGI Rating 12 for Portal

Explore Physicality

Video games offer an opportunity to inhabit another body. Whether we step into the powerful frame of a trained marksman or brave adventurer, while we play we have a different sense of our physicality.

This is not only an enjoyable way to escape the reality of daily life but a chance to reflect on and understand ourselves, and our bodies, better. Stepping into the shoes of a vulnerable, small or endangered character can help us understand for a short while some of what it is like to be someone else.

Whether this is into the awkward teenage years of Mord and Ben in Wide Ocean Big Jacket, the grandparent-escaping Tiger and Bee in Kissy Kissy, the fractured heartbroken body in Gris or the haphazard movement of Octodad we have a chance to reassess our own physicality and how we respond to and treat other people's physicality.

More specifically, to use body therapy language, games offer us a chance to discover the inviolability of our bodies, personal autonomy, self-ownership, and self-determination. In travel, as Andrew Soloman says, we go somewhere else to see properly the place where we have come from. In video games, we step into other bodies so we can better understand our own and those of the people around us.
 
Sifu
Shu
PEGI Rating 7 for Shu
Qomp
Gris
PEGI Rating 7 for Gris

Get Into Indie's Games of the Years

Get Into Indie is a YouTube channel that aims to aid discovery of really amazing independently made video games. Their approach shuns the common promotion-led cycle of new games, and instead digs deep to fund unusual and compelling games that adults as well as youngers will enjoy playing.

Each year they have selected 10-20 games as their recommended games of the year.
 


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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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