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 Halo in the following lists:
We have partnered with the National Literacy Trust
to create this resource of video games that encourage and enable reading and writing skills.
The National Literacy Trust is a charity dedicated to improving the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of children and young people who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life.
Video games have significant benefits for children who are reluctant or struggling readers. They give them access to stories through interaction and world building which they may not have been able to read in print. Video games also have benefits for families where parents may not be confident readers, meaning that sharing stories as a family is still accessible to all. The rise of video games on smartphones and tablets, as well as more affordable game consoles has made the sharing of interactive stories easier.
There are different ways that video games create this kind of collateral reading and aid literacy:
Reading In Games: Video games offer all sorts of reading at all levels. This can be from simple narrative in a game like Florence to dialogue in a game like Mutazione or even just identifying useful items and game mechanics with in-game descriptions in a game like Zelda Breath of the Wild. Then there are games like Thousand Threads that help players think about the power and the consequence of words.
Reading Around Games: Video games create worlds that often spawn secondary texts. This can be official novels that expand the world or guide books that offer instructions and help. Knights and Bikes, for example, has spin off books, a cartoon series and recipes to read.
Routes Into Books: Many popular book series, such as Beast Quest, offer a range of video games as an easy first step into those worlds that lead to then reading the books themselves.
Communication Around Games: As well as reading, games encourage all sorts of creative output. This can be to contribute to the many online forums and message boards to talk about the game. This can also be to write fan-fiction after being inspired about a game world or character. The Sims, for example, has an avid community writing and creating all kinds of content online.
Most online games only work if the person you are wanting to play against has the same system that you have, console, PC or smartphone. There are, however, a growing library of games that offer what is often called cross-play. This lets you play with people on different systems.
These games are a good way to extend the list of friends and family that you can play with. It also makes it less critical which system you have in your home, even if your friends have a different one.
There's a gap when children are starting to outgrow PEGI 12 rated games but aren't necessarily ready for PEGI 16 rated shooting and fighting experiences. The games in this list offer some options that are genuinely exuberant and exhilarating but with lower levels of violence.
It's important to say that parents should take a close look at the rating information for these games and make their own judgement on appropriateness for their child.
These are intended as good first steps into older rating games, when you think your child is ready. We go through some really good examples of these exciting, fast-action game for a range of ages. They are mostly all PEGI 12 or under, apart from games like Halo
or Jedi Fallen Order
, which we have included as this is a lower ESRB TEEN rating in the US.
Video games are often known for their gun play. However, not all shooting games are the same. The simple aiming and firing mechanic is creatively combined with other aspects of play that greatly alters the experience.
Movement Shooters are shooting games where you have a high degree of control of how your character moves around the world. Along with the usual walking, running, crouching, there are ways to swing, jetpack, climb, wall-run and generally use parkour-style motion to get where you need to be.
This not only adds novelty to the otherwise repetitive nature of shooting games, but changes how they are played more generally. In a standard shooting game, a viable tactic is to hide somewhere and pick off enemies as they appear in the distance. Movement Shooters get around this unpopular technique (sometimes called "camping") because the ability to rapidly move through the world enables you to find and deal with hiding snipers.
The movement aspect of play also adds another significant skill to learn in these games. Techniques like Strafe-jumping, Circle Jumping and Bunny Hopping enable players to squeeze fast motion from their character. Add to this the combination of swinging, gliding and using architecture to transition smoothly from floor to sky and its clear that this can take many years to perfect.
Sometimes you just want to play the hero. These games are violent and include shooting but, as with B-movies and 1980s TV series, it’s as much about the quips, characters and fantasy settings as it is about killing. The drama may be peppered with cinematic gunfire but, like those TV series, the real draw is spending time with the heroes every week.
These games are big, brash and popular. They have big budgets which means the visual and interactive quality is particularly high. They also have strong and wide ranging player communities.
The British Academy Games Awards are presented annually to recognise, honour and reward outstanding creative achievement in Games. The awards categories reflect the wealth and diversity of the games sector.
The awards started in 2004 and are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). For parents, they are a great way of discovering brilliant games to play in their family. The games included here are from these categories:
The Family Games Award highlights games that will work really well for parents and children. These often include multiplayer features and feature a cast of family-friendly characters.
The Games Beyond Entertainment award is also of interest as this highlights more unusual games with an emphasis on storytelling that addresses topics that parents may find appealing themselves.
Edge Magazine is a prestigious and long running print magazine. Started in 1993, it became known for good writing and a high bar for game scores. It was three years before Edge gave a game a rating of ten out of ten. These perfect scores are far and few between:
Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Super Mario 64 (1996)
GoldenEye 007 (1997)
Gran Turismo (1997)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
Advance Wars (2001)
Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
Half-Life 2 (2004)
Resident Evil 4 (2005)
Halo 3 (2007)
The Orange Box (Portal) (2007)
Super Mario Galaxy (2007)
Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Super Street Fighter IV (2010)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010)
Rock Band 3 (2010)
Dark Souls (2011)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011)
The Last of Us (2013)
Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
Bayonetta 2 (2014)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
Super Mario Odyssey (2017)
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 1467 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.