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Worried about your children's video games? Get the book that inspired the database. This guide will grant you the confidence to understand and anchor video games as a healthy part of family life. Discover practical advice and insights from the latest research and guidance from psychologists, industry experts, educational bodies and children's charities.
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11 Great Games Like Ico

These are hand-picked games similar to Ico. Our experts have spent time searching for great games like Ico. We don't use automatic matching, instead, we identify games that are good to play if you have enjoyed Ico. These selections also include games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

Ico is a running, jumping and exploring game where you rescue a princess from her evil mother. You take her hand to help her escape, guiding her along the pathways and protecting her from the hordes of enemies. Together, you jump chasms and scale walls in your daring escape from the castle. Ico stands out not only for these unusual interactions but the fluid painterly visuals and emotive story.

If you enjoyed Ico, there are other games in the Team Ico series you should try. Unfortunately, Ico is not available on Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme:

Game image Ico

Ico

3

DetailsGame Details

Rating:

Release Date: 24/09/2001, updated in 2011

Platforms: PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @SonyJapanStudio

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

Costs: Purchase cost

Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond

Rating:

Release Date: 20/11/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure and Platform

Developer: @RavnStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond is a pirate adventure where you run, jump and explore the world of the film. You play as either Pinky or Veronica, and join the legendary pirate Captain Sabertooth’s crew on the hunt for a mysterious magic...

Game image Lego

Lego

40

Lego (Series)

Rating:

Release Date: 01/02/2005, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, GameCube, Mac, Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Open World

Developer: @TTGAMES

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

The combination of Lego, a popular film franchise and a video game is a rich recipe for gaming fun. The series of Lego games has developed since the first release on Nintendo DS. Not only do these games offer a chance to explore, destroy and fight in a...

Super Mario Odyssey

Rating:

Release Date: 27/10/2017

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Platform

Developer: @Nintendo

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

Mario has stared in running and jumping Super Mario games on Nintendo hardware since the Nintendo Entertainment System in the 80's. The formula remains unchanged. Explore a level, jump on enemies, collect coins and get to the flag at the end to inch...

Super Mario Galaxy (Series)

Rating:

Release Date: 12/11/2007

Platforms: Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Simulation

Developer: @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...

New Super Lucky's Tale

Rating:

Release Date: 08/11/2019, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @PlayfulStudios

Players: This is a single player game

This is a platform game where you play a fox on a quest to recover pages from a magical book that will save his world. It takes gameplay in a more action-oriented direction but the islands and characters are full of quirky character and treasures like...

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom (Series)

Rating:

Release Date: 31/10/2003, updated in 2020

Platforms: GameCube, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4, Xbox and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Platform

Developer: @Purple_Lamp

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

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom is a running and jumping game based on the Nickelodeon animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. It's an original story where you defend Bikini Bottom from an invasion of robots.

New Super Mario Bros. U

Rating:

Release Date: 18/11/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action, Creative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: You can play with 5 players in the same room

New Super Mario Bros. U is platform game where you play with 4 main players (and an optional assistant player) to traverse from one side of the level to the other. Along with the usual running, jumping, stomping and collecting you are racing other...

Crash Bandicoot (Series)

Rating:

Release Date: 09/11/1996, updated in 2020

Platforms: GameCube, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure and Platform

Developer: @ToysForBob

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is the latest game in the Crash Bandicoot series, where you play a genetically enhanced bandicoot called Crash and run, jump and bash your way through levels while avoiding hazards.

Super Mario 3D World

Rating:

Release Date: 21/11/2013, updated in 2013

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure and Platform

Developer: @Nintendo

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

Super Mario 3D World (known as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on the Switch) is a platform game you can play with up to 4-players in the same place. While all Mario games are good for families, this co-operative and competitive play makes it great...

Yoshi's Crafted World

Rating:

Release Date: 29/05/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Genres: Adventure and Platform

Developer: @Nintendo

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

Yoshi's Crafted World is a running and jumping game where you control a friendly dinosaur, Yoshi. You work through each level, eating or jumping on enemies while searching for hidden items and collectables.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Rating:

Release Date: 04/05/2018

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii U

Genres: Action and Platform

Developer: @RetroStudios

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

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a running, jumping and collecting game where you control Donkey Kong. A second player can control the Diddy Kong sidekick. The challenge is getting to the end of each level, but there are also letters and items to...

Ico 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 Ico in the following lists:

Persevere After Losing

Video games where you adventure into a harsh setting, try your hardest to survive and slowly develop your abilities but then inevitably die are often called Rogue-likes. This is because one of the first games that offered this style of play was called Rogue.

These are interesting games for families, not only because their difficult nature leads to shorter sessions, but also because they foster perseverance and coping with losing. After dying you are sent back to some sort of central village where you can choose upgrades for your next attempt. The incentive to play again once you have been killed is usually that you start with some more equipment or skills.

In this way, by belligerence and a slowly learned understanding of how the game world works and how best to survive, you incrementally get a bit further each time you play. Here are some really good roguelike games for families:
 

Attempt The Impossible

How hard a game is considered to be depends on who is playing it. A three-year-old tackling Zelda will struggle. But equally a new-to-games-parents will find Mutant Mudds quickly gets beyond them. The games in this list are known for being difficult. They wear the difficulty as a badge of honour. "None shall pass," except this with the will, time and belligerence to get good enough at this particular activity to beat the high bar the game sets.

This might be grappling with the flying mechanics in Rocket League, getting endlessly lost trying to find the next guardian in Shadow of the Collosus or coming up with the right tactic to get enough money for the ship you need in Elite. Of course, some of these games can be made easier, but to play them at their best is to ramp up the difficulty to max (crushing on The Last Of Us for example) and let them give you all they've got.
 
Game image Ico

Ico

3
Game image Horace

Horace

19
Game image Hades

Hades

13
Game image Qomp

Qomp

4
Game image Ord

Ord

3
Game image ITTA

ITTA

1
Game image QWOP

QWOP

5
Game image Rust

Rust

28
Game image DayZ

DayZ

5

Compete on the Couch

Raucous, unbounded, exuberant, all-age competitive fun is something video games are known for. Find the right games for your family and you can create important and healthy ways to let off steam, excel and persevere as you sit next to each other on the sofa. These games can play a big part in raising children to be magnanimous in victory and generous in defeat. Kids love competing online, but the games here focus on battling in the same room. Played with multiple controllers and a shared screen, they offer challenges that require real skill and give everyone a chance to rise to the top of the family pile.
 
Game image Ico

Ico

3
Game image Blur

Blur

9

Build Personal Resilience

Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.

Games, by design, present players with adversity and much of the joy of gaming comes from taking on and overcoming unnecessary obstacles. Whether you’re saving the universe from an alien invasion or tending crops in your animal community, playing games mimics the process of resilience.

Image 163 This list of games that can help foster various forms of psychological resilience is compiled with the expert help of Take This. They aim to decrease the stigma, and increase the support for, mental health in the game enthusiast community and inside the game industry. They encourage a game community that welcomes and supports people experiencing mental health challenges, and that recognizes the humanity and mental health of game creators.

The Portal series tell a narrative that you are going to fail. You’re told to give up, but if you ignore this barrage of discouragement you can use it as a way to strengthen your resolve and complete the puzzles even if you have failed twenty times in the process. The Stanley Parable is all about trying again. You can try and re-try your decision making, reaching a variety of different endings.

Dark Souls is a hallmark for a punishing challenge that require resilience. You journey through elaborate lands to adventure, explore, and take heed lest they encounter a battle with a boss or enemy. Celeste is the story of Madeline and the enemies she overcomes while climbing Celeste Mountain. The game specifically calls out that Madeline has anxiety, and the challenges she faces in the environment reflect her own internal struggles and triumphs. Cuphead challenges players to battle relentless bosses in combat-heavy play. Cartoonish and playful, it balances challenging players to grow in skill and offers plenty of entertaining environments and aesthetics to keep you playing.

In Kingdom Hearts you meet many characters that need help - and many boss battles feel almost insurmountable. With help from friends like Donald and Goofy, the player character Sora overcomes the darkness to save his friends and bring hope back to the world. Death Squared is a co-op puzzle game where one player’s mistake makes everyone else lose. You learn cooperative resilience in trying again admits humorous judgments from the unseen “hosts” of the game.

In Animal Crossing you get help from the animal neighbours. You learn to lean on this social and environmental resilience to persevere at building social connections with computer villagers and friends online. Stardew Valley’s farming is about growing and maintaining a homestead. Interweaving the busy work are relationships with the other villagers, many of whom are social models for resilience in their storylines.
 

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.
 
Game image Ico

Ico

3
Game image Hoa

Hoa

12
Game image Kine

Kine

7
Game image Pode

Pode

2
Game image Roki

Roki

61
Game image Gris

Gris

6
Game image Eco

Eco

3
Game image Portal

Portal

12

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-centeredness 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.
 
Game image Ico

Ico

3
Game image Shu

Shu

3
Game image Pode

Pode

2
Game image Haven

Haven

14
Game image Pyre

Pyre

2
Game image Myst

Myst

5
Game image Fe

Fe

3
Game image Gris

Gris

6


Image 242 Image 243 Thank you for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.

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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