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114 Great Games Like One Hour One Life

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

This is a civilisation survival game where each player lives a whole life in an hour of play and then passes away. Born as a baby into the care of anonymous other online players, you initially depend on them for food. Quickly growing, you can soon fend for yourself and start contributing to the development of farming, tools and clothing, and to nurturing other players born to you as your own children. At the end of an hour, you die of old age, so any progress benefits those who come after you.

Unfortunately, One Hour One Life is not available on PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme:

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 27/02/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @JasonRohrer

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 100 players online

Costs: Purchase cost

30 Hand Picked Games Like One Hour One Life

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

Fable (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/09/2004

Platforms: Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @WeArePlayground

Players: This is a single player game

This is an adventure role-playing game set in a fantasy world where your interactions with the world and villagers, and decisions about your use of magical power, substantially alter the story and the environment.

Don't Starve

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 23/04/2013, updated in 2014

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: @Klei

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 6 players online

This is an open-world survival game. Here it’s the environment and enemies, rather than other players, that you work with. You need to find and develop food, weapons and shelter to survive. It’s enjoyable because it’s hard, so repeat-plays to...

BedWars

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 19/01/2017

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World, Platform and Strategy

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: @BlockmanGo

Players: You can play this with 16 players online

Bed Wars is a game played on Minecraft servers. It's a game similar to the official Minecraft minigames but created by independent developers.

Animal Crossing (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/12/2001, updated in 2020

Price: 26% off

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected drama of the world and characters...

Thousand Threads

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 30/07/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @ThreadsGame

Players: This is a single player game

Thousand Threads is an open world game of consequences. You are free to interact with the world, animals and people however you like, give, take, save, kill, inform, hide, befriend, betray. But how you do this will have ongoing and unavoidable...

No Man's Sky

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12-18 year-olds

Release Date: 10/08/2016, updated in 2018

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: @HelloGames

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 32 players online

No Man's Sky is a space simulation about exploring endless planets and galaxies. It invites you to take your spaceship to explore and colonise a universe rich with diverse planets, creatures and fauna. Facing so vast a space is daunting at first, but a...

Hundred Days, Winemaking Simulator

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 13/05/2021

Platforms: Android, PC, Stadia, Switch and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: @BrokenArmsGames

Players: This is a single player game

Hundred Days is a strategy game about making wine. You control every aspect of a new Winery, choose vines, learn how to grow them and when to harvest. You make decisions about the process with a simple interface that takes you through each day. It's a...

Potion Craft

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 21/09/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @TinyBuild

Players: This is a single player game

Potion Craft is a puzzle adventure game where you create potions in an ancient looking workshop. More than learning recipes, your potions need to strategically combine the qualities of each ingredient to explore the potion-map and create brews to help...

Unturned

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 08/07/2014

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @Sdgnelson

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 100 players online

Unturned is a strategy survival game where you are in a Minecraft and Roblox-style world filled with zombies. You have to carefully explore the world, gather resources and craft weapons. You might go in guns blazing, sneak around making use of...

Trash Sailors

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 30/08/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action and Strategy

Developer: @FluckyMachine

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

Trash Sailors is a hand-drawn sailing game, where you control the group of castaways after a tsunami flooded the world. You navigate the ocean and build your raft with trash nearby which you can recycle into fuel, raft spare parts, and even weapons....

Hokko Life

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 02/06/2021

Platforms: PC

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

Developer: @RobboDev

Players: This is a single player game

Hokko Life is a community simulation game like Animal Crossing. You pick a town and set up your home, before spending time helping the place develop into a charming rural idyl everyone loves. Even though it's the creation of one person, it has most of...

Castaway Paradise

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/01/2018

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

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Developer: @StolenCouch

Players: This is a single player game

This game places you on your own tropical island. Make the place your own with decorations and furniture, dress up, collect bugs, fish, grow crops and help your new neighbours. It's an open-world game that offers an Animal Crossing style experience on...

Democratic Socialism Simulator

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 20/02/2020

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @MolleIndustria

Players: This is a single player game

Democratic Socialism Simulator is a puzzle game where you run for office and then run a country. It offers a flow of questions with a yes or no response. Each answer has consequences in the minds of the voters and the prosperity of the country. It's an...

Factorio

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 14/08/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @FactorioGame

Players: You can play this with 700 players online

Factorio is a construction strategy game where you crash-land on an alien planet and must harvest resources to create industry to build a rocket to escape (or fall in love with running your factory and stay on longer).

Graveyard Keeper

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 15/08/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Strategy

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: @LazyBearGames

Players: This is a single player game

Graveyard Keeper is a funeral-themed role-playing game where you are the caretaker of a local cemetery. You make choices about how to lay out the plot, what services to offer and generally how to make money from your unusual enterprise. The pixilated...

Eco
PEGI Rating 7 for Eco

Eco

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 06/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @StrangeLoopGame

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 100 players online

Eco extends the resource-collecting and building of Minecraft by introducing environmental implications to your actions. Using resources like trees will erode the soil; mining might pollute the river; and each animal depends on another.

Project Winter

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 23/05/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Strategy

Developer: @ProjWinter

Players: You can play this with 8 players online

Project Winter is a multiplayer survival game. Up to 8 people work to survive the winter by gathering resources, repairing structures, and braving the wilderness dangers together. However, up to two people are traitors within the group and try to dash...

Pilgrims

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 07/10/2019

Platforms: PC and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @Amanita_Design

Players: This is a single player game

Pilgrims is an adventure game where you help the characters you meet by playing cards. As you progress you assist them to complete their little stories in different ways. It's a little like Scribblenauts, but with less focus on the breadth of options...

Koala Boutique

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/09/2021

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Strategy

Accessibility: 15 features

Developer: @TechPeopleLab

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Koala Boutique is a strategy game about running a shop on the brink of bankruptcy. Unusually, it's a game designed for two players to play distinct roles. You don't have to play at the same time, but work together to progress as a team. The Adventurer...

Rim World

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 17/10/2018

Platforms: PC

Genres: Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: @LudeonStudios

Players: This is a single player game

RimWorld is a sci-fi strategy game about survival, trading, exploring and developing your colony. You start the game with three survivors of a shipwreck on a distant planet and begin to craft structures, weapons and clothes. The objective of the game is...

Book of Travels

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 30/08/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @MightAndDelight

Players: This is a single player game

Book of Travels is a role-playing game. It's an unusual online game that focuses on the small rather than the massive. You explore an open world to find others to travel with, gather resources, craft items and learn abilities. It's a game that invites...

Ashwalkers

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 15/04/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @_Nameless_XIII_

Players: This is a single player game

Ashwalkers is an adventure survival game where you play a small group facing the aftermath of an apocalyptic volcano. You journey through a wild landscape, encountering dangers and strangers. It's a challenge of survival notable for its understated...

Cinco Paus

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 25/12/2017, updated in 2021

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Turn-Based

Developer: @Smestorp

Players: This is a single player game

Cinco Paus is a puzzle game where you try and get through 5 rooms picking up treasure as you go. What makes it unusual are the magic wands that help you do this. What appears to be a maze game turns out to be a challenge to discover the effects of each...

Everdale

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 18/08/2021

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Role-Playing and Strategy

Developer: @Supercell

Players: You can play this with 10 players online

Everdale is an online strategy game where you build a village. With the help of friends you develop a society that survives on the basis of savvy cooperation. Unlike other civilisation games though, there is no fighting or combat. The focus is on...

Lair Of The Clockwork God

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 21/02/2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Point-and-Click

Accessibility: 10 features

Developer: @Danthat

Players: This is a single player game

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...

One Person Story

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7-11 year-olds

Release Date: 23/08/2018

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: @Lampogolovii

Players: This is a single player game

This is a simple puzzle game played by pressing a single button to help a bouncing ball through a maze. It's voiced with a narrative about life's difficulties and challenges. It starts simply but gets more difficult as you have to open and close doors,...

The Beginner's Guide

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 01/10/2015

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @HelloCakeBread

Players: This is a single player game

The Beginner's Guide is a narrative game where you explore a series virtual environments while the game's creator tells a story about the person who made each space. This introspection presents a raw and at times heart breaking look into the mind of the...

The Garden Path

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: @FromCarrotCake

Players: This is a single player game

The Garden Path is a slice-of-life simulation game about the small pleasures of gardening. You tend to a world and make it your own through fishing, growing, trading and making new friends. As you do an adventure emerges.

Wizard With A Gun

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Role-Playing and Shooting

Developer: @DevolverDigital

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Wizard with a Gun is a survival game where you play a wizard in a magical wilderness wrought with dangerous creatures and arcane mysteries. Either alone or with other players online you embark on a journey to collect, craft, and outfit your wizard to...

Passage

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 01/01/2007

Price: Free

Platforms: Web

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @JasonRohrer

Players: This is a single player game

Passage passage.toolness.org is a super-simple game from the same developer as One Hour One Life on the theme of a life well lived. Although just a few minutes long, it offers an unusual interactive metaphor for the...

9 Easier Games than One Hour One Life

If you like the sound of One Hour One Life but find it too complex or challenging, the games in this section offer a similar experience but with a lower Skill Rating required.
 

One Hour One Life 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 One Hour One Life in the following lists:

Designed For Reduced Motor Function

These games’ mechanics and options make it possible to adapt the experience to be accessible for people depending on your physical capabilities.
  • Remap Controls: Remapping buttons and swapping joysticks (like Fortnite) help customize the player’s way to interact with the game, also helping players that use only one hand.
  • No Holding: Some games (like Moving Out) also offer the option to avoid having to hold any buttons down for actions like aiming, opening or equipping. You can use simple taps or toggles instead to reduce muscular fatigue.
  • Sensitivity: Some of these games (like Fortnite) also enable you to adjust control sensitivity as well as controller vibration if that is present.
  • Fewer Buttons: Simpler controls (like FIFA) are good to consider, as well as those that offer extensive difficulty settings.
  • Speed: Reducing how fast a game plays (like Eagle Island) is a helpful setting.
  • Difficulty: Offering customisable difficulty, like how fast a game plays (like Eagle Island) or adding invincibility (like Celeste), and other features allow tailoring the game to the player’s needs.

This list and accessibility details in each game was compiled the help of Antonio Ignacio Martínez and Kyle “onehandmostly”. Please be aware that options may vary depending on the platform you choose to play. Also there is no game that works the same for everyone, so be mindful of your own needs when considering this information.
 

Get Children Developing Civic Identity

Success in video games is often framed at the personal level: the last person standing in Fortnite, achieving high viewership on a Twitch stream, the best player in Rocket League. However, many video games choose to focus players on a wider view, on working for the greater good of the world in which they live.

Games can develop a deep sense of civic identity. Civics is the study of the rights and obligations of citizens in society. Our civic identity comes from situating oneself within a larger group, often committing oneself to public action. Games give children a chance to try out taking public action within society for the greater good.

This list of games offers space for players to develop a sense of civic identity. We put it together with Barry Joseph, who has worked in many contexts to empower children to achieve this. Whether at Global Kids, Inc, where he helped youth to acquire leadership skills and engage in efforts to address global issues through the production of digital media, in founding Games For Change, where he worked with video games as a form of youth media, or at Girl Scouts of the U.S.A, where he piloted digital engagement for girls around the country.

There are many mainstream games, not created specifically for education, that are a great way to engage with civic identity. This includes games that invite players to take control of civic space, like Alba, One Hour, One Life, Civilization, Sim City, Thousand Threads and Pine.

Then there are games where civic space is presented as dysfunctional and in need of repair, like Papers Please, Not For Broadcast, Do Not Feed The Monkeys, Orwell. Other games let you take civic space in questionable or futile directions, like Headliner: NoviNews, Beholder, Bad News and Photographs Puzzle Stories.

Finally, there are some games specifically created to teach children about civics. The always-growing collection of games from iCivics explore U.S. Government functions, including Argument Wars, Branches of Power and Immigration Nation. There is the novel Civics! An American Musical that teaches US History through creating a Hamilton-style musical. Digital Compass teaches digital citizenship through an interactive story and MP For A Week that teaches children about being an MP in UK Parliament. Finally, the Democratic Socialism Simulator is a puzzle game where you run for office and then run a country.
 

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:
 

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 from Taming Gaming Book

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 1462 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.

 
Portal
PEGI Rating 12 for Portal

Get Children Cooking

Video games are usually thought of as competing with family mealtimes and healthy eating. However, there are many games that develop a good relationship with food and cooking. The games in this list have been selected because cooking is an element of the game play or because they are set in a context where meals and mealtime is important.

Some of the games in this list, like Zelda Breath of the Wild require players to make up different recipes for a functional advantage. Other games, like Inbento, use food as a theme for a puzzle. Then there are games like Venba that use food as a cultural and storytelling element.

The games have in common that food is important. They offer an unusual way to inspire how food is prepared, shared and enjoyed. This might be to come up with new ingredient combinations for flavour or (maybe) the chemistry of how different recipes work.
 

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

Get Children Gardening

Video games are mostly inside experiences. However, they offer experiences that can connect players to a love of gardening and the outside. The games in this list have a garden aspect to their story, game play and interactions.

In some of the games, you use gardening and farming as a central elements, while other games offer gardening as something optional. Either way, these interactions introduce players to concepts of the seasons, crop rotation, soil, fertiliser and the impact on the environment.

If you want to have more time to talk about gardening with a child, or want to introduce them to the idea that they could create their own garden (or crop) then these games are a great way to extend those ideas into reality.
 

Face Tough Decisions

Games create virtual worlds where you can experience life from other perspectives. This can be entertaining and light-hearted, but also presents ethical scenarios that require you to think carefully about consequences.

The games selected here each place you in a challenging situation to give you a first-hand experience of what it’s like. It may be nail-biting, heart-breaking or desperate, but often, through all the trials and tribulations, there is still hope. Either way, unlike reading books or watching films about these subjects, here you are emotionally implicated in the choices you are faced with.
 

Wield Absolute Control

Things don’t stay put. You’re the only one keeping the ship afloat. You can’t get people to do what you tell them. The effort you spend doesn’t produce the results it deserves. Well, in these video games you get to wield complete control over people, things, situations or even whole worlds.

If games offer an escape from chaos, these games are particularly good at granting a sense of satisfying agency and power as they do that. Whether it’s ordering the perfect stock room in Wilmot’s Warehouse, organising your island in Animal Crossing, perfectly controlling the flow of traffic in Mini Motorways or even build civilisation just the way you want it in Civilization the sense of satisfaction and calm from the achievement is second to none.
 
Pyre
PEGI Rating 7 for Pyre
Eco
PEGI Rating 7 for Eco

Come To Terms With Ageing

In a culture that holds up youth as an ideal rather than a stage of life, it can be hard to embrace our ageing lives, bodies and dreams. The games in this list offer a chance to step into the shoes of older protagonists as well as spend time with people coming to terms with the ticking clock themselves.
 

Survive The Night

Surviving in games is often a key element. Some games, however, make it the main focus. With minimal resources and little light can you make it through to the morning? Can you prepare a shelter as the daylight dwindles in time for you to cope with the lurking creatures of the dark?

Whether this is as simple as closing the door to keep the zombies out in Minecraft or as complex as crafting food, clothing and medicine to cope with the freezing blackness of The Long Dark, these games are exhilarating as they pose a strategic puzzle with personal consequences.

Many of these games offer an open world in which to survive, which opens up more ways of preparing for and then making it through the night time. This, of course, leads to another day where you need to spend time and resources wisely while exploring your surroundings.
 

Get Children Into The Environment

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.