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34 Great Games Like Outer Wilds

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

Outer Wilds is an exploration space mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time-loop. After 20 minutes of game time, you must start again – but each time brings a new opportunity to learn how you ended up on the planet and solve the secrets of who built the strange galaxy. As you do so, the world evolves and opens up new secrets.

Unfortunately, Outer Wilds is not available on Android, Mac, PS5, Switch, Xbox Series X|S or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme:

DetailsGame Details

Rating:

Release Date: 11/12/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Developer: @Mobius_Games

Players: This is a single player game

Costs: Purchase cost

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Rating:

Release Date: 10/11/2020

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

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

Developer: @Ubisoft

Players: This is a single player game

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the twelfth game in the Assassins Creed Series, an open world action-adventure that takes place over several main story quests as well as many optional side missions.

Paradise Killer

Rating:

Release Date: 04/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Developer: @KaizenGameWorks

Players: This is a single player game

Paradise Killer is a detective game set in the open world of Paradise Island. It's a strange place with quirky characters and an alien obsessed, demon worshiping world. You are an exiled investigator brought back to solve the mass murder of the island's...

No Man's Sky

Rating:

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

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Developer: @HelloGames

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

This game 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 rhythm of survival, combat and trading draw you into a space drama of your...

There Is No Game

Rating:

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @ThereIsNoGame

Players: This is a single player game

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension is a comedic adventure with a strange twist. From the outset the game’s narrator insists that there is no game to play. As you inevitably ignore his instruction you go on a journey through silly and unexpected video...

Among Trees

Rating:

Release Date: 14/06/2020

Platforms: PC

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

Developer: @AmongTreesGame

Players: This is a single player game

Among Trees is a game you play in a forested wilderness full of creatures and fauna. It's handcrafted by a small team and creates a vibrant world to explore. This isn't a game you aim to win or dominate, but rather find your place in.

Return of the Obra Dinn

Rating:

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Dukope

Players: This is a single player game

You play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have all mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the moment of death for each body in order to identify each...

To The Moon

Rating:

Release Date: 10/11/2011, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Reives_FreeBird

Players: This is a single player game

To the Moon is a story-adventure following two doctors trying to fulfil a dying man's last wish to go to the moon. With only a few ways to interact with the game, you control the doctors, exploring and solving puzzles to reconstruct the dying man's...

Returnal

Rating:

Release Date: 30/04/2021

Platforms: PlayStation 5

Genres: Action, Narrative, Puzzle and Shooting

Developer: @HouseMarque

Players: This is a single player game

Returnal is a sci-fi adventure played in repeating rounds that slowly change the world and your character. You are a pilot stranded on a mysterious planet and must investigate and fight through the world to both survive and solve the repeating problem.

Game image Lake

Lake

7

Lake

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @WhiteThornGames

Players: This is a single player game

Lake is a narrative adventure where you play Meredith Weiss on a career break in 1986 while she returns to her hometown and ends up delivering the mail. As you talk to locals, meet up with old school friends and even fan a few romantic flames from your...

Don't Starve

Rating:

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

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...

Everything

Rating:

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @DavidOreilly

Players: This is a single player game

This is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in between.

The Unfinished Swan

Rating:

Release Date: 16/10/2012

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @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.

Minit

Rating:

Release Date: 28/08/2018

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

Genres: Adventure, Fighting and Puzzle

Developer: @DevolverDigital

Players: This is a single player game

Minit is retro puzzle game where you complete small tasks in within a 60 second time frame. You must dodge or fight foes, cut through the undergrowth, explore your world and find keys and swords. You start from the same place for each of your 60 second...

Bioshock (Series)

Rating:

Release Date: 21/08/2007, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Developer: @GhostStoryGames

Players: This is a single player game

Bioshock is a first-person shooting game set in a fantastical underwater city. A dark story unfolds about the misuse of surgery and gene therapy. Players must make a decision about whether to save the children they find or harvest their energy for the...

Heaven’s Vault

Rating:

Release Date: 16/04/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @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...

Little Misfortune

Rating:

Release Date: 18/11/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @KillMondayGames

Players: This is a single player game

Little Misfortune is a dark adventure where you play a small girl called, Misfortune, who, guided by a voice in her head, seeks the prize of eternal happiness for her mother. It's played side-on and unfolds a narrative about the girl's family as you...

Maquette

Rating:

Release Date: 02/03/2021

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @MaquetteGame

Players: This is a single player game

Maquette is a puzzle game played in a series of nested identical worlds. What you do in the larger world effects things in the smaller one, and so on. Every building, plant, and object are simultaneously tiny and staggeringly huge.

Alt-Frequencies

Rating:

Release Date: 16/05/2019

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @AccidentalQ

Players: This is a single player game

Alt-Frequencies is an adventure game played by listen to a series of radio shows. It's a story about people stuck in a time loop without realising it and what you can do to save them.

Rivals

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 21/09/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @TimSheinman

Players: This is a single player game

Rivals is a puzzle game where you piece together the story of Josh and Luke and the breakup of their band. Playing detective, similarly to Return of the Obra Dinn, but rather than murder it's musical betrayal you are sleuthing here. You inspect sources,...

A Dark Room

Rating:

Release Date: 10/06/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @Continuities

Players: This is a single player game

A Dark Room is an adventure where you try and survive in the wild. It has a similarly simple start – a single option to stoke a fire – but also evolves into an incrementally complex system of resource management as a larger story unfolds.

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Rating:

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Developer: @ChineseRoom

Players: This is a single player game

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture lands you in a fictional deserted English village in 1984. As you walk the streets of another era you discover bright human forms who re-enact events like a radio play. Through their eyes, you see a web of fear,...

Subdefuge

Rating:

Release Date: 07/03/2017

Price: Free-to-start

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Open World, Puzzle, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based

Developer: @RonCarmel

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 10 players online

Subterfuge is a strategy game played with human opponents. The game is designed to be played over a week or so, to give players time to talk between goes. This encourages players to team up, trick or double-cross other players to get them to make the...

The Longing

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 05/03/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @StudioSeufz

Players: This is a single player game

The Longing is a point-and-click adventure about waiting and loneliness. It's an intentionally slow game that takes 400 elapsed days to finish. It draws on the Idle Game genre, where you use minor interactions to incrementally advance. Here though, the...

Telling Lies

Rating:

Release Date: 31/07/2019

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

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @MrSamBarlow

Players: This is a single player game

Telling Lies is from the same developer as Her Story. It's named as an investigative thriller game with non-linear storytelling by the developer.

Elite Dangerous

Rating:

Release Date: 15/12/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: @Frontierdev

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

This is a new version of the classic 1980s space game Elite. Like the original it’s a space exploration, trading and combat game that provides a huge and rich universe rather than a specific story. You can trade goods, become a bounty hunter, fight...

Curious Expedition (Series)

Rating:

Release Date: 19/05/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: @MaschiMensch

Players: This is a single player game

Curious Expedition is an expedition simulation, in the late 19th century. You join historical people to explore a world map to gain fame, science and treasures. Each time you set out the world is different, with unique challenges requiring particular...

Void Bastards

Rating:

Release Date: 29/05/2019

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

Genres: Action and Shooting

Developer: @BlueManchuGames

Players: This is a single player game

Void *!@?* is a tongue-in-cheek shooting game, where you control misfit prisoners out of the Sargasso Nebula. You decide which shops to investigate, what to do and who to fight. When you die, you start again with some of the loot you've collected...

Elsinore

Rating:

Release Date: 22/07/2019

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @Elsinoregame

Players: This is a single player game

Elsinore is a mystery-adventure set in Shakespeare's Hamlet. You play Elsinore who repeats the same four days as she tries to find a way to avoid the tragedy that lies before her.

Twelve Minutes

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @FacaElectrica

Players: This is a single player game

Twelve Minutes is an adventure thriller game about a single apartment building. You view things from above and can interact with a simple click and drag interface. What starts as a romantic evening with your wife turns into a nightmare when a police...

Earth Analog

Expected Rating:

Release Date: 11/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Strategy

Developer: @lgnkm

Players: This is a single player game

Earth Analog is a flying adventure where you take control of the exploration vessel Eurisko XI in a quest through deep space to find our new home. Unlike other space games, the focus is on the experience of other worlds rather than battling death and...

Observation

Rating:

Release Date: 21/05/2019

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @_NoCode

Players: This is a single player game

Observation puts you on a space station to solve a power outage and find missing crew. However, here you play the role of the SAM, the System Administration Maintenance artificial intelligence software, rather than human protagonist. Your limited view,...

Pine

Rating:

Release Date: 26/11/2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

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

Developer: @Twirlbound

Players: This is a single player game

Pine is an adventure game where you play a primitive young man searching for new land for his tribe. You discover five tribes of anthropomorphic creatures that need to be understood and overcome to enable your tribe to have somewhere to live.

Song of Bloom

Rating:

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @Kamibox_ph

Players: This is a single player game

Song of Bloom is a narrative puzzle game where you explore chalk drawn animations to discover a melancholy story. Working through these moving pictures you interact with clue elements highlighted in red that unlock the next chapter of the story.

Genesis Noir

Rating:

Release Date: 26/03/2021

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @FellowTravellr

Players: This is a single player game

Genesis Noir is a narrative-driven puzzle game. It's a time travelling mystery to save your lover, by intervening through the history of the world to ultimately stop the expansion of the universe. Although it sounds bizarre, existential and confusing,...

Outer Wilds 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 Outer Wilds in the following lists:

Solve a Mystery

Like a good crime drama or whodunnit novel, solving mysteries and puzzles is a good way to engage in a story. However, rather than just watching these mysteries while someone else does the heavy lifting, these video games place you firmly in the role of the detective. Gathering statements, sifting evidence and making intelligent leaps of deduction requires care and attention. These investigations makes these games slower than others, but it’s worth the effort each time you find the correct conclusion and move the story on.

These 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.
 
Game image Roki

Roki

60
Game image Portal

Portal

12

Inhabit Another World

Whether it’s a simple puzzle grid, a battlefield or a universe of planets to visit, all games create virtual spaces in which to play. Some of these are simply the background to a campaign - the game’s unfolding drama, missions or challenge. But others invite you to invest in the worlds they create, move in, tend to and inhabit in fantastical ways.

The games in this section invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character. Worlds that hold history and lore in their landscapes, flora, fauna and inhabitants; environments that respond to your presence and invite you to restore them to their former glory.
 
Game image Shu

Shu

3
Game image Fuel

Fuel

2
Game image Hades

Hades

13
Game image Haven

Haven

14
Game image Ete

Ete

3
Game image Fe

Fe

3
Game image Hitman

Hitman

14

BAFTA Nominated Games

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 the:
  • 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.

 
Game image Hades

Hades

13
Game image Roki

Roki

60
Game image Halo

Halo

11

Branching Stories With Multiple Endings

All games offer you agency. You can win or lose. You can complete them or stop at any time. But there are some games that offer a story that genuinely branches. Where you end up will be different from other players. This not only makes your actions really matter but also gives you a reason to play them again.

Setting aside games that evolve through simulation, or games where once you die it's game over, these branching narrative games tell a story that ends in a certain way because of the choices you made.
 
Game image Ord

Ord

3
Game image Lake

Lake

7
Game image Pyre

Pyre

2

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

60
Game image Gris

Gris

6
Game image Eco

Eco

3
Game image Portal

Portal

12

Bend Time To Your Advantage

Time in video games is a valuable thing. Unlike in the real world where it proceeds in a linear fashion, in a game it may speed up, slow down or even go backwards. There are some games where controlling time becomes a crucial and fascinating game mechanic. The best of these integrate your time travelling powers with both characters and narrative to create a compelling experience.
 

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.
 

Rearrange Your Mental Furniture

We are used to books, films and radio programs challenging our assumptions on subjects. Adam Curtis, Louis Theroux and David Attenborough have powerfully used film to change perspectives and values.

Less well known is how many video games tread a similar furrow. These are games that not only tackle difficult subjects, but get beneath the usual binary perspectives to create new ways of thinking about these themes.
 


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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