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22 Great Games Like That Dragon, Cancer

Our experts have spent time searching for great games similar to That Dragon, Cancer. We also offer games selected by matching genre and age rating.
 

A game about a family with a young son who has terminal brain cancer. It sounds off-putting and morbid but this living biography invites you to join the family and find hope, faith and love in the face of an insurmountable challenge. It’s a unique collage of poetry, phone calls, diagnosis rooms and home movies full of raw emotion.

Unfortunately, That Dragon, Cancer 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 3

Release Date: 12/01/2016, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: @Numinous_Games

Players: This is a single player game

Costs: Purchase cost

Hand Picked Games Like That Dragon, Cancer

These are our hand-picked games similar to That Dragon, Cancer. We don't use automatic matching, instead, we identify games that are good to play if you have enjoyed That Dragon, Cancer. These selections also include games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

Before Your Eyes

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 08/04/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: @Goodbye__World_

Players: This is a single player game

Before Your Eyes is a narrative game you play with a webcam. It detects each time you blink and advances the story. In this way you work through different scenes from your life, looking around with the mouse and choosing interactions by blinking. It...

Firewatch

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/09/2016

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: @Camposanto

Players: This is a single player game

Firewatch is an explorative adventure where you play a fire lookout in America’s Shoshone National Forest. It has a relational and conspiracy undertone similar to the podcast/radio drama and Netflix show [link to...

Two Point Hospital

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 25/02/2020

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

Genres: Creative, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: @TwoPointStudios

Players: This is a single player game

Two Point Hospital is a light-hearted healthcare simulator. You take charge of a hospital, similar to Theme Hospital, where you must construct and maintain wards, machines and staff.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Narrative

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: @NinjaTheory

Players: This is a single player game

This is a dark fantasy adventure, drawing on Norse and Celtic mythology, where you play a young female Pict warrior, Senua. You explore and fight your way to Helheim to rescue the soul of her dead lover. As you play, though, you hear multiple voices in...

The Cost of Recovery

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 37 features

Developer: @OffTheBtnTrack

Players: This is a single player game

The Cost of Recovery is a narrative adventure where you play as four different people, one of whom has a stroke. How this impacts each of them is experienced first hand. Can they all get through this together or will everything start to fall apart?

My Brother Rabbit

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 21/11/2018

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

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Developer: @ArtifexMundi

Players: This is a single player game

My Brother Rabbit is a hand-drawn hidden-object puzzle game about an ill sister. As her plight is told through water-colour animation, you play her brother's rabbit and unfold a parallel story in a fantasy world.

Eastshade

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 14/08/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Narrative, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: @Eastshade

Players: This is a single player game

Eastshade is a slow exploration game in a world you explore by walking around. Here, though, you play as a painter of landscapes rather than typical hero. Your mission is to paint your deceased mother’s favourite sights, but it's the world and its...

Sea of Solitude

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 05/07/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Platform

Developer: @EA

Players: This is a single player game

Sea of Solitude is an adventure where you play a young woman, Kay, with such strong loneliness that her feelings turn her into a monster. As you explore a flooded city you discover dark creatures that you must deal with -- by uncovering their underlying...

Wide Ocean Big Jacket

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 07/02/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Point-and-Click

Developer: @_TurnFollow

Players: This is a single player game

This is a game about camping. Or rather, it's a game about the conversations you have while you are camping. You follow 13-year-old teenage friends Mord and Ben who recently started dating. The camping trip is with Mord’s Uncle Brad and Aunt Cloanne.

Apart Of Me

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 12/12/2016

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres:

Developer: @ApartOfMeApp

Players: This is a single player game

This is an exploration game were you visit a peaceful island, meet friendly characters, and complete quests. The theme of grief intertwines through these things. At their own pace, the player can collect various tools designed to help with coping....

Far From Noise

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 14/11/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: @GeorgeBatch

Players: This is a single player game

Far From Noise is a narrative game where you play a car balancing on the edge of a cliff. You meet multiple animals that act as spiritual guides and discuss what it means to balance between life and death. When talking, you get the choice of two phrases...

Last Day of June

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 31/08/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @Ovosonico

Players: This is a single player game

Last Day of June is a game about a couple called Carl and June, who suffer a tragedy when a car accident takes June's life and leaves Carl in a wheelchair. You control Carl, remembering life with June and discover that you can interact with her...

Milkmaid of the Milky Way

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 22/08/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: @MachineboyCom

Players: This is a single player game

Milkmaid of the Milky Way is a puzzle game where you play a milkmaid Ruth in a remote farm, who is kidnapped by a spaceship. It sounds strange, but what unfolds is a story about boredom, parental expectation and the desire for change.

Tree

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 13/08/2018

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative

Accessibility: 12 features

Players: This is a single player game

Tree is a short 15 minute game that tells the story of a boy who plants a small tree. You control the planting, watering and how the tree grows each season. As you do this the years pass and the boy...

Bird Alone

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 15/06/2020

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @GeorgeBatch

Players: This is a single player game

Bird Alone is a narrative game where you befriend a bird. Your feathered companion encourages the conversation in the direction of real life worries while you make music, draw pictures and write poetry. It’s a slow game that unfolds in real time with...

Love - A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 21/10/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 9 features

Developer: @Rocketship_Park

Players: This is a single player game

Love - A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories is a puzzle game about regret. You interact with and explore a single apartment building. As you do you learn about the lives of the people that live there. You can manipulate the building to move floors between...

Papo and Yo

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 14/08/2012

Platforms: Mac, PC and PS3

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @We_are_minority

Players: This is a single player game

Papo & Yo pits you as a young boy, Quico, exploring a Brazilian city slum. As you solve puzzles and perform well-timed jumps to progress through the city, you must also deal with a monster – both real and metaphorically representing your alcoholic...

A Mortician's Tale

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 18/10/2017

Platforms: PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @Laundry_Bear

Players: This is a single player game

A Mortician's Tale is a management game where you play as a mortician, Charlie, working in a funeral home. As you play, you handle bodies of the deceased, including cleaning and beautifying them, as well as dealing with embalming and cremation. The dead...

Despelote

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-12 year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Simulation and Sports

Developer: @DespeloteGame

Players: This is a single player game

Despolete is a sports adventure where you play a child in school in Ecuador. All you want to do is play football. But you have to wait for the day to be over before you can play. The game is set in 2001, and Ecuador is within reach of qualifying for the...

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...

N.E.R.O.: Nothing Ever Remains Obscure

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 15/05/2015

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Developer: @Stcware

Players: This is a single player game

N.E.R.O. is a story-driven first-person indie game with puzzles to solve and story threads to follow. The player character essentially walks a linear path and solves puzzles blocking their way, while a story is narrated.

Games Like That Dragon, Cancer Based on Genre

These are games of a similar genre mix to That Dragon, Cancer. This includes games from the Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click genres. We pick out games of a similar PEGI rating to further hone these generated suggestions.
 

That Dragon, Cancer 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 That Dragon, Cancer in the following lists:

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 1388 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.

 

Interpret Deeper Meaning

Video games aren't high on the list of most people's spiritual spaces. However, many games offer experiences that invite you to explore buildings, worlds, cities and the countryside full of potential for spiritual reflection.

Games offer a unique way to encounter what is beyond us: other people, the world and possibly even the divine. They include themes of hope, loss and love. They invite us to reconsider how we see the outsider and the marginalised. They offer a chance for response and emotion to grow.

The games in this list have been the subject of a series of articles I have written about video games and faith. Firstly, from 2013-2015 for ThirdWay magazine, and more recently for Youth and Children's Work (YCW) magazine.

These are two publications for Christian audiences, that have invited me to shed light on what a range of video games might mean for those communities. I aim to make connections with faith, the bible and the experience of these video games. This is one way to interpret them which of course invites further and possibly counter interpretations from other perspectives.

YCW articles:
Firewatch | Everything | Bury Me My Love | Abzu | Wilmot's Warehouse

Thirdway Articles:
Proteus | Joust | Uncharted 3 | Alan Wake | This War of Mine | Journey | Limbo | Spaceteam | A Dark Room | Altos Adventure | A Year Walk | Bioshock Infinite | The Last of Us | Disney Infinity | Everybody's Gone to the Rapture | That Dragon Cancer | Spec Ops The Line | Papo and Yo
 

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.

 

Find God in Video Games

Video games are not often used in mature cultural spaces. We expect to find them in bedrooms, living rooms, the chip shop and the motorway services. But we don't expect to find them in arts festivals, church services or park gatherings.

Over the years Andy Robertson (@GeekDadGamer) has worked to cross this line, brining video games to be a central part of aspects of culture usually reserved for more weighty or serious things.

This has sometimes been to great outside video game experiences, with games like That Dragon Cancer, Passage and Jesus Run, at the Greenbelt arts festival. Other times he has set-up unusual video games like Joust Mania, in local parks. Then he has worked with the Church of England to run acts of worship in Exeter Cathedral where a video game like Flower, Journey or Abzu are a central element.

Video Resources

Church services integrated with video game:
Video game at Greenbelt art festival:
Video game devotions and discussions:
 

Your First Video Game

These games are perfect if you’ve never played one before, opening the door to the gaming world for non-gaming parents and carers. They are short, straightforward and easy to understand, so you don’t need to commit hours to learn to play them, and they are played on technology you probably already have in your pocket or in your home. They address mature themes such as love, hope, power, homelessness and even traffic planning by inviting you to interact and play a part in these worlds and stories.

We've found that it's not just parents who have enjoyed the way these games let them in on the world of gaming, but grandparents, uncles and aunts. In fact it's a great list for anyone who's never played a game and wants to know what all the fuss is about.
 

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 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.

 
Roki
PEGI Rating 12 for Roki

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.
 

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

Space For Grief

Games include interactions, narratives and characters dealing with all aspects of life (and death). This means that some care is necessary if players are sensitive to losing significant people. But also, games can provide a helpful space in which to process, consider and understand death and loss.

Image 162 I've come up with some games that explore this topic, along with help and suggestions from Gaming The Mind (Twitter), an organisation of UK-based mental health professionals who aim to promote positive mental health within the gaming community. By focusing on the intersection between gaming and mental health, they want to raise awareness of mental health challenges and reduce the stigma surrounding these issues.

"We express grief in different ways depending on our age," they said. "To help children cope with loss, it is important that they receive honest explanations about death, appropriate to their level of understanding. With these games, players may find valuable space in which to acknowledge grief as a completely normal reaction to bereavement."

"The games we have selected don't necessarily offer an ideal way to cope with death but tackle the topic of death openly and with a positive attitude. They can help show the player that they are not alone in what they are going through. Playing these games with young people, and answering questions they might have along the way, can be a useful starting point for important conversations about grief."
 


Image of the cover of the hardback edition of the Taming Gaming book  by Andy Robertson Image 311 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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