Parents Newsletter: Stay Ahead of the Game

Sign up for our monthly Newsletter to get:
  • Alerts of trending video-games.
  • Safety tips and settings.
  • Discount and bargain games.

Image 297
:
Layout - grid Layout - list

29 Great Games Like The Long Dark

These are hand-picked games similar to The Long Dark. Our experts have spent time searching for great games like The Long Dark. We don't use automatic matching, instead, we identify games that are good to play if you have enjoyed The Long Dark, or as younger rated alternatives for players not ready for PEGI 16+ or ESRB TEEN games. These selections also include games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body temperature, caloric intake, hunger, thirst and fatigue. This means taking on not only the harsh environment by wildlife and other environmental dangers.

Unfortunately, The Long Dark is not available on Android, Mac, PS5, Xbox Series X|S or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme, and at a lower age rating:

DetailsGame Details

Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 22/09/2014

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

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

Developer: @HinterlandGames

Players: This is a single player game

Costs: Purchase cost

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Expected Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 28/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

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

Developer: @Dan_Games

Players: You can play this with 5 players online

Stormworks is an open world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using it's block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken vessels or...

Minecraft

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Platform and Shooting

Developer: @Mojang

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 16 players online

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and...

Stranded Deep

Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 21/04/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

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

Developer: @BeamTeamGames

Players: This is a single player game

Stranded Deep is a survival game set in the Pacific Ocean. Taking a cue from films like Cast Away, you survive a plane crash and face life-threatening scenarios in a large open world. As the weather and time of day changes with the hours, you explore...

The Last Of Us Part II

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 19/06/2020

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Role-Playing, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: @Naughty_Dog

Players: This is a single player game

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie is out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby is a...

Game image PixArk

PixArk

24
PEGI Rating 12+ for PixArkESRB Rating EVERYONE 10+ for PixArk

PixArk

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 31/05/2019

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

Genres: Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @SnailGamesUSA

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

PixArk is an adventure game similar to the more complex (and violent) game Ark: Survival Evolved. With a simpler interface and Minecraft=style block building, it's a survival game that never gets too scary while also inviting ambitious play and...

Ark: Survival Evolved

Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

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

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @Survivetheark

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

This game offers hunting-and-harvesting gameplay in a primal setting. Although not as polished or streamlined as a game like Horizon Zero Dawn, this is a more ambitiously open world where you can choose your own way to survive. With crafting and...

Game image Rust

Rust

22
PEGI Rating 18+ for RustESRB Rating MATURE 17+ for Rust

Rust

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 08/02/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Shooting and Strategy

Developer: @FcPnchStds

Players: You can play this with 250 players online

Rust (also, Rust: Console Edition) is an online survival game set the wilderness. You explore, gather and craft materials to manage hunger, thirst, health and protection. The preparation is to ward off the threat of bears, wolves and (more commonly)...

Subnautica (Series)

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

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

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

Developer: @UnknownWorlds

Players: This is a single player game

Dive into an underwater ocean on an alien planet and collect the resources you need to establish a base and survive. There’s an open and immersive watery world to discover as you construct tools, bases and submersibles, and interact with wildlife....

The Forest

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 30/05/2014

Platforms: PC and PlayStation 4

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

Developer: @EndNightGame

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Forest is a survival horror game where you are the only passenger to live after a plane crash. You explore a mysterious forest to find food, shelter and safety but soon have to battle strange cannibalistic people.

The Red Lantern

Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 22/10/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @TimberlineGames

Players: This is a single player game

The Red Lantern is a personal adventure about making something of your life. You and a team of sled dogs head into the wilderness and must navigate the ever-changing events of the Alaskan bush to find your way home.

The Last Of Us Left Behind

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 14/02/2014

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Developer: @Naughty_Dog

Players: This is a single player game

The Last of Us is a survival adventure game where you play Joel, a father figure, looking to protect a girl in his care, Ellie. The game creates a fimlic and emotional experience that extends beyond the usual zombie shooting to offer an interactive...

Grounded

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 28/07/2020

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

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @GroundedTheGame

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Grounded is a survival game where you are tiny and find yourself in someone’s back garden. It’s like Honey I Shrunk The Kids meets Fortnite. Ants, cockroaches, and bees pose a threat along with environmental hazards like water, tall grass and large...

Escape from Tarkov

Expected Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 27/07/2017

Platforms: PC

Genres: Open World, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @BStateGames

Players: You can play this with 14 players online

Escape from Tarkov is an online shooting game set in the fictional Norvinsk region in Northwest Russia. You play during a war between two private military companies and join matches to fight others for loot, survival and ultimately escape.

The Last Of Us

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 14/06/2013

Platforms: PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Developer: @Naughty_Dog

Players: This is a single player game

You play a father, Joel, whose daughter was killed during the early stages of a deadly fungal outbreak. It’s now 20 years later, and he has clearly suffered from the loss. When Joel is given charge of a girl, Ellie, about the same age his daughter...

Distrust

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Simulation and Strategy

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Distrust is a survival game where you try to survive after a helicopter crash at an arctic base. Inspired by The Thing film, this is a horror game that initially seems to be about surviving the wild, but soon descends into something darker and...

Don't Starve

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

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...

Dysmantle

Expected Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 06/01/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Strategy

Developer: @10tonsLtd

Players: This is a single player game

Dysmantle is a survival strategy game where you play a character emerging after the apocalypse. The world is now inhabited with dangerous creatures and you only have your bare hands to survive. It's novel because most items in the world can be destroyed...

Unto The End

Expected Rating: PEGI 16+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 09/12/2020

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Platform, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: @2TonStudios

Players: This is a single player game

Unto The End is a cinematic combat-adventure where the fighting is modelled in a read-and-react style. It requires time to master the unusual system but offers many ways to take on foes. Tactics and intelligent decisions are as important for survival as...

Morkredd

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 12/12/2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Puzzle

Developer: @HyperGames

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

Morkredd is a puzzle game about light and shadow, where 2 characters work together to push a glowing orb of light in a pitch black world, avoiding to step into shadow - even each others' - which results in their death.

Green Hell

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 05/09/2019, updated in 2021

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

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

Developer: @Creepy_Jar

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 2 players online

Green Hell is an intentionally hard open-world survival game. You are abandoned in the Amazonian rain forest with no equipment or food, just your wits. In order to survive, you must utilize real-world survival technics to build your shelter; start...

Project Winter

Expected Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 23/05/2019

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 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...

Tenderfoot Tactics

Expected Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 21/08/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

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

Developer: @IceWaterGames

Players: This is a single player game

Tenderfoot Tactics is a role play adventure game where you play a young adventurer in a vast open world. The visuals and the Final Fantasy Tactics-style battles look simple but offer depth that requires you to learn the deterministic combat system and...

Change: A Homeless Survival Experience

Rating: Not rated by PEGI or ESRB

Release Date: 01/05/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @DelveInteractiv

Players: This is a single player game

Change is a survival game where you play a homeless person trying to make it against the odds. It's intentionally hard to do well as you explore an endless city that's different every time you play.

Game image DayZ

DayZ

2
PEGI Rating 18+ for DayZESRB Rating MATURE 17+ for DayZ

DayZ

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 03/07/2019

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: @Bohemiainteract

Players: You can play this with 60 players online

Day Z (DayZ) is a post-apocalyptic open world survival game. The population are infected with an unknown virus and you play as one of the few who are immune. You fight other survivors for limited resources and weapons. However If you die there are no...

Sable

Rating: Not rated by PEGI or ESRB

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Developer: @ShedworksGreg

Players: This is a single player game

Sable is an adventure game where you play a young girl, Sable, alone in the world, but bravely exploring ancient monuments, ruined architecture, and fallen ships to uncover her place in it.

Noita

Rating: Not rated by PEGI or ESRB

Release Date: 05/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World, Platform, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: @NollaGames

Players: This is a single player game

Noita is platform adventure game in a world where each and every pixel is physically simulated. This means that the tiny elements that make up the landscape and characters have their own properties that: melt, burn, evapourate, explode, flow, float,...

The Longing

Expected Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

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...

Darwin Project

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 14/01/2020

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting and Simulation

Developer: @DarwinProject

Players: You can play this with 11 players online

Darwin Project is a battle royale game like Fortnite. Player fight to collect resources to survive and upgrade their character. As well as surviving in extreme conditions you track opponents and set traps. In addition to the ten players is...

Eco

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

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.

The Long Dark 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 The Long Dark in the following lists:

Free With Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that provides 100 top-tier games. Once subscribed you can download the game at no extra cost. Of the 100 games available the ones in our recommended database are listed below.

You cannot play games you install when your Xbox Game Pass expires, although you do keep any games you have purchased at a discount with your membership. You will need to purchase any in-game extra content in addition to the subscription, although some games include this content for free.
  • Xbox Game Pass £7.99/month
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate including Xbox Live Gold for online play £10.99/month
  • Xbox Game Pass PC £7.99/month

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also enables you to stream over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles, similar to the service offered by PlayStation Now, on mobile devices.

Xbox Live Gold usually costs £6.99/month and is the Xbox service that lets you play with others online. It also offers a few free games each month and substantial discounts.
 

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 Horace

Horace

19
PEGI Rating 12+ for HoraceESRB Rating TEEN for Horace
Game image Hades

Hades

13
PEGI Rating 12+ for HadesESRB Rating TEEN for Hades
Game image Qomp

Qomp

4
Game image Ord

Ord

3
PEGI Rating 3+ for OrdESRB Rating EVERYONE for Ord
Game image QWOP

QWOP

4
PEGI Rating 3+ for QWOPESRB Rating EVERYONE for QWOP
Game image Rust

Rust

22
PEGI Rating 18+ for RustESRB Rating MATURE 17+ for Rust
Game image DayZ

DayZ

2
PEGI Rating 18+ for DayZESRB Rating MATURE 17+ for DayZ

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 Fuel

Fuel

2
PEGI Rating 7+ for FuelESRB Rating EVERYONE for Fuel
Game image Hades

Hades

13
PEGI Rating 12+ for HadesESRB Rating TEEN for Hades
Game image Haven

Haven

14
PEGI Rating 12+ for HavenESRB Rating MATURE 17+ for Haven
Game image Ete

Ete

1
Game image Fe

Fe

2
PEGI Rating 7+ for FeESRB Rating EVERYONE for Fe
Game image Hitman

Hitman

12
PEGI Rating 18+ for HitmanESRB Rating MATURE 17+ for Hitman

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.
 

Mechanical Challenge

Games offer us challenges on many levels. When someone plays a game too much it’s easy to think they are taking an easy route to something entertaining, like junk food. But video games are generally hard work. It takes time to understand their systems, mechanics, objectives and worlds.

There are a small group of games that hone this challenge down to the mechanics of moving around the environment. Whereas many games simplify getting around, these games make the complexity and depth of their movement systems part of the joy of playing them.

Rather than relying on the stats of your character or player, you have to execute the moves yourself with timing proficiency and instinct. Rather than offering assistance, these games leave you to it. Whether you rise through the league tables, or just improve compared to your family, the satisfaction or getting to grips with something so monumentally challenging is really satsifying.

This might be understanding how the propulsion of your car lets you take to the air and hit a perfect shot in Rocket League. Or, perhaps, it’s using the limited running and jumping slightly better than other players to get a win in Fall Guys. Maybe it’s learning the perfect combinatino of angles and trajectories in Video Ball. Or it could be learning the complex move lists in a game like Street Fighter.

These games all have in common, a complex control system that can be put to use in imaginative and creative ways to get the edge over your oppoenents.
 

Play The Seasons: Get Lost in Bleak Winter Tales

Video games create spaces for us to go and play. These spaces are sometimes an escape from the real world. Equally, games can help us revel and celebrate the real world.

This is a list of game that take us into the long dark months. Shorter days and long nights speak of hibernation and survival. Snow and bare branches suggest that all life has left forever.

Whether they task us with resisting this or getting lost in the dark folds of winter, games of this month are a valuable reminder that life continues (often unseen) where it seems almost impossible. With the faintest foolish hope of a tiny bud read for spring.
 

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.
 


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.

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Discord | Contact | About