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Many video games let children try outside activities and sports. This can be a great way to not only find something new to do outside but also start to gain some expertise that you can then try in the real world.The games in this list, are not only set in the wild but let you get your hands dirty (so to speak). They cover outside activities as varied as fishing, gardening, bird watching, swimming, landscape painting, walking, scuba diving, wilderness exploring, wild survival and sailing. This can be a nice way to see what sorts of activity click with your child. Also, being a video game means that children are often more willing to give things a go in this way. This list includes 20 games from the last 18 years, with 1,109 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to inspire outside hobbies.
Release Date: 28/02/2018
Out Now: Mac and PC
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Open World, Persistant World and Weather
Stormworks: Build and Rescue is an open-world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air-sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using its block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken...
Release Date: 11/12/2020
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. Play involves exploring the island, using the bird song you hear to find and photograph all manner of real-world birds. It stands out...
Release Date: 20/05/2022, updated in 2022
Out Now: Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid and Pixels
Apico is a simulation game where you play a beekeeper and conservationist. You explore environments, breed rare bees and release them into the wild while growing your business. There are no enemies, time constraints or set objectives so you can focus on...
Release Date: 02/11/2016, updated in 2018
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person
Abzu is an adventure in a lush underwater world. You descend into the heart of the ocean to find ancient secrets and encounter majestic creatures. This combines the beautiful weightlessness of diving with an ancient story of finding meaning and your...
Release Date: 22/09/2014
Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World
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...
Release Date: 17/03/2023
Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Open World and Weather
Tchia is an adventure where you play a young girl (Tchia) who can climb, glide, swim, and sail around a beautiful archipelago. Along with the usual sandbox quests and play, the game offers an unusual ability to take control (and become) any animal or...
Release Date: Coming soon
Coming Soon: Mac and PC
Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon and Hand-Made
Naiad is a gentle adventure game where exploration is fuelled not by extreme distances, dangers or enemies, but by the simple joy of floating in rivers and pools. As a story about nature unfolds you control a nymph-like character who swims through...
Coming Soon: PC
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Big Walk is a traversal game where you head into a wide-open world with online friends. You decide where to go together by following your nose while taking on challenges, puzzles and making discoveries. It stands out for its focus on the journey and the...
Release Date: 07/10/2021
Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person, Blocks, Cartoon and Day and Night
Moonglow Bay is a role play game where you play a rookie angler. Unlike other slice-of-life games, fishing isn't tucked away as a side quest here, it's front and centre. Set along the Canadian coastline in the 1980's, you live in a fishing town that has...
Release Date: 22/04/2020, updated in 2020
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, Xbox One and iOS
Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Beyond Blue is an underwater exploration game where you play Mirai, a deep-sea explorer and scientist. You see, hear, and interact with the ocean and the creatures in it as you discover an untouched world.
Release Date: 19/05/2021, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person
PowerWash Simulator is a puzzle game where you clean different objects and locations using a pressure washer. It's designed to be soothing with sounds of high-pressure water and satisfyingly clean results as you blast away every speck of dirt and grime.
Release Date: 17/11/2016
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person and Day and Night
Planet Coaster Console Edition is a pleasure park construction and management game. It draws on games like Theme Park and Rollercoaster Tycoon. You build different theme park rides and roller coasters in considerable detail, to score design points and...
Release Date: 14/08/2019
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One
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...
Release Date: 01/08/2020
Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World
Windbound is an adventure game where you hunt, explore and craft to survive. But unlike games like Zelda when you die you start over and the world is endlessly changing for each new adventure. It's an exacting...
Release Date: 10/08/2021
Out Now: PC, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Lawn Mowing Simulator is an adventure game where you ride an authentic and expansive roster of lawnmowers. The novelty is a combination of absolute control over lawn care and weed eradication. This is extended beyond a brief distraction by the inclusion...
Release Date: 16/05/2019
Out Now: PC and Switch
Components: 2D Side-On and Open World
Koral is a diving exploration game where you play as the sea current. This sounds a little odd, playing a flow of energy, but works brilliantly.
Release Date: 15/02/2006
Out Now: PC
The Endless Forest is a whimsical online multiplayer game where you play deer in a peaceful forest. You freely explore ruins and ponds, and meet other players, communicating in symbols. The world is like a moving painting, but one that players have a...
Release Date: 01/08/2021
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
Eidolon is a narrative game where you slowly explore a massive, post-human Western Washington. Unlike other action-oriented adventures, here you navigate an open world without threat. It's simply been reclaimed by nature, so your task is to discover...
Release Date: 16/09/2015, updated in 2022
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks and Grid
Train Valley 2 is a toy train puzzle game where you build a railroad company from the days of the Industrial Revolution into the future. It looks like a kids train-set but simulates real economics of the valley's cities and industries. The result is a...
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Skye is an open-world survival game set in Viking times. You explore a vast 1:4 scale map of the Isle of Skye as you barter with locals, survive the brutal weather, grow crops and hunt animals. The varied and detailed ever-changing world and the expanse...