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These games embed a sense of hope by playing them, sometimes through a hopeful story, sometimes through a hopeful interaction, and sometimes just an uplifting aesthetic to spend time in. These are games that leave you with an uplifted spirit, maybe not immediately (like Horizon Zero Dawn) but by the time you have finished them. There is something innocent and childlike in play, and video games each have a slice of that in different ways. Sometimes simple and sometimes complex, games can help us return to the hope we had as children, or call us on to the wisdom and perspective of older years. This list includes 109 games from the last 22 years, with 3,094 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to find hope.
Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Open World, Pixels and Weather
A Short Hike is an adventure traversal game where you play the penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to...
Release Date: 25/04/2020
Out Now: Switch
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a role-play collecting game where 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...
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: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018
Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid, Open World and Pixels
Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is inviting for young players to try their...
Release Date: 01/03/2017
Out Now: PC and PS4
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
Horizon Zero Dawn is a post-apocalyptic action adventure where you explore an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life. Play involves exploring the world, learning your new abilities as the story unfolds and using them to defeat...
Release Date: 24/08/2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon
Hoa is an adventure game where you walk and jump through a hand-painted world as the mysterious main character. You solve environmental puzzles and meet magical creatures while trying to find your way back home. It's unusual because of its handcrafted...
Release Date: 26/08/2019, updated in 2020
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made
Knights And Bikes! is a hand-painted adventure in a fictional late-eighties British Isles. You work together as Nessa and Demelza who explore its coast on bikes to find treasure, mystery and trouble. There’s fighting with frisbees, water balloons,...
Release Date: 31/01/2023
Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5
Season: A Letter to the Future is a narrative adventure about a young woman sent out from her secluded community to explore the world for the first time. She is tasked with documenting life in a local valley before a mysterious cataclysm washes...
Release Date: 13/06/2023
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Dordogne is a narrative adventure where you play as Mimi, a 32-year-old woman who returns to the house of her recently deceased grandmother. You explore the house and area to find letters and puzzles that bring back memories of the past.
Release Date: 28/03/2023
Out Now: Mac, PC and iOS
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Open World
Terra Nil is a strategy game where you use clean technology to bring back life to a barren world. It's a city-building game where you aren't building a city at all, but a clean thriving ecology. It raises interesting themes of how humanity plays an...
Release Date: 14/12/2022, updated in 2023
Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World
Lil Gator Game is an action-adventure set on an island playground where a young brother invents exciting games to try and get his older sister to play like they used to. You guide your waddling gator to explore the world as you bop cardboard baddies,...
Release Date: 04/12/2020, updated in 2022
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World
Submerged Hidden Depths is an adventure game where you sail, climb and explore the ruins of a sunken world. With light puzzle-solving and no combat, you discover a drowned city, crumbling skyscrapers and deserted villages. It's the sequel to the first...
Release Date: 28/10/2016
Out Now: PS4
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person
The Last Guardian is a running, jumping and exploring adventure about a boy who befriends a giant half-bird, half-mammal creature, Trico. You work together to navigate the world, solve puzzles and reach new heights. Unusually, you have to build trust...
Release Date: Coming soon
Coming Soon: Mac, PC and Switch
Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Open World and Persistant World
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.
Release Date: 26/05/2023
Out Now: PC, PS4 and Switch
Components: 2D Side-On, Hand-Made and Open World
Skye Tales is a gentle adventure about exploring a rich playground of floating islands as a dragon called Skye. Play involves traversing each chapter, meeting and interacting with different creatures and solving puzzles along the way. It's a game that...
Release Date: 15/01/2019, updated in 2019
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Vane is an ethereal adventure in a ruined desert where strange golden dust transforms a free-spirited bird into a determined young child. The premise is not all that uncommon, but Vane stands out for how you soar over the desert and climb your way...
Coming Soon: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead and Grid
Paper Trail is a traversal puzzle game about Paige, a budding academic who is leaving home. Play is set in a foldable paper world that you manipulate to join paths, move rocks and overlap the two sides of reality. It's a unique two-sided puzzle that...
Coming Soon: PC
Components: 3D First-Person and Day and Night
Miska is a relaxing narrative adventure game about the flora and fauna of Australia. Rekindle your connection to family and nature through acts of restoration.
Release Date: 19/11/2019
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PS4, Switch and iOS
Sayonara Wild Hearts is a rhythm-action game where you control a running, flying, dancing or motorbike-riding character to collect coins and hearts in time with pop music. The neon visuals and emotively voiced story make this an unusual and compelling...
Coming Soon: PC and PS5
Sword of the Sea is a traversal game where you are a Wraith resurrected to restore life to a desolate world. Play involves exploring submerged ruins to discover the cultures that built them. It stands out for the flowing movement and beautiful vistas...
Farewell North is an adventure where you play a collie dog who restores colour to a desolate Scottish island. You explore with your owner who you help by uncovering hidden paths, evading monsters, and freeing wildlife. It stands out for the fluid canine...
Release Date: 05/10/2021
Jett: The Far Shore is a sci-fi adventure where you play inquisitive pilot Mei, exploring a mysterious planet on a nimble jet-powered craft. It draws on films like 2001: Space Odyssey and takes its time building atmosphere. Once it gets going it becomes...
Release Date: 25/08/2021, updated in 2022
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Behind the Frame is a narrative adventure where you click and interact with different scenes to help a young woman become an artist. You explore the different locations to uncover and work on the different paintings. It's a combination of escape room...
Release Date: 02/04/2019
Components: 2D Side-On
Far: Lone Sails is an exploration adventure video game. You pilot a ramshackle amphibious vehicle propelled by large sails to explore a post-apocalypse world.
Release Date: 08/11/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and iOS
Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Open World, Persistant World and Weather
Death Stranding is an exploration game where you deliver supplies across a vast shattered, post-apocalyptic America while protecting and caring for a baby. It's intentionally slow, sometimes excruciatingly so, which means you carefully consider your...
Release Date: 24/04/2018
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Components: 3D First-Person
Tacoma is set aboard a space station in the year 2088. As you explore you can discover how the station’s crew lived and worked, using an AR device that lets you review past actions and conversations, you discover clues that unravel a plot of trust,...
Release Date: 14/02/2008
Out Now: PC, PS Vita and PS3
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
Everyday Shooter is a collection of shooting games presented as a music album. The shooting action is familiar but here the dissolute sounds of destruction are replaced with guitar riffs harmonizing over the soundtrack. The visuals join in the...
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC and iOS
Assemble With Care is a narrative puzzle game from the makers of Monument Valley and is a unique way to consider how physical objects become meaningful and hold our memories. You play a restorer who repairs people's favourite possessions: from family...
Release Date: 18/08/2020
Out Now: PC and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
Microsoft Flight Simulator (Microsoft Flight Sim 2020) is a flight simulator game in the long-running series. Along with a huge range of aircraft, you can learn to fly, the game recreates the entire Earth using textures and data from maps and...
Release Date: 17/05/2018, updated in 2019
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
House Flipper is a simulation game where you renovate old broken houses to make money. It's a blend of money management, detailed interior design and repair right down to the electric circuitry. It fosters a sense of creativity and imagination in how...
Release Date: 29/01/2020, updated in 2023
Coffee Talk is an interactive story about a barista working in a coffee shop in Seattle. You listen to customers' concerns about life and love, in a retro-pixilated world backed with lo-fi chilled hip-hop music.
Release Date: 05/08/2021
Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch
Components: 2D Overhead, Hand-Made and Open World
Haven Park is a strategy game where you build camping spots in a national park. You play Flint, who is repairing his grandma's park to attract new campers. It's an intricate open island that packs in plenty to discover. As a game made by one person,...
Release Date: 12/11/2020, updated in 2023
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
The Pathless is a mythic adventure about an archer and an eagle in a vast forest. You use timed button presses to use your bow and discover the open world, unlock a mystical island and dispel a curse of darkness that grips the world.
Release Date: 26/05/2017
Rime is an adventure on an island where you play a boy led by a fox-like spirit as a guide. To progress through the beautiful environments you solve puzzles across five large levels. You can run, climb, carry objects, and push or pull larger objects...
Release Date: 23/09/2021
Teacup is a narrative adventure about a shy young frog who loves drinking tea and reading. You explore the Wind In The Willows world and make choices that change the direction of the story. It's a gentle game about friendship, stepping out into the...
Release Date: 23/01/2019
Out Now: Android, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Unruly Heroes is a hectic martial arts running, jumping and hitting game. You play one of four heroes on a quest to collect all the scroll fragments and restore balance.
Release Date: 19/05/2020
Out Now: Android, Switch and iOS
If Found is an interactive narrative game about searching for connection. You touch the screen to rub out and erase text and drawings. Set on December 31st 1993 in the crumbling ruins of a mansion on Achill Island, you play Kasio as she destroys her diary.
Release Date: 27/08/2020
The Last Campfire, from the same developer as Lost Winds, is an adventure about Ember who is searching for meaning and a way home. As you travel you take a flame with you to the world, lighting torches, bringing life to...
Release Date: 20/05/2021
Out Now: Android, PC and iOS
The Longest Road on Earth is a narrative game of four chapters about everyday life. You play as different anthropomorphic animals living mundane lives. Its combination of minimal interaction and slow-paced stories aims to uncover moments in time that...
Release Date: 23/09/2019
Out Now: Mac, PS4 and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On and Day and Night
Mutazione is a narrative adventure game where you play as a 15-year-old girl visiting her grandfather on a faraway island inhabited by friendly but mutated villagers. By finding seeds, tending to gardens and talking to people, you uncover a tightly knit...