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White Lies
 

Video games often place you in positions of power, saving the world, righting the wrongs and bringing justice. Of course, real life isn't neat and tidy like that. There are many games where you are challenged to make difficult decisions and some of those put you in situations without power, where the kindest thing to do is to lie.

Whether it's not telling Ellie the truth about her unique response to the infection so she can have a "normal" life in The Last Of Us, lying about who's drugs they are to save a friend in Life Is Strange, deciding not to be honest with friends to save their feelings and avoid confrontation in Oxenfree or rearranging an old man's memory so he thinks he's made it to his dream in To The Moon, telling lies is sometimes the right thing to do.

The games in this list challenge our neat conceptions of right and wrong. Playing them, we face the messiness of real-world justice and consider the power of withholding the truth. We might not always agree with the reasons or ethics, but we have a chance to revisit our values as we play.
 
This list includes 35 games from the last 22 years, with 1,056 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to tell white lies.

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Among Us

Release Date: 16/11/2018, updated in 2020

Out Now: Android, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Among Us is a strategy game where crew-mates prepare their spaceship for launch by completing tasks. However, one of the players is an impostor intent on sabotaging the ship and killing the crew. As the game progresses in real-time the impostor...

Storyteller

Release Date: 23/03/2023

Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Storyteller is a puzzle game about building stories. You use a set of icons to match what is happening in each frame of the story. It's a simple challenge that gets the mind-stretching as you construct some of history’s greatest stories using building...

Road 96

Release Date: 16/08/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Road 96 is a narrative adventure where you play a teenager trying to escape an oppressive, authoritarian country by reaching the border. Through a series of vignettes, you experience the most important and poignant parts on an epic road trip through a...

Life Is Strange (Series)

Release Date: 19/01/2016

Out Now: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Life Is Strange is a click/tap-to-move adventure where you play a student at a high school in a sleepy American town. Despite the idyllic setting, you have a foreboding premonition of a disastrous storm. Along with this prophetic vision, you discover...

The Last Of Us

Release Date: 14/06/2013

Out Now: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Weather

The Last Of Us is an action-adventure where 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...

Oxenfree

Release Date: 14/01/2016, updated in 2016

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Oxenfree is an adventure game where a teenagers’ beach party spirals into a supernatural story. You guide the outcome with your choices as the well-written dialogue reveals characters coming to terms with family breakdown, death of a sibling, blame...

There Is No Game

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

There Is No Game 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 game universes.

Last Stop

Release Date: 22/07/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon

Last Stop is an adventure set in London. You play three interconnected characters, making choices that shape their conversations, and determine where their stories lead.

Mafia Definitive Edition

Release Date: 29/08/2002, updated in 2020

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Mafia Definitive Edition is a series of action/adventure games about being in the Mafia. You play Tommy Angelo, a poor hard-working cab driver who gets caught up in a fight between two crime families. You explore a large open city taking on criminal...

The Walking Dead (Series)

Release Date: 24/04/2012, updated in 2018

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

The Walking Dead is a survival adventure game series. You explore locations and gather a ragtag group of survivors. How you interact with each of them and make decisions about various dangers results in a branching story where no one is guaranteed to...

Telling Lies

Release Date: 31/07/2019, updated in 2020

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Components: Filmed

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.

Beholder (Series)

Release Date: 09/11/2016, updated in 2023

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Components: 2D Side-On

Beholder is a detective game where you spy on tenants in a building, discover their secrets and report violations of laws to the authorities. As the game unfolds and you see more of the controlling totalitarian state, an uneasy tension develops between...

Headliner: NoviNews

Release Date: 05/10/2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 2D Side-On and Text

Headliner: NoviNews is a narrative-driven simulation game where you play as the person in charge of the headlines and stories that are released to the public. Each article you approve from your office has a direct impact on the world outside. Which news...

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion

Release Date: 22/04/2021, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is an action role-play game where you play a Turnip working hard to pay off a massive tax bill to Mayor Onion. The setup soon gives way to a series of Zelda-style quests, dungeons and puzzles that earn new items and...

First Class Trouble

Release Date: 08/04/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 3D Third-Person

First Class Trouble is a survival puzzle game where six players must work together and against each other to survive a disaster. It's a social deduction game, like Among Us, so the real trick to surviving is working out which players are robot Personoids.

Where the Heart Leads

Release Date: 13/07/2021

Out Now: PS4

Components: 3D Third-Person

Where the Heart Leads is an adventure game where you make life-choices and then see their impact. You play Whit Anderson, as he revisits and alters his past, present, and future. It's a game that creates a surreal dream-like narrative, but one that is...

Gerda: A Flame in Winter

Release Date: 01/09/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Gerda: A Flame in Winter is a narrative adventure game set in the small Danish village. Gerda's quiet life is turned upside down during the World War 2 occupation of her home. You choose where to go, how to act, and who to trust. It stands out for the...

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

Release Date: 28/02/2018, updated in 2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a narrative adventure game about sharing stories. You travel across the Depression-era United States discovering and collecting the stories of the people and places you encounter on your journey. You use this...

Bad News

Release Date: 01/12/2019

Out Now: Web

Components: 2D Side-On, Hand-Made and Text

Bad News is a role-play game about building a news media organisation. It's designed to highlight bias in the news by putting you in charge of a series of decisions to build a profitable company. All you do is answer questions, but as you do the...

Triple Agent

Release Date: 20/07/2017, updated in 2019

Out Now: Android and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On

Triple Agent is a parlour-style game that uses one device passed between 5-9 players, assigning them either an agent or double-agent role as the game starts. There are tip-offs from the game about other players, the discussion around the table with each...

Beacon Pines

Release Date: 22/09/2022

Out Now: PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Beacon Pines is a storybook adventure game where you play as a small fawn named Luka trying to solve a mystery in a creepy town full of intrigue. You play by collecting words that change the story, so you can go back through the book to play out...

Subdefuge

Release Date: 07/03/2017

Out Now: Android and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On, Open World and Text

Subdefuge 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...

Ambition: A Minuet in Power

Release Date: 18/08/2021

Out Now: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Ambition: A Minuet in Power is a text adventure that offers a historical twist on the dating game genre. You play a young woman far from home, abandoned by the love of her life in the city of Paris. Rather than sorrow or shame, this ignites ambition for...

Sludge Life

Release Date: 28/05/2020, updated in 2021

Out Now: PC and Switch

Components: 3D First-Person, Hand-Made and Open World

Sludge Life is an open world adventure where you play as Ghost, a graffiti artist determined to put his tag all over Sludge City. You play in an adult world full of lived-in locations and intriguing characters. It requires some caution, but beyond the...

Harmony Square

Release Date: 06/11/2020

Out Now: Web

Components: 2D Side-On and Text

Harmony Square is a text-based adventure game about fake news. You live in idyllic Harmony Square and are hired as Chief Disinformation Officer whose job is to disturb the square’s peace and quiet by fomenting internal divisions and pitting its...

Lies of P

Release Date: 19/09/2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Lies of P is a fighting game where you try to survive in a dark twist on the Pinnochio story. You explore a gothic steam-powered world, fighting off enemies with well-timed moves and choosing whether to tell the truth or lie in ways that alter the...

MP For A Week

Release Date: 11/04/2016

Out Now: Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

MP For A Week is a puzzle game where you play an MP for a week. That might sound sedate and a little boring, but things soon kick off as you try and survive a week in politics. Like Reigns, you need to balance keeping your party, your voters and the...

The Magister

Release Date: 16/06/2020, updated in 2021

Out Now: PC and Switch

Components: 2D Side-On and Day and Night

The Magister is a roleplaying adventure where you play a detective sent to investigate the murder of a fellow Magister. You explore the point-and-click adventure to find clues, follow leads and befriend villagers. But then there's a card game to uncover...

Fallout 76 (Series)

Release Date: 14/11/2018, updated in 2021

Out Now: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Open World

Fallout 76 is an open world adventure. You are a survivor of a nuclear war from Vault 76, which was designed to contain the best and brightest people, trained to restart society once the radiation levels were safe to do so. Unlike other [link...

Dread Hunger

Release Date: 26/01/2022

Out Now: PC

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Dread Hunger is a strategy survival game where you venture into the arctic wastes to find coal and food to keep your ship running, while trying to uncover the players who are two secret killers. In many ways like the hugely popular [link to...

Town of Salem

Release Date: 15/12/2014, updated in 2018

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Town of Salem is a social deduction strategy game where you work with (or against) other players trying to save a village from zany villains and murderers. Like Among Us, no one knows anyone else's role; everyone must carefully...

Card Shark

Release Date: 02/06/2022

Out Now: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Cards and Hand-Made

Card Shark is an adventure game about a French 18th century con artist. With your partner, you go from location to location swindling politicians and royals with the devious card cheat mini-games you learn. It looks like a card game, but actually it's a...

Ravenous Devils

Release Date: 29/04/2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead

Ravenous Devils is a strategy game where you manage a tailor shop with a dark and sadistic secret, they kill clients and serve the bodies in their pub. Drawing on Sweeney Todd themes, you play Percival and Hildred who manage the stomach turning shop...

The Big Con

Release Date: 31/08/2021, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

The Big Con is coming of age adventure game where you break the law to make your way in the world. You play a curious high schooler who ditches band camp to go on a cross-country road trip to save her mum's video store.

The Knight Witch

Release Date: 29/11/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cards

The Knight Witch is a shooting game where you fly through narrow caverns and avoid obstacles as you fight enemies with guns and magic powers. Alongside the exploration and combat, you buy weapons and armour upgrades, obtain cards that let you use...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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