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Useful Games for
Therapy Addressing
Process Skills

Video games often challenge a variety of mental capacities requiring the player to process information and respond accordingly. With the right focus of application, video games have the potential to be effective therapeutic tools for addressing various cognitive abilities.

We've worked with University of St. Augustine Doctoral Occupational Therapy student, Tyler Brinkman, to compile the following list of games useful for this purpose. Each game on this list was subject to an activity analysis and was found to contain aspects of gameplay that predominantly utilize client factors and performance skills associated with cognition. Some of the identified client factors include attention, memory, thought, consciousness, temperament and personality. Performance skills commonly identified within these games include: paces, attends, heeds, uses, initiates, and sequences among others.

Skills that can potentially be addressed using the following video games include:

  • Task Simulation: Games that require the completion of real-world tasks. This can be therapeutically useful for individuals who have various cognitive deficits. Properly executing a simulated task requires the use of several mental processes all at once. Results from the simulation can then be applied to the real-world counterpart.
  • Problem-solving: Games that demand a logical solution to situations with given resources. This can be therapeutically useful for individuals to independently identify and process a given scenario and effectively take actions to produce a desired result.
  • Memory and Attention: Games that require recall and observation. This can be therapeutically useful for getting individuals to recall information and direct their attention. The aim is to improve memory and attention for use in everyday life.

The in-depth activity analysis for each game can be read in Tyler Brinkman's Video Game Analysis. This provides the therapeutic benefits that each game was found to offer.
This list includes 12 games from the last 7 years, with 798 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to use games for cognitive therapy. We break them down into the following areas:

Memory and Attention


Cuphead is a running, jumping and shooting game that looks like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. You play on your own or with someone else and work across the screen, jumping gaps, shooting enemies and avoiding projectiles.

Good Pizza, Great Pizza

Good Pizza, Great Pizza is a simulation game where you run your own Pizza shop, fulfilling orders from customers while making enough money to keep your shop open. You can upgrade your shop with new toppings and equipment to compete against your...

Problem Solving

Death Squared

Death Squared is a cooperative puzzle game for 1, 2 or 4 players. Together, you solve puzzles by guiding a robot to a colour-coded goal. Getting there requires cooperation and communication as each player's path has deadly traps and hazards.

Tetris Effect: Connected

Tetris Effect: Connected is a tile-matching puzzle game (just like the original Tetris) but with a surprisingly powerful aesthetic twist. The game places each level in a themed area and ties gameplay to the beat of the music across its thirty different...

Task Simulation


Unpacking is a meditative puzzle game where you unpack belongings into a series of spaces, each representing a stage in life. You get to know the owner of the objects by their possessions and circumstances. To finish a level you need to work out where...

Under Review


Townscaper is a creative town-building game where you pick colours from the range available and click to put down a house in the sea. As you continue to add houses of different colours the game automatically orientates the architecture for you.

PowerWash Simulator

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.

Wilmot's Warehouse

Wilmot's Warehouse is a game for people who like to organise things. You are in charge of a warehouse and must manage 100s of items of stock. Identical square boxes are labelled with rudimentary icons. On your own or with another player, you must...

Hidden Through Time

Hidden Through Time is a spot the item game that also takes you on a journey through different time periods. You are tasked with finding specific items and must zoom, interact and uncover things to find each one.

Lawn Mowing Simulator

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...

Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire is an adventure battle card game. You play one of four characters attempting to ascend a spire of multiple floors. You fight enemies and bosses by playing cards you have collected. You gain new cards as rewards from combat. With 100's to...

Monster Train

Monster Train is a turn-based fighting game played on a train to hell. Through a series of rounds, you collect cards which summon monsters or special moves to stop enemy armies from getting to and destroying your pyre. Because the pyre is at the top of...

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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