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When we wrote the Taming Gaming book we packed the second half with full colour game ‘recipes’ as a resource for parents and families. They are grouped in categories depending on the style of game you are looking for, whether you want to play on your own, or with your family and friends. The Family Gaming Database grew out of the book. At first it was just going to be a way to search the 60 or so games in the book. With 1000’s of parents soon using the database it became clear we should grow it to cover more games. So, today we have 2,911 games. Here are all the games from the book:
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: 03/03/2017
Out Now: Switch and Wii U
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and...
Release Date: 01/01/2019
Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS
Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Open World
Toca Life: World is part of a series of games that comprise what are essentially toys in electronic form. They build on the Sago Mini games for 6-10-year-old children. Recreating interactive everyday settings like shopping,...
Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...
Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019
Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sandscape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...
Release Date: 14/02/2018, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Florence is a puzzle game that tells the story of a relationship. It follows the usual stages of loneliness, meeting, dating, falling for and moving in with another person. At first, the puzzle interactions seem trivial and the game doesn’t change...
Release Date: 20/09/2016
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon and Open World
Firewatch is an explorative adventure where you play a fire lookout in America’s Shoshone National Forest. It has a relational and conspiracy undertone similar to the podcast/radio drama and Netflix show [link to...
Release Date: 25/06/2013, updated in 2017
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
TowerFall Ascension is a running, jumping and archery game where each player selects a pixelated knight and fights to eliminate opponents by shooting them with arrows or jumping on their heads. Play is about quick reactions and second-guessing what your...
Release Date: 15/11/2001, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 3D Third-Person
Halo is the longstanding sci-fi shooting video game series that started when Halo: Combat Evolved launched alongside the Xbox in 2001. The franchise has featured on every Xbox platform since then, with Halo 5: Guardians serving as the latest entry in...
Release Date: 01/10/2011, updated in 2018
Out Now: Switch and Wii
Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World
Go Vacation is a resort exploration adventure where 50 mini-games can be discovered and played. The mini-golf, skating, surfing, volleyball, car racing, tennis and other games use the Wii and Switch motion-sensitive controllers and are simple fun for...
Release Date: 12/02/2009
Out Now: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and iOS
Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person, Open World and Weather
Flower is a traversal collecting game where you control the breeze across fields of grass and blow petals into other flowers to make them bloom. Flower is simple and single-purpose in evoking the feeling of the wind. What starts as an awkward struggle...
Release Date: 06/01/2015
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead and Grid
Mini Metro is a sequencing strategy game where you create an ordered, efficient underground train system. It sounds like hard work, but the simple Tube-map visuals, calm music, and streamlined interactions make this relaxing, like sudoku. Dip your toe...
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 and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, have a post-apocalyptic feel familiar from movies like Planet of the Apes. It plunges you into an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life where animalistic machines...
Release Date: 30/11/2012
Out Now: Wii U
Components: 3D First-Person and 3D Third-Person
Nintendo Land is a collection of Nintendo games that was created for the Nintendo Wii U launch. It uses the console’s tablet screen to create specific roles for different players. In Mario Chase, the hiding player uses the tablet controller screen...
Release Date: 19/02/2015, updated in 2018
Out Now: Android, Apple TV, Mac, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Day and Night and Weather
The Alto Collection is a series of games including Alto's Odyssey and Alto's Adventure. Both are action traversal games where you explore beautiful mountains, dunes and canyons on a snowboarding journey full of serenity and secrets. All you have to...
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: 23/01/2018, updated in 2023
Celeste is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is haunted by self-doubt at the scale of the task at hand. She presses on but is...
Release Date: 26/10/2017, updated in 2020
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Text
Bury Me My Love is a narrative adventure game where you play the husband of a Syrian woman, Nour, travelling to Europe. Play involves receiving and sending simple messages where Nout tells you how she is getting on and you influence her choices. It...
Release Date: 16/02/2018
Fe is a platform-traversal game where you play a fox in a magical fairy tale forest. The world extends in front of you in stylised form, with trees, mountains and streams glistening with sparkles of life. You run, jump, climb and dip your paws in every...
Release Date: 22/11/2013, updated in 2015
Out Now: PS Vita and PS4
Tearaway Unfolded is an adventure game where you explore a folklore-filled fantasy world that's made entirely of paper. You play by moving around the world, running, jumping and collecting items to unlock doors and fight enemies. It stands out for how...
Release Date: 21/10/2015
Out Now: Amazon Fire, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Day and Night and Pixels
Kingdom is a retro-look strategy game where you must defend your town from the nightly attack of zombies as you develop your technology and civilisation day by day. But unlike other tower-defence games – where you set up defences and fend off waves of...
Release Date: 05/07/2016, updated in 2017
Components: 2D Side-On
Tricky Towers is a battle puzzle that uses shapes but instead of creating lines, you must balance them in towers that mustn’t fall over. Real-world physics applies, along with wind and attacks from other players to make your stack topple. Up to four...
Release Date: 18/04/2013, updated in 2014
Out Now: PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One
Thomas Was Alone is a jumping and puzzle-solving platform game where you control different-coloured rectangles. It sounds boring and derivative but each of the distinctly coloured shapes comes to life in the game as a character embroiled in this escape...
Release Date: 16/07/2014, updated in 2020
Out Now: Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels
Hidden in Plain Sight is a unique battle that requires keen observation rather than quick reflexes. Up to four players fight to protect or assassinate the king, catch a thief or race across the screen without being stopped. The twist is that you each...
Release Date: 12/01/2016, updated in 2016
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS
Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person
That Dragon, Cancer is a game about a family with a young son who has terminal brain cancer. It sounds off-putting and morbid but this living biography invites you to join the family and find hope, faith and love in the face of an insurmountable...
Release Date: 16/11/2015, updated in 2016
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, PS Vita, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Wii U
Components: 2D Side-On, Hand-Made and Pixels
Steamworld Heist is a platform shooting game where steam-powered robots fight for space supremacy. It sounds like the script for a 1950s B-movie but as in those matinee hits, the point here isn’t realism but interesting characters. Like the related...
Release Date: 09/04/2015
Affordable Space Adventures is a communication shooting game where you work to pilot a diminutive spacecraft through a hostile environment. One player uses the Wii U game tablet to control engines, power and shields. A second player controls lights and...
Release Date: 21/07/2017, updated in 2022
Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon
Splatoon on the Wii U, Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 on the Switch are games where you shoot ink rather than bullets in this deeply skilled combat game. As well as taking out opponents, teams work together to cover the arena with their colour of ink. This...
Release Date: 19/01/2016
Out Now: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
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...
Release Date: 18/10/2019
Out Now: PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person and Pixels
Return of the Obra Dinn is a narrative puzzle game where you play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the...
Release Date: 18/04/2017, updated in 2022
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative puzzle game about the surviving member of the Finch family, who seems to have died from a curse. From a first-person perspective, you return to the family’s coastal home to learn about each relative’s final...
Release Date: 17/11/2009, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Web, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds
Just Dance 2022 is part of a physically active rhythm game series. Dancing in front of each other isn’t something we often do in families. Just Dance is released with new songs and features each year. It gets parents, carers, children and even...
Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018
Out Now: PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a dark fantasy adventure, drawing on Norse and Celtic mythology, where you play a young female Pict warrior, Senua. You explore and fight your way to Helheim to rescue the soul of her dead lover. As you play, though, you...
Release Date: 05/06/2013, updated in 2015
Out Now: Android, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS
Limbo is a narrative traversal game where you control a small boy as he runs, jumps and climbs through a dark, silhouetted forest that clanks and hums with foreboding. As the age rating suggests, he is killed in all manner of gruesome ways. But this is...
Release Date: 24/06/2015
Her Story is a narrative puzzle game where you attempt to solve the 1994 mystery of a murdered man by searching an old police computer archive of interview videos of his wife. The game presents a retro computer interface but the interviews themselves...
Release Date: 16/04/2019
Out Now: PC, PS4 and Switch
Heaven's Vault is a communication adventure game you play an archaeologist translating an ancient alien language whose decrypting weaves through an unfolding drama. While doing real linguistic work you interact with companions and locals. Your choices...
Release Date: 14/10/2019
Out Now: PS4
Dreams is a creative game where you make your own games and play other people's creations. It's easy to dive in and create something simple using the basic controls, then as your skill and imagination grow the complexity and detail of your games can...
Release Date: 12/02/2015
Metamorphabet is a puzzle game where you explore the alphabet by pushing and pulling the letters around to create different things beginning with that letter. It’s simply presented with sound effects and voiced words for each object. It excels at...
Release Date: 14/11/2014, updated in 2016
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On and Day and Night
This War Of Mine is a narrative strategy game inspired by the 1992–96 Siege of Sarajevo, this is a war game where you play the civilian trying to survive during the fighting. You face tough decisions on how to spend time and resources each day to...
Release Date: 27/09/2018, updated in 2019
Wandersong is an adventure where you play a bard on a quest to gather parts of a song. Uniquely, you interact with the environment and inhabitants by singing with one of the direction sticks. It stands out not only for its start of love and loss but for...