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Happy Brain With
Dopamine Games
 

You can aid the happiness of your brain by taking on activities that generate key experiences and chemicals:

  • Dopamine for motivation, learning and pleasure.
  • Oxytocin for trust and building relationships.
  • Serotonin for significance and importance.
  • Endorphins for euphoria and elation.

Without dopamine, you can be subject to procrastination, low self-esteem, inability to focus and feelings of hopelessness. It's the chemical that can give you the determination to accomplish goals, desires and needs.

Along with getting outside for exercise, eating well and nurturing conversations, video games can also help. Games that generate dopamine are those where you can complete repeating tasks, like Fortnite or Rocket League, which have a lot of chances to win or excel. Other games, like Animal Crossing or Adopt Me, offer the feeling of a job well done. This is increased in games where you are doing this not only for yourself but for the group you are a part of, like playing in a team in Sea of Thieves, Apex Legends or Sky Children of the Light, where new players also need help and kindness.
 
This list includes 23 games from the last 18 years, with 640 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to generate dopamine.

Related Lists
 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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...

Rocket League

Release Date: 28/08/2018

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Rocket League is a sports action game where you drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It's a game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What's not obvious from the...

PinOut

Release Date: 27/10/2016

Out Now: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead

PinOut is an action pinball game played against the clock in a Tron-like world. You use your flippers to work up through an endless series of tables, collecting time to stay alive. It stands out not only for the endless pinball challenge but the...

Lovely Planet

Release Date: 31/07/2014, updated in 2016

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made

Lovely Planet is a shooting game which focuses on athletic flow and accuracy rather than headshots and gore. You jump and shoot your way through five worlds full of treacherous enemies with your trusty pop-gun. It's an unusual, almost balletic, shooting...

Mosa Lina

Release Date: 17/10/2023

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Mosa Lina is a platform brain game where you are granted three random abilities to complete each self-contained level. You can always walk and jump around the level, but this is aided (and sometimes hindered) by the selected abilities at your disposal...

Forza Horizon 5

Release Date: 05/11/2021

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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

Forza Horizon 5 is a fast-paced racing game where you drive all manner of different vehicles in races and across the vast open landscape. Building on Forza Horizon 4, this fifth entry to the series is set in Mexico,...

Shell Shockers

Release Date: 29/09/2021

Out Now: Android, PC, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon

Shell Shockers is an online shooting game where you play as an armed egg. It has the usual array of guns but here you aim to crack rather than kill the other players. You play the game in a web browser, it's fast to start and simple to play with a focus...

Tetris 99 (Series)

Release Date: 20/09/2019

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Tetris is a longstanding puzzle game where you make horizontal lines by placing differently shaped tiles in a well. It's simple and fun, but as the pieces speed up it gets increasingly difficult.

Please, Touch The Artwork

Release Date: 26/01/2022

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Grid

Please, Touch The Artwork is a puzzle game that tells a story with real abstract paintings. Unconventionally it asks, what would happen if we did touch the artwork in museums? The answer is revealed over three stories each focusing on a different...

I Wanna Maker

Release Date: 13/02/2020

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

I Wanna Maker is a running and jumping game where you create unique levels and share them with other players. With over 1000 levels to play, all made by different people across the world, it offers a fresh platforming challenge with a wide range of...

Splitter Critters

Release Date: 15/05/2018, updated in 2021

Out Now: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Splitter Critters is a puzzle game where you cut up the world to connect platforms and get to the exit. You split and rearrange each level so you can avoid deadly lasers and create floating swimming pools to guide alien critters back to their spaceship.

Olliefrog Toad Skater

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Olliefrog Toad Skater is a skateboarding sports adventure where you play a cute frog or toad pulling stunts at their local skatepark. You play by rolling, ollie-ing, grinding, and kickflipping to score points and explore the world.

Paper Animal RPG

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Paper Animal RPG is a simple adventure game in a colourful world. You create a band of animal heroes to fight enemies and collect equipment and power-ups.

Wii Play (Series)

Release Date: 02/12/2006, updated in 2011

Out Now: Wii

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Wii Play is a collection of multi-player party games originally designed for the Nintendo Wii and its motion controller.

Pro Gymnast Simulator

Release Date: 04/09/2020

Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Pro Gymnast Simulator is a game about gymnastics, parkour, and obstacle courses. You control a gymnast who can achieve amazing feats, however you have to pull them off by controlling your limbs and body directly. The result is a game that's unusual to...

EA Sports FC 24

Release Date: 28/09/2023

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

EA Sports FC 24 is a sports game designed to simulate the players, tactics and crescendo moments of top-flight football. Play involves picking players and setting tactics before controlling each of your team in turn on the pitch. Its simulation is...

I Commissioned Some Bees (Series)

Release Date: 30/05/2022, updated in 2024

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

I Commissioned Some Bees is a puzzle game series where you search original artwork to find bees hidden in them. There are many bees in every picture, so you can normally find one in a couple of seconds, although finding all of them can be challenging...

Pureya

Release Date: 26/03/2021

Out Now: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Pureya is an action game about collecting marbles. However, the type of game you are playing changes every 10 seconds so the challenge is as much about quickly adjusting to the new format as much as pressing buttons really quickly. It's a game that...

Summer Trip Cruise

Release Date: 25/05/2023

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Summer Trip Cruise is a traversal game where you guide a cruise ship on sightseeing missions. Play is like a fairground boat game where you steer left or right with the wheel/rudder and throttle. It stands out for the simple controls and forward...

Turbo Golf Racing

Release Date: 04/08/2022

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Turbo Golf Racing is an online car game where you race to hit an oversized golf ball into a hole at the end of each circuit. Your car is rocket powered and needs to be manoeuvred to hit the ball through hoops and boosts to get to the finishing hole...

Zoe Begone

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

Zoe Begone is a fast-action shooting game set in a cartoon world where you battle the animator for a bit of peace and quiet. To play you run around the level, shooting enemies and dodging the hundreds of bullets they shoot back. It stands out for its...

RunMan Turbo

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

RunMan Turbo is a traversal game where you race through a brightly coloured world. You play by bouncing, sliding, jumping, tumbling and running as fast as you can over obstacles and towards a finishing line. It is a game of instinct, where you must...

Smash Hit

Release Date: 06/03/2014

Out Now: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Smash Hit is a surreal adventure where you shoot balls to smash the stylised world in harmony with the music. The challenge comes from your limited supply of balls, that must be topped up by hitting key objects. It stands out for offering a meditative...

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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