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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 15 games from the last 10 years, with 1,252 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to generate dopamine.

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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...

Sky Children of the Light

Release Date: 18/07/2019

Out Now: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Open World and Persistant World

Sky Children of the Light (Sky Children of Light) is a huge open-world online game designed to create altruism between players. From the developer of Flower and Journey, it takes you on a social adventure in an ever-expanding world with up to 8 other...

Adopt Me! (Roblox)

Release Date: 14/07/2017

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

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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

Adopt Me! is one of the most popular Roblox games. In a rudimentary way, it simulates daily life. You can build a home, look after pets and make friends. Like many Roblox games, it's the combination of an avid community of players...

Fortnite

Release Date: 25/07/2017, updated in 2018

Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

Fortnite is an online multiplayer shooting game where 100 people compete to be the last player standing. You stealthily traverse the world to collect weapons, out-maneuvering and out-gunning your opponents, while a storm gradually shrinks the playable...

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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

Minecraft is an open-world adventure where you collect, craft and construct structures and items. Play involves exploring the world to find resources and good locations to build. Some of the best aspects of the game are less well known; along with the...

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...

Blade Ball (Roblox)

Release Date: 17/06/2023, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Blade Ball is a dodgeball-style sports game where players use their sword-like weapons to deflect the ball at each other to be the last man standing. Like dodgeball, you mustn't get hit by the ball or you are out, here you can move around freely and use...

Bomberman (Series)

Release Date: 15/03/2018

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, Mac, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Bomberman is the spiritual ancestor of last-player-standing battles like Fortnite and Apex Legends, but here you all play on the same screen and have the same bomb weapon. There are lots of versions, but in all of them, you battle with up to eight...

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...

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.

Stick Fight: The Game

Release Date: 28/09/2017, updated in 2021

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Stick Fight: The Game is a vicious fighting game depicted with stick men. You play by controlling small coloured stick men, who mimic real-world physics and bodily movement. To win you need to use the physics-based movement to land punches, kicks and...

Survivor.io

Release Date: 05/09/2020, updated in 2022

Out Now: Android and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

Survivor.io is a shooting game where you survive hoards of zombies. You play by controlling the direction of your character and nothing else. Unlike the web game of a similar name, Surviv.io Battle Royale, this is a single-player game that stands out...

Arcade Archives

Release Date: 19/06/2015, updated in 2022

Out Now: Android, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Arcade Archives is a series of games that faithfully recreates classic Arcade games from their original software. Along with the play modes of the original games you can adjust settings like the difficulty dip-switches, like arcade owners could.

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...

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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