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Happy Brain With
Serotonin 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 serotonin, you can feel unstable and find your mood changing rapidly. It's a chemical that helps us with routines where we accept ourselves and find calm. With low serotonin, it is hard to feel confident in who we are. This can mean that we worry more and find it harder to learn and remember things.

Along with getting outside for exercise, eating well and nurturing conversations, video games can also help. Games that generate serotonin are those that give regular simple activities you can complete each day. Games that help build routines are helpful. We may not play these games for long, but they help structure other things around them. Fitness games also complement this, particularly those games that give us a reason to get outside.

This list includes 21 games from the last 16 years, with 4,391 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to generate serotonin.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Battle, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Stealth, Strategy, Traversal and World Building
Total Likes: 4,391

Shadows of Doubt

Release Date: 24/04/2023

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Blocks and Open World

Shadows of Doubt is an open-world detective game set in a fully simulated city of crime and corruption. You explore the city to discover criminality, find clues, solve crimes and earn money to fund bringing a serial killer to justice. It stands out for...


Release Date: 02/11/2021

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks, Hand-Made and Pixels

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...


Release Date: 16/09/2007, updated in 2021

Out Now: Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Osu! is a rhythm action game where you tap the screen in time to the music similar to the Elite Beat Agents games. This starts as a simple challenge but develops in speed and complexity. At higher levels, the games is an esport with people competing to...

Mini Metro

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...

The Alto Collection

Release Date: 19/02/2015, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

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...

Loop Hero

Release Date: 03/02/2021, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cards, Grid, Hand-Made and Pixels

Loop Hero is a dungeon-exploring adventure game where you use cards to create a world for your character to survive. Rather than control the hero yourself, you are tasked with playing cards to create a level that is hard enough to be rewarding without...

Orchids to Dusk

Release Date: 03/12/2015

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Orchids to Dusk is a short wandering adventure. You are an astronaut stranded on an alien planet, with only a few minutes of oxygen. You explore the world and discover fantastic gardens on the planet.


Release Date: 11/04/2017, updated in 2017

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

Crawl is a dungeon fighting game where your friends control the monsters and traps. The hero player moves around, break boxes and attack enemies while the ghost players try and stop him. Once the hero dies they become another ghost and the next player...

Lethal Company

Release Date: 23/10/2023

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Open World

Lethal Company is a stealth role-play game where you work with friends to scavenge abandoned moons for scrap. To play you creep through the environment hunting scrap and on the lookout for lurking meat dogs, thumpers and other horrors. It's brilliant at...

Hypnospace Outlaw

Release Date: 12/04/2019, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Hypnospace Outlaw is a puzzle game where you explore a simulation of the internet in the 1990s. Your role is to enforce good behaviour by finding misconduct on the pixelated pages. It's not only a unique piece of historical fiction but because its web...

Rain World: Downpour

Release Date: 28/03/2017

Out Now: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Rain World: Downpour, and Rain World are traversal and survival games where you play a half-cat, half-slug in a living breathing world. You must venture out and brave the other predatory creatures to find food before the rain comes and you have to hide.


Release Date: 25/06/2012

Out Now: iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Text

Spelltower+ is a word-spotting game a little like Boggle mixed with Tetris. As you play, more tiles rise from the bottom of the screen so you need to pick good words to clear down the letters and avoid any letters make it to the top row.

Project Zomboid

Release Date: 08/11/2013

Out Now: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather

Project Zomboid is a zombie-infested open-world strategy game. It's a survival game that's designed to be really hard. In fact, the game's tagline is "no help is coming, how will you die?" You of course do your best not to die by looting houses,...

Big Ambitions

Release Date: 10/03/2023

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Big Ambitions is a role-playing game that simulates running a business. Like similar games, you make decisions about what, where and how to grow your business. Here though the scale is much bigger, so much so you can drive and walk around the city in...


Release Date: 15/09/2022, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Cards, Cartoon and Grid

Foretales is a narrative role-playing adventure where every action, choice, item and character is represented by a card. By choosing cards you not only decide your fate but shape your story. Fight or avoid violence, kindness or play it safe, these...

Salt and Sacrifice (Series)

Release Date: 10/05/2022

Out Now: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Salt and Sacrifice (and its prequel Salt and Sanctuary) is an fighting adventure game that's intentionally difficult and dark. You play by exploring the side-on world, fighting enemies with swords and other weapons. It's a strange combination of cartoon...

Letter Rooms

Release Date: 26/05/2021

Out Now: iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Letter Rooms is a simple anagram puzzle game. You get a hint and a set of letters and rearrange them to create the answer. This starts simply but adds more complexity like turning letters on and off or flipping letters.

Yugo Puzzle

Release Date: 14/10/2021

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Grid

Yugo Puzzle is a simple puzzle game where you move jelly blocks left and right to combine them with the same colour. The novelty is the ingenious challenges this simple premise is used to create. It's the kind of game where a single level might take you...

Little Hellions

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Little Hellions is a retro brawling game where you can't actually fight the other players directly. You kill the other players by putting yourself in harms way and then using your hook-shot to switch places at the last minute. Like Towerfall, it's not...


Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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

Ultros is a trippy running, jumping and exploring game set inside a giant ancient Sarcophagus that holds demonic beings and fertile land. You adventure into the Sarcophagus by battling enemies and triggering plant life to bloom.

Wee Tanks

Release Date: 16/05/2023

Out Now: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Wee Tanks is a shooting and traversal game inspired by Wii Tanks where you control toy tanks in battles against each other. You play by directing your tank and aiming where you are shooting separately. It stands out not only for recreating the fun tank...

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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