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Time taken to play quickly: 360

A Short Hike

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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

A Short Hike is an adventure traversal game where you play the penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to...

Among Us

Release Date: 16/11/2018, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Among Us is a strategy game where crew-mates prepare their spaceship for launch by completing tasks. However, one of the players is an impostor intent on sabotaging the ship and killing the crew. As the game progresses in real-time the impostor...

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...

Unpacking

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...

Sneaky Sasquatch

Release Date: 30/07/2019, updated in 2022

Out Now: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon, Day and Night, Hand-Made and Open World

Sneaky Sasquatch is an adventure game where you sneak around in campsites and try to find food from coolers and picnic baskets without getting caught. From this simple premise grows a game with endless ways to play and explore its open world: race, play...

Toca Life: World

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,...

Teardown

Release Date: 29/10/2020, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS5 and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Teardown is a creative traversal game where you plan and execute a heist in fully destructible environments. Play involves knocking routes through the destructible buildings to set an escape route to steal the key cards. It’s an unusual game because...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Release Date: 11/12/2020

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

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. Play involves exploring the island, using the bird song you hear to find and photograph all manner of real-world birds. It stands out...

Before Your Eyes

Release Date: 08/04/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon

Before Your Eyes is a narrative game about an 11-year-old boy revisiting his life before "crossing over" to the other side. You play by exploring scenes that represent snapshots of his life. Unusually, you make choices and interact with the game by...

Hello Neighbor (Series)

Release Date: 08/12/2017

Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Hello Neighbor is a stealth survival game with a horror feel where you try and sneak into the basement of your neighbour’s house to uncover a "horrible secret". The game responds to your strategy by setting traps along paths the player followed in...

Journey

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...

Lake

Release Date: 01/09/2021, updated in 2024

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Lake is a narrative adventure where you play Meredith Weiss on a career break in 1986 while she returns to her hometown and ends up delivering the mail. As you talk to locals, meet up with old school friends and even fan a few romantic flames from your...

Townscaper

Release Date: 30/06/2020, updated in 2021

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Web, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks and Hand-Made

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.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Release Date: 28/04/2017, updated in 2022

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a go-kart racing game where you race against Nintendo characters around different circuits, picking up power-ups, attacks and speed boosts. It is frantic and chaotic but still requires skills to do well.

Stray

Release Date: 19/07/2022, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Stray is an adventure traversal game about a cat lost in a futuristic city where robots live. You guide your feline friend in and out of buildings, across roads and generally poke your nose in to see what is going on.

Astro's Playroom

Release Date: 19/11/2020

Out Now: PS5

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Astro's Playroom is a running and jumping game that launched with the PlayStation 5. It not only showcases the PS5's new DualSense controller but offers a loveable adventure with novel interactions and considerable substance.

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...

Florence

Release Date: 14/02/2018, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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...

Firewatch

Release Date: 20/09/2016

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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...

Venba

Release Date: 31/07/2023

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Venba is a narrative cooking game where you play an Indian mother who emigrated to Canada in the 1980s. You cook various traditional Indian dishes and restore lost recipes which were damaged in the move to Canada. As you cook, you talk to your family...

TowerFall Ascension

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...

Everything

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Everything is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in...

Osu!

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...

Minecraft Dungeons

Release Date: 26/05/2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Blocks

Minecraft Dungeons is an action-adventure game that takes place in the Minecraft universe. You explore various dungeons to complete missions and collect new gear by exploring and finding treasure chests, or by defeating enemies...

Apico

Release Date: 20/05/2022, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid and Pixels

Apico is a simulation game where you play a beekeeper and conservationist. You explore environments, breed rare bees and release them into the wild while growing your business. There are no enemies, time constraints or set objectives so you can focus on...

Abzu

Release Date: 02/11/2016, updated in 2018

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Abzu is an adventure in a lush underwater world. You descend into the heart of the ocean to find ancient secrets and encounter majestic creatures. This combines the beautiful weightlessness of diving with an ancient story of finding meaning and your...

Dorfromantik

Release Date: 25/03/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Hand-Made

Dorfromantik is a peaceful village-building strategy puzzle game for one player, inspired by tile-based board games like Carcassonne. You have a stack of hexagonal tiles and work to match their edges while creating areas of towns, forests and fields to...

Flower

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...

Storyteller

Release Date: 23/03/2023

Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Storyteller is a puzzle game about building stories. You use a set of icons to match what is happening in each frame of the story. It's a simple challenge that gets the mind-stretching as you construct some of history’s greatest stories using building...

Conduct Together

Release Date: 06/12/2018

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Conduct Together is a strategy game where you control toy trains along overlapping train tracks. Each train can be started and stopped with a specific button. Other buttons change different points. The aim is to transport people from one station to the...

Cuphead

Release Date: 29/09/2017, updated in 2019

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

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.

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...

Mini Motorways

Release Date: 04/03/2019

Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Mini Motorways is a sequencing strategy game by the same developer as Mini Metro but tasks you with planning a road network rather than a subway. You lay down roads, traffic lights and motorways to ensure enough cars can get to the buildings that pop up...

Wii Sports

Release Date: 08/02/2006, updated in 2014

Out Now: Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports Club offer motion-controlled sports. Although these games are well known, the depth each of them offers is a best-kept secret. Games like bowling, tennis and boxing are easy to pick up but require...

Nintendo Land

Release Date: 30/11/2012

Out Now: Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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...

Hoa

Release Date: 24/08/2021

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Hoa is an adventure game where you walk and jump through a hand-painted world as the mysterious main character. You solve environmental puzzles and meet magical creatures while trying to find your way back home. It's unusual because of its handcrafted...

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...

The Touryst

Release Date: 21/11/2019, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

The Touryst is a puzzle-based adventure, where you seek to unlock the mysteries of an archipelago of sun-drenched islands. That's if you want to, because the adventure can wait if you'd rather soak up the sun and make the most of your time away by...

Season: A Letter to the Future

Release Date: 31/01/2023

Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Season: A Letter to the Future is a narrative adventure about a young woman sent out from her secluded community to explore the world for the first time. She is tasked with documenting life in a local valley before a mysterious cataclysm washes...

Boomerang Fu

Release Date: 13/08/2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon

Boomerang Fu is a fighting game where you control small food-like characters. Using your boomerang the aim is to slice the other players with ranged or melee attacks. You can use a large range of power-ups such as explosive boomerangs, disguises and...

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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