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No Violence
 

While a significant portion of video games focus on combat and competition, these titles offer a less aggressive way to progress and win. None of these games enable or require the player to cause harm to another living thing -- even Mario's merciless campaign to stomp on every Goomba he meets bars him from this list. Or then there's catching and selling fish in Animal Crossing that rule that one out.

Many of them are aimed at children and families, but you'll be surprised how many explore deeper, more mature themes in their narratives, or require just as much skill as a fast-paced first-person shooter. This means there's plenty of offer for parents who might lack the reflexes (or interest) to survive a round of Fortnite.

We've focused on the games you might not expect to be played non-violently here, but you can find the full list at Non-Violent Games Of the Day curated by James Batchelor.
 
This list includes 391 games from the last 34 years, with 7,404 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to harm no living thing.

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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...

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Release Date: 28/02/2018

Out Now: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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

Stormworks: Build and Rescue is an open-world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air-sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using its block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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

Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island is a friend-making adventure game where you help the Greek gods remember their past and unravel a mysterious curse. As you explore the tropical island, you encounter rare treasures and interact with the gods, helping to...

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...

Go Vacation

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...

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...

Night in the Woods

Release Date: 10/01/2017, updated in 2017

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Night in the Woods is a narrative adventure which follows college dropout Mae Borowski returning home to the crumbling former mining town of Possum Springs. Play involves exploring the town, interacting with the locals and working out what has happened...

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...

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...

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Release Date: 10/06/2021, updated in 2021

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made

Chicory: A Colorful Tale is an adventure where you play an everyday dog thrust into the role of wielding a magic brush. The world starts black and white but you colour it in with your paintbrush to solve puzzles and help your animal friends. It looks...

Outer Wilds

Release Date: 11/12/2018, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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

Outer Wilds is an exploration space mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop. After twenty minutes of game time, you must start again – but each time brings a new opportunity to learn how you ended up on the planet and solve the...

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...

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2016

Out Now: Mac, PC and PS4

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Open World

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture lands you in a fictional deserted English village in 1984. As you walk the streets of another era you discover bright human forms who re-enact events like a radio play. Through their eyes, you see a web of fear,...

Nuts

Release Date: 20/01/2021

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Hand-Made

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Proteus

Release Date: 30/01/2013

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS Vita and PS3

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

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

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Omno

Release Date: 29/07/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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

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Lonely Mountains Downhill

Release Date: 22/10/2019

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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

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Sable

Release Date: 23/09/2021

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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

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Lil Gator Game

Release Date: 14/12/2022, updated in 2023

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

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

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

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Submerged Hidden Depths

Release Date: 04/12/2020, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

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

Submerged Hidden Depths is an adventure game where you sail, climb and explore the ruins of a sunken world. With light puzzle-solving and no combat, you discover a drowned city, crumbling skyscrapers and deserted villages. It's the sequel to the first...

The Last Guardian

Release Date: 28/10/2016

Out Now: PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

The Last Guardian is a running, jumping and exploring adventure about a boy who befriends a giant half-bird, half-mammal creature, Trico. You work together to navigate the world, solve puzzles and reach new heights. Unusually, you have to build trust...

Hindsight

Release Date: 04/08/2022

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made

Hindsight is a narrative point-and-click game where you revisit the past by finding objects that trigger memories. Play involves exploring each scene, locating objects and listening to the story as you move the camera to look within what you've found...

Pico Park

Release Date: 28/04/2016, updated in 2021

Out Now: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Pico Park is a collaborative puzzle game for up to 10 players where you traverse levels using one another to solve puzzles. It's a game about communication and physics as players work to position themselves to bridge a gap, use ropes to hang off ledges...

Spyder

Release Date: 21/03/2020, updated in 2021

Out Now: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Spyder is a puzzle adventure where you play as Agent 8, a small 6-legged spider-robot that was designed by a British spy agency for attempting to stop an evil organization. You explore the world and can use your sticky legs to walk over any surface or...

Thomas Was Alone

Release Date: 18/04/2013, updated in 2014

Out Now: PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

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...

To A T

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

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The Unfinished Swan

Release Date: 16/10/2012

Out Now: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

The Unfinished Swan invites you to explore a world by splashing paint on it. The tactile experience leads you into a fairy tale about an unfinished painting that leads a child back to his parent. It stands out for the unusual revealing of a world you...

Ico

Release Date: 24/09/2001, updated in 2011

Out Now: PS2 and PS3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Ico is a running, jumping and exploring game where you rescue a princess from her evil mother. You take her hand to help her escape, guiding her along the pathways and protecting her from the hordes of enemies. Together, you jump chasms and scale walls...

Paradise Marsh

Release Date: 03/02/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Hand-Made, Open World and Weather

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Baba is You

Release Date: 13/03/2019

Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Baba is You requires some lateral thinking. Each level is controlled by rules written on the screen, such as ‘Lava is Hot’, ‘Wall is Stop’ and ‘Flag is Move’. By moving the words around with your pixelated character, you subvert the...

Naiad

Release Date: Coming soon

Coming Soon: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon and Hand-Made

Naiad is a gentle adventure game where exploration is fuelled not by extreme distances, dangers or enemies, but by the simple joy of floating in rivers and pools. As a story about nature unfolds you control a nymph-like character who swims through...

Vane

Release Date: 15/01/2019, updated in 2019

Out Now: PC and PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Vane is an ethereal adventure in a ruined desert where strange golden dust transforms a free-spirited bird into a determined young child. The premise is not all that uncommon, but Vane stands out for how you soar over the desert and climb your way...

Paper Trail

Release Date: Coming soon

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

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Paper Trail is a traversal puzzle game about Paige, a budding academic who is leaving home. Play is set in a foldable paper world that you manipulate to join paths, move rocks and overlap the two sides of reality. It's a unique two-sided puzzle that...

Chants of Sennaar

Release Date: 05/09/2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Chants of Sennaar is a traversal and translation puzzle where you play a traveller called to reunite the Peoples of the Tower who are unable to communicate with each other. Play involves exploring the cell-shaded world to decipher the glyph-based...

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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