/ LISTS / Mental Health / Walk in Someone Else's Shoes
/ Search Database Or Try Advanced Search
While many games include characters to interact with, some are specifically designed to make relationships a central element. Whether this is during the rounds of a puzzle game amidst a zombie outbreak or as we race cars around a circuit, they can offer a unique way to think deeply about how we relate to each other and to the games people play.In contrast to films or books, characters and relationships in video games need to be discovered by the player. Some of my favourite relational moments in games happen amidst other action. Often these other actions – whether shooting, puzzle-solving, or fetching and carrying – serve to underline the difficult, awkward and snatched nature of interpersonal interactions. This list includes 172 games from the last 26 years, with 3,208 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to walk in someone else's shoes.
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: 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...
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...
Release Date: 05/10/2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Hand-Made
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and strategy...
Release Date: 19/06/2020
Out Now: PS4
Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Day and Night
The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie is out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby is a...
Release Date: 16/08/2021
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Road 96 is a narrative adventure where you play a teenager trying to escape an oppressive, authoritarian country by reaching the border. Through a series of vignettes, you experience the most important and poignant parts on an epic road trip through a...
Release Date: 14/05/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person
A Plague Tale: Innocence follows Amicia and her little brother Hugo as they use stealth to escape soldiers and swarms of rats. Against the stark threat and darkness of the world, the sibling relationship develops as the two learn to trust one another...
Release Date: 23/05/2023
Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 2D Side-On
Planet of Lana is an adventure where you play a young girl Lana and her loyal animal friend Mui, on a rescue mission. Set on a planet under siege by old machines and unfamiliar creatures. Rather than the war, though, this is a game about a vibrant...
Release Date: 26/10/2017, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Text
Bury Me My Love is a narrative adventure game where you play the husband of a Syrian woman, Nour, travelling to Europe. Play involves receiving and sending simple messages where Nout tells you how she is getting on and you influence her choices. It...
Release Date: 29/08/2023
Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon
Goodbye Volcano High is a high school coming-of-age adventure set in a world of anthropomorphic dinosaur characters. You play as band members, non-binary Fang and best friend Trish as they navigate the last days of high school. It's a mix of making...
Release Date: 15/06/2021
Out Now: PC
Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Hand-Made
Wildermyth is a medieval role-playing game about diverse heroes and themes. You take on evil in a number of stories, each with different heroes and settings. The focus is on the characters as much as their adventures, who are believable, diverse and...
Release Date: 21/03/2018, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, PC, PS Vita, PS4, PSP, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person, Grid, Hand-Made and Weather
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a turn-based strategy game where you take command of a squad of soldiers and use your wits and tactics to plan and lead them to battle. You play as Commander Claude Wallace and the soldiers of Squad E and experience a gripping...
Release Date: 01/01/1999, updated in 2019
Out Now: Game Boy and Switch
Components: 2D Overhead, Hand-Made and Open World
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is an adventure-puzzle game in the Zelda series and universe. A remake of the 1993 Game Boy game of the same name, this one is set on Koholint Island and follows Link after he is stranded and must find a way back to...
Release Date: Coming soon
Coming Soon: PC
Components: 3D First-Person and Hand-Made
Ete (été, which means summer) is a gentle adventure where you discover memories by exploring with your camera, music and paint. The screen starts almost entirely blank, and as you move around and interact you create vivid colourful memories.
Release Date: 19/11/2019
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PS4, Switch and iOS
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Sayonara Wild Hearts is a rhythm-action game where you control a running, flying, dancing or motorbike-riding character to collect coins and hearts in time with pop music. The neon visuals and emotively voiced story make this an unusual and compelling...
Release Date: 02/11/2023
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One
Thirsty Suitors is a narrative action game where you play Jala, back in her home town of Timber Hills to confront mistakes, make up with exes and reconcile cultural differences with her parents. Play involves talking to your parents and old friends,...
Release Date: 10/12/2020
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Shady Part of Me is a narrative platform game where you play as a young girl and her shadow. You help her overcome emotional struggles by solving 2D and 3D puzzles. The game world is based within the young girl's dreams. The young girl is afraid of the...
Release Date: 15/10/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One
Disco Elysium The Final Cut is a role-playing game set in the fictional city of Revachol where you play Harrier "Harry" Du Bois who must solve a complex murder. Unusually, your choices and actions not only determine how the story unfolds but affect...
Release Date: 22/11/2016
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Virginia is a mystery adventure game where you play a graduate FBI agent Anne Tarver as she investigates her first case: the disappearance of a boy in rural Virginia. You explore the world and find clues to solve the crime, all the time aware that other...
Release Date: 18/12/2014
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Never Alone is a running, jumping and exploring game based on the traditional Iñupiaq tale, "Kunuuksaayuka". You swap between controlling an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her Arctic fox companion as you complete puzzles and move the story forwards.
Release Date: 23/09/2019
Out Now: Mac, PS4 and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On and Day and Night
Mutazione is a narrative adventure game where you play as a 15-year-old girl visiting her grandfather on a faraway island inhabited by friendly but mutated villagers. By finding seeds, tending to gardens and talking to people, you uncover a tightly knit...
Release Date: 27/09/2018, updated in 2019
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Wandersong is an adventure where you play a bard on a quest to gather parts of a song. Uniquely, you interact with the environment and inhabitants by singing with one of the direction sticks. It stands out not only for its start of love and loss but for...
Release Date: 05/03/2021
Out Now: Mac and PC
Components: 2D Side-On and Text
Closed Hands is a text adventure game set in the lead-up and aftermath of a terror attack in a fictional UK city. You follow five core characters brought together by the same event. It's a branching story that you discover and influence as you read and...
Release Date: 10/10/2019
Out Now: PC and Switch
Eliza is an interactive narrative where you play Evelyn, a young woman burnt out from the pressures of a high-tech job. She now works for a virtual counselling service called Eliza, that guides counsellors to provide the ideal response to patients.
Release Date: 03/04/2020
Components: 2D Side-On and Open World
In Other Waters is an underwater exploration game where you play an Artificial Intelligence assistant to a stranded xenobiologist in a mysterious alien ocean. The world is not seen except through the instrumentation available to you. This creates a...
Release Date: 08/11/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and iOS
Components: 3D Third-Person, Open World, Persistant World and Weather
Death Stranding is an exploration game where you deliver supplies across a vast shattered, post-apocalyptic America while protecting and caring for a baby. It's intentionally slow, sometimes excruciatingly so, which means you carefully consider your...
Release Date: 20/10/2020
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
South of the Circle is a narrative adventure game about, Peter, a Cambridge academic who finds himself fighting for survival in Antarctica during the 1960’s Cold War. You must cross desolate terrain to reach British, Norwegian and Soviet Antarctic...
Release Date: 25/04/2019
Components: 2D Side-On, Pixels and Text
Cart Life is a simulation game where you play one of three street vendors. You attempt to run their shop whilst looking after their health, interests, and families. It has simple visuals, but depicts the realities of the thin-end of life.
Release Date: 06/08/2008
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Braid is a platform game, not dissimilar to Mario World, that appears simple but has a twist. The movement of your character is connected to the progression of time in a mind-bending manner. The resulting puzzles are fascinating and connected to a story...
Release Date: 10/03/2021
Blind Drive is a driving adventure game you play with audio rather than visuals. You are Donnie and are in a scientific study that has got out of control. You find yourself cuffed to the wheel of a car driving blindfolded against traffic. It's tongue in...
Release Date: 17/01/2017
Components: 2D Overhead
She Remembered Caterpillars is a colour-matching puzzle game with an unusual look and emotional story to tell. Through the unsettling fungi-punk aesthetic you work out how to get your characters to the endpoint of each stage. As you do you eavesdrop on...
Release Date: 08/11/2018
Out Now: PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made
11-11 Memories Retold is a narrative adventure about two young men caught up in the first world war. A young photographer who joins the western front in Europe to impress a woman, and a German technician who's signs up in search of his son who is...
Release Date: 20/11/2020
Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond is a pirate adventure where you run, jump and explore the world of the film. You play as either Pinky or Veronica and join the legendary pirate Captain Sabertooth’s crew on the hunt for a mysterious magic diamond.
Release Date: 28/03/2024
Coming Soon: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D First-Person
Open Roads is an adventure game about a girl who finds out that her grandma has a different past than she thought. The girl and her mother go on a journey to look deeper into her grandma's life by revisiting abandoned family properties and looking...
Release Date: 03/10/2019
Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds
Untitled Goose game is a tongue-in-cheek puzzle game where you play a dastardly goose intent on ruining the day of the inhabitants of a sleepy English village. Play involves working out the right order of interactions and distractions to let you steal...
Release Date: 14/06/2013
Out Now: PS3 and PS4
Components: 3D Third-Person and Weather
The Last Of Us is an action-adventure where You play a father, Joel, whose daughter was killed during the early stages of a deadly fungal outbreak. It’s now 20 years later, and he has clearly suffered from the loss. When Joel is given charge of a...
Release Date: 19/07/2019, updated in 2019
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Lost Ember is an animal exploration adventure game. While forward progress is relatively linear, it involves beguiling flying, swimming, digging and running to explore the mysterious world through the eyes of different animals.
Release Date: 14/01/2016, updated in 2016
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Oxenfree is an adventure game where a teenagers’ beach party spirals into a supernatural story. You guide the outcome with your choices as the well-written dialogue reveals characters coming to terms with family breakdown, death of a sibling, blame...
Release Date: 27/12/2018, updated in 2020
Out Now: Mac, PC and Web
Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels
Last Minute Love is an adventure where you play an "old person" in a nursing home who is looking for love. This takes the dating simulator style of game in an unusual direction. You explore the home in your wheelchair, meet a quirky cast of people and...
Release Date: 17/05/2017
Out Now: Android, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Old Man's Journey is a game about memory and old age. You help a grandfather figure traverse the countryside by raising and lowering the landscape. Along the way, he visits places that evoke the story of his life: a wife, a child and a love of the sea.