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Gaming 101:
Narrative Games
 

In this series, we are learning how different aspects of video games work by playing games that offer an easy introduction to this one concept. This is designed for people new to gaming and aims to identify games with the least barriers. In this entry, we are looking at Narrative games.

Narrative video games focus on telling a story about characters, worlds and themes. Learning from the power of books and films, these games string together interactions not for excitement or competition but for storytelling beats. The best examples intertwine gameplay and storytelling, rather than interspersing short films ("Cut Scenes) between levels.

Games can use Adventure, Action and Role-Playing to communicate elements of the story to players. Less obviously, games can also communicate narrative through how they Simulate the world, what needs solving in Puzzles or even the Strategies players need to employ.

The narrative of video games is not usually told (like in books) or shown (like in films) but overheard. Half-caught sentences from passing characters. The architecture of the buildings. The way that levers and buttons interact. How other characters (and the world itself sometimes) react to your presence. What is broken in the space the game creates, and how/if it can be fixed.
 
This list includes 27 games from the last 25 years, with 1,004 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play your first strategy game.

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Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is an unsettling narrative adventure and sequel to Oxenfree.

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is an unsettling narrative adventure and sequel to Oxenfree. Like that game, you guide your character through choices that affect the direction of the well-written and complex story and tune your radio to overhear mysterious conversations.

Leaving Lyndow is a narrative adventure set a couple of generations before Eastshade.

Leaving Lyndow is a narrative adventure set a couple of generations before Eastshade. Sharing the same anthropomorphized animal society, although here at an earlier stage, it's a game about the memories we make in the places we grow up, and difficulty of leaving them behind.

Minecraft: Story Mode is a point-and-click narrative adventure set in the Minecraft universe where Jessie, an inexperienced adventurer, sets out on a grand quest with their friends.

Minecraft: Story Mode is a point-and-click narrative adventure set in the Minecraft universe where Jessie, an inexperienced adventurer, sets out on a grand quest with their friends. As you watch their story unfold, you make choices that affect the way the narrative unfolds across the episodes.

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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