In this blog series we want to highlight some of the games that we are playing within the GEMH lab or that we find interesting from a mental and/or emotional health perspective. These games will eventually be compiled in a masterlist that we will link back to in each upcoming blog.
You can click on the title to view the trailer for the games which usually also mentions the PG rating.
| Rec. by
|Why do we like it?
|Journey of a broken circle (2020)
|Switch, PS4, Xbox One/X/S, PC, MacOS
|"Journey of the Broken Circle is a lovely, thought-provoking game that uses simplicity to explore the complexity of relationships".
|"Both in terms of story, art, and gameplay it does very interesting things to evoke strong feelings."
|What Remains of Edith Finch (2017)
|Switch, PS4, Xbox One/X/S, PC, iOS
|Strong narrative game about a girl who travels back to her family home to discover and reflect on the tragedies that occured in her family. Deals with themes of mortality, conclusion, loss. It's definitely not a 'lighthearted' game as it deals with such heavy themes.
|"It's very surreal at times and definitely gripping.The stories stuck with me for a while after playing."
|Cozy Grove (2021)
|Switch, PS4, Xbox One/X/S, PC, MacOS, iOS
|It's in the Stardew Valley realm of cozy relaxing games. You work as a spirit scout on an Island of ghost bears and you have to do some errands for them, build out your campsite, but you also slowly figure out more about the ghost bear's past lives.
|"The art is very cute and it's nice and relaxing. I especially love that it has some concrete tasks to do, but only a certain amount a day"
|Coffee Talk (2020)
|Switch, PS4, Xbox One/X/S, PC, MacOS
|You play as a barista in a fantasy setting where you make coffee and talk to your patrons who share stories about love, life, morality etc.
|"I love the aesthetic and slowly getting to know more about the patrons and IRL I would love to someday do like a latte art course"
|Switch, PS4, Xbox One/X/S, PC, MacOS, Google Stadia
|A cozy management game about dying. You play Stella, ferrymaster to the deceased, a Spiritfarer.You build a boat to explore the world, then befriend and care for spirits before releasing them to the afterlife.
|Joanneke: "Haven't played it yet but heard a lot of great things. I especially love that you can apparently hug the characters in the game, how wholesome!"
|Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One/X/S, PC, MacOS
|Joanneke, Erik, Nastasia
|Defy Hades as you hack and slash your way out of the Underworld in this rogue-like dungeon crawler
|Joanneke: "It's dope AF! Besides the music and art, characters, and voice acting, which are all great, what I like is that usually I'm not a player that likes too much challenge and getting beat down over and over again (like Dark Souls). However, this game is an exception because failing is part of the process; every time you fail an escape attempt you basically come back somewhat stronger. Also, because each escape attempt/dungeon crawl is different, it has enough variability to keep me going, and keeps me wanting to try again. Also you can use so many different combinations of weapons and abilities so you can both try new things every time OR develop your own favourite fighting style"
|Unravel Two (2018)
|Switch, PS4, Xbox One/X/S, PC
|Joanneke, Anouk T
|It’s a platforming adventure game where you play as a pair of Yarnies – small beings made of yarn and connected by a single thread – in local co-op. Run, jump and swing through platforming puzzles, foster friendship, and shed light on a world covered in shadow.
|Joanneke: Played this with my brother during Christmas break and loved it
|Dark Pictures Anthology
|PS4, Xbox One/X/S, PC
|This is actually a series of drama survival horror games under the Dark Pictures Anthology Umbrella.
The main premise is always the same - there's a group of people that get stuck in a spooky place and they need to survive until dawn.
| "It's horror games so clearly not everyone s cup of tear but it's so effective to get you completely immersed and rooting for the survival of the characters. I especially like 2 functions of the game. One is that there are some moments/challenges where you needed to stay as calm as much as possible to make it. Initially this was based on the motion sensor of the PlayStation controller but in later games you need to hit buttons timed to a heart beat. Another function is the movie night mode where, you can play together with others and everyone picks the chacters that they want to control and follow in the story. Love this series a lot and the games never fail to keep me on the edge of my seat. "
|Xbox One/X/S, PC
|An open-world game about a young girl that leaves her tribe to find her own path
|"Very reminiscent of Journey, but also has a lot of traditional RPG questing. No combat, just exploration and conversations."
|The Artful Escape (2021)
|Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One/X/S, PC
|Visually stunning game about a young musician trying to find his identity from the shadows of his famous uncle.
|"It invokes a sense of wonder and excitement in the worlds you visit like nothing else I've ever played."
|Mass Effect: Andromeda (2017)
|PS4, Xbox One/X/S, PC
|Mass Effect Andromeda takes players to the Andromeda galaxy, far beyond the Milky Way. There, you'll lead the fight for a new home in hostile territory as the Pathfinder - a leader of military-trained explorers. This is the story of humanity’s next chapter, and your choices throughout the game will ultimately determine humanity's survival.
|"The player is faced both dialogue based and action based choices throughout the game.There is a menu in the game where the player can check their own "psychological profile" based on how thoughtful they is in both dialogue and action decision moments. I think it shows how games with narrative can be used for self reflection"
Are there any interesting games that you think we should check out? Let us know in the comments or contact us via our various social media channels!
Also, if you are looking for some specific recommendations for multiplayer/co-op games you can play together online? Check out this list we made previously