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Obsessive Compulsive Game

Obsessive Compulsive Game is a short mobile experience created by Kelly M Tran, made with the intention of educating players on OCD.

We spoke to Kelly about the origins surrounding creating the game and the features within it which were carefully designed to create deeper understanding.

“[OCD] is an extremely misrepresented mental illness; most people don’t know what it is. People think it’s about cleaning or it’s this quirky thing, and it’s really difficult to describe to people,” Kelly explains, “media depictions do more harm than good in most cases”.

“I wanna express this and explain this to people, and was looking for that magic article to send to people that didn’t exist.” She explains, mentioning that it’s one of the difficult things about having OCD, is being able to meaningfully express what OCD can feel like. This ultimately led to her choosing to create a game that could provide a more intimate experience that anyone can pick up and play.

Creating a free and short experience like Obsessive Compulsive Game served as a way to explain OCD to people more easily, “this became the magic article that didn’t exist”, Kelly explains.

It wasn’t an easy task to create the game, however, as Kelly mentions it was “a wrenching experience to make” and re-traumatised her in many ways.

It’s so ultimately worth it in the end and I’m so glad I did it. It took a lot to make.

Kelly also talks about the translation of OCD traits into game mechanics; something that was one of the most powerful features of the game. “The moment I was like ‘this makes sense as a game’ was when you have to push the box about. You’re forcing players to do an OCD ritual. You have to count.”

She’s also discussed ideas around making a larger scale game if she had the time – providing more light to de-mystifying OCD in game form.

You can experience the game hereThis is a game about mental illness, and as such might be disturbing to some players. Situations in the game include imagined violence, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Please play with care. 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Timothy Tinyhat

Timothy Tinyhat is telling a tale about experiencing burnout through the perspective of a cartoon doodle.

Created by Sam Claydon, Timothy Tinyhat aims to highlight the importance of working in a healthy and sustainable way, rather than dwell on the hardships of burnout. This game gained the Editor’s Choice award for The Rookies website back in January 2022 and at this point in time the game is just in a vertical slice state.

I wanted to indirectly tell the story of a person going through a burnout by having the player play on the desk of a creative.

A cartoon character stood with a key on a desk. There are post-its of smiley scary faces on the edge of the desk. an arm rests on the desk cradling a mug.

Sam started their Devlog back in November 2021, where they began documenting the process of making their game following the idea born out of lockdown 2020. Once the art style and direction was in full flow, Sam also made the decision to make the narrative around the game about burnout – to have an impact on the player.

We loved to read more about the creative process that indie devs undergo when creating a game, and hope that it encourages other aspiring game devs to read about decision-making in the development process and gain inspiration!

Key Features:

  • 2.5D cartoon animation style
  • story focused around burnout
  • puzzle-adventure


Play the game here!

Want to read more about burnout? Check out our personal story from Safe In Our World Patron Callum Underwood, who talks about the effects of burnout in our Stories collection.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Goodbye World

Goodbye World: Programmer Kanii and graphics artist Kumade are two friends who met in college.

After graduating, they’ve been creating indie games together, but so far life has been harsh; Their games don’t sell, and most of their time is spent working part time jobs to make ends meet… As Kanii desperately tries to find a way to make a product that sells, Kumade makes a decision―

This short experience looks at the challenges, successes and hardships of what creating an indie game can look like, following a personal story between Kanii and Kumade. The narrative explores why game developers want to create in the first place.

two pixel characters in an apartment, with sun coming through the windows

Through 13 chapters, and 12 stages of the in-game game ‘Blocks’, players will discover more about the characters and subsequent decisions which got them where they are today.

To celebrate it’s physical release from Numskull Games, we chatted with YO FUJII about the premise behind the game, as well as the takeaways they’d like other developers to walk away with post-credits. You can read the interview here.

Goodbye World Features:

  • beautiful pixel style art
  • captivating and deep story
  • approx. 2 hour experience
  • insight into indie game development
  • retro game within a game

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Psychotic Bathtub

Psychotic Bathtub is the story of an escalating mind… and ducks.

The game deals with a psychotic disorder in a small space. Players will take on the role of Ophelia in her bathtub and interact with the environment. Players will argue with a rubber duck, drink wine, and add more bathwater throughout the game. Each of your interactions threatens to escalate and each action has consequences.

You might accidentally drown your duck, the wine could into poison, and the bathroom is flooded and so you move through the disorder towards different endings. Psychotic Bathtub is a multilinear indie story game in development. Its most recent prototype offers four different endings and a playtime of up to thirty minutes. 

Psychotic Bathtub is a game that offers multiple choices and tries to see what you will decide to do in this scenario that you find yourself in with Ophelia and her duck. With up to four different endings and each action having a consequence, which path will you choose?


  • A beautifully hand-drawn art style
  • Multiple choice
  • A powerful story that delves into mental health disorders

If you want to try the game out for yourself, you can do so HERE. You can also check out more of our Mental Health Related Games and Apps HERE.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

A Taste Of The Past

In A Taste Of The Past, players will step into the shoes of Mei, a shy, Chinese-American high school student that is dealing with the sudden passing of her mother.

After Mei loses her mother’s recipes, she embarks on a train and realises that her ancestors have also boarded as well. Through talking to her family she will learn and uncover her mother’s recipe for traditional noodles while also learning self-love, grief and healing.

“Experience a story of growth through reliving precious moments with family and cooking. A Taste of the Past is a relatable and touching journey about holding those you love close.”

This is a game that personally hit home in a very real way, the stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Developer Sondering Studio beautifully crafted an experience that shows you their way of dealing with grief.

Through the story, its design, the music, everything about this game provides a very heartfelt experience.  Mei’s journey is one that will resonate with many and helps open your eyes to others’ experiences of grief. Through the game, you will experience cooking mini-games that brings you closer to your mother in a thoughtful way.


  • Take on mini-games to learn the recipe
  • Experience a heartfelt narrative about grief
  • Stylized hand-drawn art
  • Original voice acting, writing, art and music

You can experience A Taste Of The Past HERE.

You can also check out more of our Mental Health Games and Apps HERE

Skills utilised:
Games & apps


Featureless, unnamed, and without memories of how you came here… but you remember why. She’s waiting for you somewhere in this Mansion and you cannot leave until you find her. Cut your way through various unique areas and meet new allies as you delve deeper into the mystery, face your inner demons, and annihilate them.

OTXO (pronounced oh-cho) is a violent top-down shooter with roguelite elements. Play as the protagonist entering an inexplicable mansion in search of his lost love. As you venture deeper into the Mansion, more of its secrets will be unveiled to you.

Underneath its bloody and brutal violence, OTXO acts as an allegory of depression and the struggle of fighting one’s depression. It aims to be an empowering story about overcoming your own demons and not giving up that fight. The featureless and unnamed protagonist is just that on purpose. They act as a blank canvas because there’s no one face for people who face these types of battles. Alongside these themes, there are also references to how depression can affect your loved ones and others around you.

OTXO is Lateralis’ second game, a contrast to Dogworld, which released in 2021.

For the concept of the storyline; I wanted to make a game that was specifically about my thoughts and experience with depression. Obviously it’s different for everyone, it’s a very subjective thing, but for me depression is very much a battle. I wanted to take that… anger [anger’s maybe not the right word], of having to deal with something like this and focusing into the experience, which is why the game is so outwardly violent.

We chatted with Nate Haddock, developer of OTXO, about his experience in creating the game. You can read the interview here.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps


We are adding ZenVR: a meditation learning system taught in Virtual Reality, to our list of mental health related games and apps.

The experience combines the structure and teachings of real-world classes in the practice of meditation with the immersion of VR. With progressive lessons taught by your own instructor, you can learn the basics of meditation and a variety of mental and physical techniques you can use to bring balance, focus, and calm from virtual reality to your reality. Revisit curriculum at your own pace for learning retention using practice mode’s build-your-own meditations.

ZenVR began as a Master’s Thesis project at The Georgia Institute of Technology. The experience has been empirically proven in the respective paper to successfully guide novice meditators through their journey and affect real-world change, increasing mindfulness and equipping them with tools they can use in their daily lives. Now they’ve transformed their prototype into VR’s meditation learning system for major VR platforms to share the benefits of meditation with the world.

“We all deal with managing stress levels, and we look forward to providing you with some potential new mental frameworks and breathing techniques for helping to deal with your stress. ZenVR is designed to be like training wheels for real life. Learning to calm the mind and then how to apply it as we guide you into a practice you can embody anytime, anywhere when outside of VR”

In dealing with stress, you may find particular benefit in the breathing techniques covered in the curriculum:

  • 1-2 breathing, found in Lesson 1
  • 5 Count Breath (Exhale Counting), found in Lesson 3
  • 10 Round Counting, found in Lesson 5
  • Mindfulness of Breath, found in Lesson 7
Welcome aboard and happy meditating! Learn more here.


Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Promising Times

In Promising Times, players step into the role of Oliver.

You’ll experience four days in the life of Oliver, in which he struggles with different aspects of his current life and isn’t in the best shape. After various encounters during the game, Oliver starts to feel better, and his life starts looking a little more brighter and colourful which is also demonstrated in the game’s art and design. Interacting with characters in this Universe will impact the way the game transforms through these four days.

A screenshot from Promising Times of two characters stood on a street. One character is saying 'I've heard good things about you!'. There is a sepia-effect over the image

In Promising Times it encourages Oliver and the player, to be more open, to have these conversations, to talk essentially and that is also what Andy’s Man Club and Game Gnomes have demonstrated here.

“The goal was to create an uplifting and engaging experience for players that may identify with Oliver and his struggles. They should have an encouraged feeling after playing and finishing the game. The ethos of the game is the slogan of Andy’s Man Club: #ItsOkayToTalk”


  • A game world that transforms with Oliver
  • Lots of characters to talk to and learn about
  • A unique art style that changes as you progress
  • Encouragement to talk and be open

Experience Promising Times HERE.

If you’re looking for helplines or support, please visit our Find Help page.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

How To Say Goodbye

How To Say Goodbye is a story about a character that has recently passed away and turned into a ghost. As a newly made ghost, players are lost in an unknown world populated by other spirits. How To Say Goodbye tackles grief but in a beautifully crafted way, with kindness and understanding. In the little warning message, the game explains the game’s intentions of being a story that hopes to relate with some but might hit home for others.

Players will navigate through different levels with different themes throughout the game to help them find their friends who are prisoners of a mysterious wizard and accompany them on their journey to the other side. Players must go through different puzzles to get through the doors at the end of each level while the evil dark forces called spleens to try to cement your existence in a space between life and death.

We feel this belongs on our list due to the way it handles life and death in a narrative sense it explains things beautifully and pushes you to go forward throughout your playthrough. The puzzles are soothing and the atmosphere of the game is relaxing from the slow pace and the way the developers have crafted the experience.

Key Features

  • Relaxing puzzles
  • A heartfelt story
  • Beautifully handcrafted design that keeps you wanting more

You can find How To Say Goodbye HERE.

If you’d like to see more of our Mental Health Games and Apps you can do so HERE.


Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Welcome To Elk

Content warning: ‘Welcome To Elk’ presents a number of personal journeys that may be triggering to some players. Triple Topping handles each story with care and love and is done to educate players whilst doing justice to people’s experiences.

The game contains scenes including deaths and children experiencing murder. Alcohol abuse, sexual assault, prostitution, violence and offensive language.

Welcome to Elk is a biographical adventure set on an island like no other, where every character you encounter has a story to tell. From the weird and wonderful to the dark and desperate, all the tales on Elk are based on true stories of life on the less travelled road. You play as Frigg, a young carpenter trading their busy life in the city for an apprenticeship in a small town. When she arrives in Elk, Frigg worries that the slower pace of life will be boring (they don’t even have the internet), but quickly discovers nothing could be further from the truth!

Welcome To Elk is a story that personally stuck with me (Jake) for all the right reasons, from the moment it starts to the moment it ends.

The characters are easy to get attached to, and you feel yourself rooting for them whilst playing. The protagonist in this story is Frigg, who arrives on the island where the first port of call is to head to the bar to meet the residents. Frigg will talk to all of the characters, and you’ll pick up information about each resident, as well as the island’s villain, Leeroy.

After fun and games with the village, the players returns home (a little intoxicated) before falling asleep. Frigg wakes up for their first day being a carpenter, but quickly learns that other tasks will always take precedence over the job at hand.

Over the next few days, players learn that the stories in every act, while are often very hard-hitting, are beautifully told and demonstrated by the developers. The stories are presented as little mini-games and sequences. After each act is complete, a small documentary begins with the real person telling their story. It’s very heartfelt, but heartbreaking when realising these are people’s realities. 

Welcome To Elk has this way of drawing you in from the start, and it is an adventure that we recommend, but want to remind players to be aware of how hard-hitting the stories can be. It demonstrates the extremes that grief, mental health, and more can go – but they’re told in such a beautifully empathic and sympathetic way. Well done to Triple Topping for managing to approach these subjects with such care.


  • Beautifully hand-drawn graphics that make you want to see more of the island
  • Heartfelt but heartbreaking stories told in an empathic way
  • Characters each with different personalities and traits
  • Interactive island with items to search for with little backstories






Skills utilised:
Games & apps


Aka is a game that looks at loss on a large scale, following a war. Playing as a red panda who has vowed to no longer use their katana for war and instead only use it as a scythe, you move to a small island to attempt to find a peaceful life. 

Many of the implications of grief are quite subtle in Aka: you are existing in a world that experienced profound loss and as you explore you begin to realise this fact. You move into an abandoned home on the island (its previous owner never returned from the war); you help an orphaned kitten; and seemingly every NPC you meet has a story about what they’ve lost. You will also find ghosts along your adventure – the souls of those impacted by the war – who you can help to move on. 

Aka approaches the subject of grief in a hopeful way as you seek to repair the damage of the past, and focuses on relaxation and mindfulness through mechanics such as being able to just take a seat by a pond and watch the fish for a while. You can fully take your time with each aspect of the game, with no pressure to complete goals, no stamina or hunger: you need only to exist and live in the world it presents to you. 

You can follow the creator of Aka here.


  • Relaxing farming sim gameplay 
  • Quests to help other island inhabitants 
  • Thoughtful and affecting dialogue 
  • Painted art style 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a touching third person independently-controlled puzzle adventure of two brothers on a journey to help their father, who has fallen ill.

The game is presented from a third-person view overlooking the two brothers. The brothers are moved individually by two thumbsticks on the controller. The controller triggers also cause the respective brother to interact with the game world, such as talking to a non-player character or grabbing onto a ledge or object.

Death and grief are omnipresent themes throughout the brothers’ journey, as are themes of struggle, suicide and wellbeing.

Key Features: 

  • Control both brothers on this journey independently
  • Solve puzzles and explore the world together
  • Follow an emotional and immersive journey in a fairy tale world


Skills utilised:
Games & apps


Deficit is a Semi-Fictional Experiential ADHD Story, based on real-life ADHD experiences. Players will navigate their way through several vignettes as they learn more about how structural barriers and attitudes can create a difficult environment for those whose brains work differently.

This game has a unique way of telling a story and being relatable to people with ADHD. This story might also help people explore their own mental health and help people ask questions they may have been having about ADHD. Deficit really carefully guides you through the life of a person with ADHD and the design choices involved make it a very surreal experience, while it is only a 15 minute experience, it’s one that has opened our eyes to what the condition can be like. Deficit is a great narrative that really helps educate.


  • A narrative written by a person that has ADHD
  • The design is wonderful and really helps you engage
  • Could be a fantastic educational tool

You can play Deficit for free here: by Gav Sarafian

'The cat meows. You pet her.' .... What were you doing? > fix cable > start stream


Skills utilised:
Games & apps

The Safe Place

We’re highlighting The Safe Place, an app designed by Jasmin Pierre.

The Safe Place is a Minority Mental Health App geared towards the Black Community. African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the rest of the general population. However, many Black people still do not wish to seek professional help for their mental illnesses.

Through this app, Jasmin offers talks to companies to help educate them on an array of issues that Black people can face throughout their lives and better ways to help. Jasmin also covers universities on talking about wellness programs and trying to diversify within the communities. Health professional talks about helping people learn more health about a lot of issues to help educate them. These issues include:

  • racial trauma in corporate settings
  • social justice
  • burnout
  • incarceration and mental health disparities
  • youth mental health
  • meditation

The app goes into the history of issues that the BIPOC communities have gone through and what effects it has had on them in all sorts of ways, including some of those mentioned above.

Within the app there are podcast episodes, a comic book and a Chat Wall in which people can be themselves in a safe place and chat with others.

The Safe Place contains a list of SAFE Support groups from Victims Of Police Brutality, Racism in the Workplace, Colorism and Featurism, Black Moms and Post Patrum Depression, Black LGBTQ+ support groups, Hair Discrimination, Surviving Family Abuse, Healthcare Discrimination, Support After A “Karen” Interaction and Substance Abuse Support. Also included are poll results on racial trauma to help see the statistics and it also has Inspirational Black Quotes for those who may need them. 

Other sections consist of ‘Racism During the Pandemic’ which goes into many issues the communities have faced through that, but also it allows people to send emails in and try to help grow this section, it also takes stories that people have of their experiences. The app also contains a mental illness list of descriptions with Clinical Depression, Post Partum depression, PTSD, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Suicide and Prevention and ADHD. The app features a massive array of uplifting information and signposts appropriately.

Key Features of The Safe Place

  • An empathic app with support and resources
  • A simple design that is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate
  • A lot of empowering and useful information
  • Courses on helping educate universities, workplaces, youth and more

Skills utilised:
Games & apps


Meet Mendü: a free companion to talk though problems with, right now.

Learn how to de-stress, problem-solve, sleep better, relieve anxiety, gain more confidence and feel more balanced.

Mendü has been developed to equip women of colour with the tools to overcome self-doubt, feel supported and promote wellbeing. The founders of the app are also a neuroscientist and a therapist, who wanted to create tools that are focused on considering diverse female representation in mental health.

The app has a wealth of audio resources educating users on topics such as reducing stress, guiding your emotions, allyship and microaggressions, sleep, meditation, trauma processing and more.

Our journaling prompts were made by diverse women for others facing similar life events. We are transforming the way therapeutic journaling and meditation is done by providing relevant and inclusive audio pieces you can connect with.

It also has a range of journaling prompts to inspire and support you in your journaling experience.


  • sustaining the activist – taking care of yourself while changing the world
  • lifting self image – improving your relationship with your hair, body, race & culture
  • managing mood – manage days of feeling sad & anxious
  • sparking everyday joy – small steps to make every day filled with more focus, joy & gratitude
  • healing wounds and frustrations – heal the wounds holding you back and bring out your resilience
  • finding restful sleep – let go of the day so you can have a good night’s sleep

Learn more about the app at their website.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps


Headspace is an app focused on improving the world’s happiness and health.

It’s backed by science, and has already been proven to reduce stress by 14% in 10 days! Shine is also a part of mental wellness app Headspace. Originally it’s own app, now combined with Headspace, it features daily meditations, self care courses and personalised support. The team at Shine joined Headspace Health to advance the company’s inclusive mental health strategy and content.

When we started Shine 6 years ago, we were frustrated by the lack of representation and inclusion in the mental health category. Naomi and I didn’t often see our identities as women of color, our socioeconomic backgrounds or even our body types represented in mainstream wellness.

And there were so many others with that same experience. We quickly discovered: people who identified as Black, Native American, Hispanic, Asian and/or LGBTQIA+—we all had higher rates of anxiety and depression, and fewer options for inclusive care. – Founders at Shine

The app tackles current stressors such as climate anxiety, practical support on things such as getting outside, and how to be patient with your progress.

Navigating Injustice

There is also a section on the app where diverse voices help users recognise their unique journeys, struggles and differences. One example of this is Indigenous mindfulness sessions, with accompanying meditations.

Key Features of Headspace

  • mindfulness activities such as ‘how to practice self-love’, ‘mindful ways to use personal pronouns and inclusive language’ and more
  • coping mechanisms on how to manage stress and anxiety
  • support on how to sleep better, wake up easier and fall back asleep if you have disturbed sleep
  • meditation techniques, benefits and guided sessions

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

The Longest Walk

The Longest Walk is a BAFTA nominated biographical walking simulator game about Sandy’s dad’s experience of living with depression and suicidal ideation.

The following game discusses themes of depression and suicidal intent which some players may find distressing.

The aim for this game is to help reduce feelings of isolation and encourage those who are struggling with depression or experiencing suicidal thoughts to reach out for help.

The game centres around the Tay Road Bridge – a crisis area between Dundee City and Fife for those seeking to take their own life – and tasks the player with virtually walking in Sandy’s dad’s footsteps as he recalls his journey through some of the toughest moments in his life.

We also spoke to Sandy in an interview about the process of creating the game.

A screenshot from The Longest Walk - it is an illustrated bridge, with the words 'but it's good to talk about it now' underneath.

Over the past five years Dundee City has been one of the council areas with the highest suicide rate in the whole of Scotland. The game takes place on a walk over the Tay Road Bridge, which is an infamous local landmark for those seeking to take their life.

Whilst my father’s experience and the locations depicted in the game are specific to him, the thoughts, feelings, and message conveyed through his recollection of lived experience are universal.

This free documentary game is part of a series of biographical game prototypes that Sandy is developing for his PhD at Abertay University – Funded by The Northwood Charitable Trust – and was inspired by games such Actual Sunlight and That Dragon, Cancer. This game is published under the Abertay Game Lab practice-based research group.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Kinder World

We’ve added Kinder World to our list of mental health related games! Kinder World is a mobile game combining caring for plants and caring for yourself, in a comfy and relaxing environment of your own creation.

It’s the perfect app for casual checking in with yourself, and gently encouraging wellbeing exercises that are minimal effort. By integrating activities like emotion tracking and gratitude exercises, players are prompted towards self-care. Every plant is also procedurally generated, so the player’s plant growth is unique to them!

We’re making Kinder World because it can be very hard to work on being compassionate with ourselves, especially amidst a global pandemic. If you’ve struggled to make a habit with meditation or mindfulness apps, we’re making this game for exactly you! – Lauren Clinnick, CEO of Lumi Interactive.

We also love the addition of kind messages and affirmations from other players, fostering a kind gaming environment. This interactivity allows the game to feel more community-focused, and feel as though players are a part of something larger.

There is even a Discord for the community, which you can join here.

Secret Samy Gift Exchange

The holiday season is coming to Kinder World, which means it’s time to rest, relax, and (most importantly) practice kindness to ourselves and others. Our favourite Samoyed has been hard at work creating the first ever Secret Samy Gift Exchange — an opportunity for every Kinder World player to spread the love, send a kind message, and choose between two free in-game gifts for a friend or stranger, from artists Lucy Zhang and Lucy Mutimer! You can get started here.

Kinder World Features:

  • Relaxing soundtrack
  • You can name your plants
  • You unlock a variety of mindfulness activities to complete, which you can choose from twice daily
  • If you are unsure how to fill out an activity (e.g. the daily gratitude) you can see what other people have said to help you get ideas
  • Your plant can be visited by insects and wildlife which leave affirmations for you

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Wayward Strand

Wayward Strand is a heartfelt story told in a curious way. Hop aboard an airborne hospital and meet its fully-voiced cast of eclectic characters. As time passes for everyone on board, explore the interwoven lives of the patients and staff; discover something new on every playthrough.

Wayward Strand is a game that we thought belonged on the list for a multitude of reasons. November’s content theme is chronic illness at Safe In Our World and in Wayward Strand, the player explores the airship and gets to know many of the residents and also learns about them.

Being in an airship that is essentially a care home up in the air, you’ll learn of the conditions and characteristics these people face which we felt was very educational and quite emotional. The first feeling you get is, ‘this is such a cozy feeling airship’. With the view below of the ocean and mountain views in the distance, you can see why this is the perfect place for the residents.

There were strong feelings of comfort in one respect at the place they lived and with the staff that supported them, but also a feeling of sadness. It reminded me (Jake) of people I hold dearly that were in similar situations. Wayward Strand is very unique in its way of telling the story as the developers describe and it’s one I feel belongs on this list.

Features –

  • Fully voiced cast with such fantastic personalities
  • Hand drawn graphic feel that makes it more personal
  • Lots of options and choices
  • An emotional journey


Skills utilised:
Games & apps

You Don’t Look Sick

You Don’t Look Sick challenges players to complete resource management-based narrative objectives through a month in the life of your chosen and fully customisable character.

The end goal is to successfully pay all of their bills and rent by the end of the month. You Don’t Look Sick makes players have to think about balancing their energy, health and wellness by cleaning their apartments, eating, showering, sleeping, managing their social life, and keeping their job. All while dealing with the symptoms and complications that come with an invisible illness and hidden disability.

An inspiration for Menard’s work came from The Spoon Theory, by Christine Miserandino, which used spoons as a metaphor for the energy a person living with chronic illness or disability can expend in a day. The team has carefully developed a game revolving around these occurrences. You Don’t Look Sick does a fantastic job at opening people’s eyes to what life can be like for those living with illness or disability. The belief and hope is that others can also talk about there conditions more openly and help educate.

Features –

  • Fully hand-designed narrative game full of different choices
  • Wonderfully crafted art
  • Fully customisable character
  • Interesting management objectives

You can download and play the title yourself here.


Skills utilised:
Games & apps

That Dragon, Cancer

We’re adding That Dragon, Cancer to our list for it’s powerful and immersive storytelling, depicting Joel Green’s 4 year experience with cancer.

Developed as a love letter to his son, the game is an emotional journey, including deeply personal moments from the actual family’s life. The game encapsulates real audio and spoken poetry within the gameplay, which really hit home.

That Dragon Cancer screenshot of Joel sat on steps, reading.

As with a number of our games, this is a heavy play; despite being intertwined with themes of hope and love, I (Rosie) am yet to find someone who has played this and not been absolutely devastated.

You can learn more about Joel and the Green family here.

That Dragon, Cancer is simple to play, with point and click mechanics, which was honestly all I could manage when experiencing this anyway. Players progress through the story through a variety of different locations and memories of Joel’s story, and become a part of that journey.

That Dragon, Cancer Trailer

The game originally started on Kickstarter, with over 3.5k backers. Created by Numinous Games, the team have also developed Painted Waters, a one-button game created for children. The idea behind Painted Waters was to create more accessible games for players with disabilities.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Mass Effect

We’ve added Mass Effect to our list for the representation that it brings amongst its characters within the disabled, neurodiverse and chronically ill communities.

It’s often hard to find characters that represent chronic illness and disability well within video games. It’s important to be able to see these characters as full characters, rather than solely focusing on their disability or chronic illness as the only element of their character. Whilst the representations aren’t perfect, they seem to challenge the usual issues in erasure of these characters in games too. (We looked at this insightful article from Able Gamers).

It’s important to also note that the through line of the story revolves around cooperation being the key to survival, which is reflected in the gameplay with each character having different, combo-able skills (there is even a line that explicitly says the reason the Protheans failed to stop the Reapers was they were too homogeneous).

We’re able to see characters in-game who are immunocompromised, characters with conditions like osteoporosis (Vrolik syndrome), and characters who are neurodiverse. These characters are not being hidden, or ‘fixed’ within the ME universe, and instead offer a place for more players to see themselves within games.

“What starts as a routine mission to an agrarian outpost quickly becomes the opening salvo in an epic war. As the newly appointed Executive Officer of the SSV Normandy, you’ll assemble and lead an elite squad of heroes into battle after heart-pounding battle. Each decision you make will impact not only your fate, but the destiny of the entire galaxy in the Mass Effect trilogy.”

Key Features in Mass Effect

  • Immersive and exciting storytelling
  • Sci-Fi universe to explore
  • Strategic combat
  • Decisions matter

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

A Memory of This

A Memory of This is a short autobiographical game about trying to cope.

Remembering is scary, and reaching out for help can be even scarier, but that does not mean that we have to be all alone.

** content warning – this game contains mentions of sexual violence and trauma**

The Safe In Our World team played this game during Scottish Games Week at the Glasgow Barclay’s Expo. The game is from Fabi Reichsoellner which was made as part of their Undergraduate Honours Project with Abertay University. It’s an emotional and powerful experience, that certainly doesn’t pull any punches.

It allows a space to step into someone else’s shoes for just a few minutes, and understand what effect traumatic events can have on someone’s mental health.

We hope that games like Fabi’s ‘A Memory of This’ allow other developers to feel more confident in approaching important topics and messages within the games that they create. Games are a powerful tool to express emotion and portray a message, and we think this game did just that.

Download and play the game for free on now.

Did you know that we’re supported by Fractured Minds, a game made by Emily Mitchell when she was 17? We value uplifting new developers, and celebrate the indies in the same way as the big names. We’re grateful to Emily for continuing to support us, and to developers like Fabi who use their games to tell stories that need to be told.


Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Virtual Cottage

Virtual Cottage is a free experience on Steam providing a cosy space to be productive.

Welcome to your Cottage!
Please stay as long as you like and enjoy a cozy, distraction-free environment.

Have you been putting off doing some important tasks for an unforgivable amount of time, and want to finally circle back to them? Virtual Cottage provides an environment to help you along the way.


  • Relaxing Lo-fi soundtrack
  • Optional weather sounds to add to the atmosphere
  • Customisable ambience including weather, music and companion pet
  • Timers to commit to tasks
  • Inbuilt to-do lists to keep you focused

We love to see free tools being provided to gamers to improve focus, and allow tasks to seem a little less daunting, which is why this game is on our list of mental health related apps. It can often be overwhelming to commit to one task at a time and focus on things when surrounded by distractions, especially with people who have ADHD for example. Let us know if you find tools like this helpful to concentrate!

You can find an hour of Virtual Cottage streamed to YouTube below to see whether you think you’d like to spend some time in your own virtual cottage.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

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