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Life Is Strange True Colors

The award-winning Life is Strange is back with Life Is Strange: True Colors. Players take on the role of Alex Chen who has long suppressed her “Curse”: the ability to experience, absorb and manipulate the strong emotions of others, which she sees as blazing, colored auras.

After Alex’s brother dies in a mysterious accident, she must embrace her explosive power to find the truth and finally uncover the dark secrets buried by a small town. Players will also experience Alex descending into the orbit of violent Anger, world-altering Sadness, and irrepressible Fear. As she probes the mysteries of Haven Springs, revealing its secrets, Alex will discover moments of quiet transcendence – but also be drawn into moments of sudden, bloody violence – with lasting consequences.

The game also features strong language, drug references, some suggestive themes, and the use of alcohol.

The Life is Strange franchise has been a haven (no pun intended) for a number of gamers, especially those from the LGBTQIA+ community, and True Colors is no exception. Characters like Alex and Steph have inspired many to embrace their identity and who they are, and we’re consistently in awe of the impact this series has had on people’s mental health.

Features:

  • A heartfelt story about uncovering what happened to Alex’s brother.
  • Actions have consequences, the story will evolve with your choices.
  • Explore the town of Haven Springs and find out what deep dark secrets lie within.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Another Day

Another Day is a narrative driven game that portrays the daily struggle experienced by those living in isolation in a claustrophobic environment during lockdown while experiencing depression and anxiety.

The aim of the game is to try to stay on top of an ever increasing list of daily tasks as you battle your internal conflicts. The team at Safe In Our World found that Another Day is a great window into what having a mental health problem can feel like, especially whilst living alone during the lockdown.

The game was part of the Cornwall House exhibition during the G7 Summit in 2021. Check out the team’s Twitter, YouTube and Dev Log for future updates.

We spoke to the Another Dollar Studios team in this interview discussing the reasoning and motivations behind making ‘Another Day’.

You can play Another Day for free on Itch.io

Content Disclaimer: This game contains depictions of isolation and mental illness, namely depression and anxiety. It is not intended to be a fun experience, and some may find these depictions distressing.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Stardew Valley

The player inherits their grandfather’s old farm plot in the beautiful town of Stardew Valley, which is your chance to start a new life and create a thriving farm. Players throughout the game will get to know Stardew Valleys inhabitants, make friends, start relationships and celebrate being together.

Stardew Valley is a feel-good game that you can lose hours in just taking care of your farm or doing other activities such as mining, fishing, mini-quests, and so much more. When we ask our community their comfort game, Stardew Valley has been in the running every time!

Features:

  • The farm is in your control do what you want with it
  • Meet interesting people, form friendships and relationships
  • Customise the game to your liking
  • Take part in events each with mini-games and things to do

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Pause: Daily Mindfulness

Pause: Daily Mindfulness is a free self-help app that provides many mindfulness techniques that are best suited to the user.

Pause teaches techniques such as:

  • Finger Tai Chi helps you rest and recharge with mindful finger movements.
  • Mindful Walking, use walking to help with your mental health.
  • Breath will teach the user some breathing techniques using “belly breathing”.
  • Flow Timer, a mindful timer for meditation and work
  • Sleep, drift off to sleep with a mindful tapping exercise.
  • Lets Go discover your inner freedom
  • Resonance lets you play with singing bowls and create sand mandalas.

We believe this app can be really helpful to aid those who may need to learn mindfulness or practice mindfulness to relax and destress, the app is easy to download, simple to use and provides a very unique design to help aid the relaxation with its excellent sound, music and look.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

You Feel Like Shit

You Feel Like Shit, otherwise known as YouFeelLikeShit is a website aimed at helping you ground yourself whilst practising self-care.

Whether you’ve woken up and had a bad day or at the end of the day perhaps something hasn’t gone quite right, You Feel Like Shit aims to make sure you take care of yourself. By asking questions such as when you last ate, if you’re hydrated, or well rested, it can give you some handy tips on making sure you are equipped to take better care of yourself. The website has a very empathic tone when it delivers the information to help you make sure you’ve achieved your daily needs as a person both physically and mentally.

You Feel Like Shit Self Care created by both Jace Harr and Amanda Miklik is a fantastic little website that in their words “is designed to help you help yourself through your shitty times.” While in the disclaimer they state they aren’t professionals and this website should not replace you going to see a doctor or seeking help it is a good thing to use between to make sure you are taking care of yourself. You can read the disclaimer in full below:

“Disclaimer: I’m not a mental health practitioner or a healthcare professional. This site is not intended to provide medical advice or replace your regular healthcare routine, so keep seeing your medical provider(s) and taking any meds you need, please!”

You can find the website by following this link HERE and perhaps you might find it helpful to add into your daily routine of self-care.

 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

You Will (Not) Remain

You Will (Not) Remain was made in just 48 hours for the Women Game Jam 2021, and is a 2D narrative game that takes place in an abandoned apartment complex. Haunted by their previous mistakes and growing loneliness, the player must navigate a strange world that isn’t all that it seems. A world that makes them question their reality while the city outside succumbs to a nameless terror.

“Stay inside. Stay safe. Don’t let anyone in.” That’s what they told you to do, and now you’re alone. You’ve been alone for a while, well… except for Lambshank, the strangest dog you’ve ever seen. Taking on the role of an unknown person stuck in an apartment building with a horrific purple presence looming in the distance. How long have you been here? Weeks? Years? Each day blurs into the next, time-stretching between the world before, and the world now. You try not to think about the creature in the distance, the whispers in the walls. You ignore the ghostly glow it bathes the city in, violet spreading through every inch of the sky. Is any of this real? Does any of this mean something? You’re not sure if you want to know the answer.

You Will (Not) Remain felt like a dark game that really delves into mental health; the anxiety, depression, and sometimes suicidal ideology. Whilst the game has dark tones, it displayed these issues in a creative way and left you wondering what could possibly be going on in this world. Is the world a representation of how intense mental illness can get for many or are we really in an apocalyptic scenario?

Please Note: The game has a content warning due to its dark nature and associated feelings, which may be a trigger or risk to some players. We urge players to consider their vulnerability before playing.

 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Hymble Ventures

Hymble Ventures is a 2.5D sci-fantasy platform game about an insect-like alien on the autism spectrum. Players join Hymble on their adventure through Hymborgia, Eukaterra, to find and discover a mysteriously wandering maegent. Hymble Ventures features many environmental puzzles, metalhead creatures and special abilities based on autism hypersensitivities, converted into superpowers.

The core mechanics of Hymble Ventures are based on controlling the five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, hear). For neurodiverse people, they can be hypersensitive to sensory information and may overreact to increasing stimuli. This autism trait is an inspiration to aspects of Hymble’s world such as quirky, organ-shaped berries that grant enhanced sight, or smell etc.
To hone in on the subject of autism and hypersensitivities, Hymble’s cartoonish and exaggerated character design consists of oversized melon bread antennae (or ears), and a large nose.

Features:

  • An array of puzzles that uses different senses
  • An experience to help others see how neurodiverse people feel every day
  • A wonderful cartoon art style

Hymble Ventures is currently in a testing phase and you can download it HERE. The team appreciate any bug reporting on the Itch.io page ready for Steam once the game is fully ready.

 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Samaritans Self Help App

The Samaritans Self Help App is designed to help people keep track of their mood, discover new ways to try and tackle the problems that have arisen, provide techniques in trying to overcome them and overall be able to find a way to progress forward. You can check it out here

During the start of the pandemic, it wasn’t just the coronavirus that was taking its toll on people: mental health cases were also on the rise. In an uncertain time, we were locking down around the world, with many finding themselves cut off from local services. On the 18th of May 2020, the Samaritans came up with this useful app to help as many as they possibly could.

One feature within the app that we love, is the Crisis Planning Safety Plan. It allows you to remind yourself of things you can do to stay safe if you’re thinking about harming yourself, or find yourself in a crisis. Whilst having spaces for individuals to write things that give them hope, relaxation techniques, warning signs and even people that can help, it’s an incredibly important resource for people to have prepared in case they need it.

Mental health minister Nadine Dorries at the time of release said: “During these extraordinary and unprecedented times, it’s so important we look after our mental health and wellbeing as well as our physical health. Each and every one of us knows the steps we can take to look after our emotional wellbeing but this app will be a fantastic resource for anyone struggling during the outbreak or looking for additional support, and I’m sure will make a real difference to so many people.”

To this day the app is still a brilliant resource for tracking mood, being able to pinpoint the next steps forward and plan it out in a less overwhelming way. Due to the simplicity of the app, even in the most stressful of situations, the mood recording is very simple and accessible.

Key Features –

  • Track your mood daily to notice the patterns
  • Read up on self-help techniques
  • Record what is going on to help ground yourself and figure how to move forward
  • Create a safety plan for crisis planning

“Be kind to yourself every day.
Use our self-help app to track your mood and find practical tips and techniques to look after your emotional health.”

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

In Sound Mind

In Sound Mind is a psychological survival horror game developed by We Create Stuff and published by Modus Games.

In Sound Mind throws players into the shoes of Desmond Wales, a psychologist who has just awoken to find his town has flooded and a mysterious chemical looms around every corner. The narrative is an interesting one, a game that keeps you guessing throughout your playthrough. We believe that In Sound Mind belongs on the list due to the portrayal of each fear. While the game is a survival horror, it’s quite the experience getting to delve into each of these mysterious worlds to try to solve what is going on with Desmond, and what happened to his patients.

These worlds are so unique to each other, each with a very dark representation, from ghost-like entities to almost alien-like creatures, no world is the same, you must do what it takes to solve the mystery. Virginia the first patient struggles with social anxieties, Allen struggles with fear, Max has issues with his anger and Lucas’s PTSD was taking over his life. By solving the mysteries you can bring the patients and Desmond peace.

In Sound Mind boasts a mesmerising visual style with beautiful lighting effects. The game is dark, but it’s the chemical compound and the atmospheric lighting that is eye-catching. It also showcases a great soundtrack by Living Tombstone. With such a narrative-driven game, We Create Games have secured some brilliant voice acting talent that conveys the emotion in each of the patients and the fear in Desmond; the fear of not understanding how he got here and why.

Features

  • Interesting puzzles that blend in with patients fears & touch on mental health/illnesses
  • Creative boss fights
  • Beautiful graphics especially the lighting effects
  • A creative narrative that keeps you guessing

 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Rainbow Billy: The Curse Of The Leviathan

Rainbow Billy: The Curse Of The Leviathan puts players into the shoes of Billy.

The day was a day like no other – everyone was happy, celebrating and being kind to one another. Positivity was in the air and nothing could ruin it until the Leviathan arrived. The Leviathan unleashes their evil powers and zaps all the colour, positivity and kindness from the world, leaving the fate of the world with you and your friends.

To restore and help your friends recover, you must talk and listen in a unique twist in turn-based combat: by talking and listening. This will restore them to their usual selves and in turn, they will help you on your quest.

It’s an imaginative way to teach players of all ages about empathy and understanding feelings, instilling methods to notice when their friends aren’t quite seeming themselves, as well as self awareness and reflection on their own mood.

Features

  • A wonderful story about friendship, positivity, empathy and understanding
  • A unique art style that is a joy to look at
  • A fun game for all ages that puts a spin on turn-based combat

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Lake

Set in the 1980’s, players take on the role of Meredith Weiss, a woman brought back home to help her father by taking his role as a postal worker while her family enjoys a holiday away.

Along the way, players will deliver packages and letters whilst discovering more about the locals and choosing how they interact with them.

As time passes, you start to realise how alive Lake feels, whilst the gameplay focuses on choosing your path, listening and communicating.

As the game moves forward, you see the effects of what you do on the people you talk to, you’ll also make some new relationships and possibly even a love interest along the way. We chose Lake because while playing through, it stood out as a game that taught you to sometimes stop, and listen, one small act of kindness can change a life and who knows where these little acts could take you. Empathy and understanding are key throughout the game, though it is all down to player-choice which makes the learning process a lot more interesting. When not talking to the locals, you’ll be delivering packages, mail and sometimes even other little tasks depending on how you communicate with certain people.

Features:

  • Explore a beautiful lakeside town and make friends with its inhabitants
  • Choose the way you live the life of Meredith Weiss
  • A fun and relaxing postal working job

 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 throws us back in Double Fine’s wonderful and weird world of Psychonauts. We delve back into the life of Raz who is now an intern at Psychonauts HQ.

Players will take a deep dive into other characters’ minds and discover all sorts of situations that simulate things many of us experience regularly.

Not is all as it seems at the HQ, not since the second in command, Forsythe, had taken over in the absence of Zanotto after his kidnapping. Raz and the gang will also explore and fix people’s minds by going into them using psychic powers.

This introduces the players to incredible worlds that are handled delicately and sensitively with respect, even containing a heartfelt warning message before you jump in warning players of the triggers and content.

The quirky and cartoon style comes to life with its unique art style, wonderfully gripping storyline and gameplay that keeps changing to keep the experience fresh. Psychonauts 2 belongs on our list for exploring difficult subjects in a heartfelt and respectful way, as well as being a fun 3D platformer allowing players to explore this wonderfully created world from Double Fine.

Features:

  • A fantastic story that centers around mental health
  • Unique art style
  • Ever-changing gameplay
  • Brilliant accessibility and customization

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 allows players to fly some of the most notable aircraft from around the world in a complete photo-realistic representation of Earth. Whether you’re a casual flyer who is looking for some time in the clouds to find your own home, or a hardcore simulator player who wants that true to life pilot experience, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 has you covered.

This game might just be one of the most relaxing games up there (no pun intended). With the ability to fly to absolutely any location around the world, you can visit the Pyramids, explore some of the most tropical beaches in the world, or visit famous city landmarks. You can really turn this game into your experience and with live traffic and a live weather mode, you can experience what’s going on in the world right from your own home.

You can truly lose yourself in just flying from point A to B. We recommend sticking Spotify on in the background with our Safe In Our World playlists for an extra surreal experience.

Features:

  • Whether you want a casual fly or the true pilot experience, you choose your path
  • Fly to absolutely anywhere in the world, even your own home
  • Relax and watch the world go by, chase storms or just admire the forces of nature

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Sym

Sym introduces you to a teenage boy named Josh, who struggles with social anxiety.

Sym builds a world in which this is displayed in a unique black and white world that coexist with each other, a world he has created to escape his fears. Players will navigate through a world full of puzzles and obstacles to guide Josh through his journey.

Alter egos Caleb and Ammiel both help him navigate these worlds; Caleb lives in a world that is on the fringe of reality, fighting to overcome fears whereas Ammiel longs for isolation and detaches himself from any form of human contact, a relatable conflictual feeling that affects many people with anxiety.

There are points within the story where Josh is overwhelmed by all of the stimuli surrounding him, to the point where the cocoon that takes him into the dark world which feels like his safety net, simulated by the dampening of the audio, visuals and gameplay.

Sym aims to show the player what social anxiety is like. The game is challenging, as is navigating social anxiety, which reflects well as a daily struggle that many face.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Lost Words: Beyond The Page

Lost Words: Beyond The Page takes players on an emotional journey of love and loss. You play as Izzy, who’s grandma is unwell. Throughout the story, you’ll learn more via beautifully designed interactive diary entries. Players will also take part in a fantasy adventure written by Izzy with lots of personal choices to make along the way.

It tells the story of this particularly difficult part of life which comes when losing a loved one, but also reflects moments of hope and reflection on the happier memories you have. Modus Games have developed a title that is so utterly relatable when it comes to the process of knowing a loved one is unwell and all the emotions that come with it.

Lost Words: Beyond The Page is a charming, emotional and can hit very close to home for those who have recently experienced loss, but illustrates the tough subject of grief in a very respectful and impactful way.

Features –

  • A wonderfully handcrafted interactive journey
  • A story about love and loss that is respectful and impactful
  • An adventure game that is easy to play and fun to be a part of

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Betwixt

Described as Lifeline meets Lord of the Rings, Betwixt is a choose-your-own-adventure game in which the only way to survive is to face yourself. 

You play as a lone figure trapped in a strange, magical world that responds to your emotions and makes real what you think. Your mission is to escape, but in order to do so, you’ll have to make sense of your inner landscape.

As you journey through the dreamlike world of the In-Between, you meet a mysterious guide known as “the voice” who helps you wrestle negative thoughts and feelings, and master the psychological superpower of self-awareness.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

A Hero’s Guide To Gardening

A Hero’s Guide To Gardening puts you in the shoes of Noomi who sets off for her first summer at Camp Pitch Pine in where she hopes to become a heroic adventurer. When things don’t quite go to plan, Noomi will have to find the courage to take charge of three struggling botanists. To help them Noomi must get to know them and help solve each of the problems that plague the gardens.

Through A Hero’s Guide To Gardening players will learn about different expressions of emotion and learn strategies for coping with fear, anger, and sadness. Players will also learn about LGBTQ+ themes as well as learning literacy along the way in a wonderfully written and very beautiful interactive story game.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

The Space In Between

The Space In Between is an emotional dating sim about June. June is an Asian-American trying to discover her identity while also coping with mental health issues.

On this journey between June and Miles her love interest players will experience a stargazing trip and create stories depending on the strong and powerful narrative. The developers of the title describe the game as “The Space In Between is a vignette into modern relationships, a story that will leave you calling your close ones to tell them you love them”.

Look up, let go, and take a chance on the night sky.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 centres around the freedom to drive the open road and explore the beautiful environment of Great Britain.

It’s more than just a racing game – it’s an impressively authentic replica of the UK’s scenic gems, where you can be as competitive or as leisurely as you please.

Enjoy stunning lighting and weather effects and a detailed ambient soundscape, enabling an immersive experience as you drive off into the sunset, looking for your next challenge…or, just watching the world go by.

You can team up or drive solo while Forza allows you to escape to the beauty spots of the UK. Whether it’s racing a steam train along the Glenfinnan viaduct, exploring the streets of historic Edinburgh, roaming the wild Yorkshire Moors as you perfect your skills challenge, or just having a scenic drive through the Cotswolds – Forza Horizon 4 might just be the therapeutic drive you’ve been looking for.

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

What Comes After

From the creators of Coffee Talk working alongside Rolling Glory Jam, they’ve created What Comes After – a heartwarming story that is described as a love letter to all of you who feel that you’re a burden on other people.

Players take on the role of Vivi, who is on a journey that takes her from where people go after they have died to what comes after. Make your way through the train, whilst you encounter souls of people, animals and plants that are on their own personal journeys leaving this world behind. Vivi will talk to many of them and learn about love, regrets, life and death.

Features:

  • A heartwarming story that will resonate with many
  • A personal journey that aims to teach you how to love yourself
  • A tale filled with both love and comedy
  • A unique and colourful art style
  • Easy to pick-up gameplay

 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Sea of Solitude

Sea of Solitude takes players on a personal journey of a young woman’s loneliness in a beautiful and evolving world where nothing is what it seems. Players will explore a flooded city by boat, foot and swimming, and discover what lies beneath the surface in a world that is haunted by a struggle of darkness and light. 

Players will be faced with monsters from the darkness, puzzles that piece together tainted memories of the world, all in an effort for Kay to discover what it truly means to be human.

Features:

  • A beautiful world to explore
  • Puzzles to keep you engaged
  • An interesting mystery to solve
  • Meet monsters with their own struggles

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Ruya

Described as a game of tranquillity through the art of matching pieces of Ruya in the world of her dreams.

Players will engage in a wonderful and relaxing puzzle experience in which you will face a multitude of challenges aimed to help relax the player. 

With 64 handcrafted puzzles, players will slide, swipe, pop and release cute characters so that Ruya can progress and unfold her memories. 

Features: 

  • Relaxing gameplay
  • Beautifully handcrafted puzzles
  • Visual narrative to encourage positive emotion

 

 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Tell Me Why

DONTNOD Entertainment brings you their latest title: Tell Me Why. Follow the story of reunited twins Tyler and Alyson, who travel back to Alaska to sell their childhood home. They soon start unravelling the mystery of their past using the unique supernatural bond that they share. 

Players will be given choices throughout the story and learn more about the two very unique characters through a captivating and emotional journey. 

Key Features:

  • Uncover the truth using the twin’s unique supernatural bond. 
  • Each choice directly affects the story and relationship between the twins.
  • Master the game’s puzzles to open a window into the twin’s fantasy world. 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

Tetris Effect: Connected

Tetris is back, in a new and mesmerising way.

Tetris Effect: Connected offers different gameplay modes in classic Tetris style, accompanied by uniquely relaxing, dulcet sounds.

While it seems like a simplistic title, the combination of a classic challenge and a calming soundtrack can easily whisk you away from reality.

Key Features:

  • Colourful and unique design
  • Music that changes as you play
  • A challenge that starts off easy and increases the better you get
  • Different modes to suit your play
  • Multiplayer

 

 

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

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