25 Games For Folk Who Don’t Play Games

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I was asked to make a mixtape of video games for someone who doesn’t play video games! This is what I came up with. There’s one non-video game with it. I got really pleased with it, like I used to get delighted making mixtapes of my favourite songs, so I asked if I could share it. Here it is! For you! I liked doing something that has very little to do with my own art for once. I hope you like it.

What’s in this mixtape

  • 25 games I love
  • Games you shouldn’t need any special gamer skills to play
  • (Mostly) games it’s impossible to fail at
  • Games from as wide a range of genres as possible, but with no shooters (well, one, sort of) and minimal violence
  • Games that feel more familiar to artists and readers and performers than to gamers
  • A high proportion of games made by and for women and LGBTQ folk
  • Free and cheap DRM-free (freely shareable) games

bluelacuna

Blue Lacuna
Aaron Reed

text adventure / interactive fiction
epic fantasy psychodrama
light or heavy puzzles as you choose
very long
free!

destroyallmen

DESTROY ALL MEN
Mattie Brice

multiplayer story roleplaying with cards
analog dating sim about a collective of militant fembots
for a group, some random play
as long or short as you like
free!

execution

Execution
Jesse Venbrux

one-shot artgame
depressing
violent content
very short
free!

superhexagon

Super Hexagon
Terry Cavanagh

high speed avoidance
headbang flashcore twitchy hexagon music fun
high stress, incremental improvements
very short, lots of replays
cheap!

knytt

Knytt
Nifflas

exploration platformer
jump and climb and find things, gentle and peaceful
no real danger
mid-length
free!

luxuriasuperbia

Luxuria Superbia
Tale of Tales

tactile visual aural sexual wonder
it’s about making flowers have really good orgasms
corny but amazing
short plays, lots of replay value
sexy pleasing action
cheap!

mumbleindiebungle

Mumble Indie Bungle
Pippin Barr

five tiny anti-games
each is different
all are differently sad and desperate.
very short
free!

savethedate

Save the Date!
Paper Dino

recursive visual novel
looks like a dating sim. isn’t. gets meta.
don’t give up after the first go
medium length
free!

shade

Shade
Andrew Plotkin

text adventure / interactive fiction
disturbing magical realism
medium length
free!

tobuildabettermousetrap

To build a better mousetrap
MolleIndustria

semi-abstract economics sim
teaching marxism through frustrating gameplay
short plays, hard game.
free!

botanicula

Botanicula
Amanita Design

exploration puzzler
beautiful visual storytelling, makes you happy
light action
long
cheap!

donttakeitpersonally

don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your story
Christine Love

visual novel
adolescent sexuality and teaching
beneath the cute, unsettling
long
free!

firstdraftoftherevolution

First Draft of the Revolution
Emily Short and Liz Daly

interactive fiction
complex non-linear story told through redrafting choices
medium-length
free!

gonehome

Gone Home
Fullbright Company

first person exploration, light puzzles
queer ghost/love story
medium length
cheap!

hugpunx

HUGPUNX
Merritt Kopas

hugging action
cheers you right up
sing and hug along
short
free!

imadethis

i made this. you play this. we are enemies.
Jason Nelson

art platformer
digital scribble notebook satire chaos
short
free!

nested

Nested
Orteil

text exploration
i find it really moving but who knows
as short or long as you want
free!

papersplease

Papers, Please
Lukas Pope

border control sim
(it is riffing on a genre called “time management” a bit)
harrowing
danger and action and stress
long
cheap!

parasite

Parasite
Porpentine

interactive fiction / twine game
non-linear abstract trans confessional horror
medium
free!

proteus

Proteus
Ed Key and David Kanaga

pure exploration
beautiful and calming
as long as you like
cheap!

queersinlove

Queers in love at the end of the world
Anna Anthropy

interactive fiction / twine game
tiny and gorgeous and uplifting
very short but lots of replays
free!

littlegirlnobodylikes

The Little Girl Nobody Liked
Dierdra Kiai

interactive children’s book
little storylets, some sad, some a little less sad
very short with a few replays
free!

themajestyofcolours

The Majesty of Colours
Gregory Weir

interactive visual story
pixellated existential ocean horror
short with a few replays
free!

wakingmars

Waking Mars
Tiger Style

exploration puzzler
extraterrestrial ecology and old school sci fi stories
a little danger and action
long
cheap!

ahouseincalifornia

A House in California
Cardboard Computer

point-and-click story
(it is riffing on an old genre unhelpfully called “adventure game”)
abstract nostalgia and beauty
medium length
light puzzles
free!

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