Games about Death & Grief

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In the past, we’ve shared some of our favourite Oscar-winning moviesNetflix documentaries and TV series that each explores the themes of death and grief. Let’s switch gears for a bit and address all the gamers in the room, here’s a list of our favourite games about death and grief.

Spiritfarer (2020)

Available on almost every gaming platform.
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Play as Stella, ferry master to the deceased, a Spiritfarer. Build a boat to explore the world, then befriend and care for spirits before finally releasing them into the afterlife. Experience moving, emotional stories filled with unforgettable moments. Spend relaxing quality time with your spirit passengers, create lasting memories, and, ultimately, learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends.

Life is Strange (2015)

Available on Windows, PS3/4 and Xbox 360/One.
Our Rating: ⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️

Life Is Strange is set in the fictional town of Arcadia Bay in October 2013 and is told from the perspective of Max Caulfield, a 12th-grade student attending Blackwell Academy. During photography class, Max experiences a vision of a lighthouse being destroyed by a swelling tornado. Leaving for the restroom to regain her composure, she witnesses classmate Nathan kill a girl in a fit of rage. She suddenly develops the ability to rewind time and rescues the girl, revealed to be her childhood friend Chloe. The 2 reunite and go for a walk, where Max reveals to Chloe her capacity to travel back in time.

The Last of Us (2014)

Available on PS3 and PS4.
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In 2013, an outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus ravages the United States, transforming its human hosts into aggressive creatures known as the Infected. In the suburbs of Austin, Texas, Joel flees the chaos with his brother Tommy and daughter Sarah. As they flee, Sarah is shot by a soldier and dies in Joel’s arms. Players control Joel, a smuggler tasked with escorting a teenage girl, Ellie, across the post-apocalyptic United States.

A Mortician’s Tale (2017)

Available on Windows and macOS.
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Mortician’s Tale is a story-driven death positive video game where you play as a mortician tasked with running a funeral home. Take on the role of recent funeral direction graduate Charlie as she learns the ropes of the business and industry. Prepare the bodies of the deceased, attend their funerals and listen to their loved one’s stories, and interact with Charlie’s co-workers, clients, and bosses. A Mortician’s Tale is greatly inspired by Caitlin Doughty and The Order of the Good Death and is an informative, honest, and sometimes humorous look at the current state of and the future of the death industry.

Heavy Rain (2010)

Available on Windows, PS3 and PS4.
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The day after celebrating his son Jason’s 10th birthday, Ethan Mars and his family go shopping. Jason and Ethan are hit by a car; Jason dies and Ethan falls into a 6-month coma. After he wakes from the coma, Ethan, blaming himself for Jason’s death, divorces his wife and moves into a small suburban house while experiencing mental trauma and blackouts. 2 years later, while at the park with his other son Shaun, Ethan blacks out. When he wakes up, he discovers that Shaun has been kidnapped by the “Origami Killer”.

Watch Dogs (2014)

Available on almost every gaming platform.
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Set within a fictionalised version of the Chicagoland area in 2013, the first instalment in the series follows grey hat hacker and vigilante Aiden Pearce’s quest for revenge after the killing of his niece. Gameplay in the Watch Dogs games focuses on an open world where the player can complete missions to progress an overall story, as well as engage in various side activities. Most of the gameplay revolves around driving, shooting, and stealth, with occasional role-playing and puzzle elements.

Until Dawn (2015)

Available exclusively on PS4.
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

During a party at her lodge on Blackwood Mountain, a cruel prank causes Hannah to run into the woods. Hannah’s sister Beth finds her but the two are pursued by a stranger resulting in them falling off a cliff’s edge. No bodies are found and the sisters are declared missing. A year later, Hannah and Beth’s brother Josh invites the group from the previous party Sam, Chris, Ashley, Emily, Matt, Mike and Jessica back to the lodge. Despite tensions between them and reservations about returning after the tragedy that occurred, all 7 accept Josh’s invitation.

Firewatch (2016)

Available on Windows, OS X, Linux, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The story follows a fire lookout named Henry in the Shoshone National Forest, a year after the Yellowstone fires of 1988. A month after his first day at work, strange things begin happening to him and his supervisor Delilah, which connects to a conspiracy mystery that happened years ago. Henry interacts with Delilah using a walkie-talkie, with the player choosing from dialogue options to communicate. His exchanges with Delilah inform the process by which their relationship is developed.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead (2016)

Available on almost every gaming platform.
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The game takes place in the same fictional world as the comic, with events occurring shortly after the onset of the zombie apocalypse in Georgia. However, most of the characters are original to this game, which centres on university professor and convicted criminal Lee Everett, who rescues and subsequently takes care of a young girl named Clementine. Lee becomes a protective figure to her to help reunite her with her parents.

Are there any other games that you would like to add to this list? Tell us more about it in the comments. We’ll be back again with another post covering must our favourite songs about death and grief.

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