Thought-Provoking Nonviolent Games for Tweens and Teens

Frequently, people focus on the challenges that players face when gaming: Are your reflexes fast enough? Are your strategies clever enough to outwit the computer or other players? Have you selected the right group of characters to destroy your enemies? But there are plenty of games that don't focus on these traits at all. Here, taking your time to ponder the story and explore the environment is more important than the number of points you score or enemies you defeat. In fact, in these games, you won't commit any violence or engage in combat at all (any aggressive sequences are background items designed to advance the plot or the story). Looking to use your brain instead of your brawn? Look no further than the titles below. We also have lists for players interested in games that promote critical thinking, games that promote empathy, or games that promote collaboration.

Browse Thought-Provoking Nonviolent Games for Tweens and Teens

404Sight Game Poster Image
Fast-paced challenging action tries to teach Net lesson.
Platforms: Windows
(2015)
(2015)
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Abzu Game Poster Image
Artistic aquatic adventure filled with mystery, wonder.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows
(2016)
(2016)
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Blackwood Crossing Game Poster Image
Story with clumsy controls explores loss, letting go.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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One Upon Light Game Poster Image
Challenging yet frustrating puzzler has confusing story.
Platforms: PlayStation 4
(2015)
(2015)
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Pneuma: Breath of Life Game Poster Image
Vexing puzzler is safe for kids but could prove frustrating.
Platforms: Mac, Windows, Xbox One
(2015)
(2015)
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Quadrilateral Cowboy Game Poster Image
Intentionally confusing puzzler tests ideas behind gaming.
Platforms: Windows
(2016)
(2016)
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Rituals Game Poster Image
Short adventure captivates with puzzles, intriguing story.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2015)
(2015)
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Road Not Taken Game Poster Image
Inventive and challenging puzzler has quirky humor.
Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows
(2014)
(2014)
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Samorost 3 Game Poster Image
Exploration-heavy adventure game with tough puzzles.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2016)
(2016)
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Seasons After Fall Game Poster Image
Artistically beautiful journey needs guidance during play.
Platforms: Windows
(2016)
(2016)
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Sym Game Poster Image
Sym
Clever puzzler addresses social anxiety disorder.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2015)
(2015)
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The Swapper Game Poster Image
Fun, spooky, puzzle-based clone adventure set in space.
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
(2014)
(2014)
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The Talos Principle Game Poster Image
Tech-focused sci-fi puzzler challenges, makes players think.
Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
(2014)
(2014)
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The Turing Test Game Poster Image
Average puzzler grapples with some big questions.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2016)
(2016)
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Thomas Was Alone Game Poster Image
Fun platformer with a lovely story about friendship.
Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Windows
(2013)
(2013)
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Walden, A Game Game Poster Image
Beautiful open-world survival game promotes self-reflection.
Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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The Witness Game Poster Image
Brilliant puzzle game is challenging but deeply rewarding.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows
(2016)
(2016)
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Echochrome Game Poster Image
Sophisticated puzzle game with simple visuals.
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PSP
(2008)
(2008)
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Quandary Game Poster Image
Decision-making sim shows that choices have shades of gray.
Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
(2016)
(2016)
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Sunset Game Poster Image
Unconventional war game forces cultural reflection.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2015)
(2015)
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Syberia Game Poster Image
Dated but still solid puzzle-filled adventure.
Platforms: PlayStation 3
(2014)
(2014)
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Dear Esther Game Poster Image
Poetic experience is less a game than an interactive story.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2012)
(2012)
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Tacoma Game Poster Image
Mature sci-fi tale founded on strong storytelling.
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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We Are Chicago Game Poster Image
South Side life sim meant to spark conversations.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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Braid Game Poster Image
Brilliant time-shifting platform game about love lost.
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows, Mac
(2008)
(2008)
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Firewatch Game Poster Image
Mystery set in wilderness is challenging, captivating.
Platforms: Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows
(2016)
(2016)
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Gone Home Game Poster Image
Terrific narrative game tackles tough teen identity issues.
Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
(2013)
(2013)
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The Dream Machine Game Poster Image
Spooky adventure take on dreams but has technical issues.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2012)
(2012)
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Read Only Memories Game Poster Image
Colorful neo-noir adventure covers inclusion, acceptance.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2015)
(2015)
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