Top Four Non-Violent Games
From Parappa the Rapper to Vib Ribbon, rhythm action has been flying the flag for non-violent games since before the other whippersnappers on this list were even born. As a representative of the genre, we’ve plumbed for Amplitude. Developed by rhythm action masters Harmonix, it’s one of the best examples of the way in which music and interactivity can dovetail to spectacular effect. If some of the games on our list have suggested than non-violent games don’t require technical skill, then try getting to the top of Amplitude’s leaderboards when the successfully Kickstarted remake wings its way onto PS4.
3. Portal 2
There might be malevolent forces trying to plot a violent end for you in this title, but you’ll not be partaking in violence. Rather, Portal 2’s all about solving excellently designed puzzles. Striking the perfect balance between making you feel mentally strained and ensuring that you’re rarely stuck for too long, the game does a brilliant job of making you feel smart, whether you’re pondering physics puzzles or perfecting some quick-fire portaling. Alongside all that, Portal 2’s got some of the best characters and one of the funniest scripts you can hope to find in videogames.
This game really is quite beautiful, both in the sense of its artstyle and its wonderful soundtrack, but also in terms of how evocative it can be. Journey combines its aesthetic brilliance with masterful pacing and in the process of doing so, manages to be at turns joyful, melancholic, tragic and hopeful. The game also has an interesting approach to multiplayer, using anonymity to create a connection between players who don’t know each other and have no way of communicating. If you’ve not played it on PS3, it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s due to release on PS4 later this year.
The more you play Fez, the more you come to appreciate it. On one hand, it’s a 2D puzzle platformer based around the smart idea of shifting between four planes in order to change the level and aid your progress. That aspect of the game is brilliant in and of itself, but Fez also has a whole other dimension, if you’ll pardon the pun. The game is packed with secrets, many of which will require you to decipher deviously complex and obtuse puzzles. In order to solve them, you’ll have to bust out a notepad to decode a hidden language and crack a counting system, to give but two examples. Some of the games on our list are great because of their sense of atmosphere, some because of the way they test your ability and some due to the way that they draw satisfaction from the act of exercising your mind, rather than twitch reactions. With its great sound design, beautiful pixel art, innovative platforming and dastardly puzzles, Fez has got a bit of all of that.