Gaming

11 Switch Games to Play During Mental Health Awareness Month

Every May, you will see different organizations, groups and individuals take the opportunity to raise awareness about mental health. This is a topic that now has a lot more research, understanding and knowledge attached to it, helping people recognize and get help on related issues.

Fortunately, the stigma around mental health issues has been decreasing every year, and the mainstream media is also covering various aspects of the topic. Popular movies and TV shows are now increasingly depicting mental health, and games are no exception. In the gaming realm, this often happens in the indie or download space, but there are a few big success stories that show the importance of the subject matter and the desire of gamers to interact with games that showcase creativity and emotional intelligence along with shoot-shoot-bang-bang mechanics and entertainment.

The Switch has a range of games that touch on various aspects of mental health, such as personality issues, self-confidence, social skills, handling and coping with trauma, and more. This list selects some of the exceptional games for the Nintendo system that fall into this category; some of our team can certainly relate to these games not only as amazing games, but also as emotional and powerful experiences.

Celeste (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Matt makes games / Developer: Matt makes games

Date of issue: January 25, 2018 (USA) / January 25, 2018 (UK/EU)
GRIS (Switch webshop)GRIS (Switch webshop)

Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Nomada Studio

Date of issue: December 13, 2018 (USA) / December 13, 2018 (UK/EU)
Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch webshop)Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch webshop)

Publisher: Annapurna Interactive / Developer: Simogo

Date of issue: September 19, 2019 (USA) / September 19, 2019 (UK/EU)
Night in the Forest (Switch Web Store)Night in the Forest (Switch Web Store)

Publisher: finji / Developer: Endless fall

Date of issue: February 1, 2018 (USA) / February 1, 2018 (UK/EU)
Lost Words: Beyond The Page (Switch eShop)Lost Words: Beyond The Page (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Game Mode / Developer: Sketchbook games

Date of issue: April 6, 2021 (USA) / April 6, 2021 (UK/EU)

AT Lost Words: Off the Page you play as a young girl exploring her imagination, using words and creativity in very literal ways to shape the world around you. There’s also some scope to define the story, but the overall narrative is a huge strength, aside from the beautiful visuals and the slight platforming puzzle. It’s an enjoyable gaming experience that’s suitable for less experienced players as well, but it’s in our young protagonist’s journey – and in the losses she must face – that the true weight of this experience is to be found.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (Switch eShop)Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (Switch eShop)

Publisher: ninja theory / Developer: ninja theory

Date of issue: April 11, 2019 (USA) / April 11, 2019 (UK/EU)
Florence (Switch eShop)Florence (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Annapurna Interactive / Developer: The mountains

Date of issue: February 13, 2020 (USA) / February 13, 2020 (UK/EU)
Spiritfarer (Switch eShop)Spiritfarer (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Thunder Lotus Games / Developer: Thunder Lotus Games

Date of issue: August 18, 2020 (USA) / August 18, 2020 (UK/EU)
To the Moon (Switch eShop)To the Moon (Switch eShop)

Publisher: XD network / Developer: Freebird Games

Date of issue: January 16, 2020 (USA) / January 16, 2020 (UK/EU)
Unboxing (Switch eShop)Unboxing (Switch eShop)

Publisher: modest games / Developer: Witch Beam

Date of issue: November 2, 2021 (USA) / November 2, 2021 (UK/EU)
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (Switch eShop)Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (Switch eShop)

Publisher: ZA/UM / Developer: ZA/UM

Date of issue: October 12, 2021 (USA) / October 12, 2021 (UK/EU)

These are some of the games we recommend that deal with or reference aspects of mental health; don’t forget to share your thoughts and suggestions on the list in the comments below – we may well add to this selection if we missed something special.




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