Apps and Games for Wellbeing
At PAX Australia 2016, CheckPoint had the absolute privilege of showing the attendees of the Diversity Lounge what we do, and start them up with ideas on how to engage with tech in a way that fosters their wellbeing. We provided flyers and handouts, as well as showcasing four of our devices preloaded with a range of great iOS games and apps which feed into the concepts we deal with: mental health, wellness, wellbeing and understanding.
If you stopped by, thank you so much! We had many many requests for a list of our available apps, so here is part 1 of our Games for Wellbeing Series, which covers iOS titles.
If you are intrigued and can’t wait for the next installment (Android), we are pleased to announce our affiliation with Child’s Play Charity who provide games to sick children round the world. They were kind enough to show us their booklet of game ideas for a variety of different consoles and devices which they recommend to anyone providing games to kids.
Games for Wellbeing: iOS
A beautiful, calm and immersive puzzle game inspired by the joy of exploration and MC Escher. People have found this game to be relaxing and therapeutic in times of stress or anxiety.
Format: iOS, Android, Windows, Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Apps
Until writing this, I didn’t realise that Viridi was made by the team responsible for Eidolon, another super transportative experience you can try out on PC.
Viridi is a meditative potted plant app. Nurture a small pot of succulents that grow in real time. We want your pot to be a safe haven, a place you can return to for a moment of peace and quiet whenever you need it.
Thomas Was Alone
Whilst not specifically designed to be of therapeutic benefit, many have cited that they felt improved by the social journey, narrative, and relaxing audio and visuals of Thomas Was Alone. This platform puzzler is super accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds and works really well as a family friendly distraction or an introduction to social issues.
Formats: PC (Steam, Direct or Desura), iOS, Android, PSN
A perfect analogy for mental health: “Cultivate what matters. Cut away the rest.” Prune brings to your screen a serene and tranquil experience, a puzzle that is meditative in its execution and brings stunning visuals to match. Many people have felt this game to be very helpful in anxiety states and for relaxing and recentering.
Formats: iOS, Android, Windows
Breath of Light
Breath of Light is a meditative Zen flow puzzle game. Players rearrange mystical stones to guide light through a mysterious world and bring it back to life. There are no clocks or scores, just the urge to solve puzzles as beautifully as possible.
For those times when the pressure has risen, Breath of Light encourages its player to be autonomous and creative, to enjoy the game exactly how they would like to.
Formats: iOS, Android
The single most successful independently developed title of all time, Minecraft has also become a place of solace, creativity, and expression for some. Minecraft allows the player to build their own world in their own way, whether that be to complete quests and gain a sense of accomplishment with enemy battles, or to have complete freedom where they play God in their own private universe. The integration of multiplayer functions also helps friends to come together and create collaboratively in a safe space.
Some quotes about Minecraft:
Minecraft has been my main therapeutic world.
It’s regular and stable…games are a great grounding mechanism.
Formats: Pretty much everything
In what could be one of the most cleverly expressive game mechanics I’ve ever seen, PRY portrays the day to day life of a veteran suffering with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). The game uses a number of different techniques to help the player really understand on a number of levels what the psychological journey is like for the man whose eyes you see from. It’s really a very powerful experience for those who would like to understand this common condition better and could even be cathartic. PRY comes with a trigger warning.
An evidence based venture into the possibilities of games, apps and other forms of technology being integrated into the traditional psychological therapies.
SuperBetter increases resilience – the ability to stay strong, motivated and optimistic even in the face of difficult obstacles. Playing SuperBetter makes you more capable of getting through any tough situation—and more likely to achieve the goals that matter most to you. Proven results in just 10 minutes a day.
Formats: iOS, Android
One of the best apps I’ve come across for teaching users not only about the benefits of mindfulness meditation, but helping them to explore it, use it, and to change their lives. Smiling Mind assists with pre-recorded meditation sessions, and can train its user to lead their own mindfulness sessions.
The non profit group of the same name also run a number of incredible projects to assist with mental health and wellbeing across a variety of settings.
Formats: iOS, Android, Web app