Games fighting climate change: How play can help save the planet

Industry gamers climate change

At PlanetPlay, we believe that games have an immense power to influence positive change. With 3+ billion players worldwide, they can educate, inspire, and mobilise action on critical issues.

It’s why we’re launching the Make Green Tuesday Moves initiative – a global alliance of amazing games, entertainment influencers and environmental causes, joining forces for an unprecedented climate change movement that harnesses the #PassiveActivism of players.

And the great news is that there are already lots of games out there – across mobile, console and PC – that raise awareness when it comes to sustainability.

So, if you want to put your playing time to good use, whether it’s by spreading the word on eco projects among fan communities or directly funding them through in-game purchases, here’s a list of 20 awesome games that tackle the big issues head-on, in an engaging, fun and impactful way…

1.    Alba: A Wildlife Adventure:  Become Alba, a young girl on a Mediterranean island, and fight to save the local nature reserve from development. Photograph wildlife, clean up the environment, and rally the community for conservation. <LINK>

2.    Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna): Immerse yourself in Alaska Native culture through this atmospheric puzzle-platformer. Based on traditional stories and developed with the Iñupiat people, the game offers educational insights and cultural context. <LINK>

3.    Occupy Mars: The Game:  Explore and colonise Mars in this open-world sandbox game. The emphasis is on sustainable living and scientific exploration, highlighting the challenges and importance of sustainability in harsh environments. <LINK>

4.    One Lonely Outpost – Early Access: Build a colony from scratch on an alien planet in this life simulation game. Grow crops, manage resources, and create a sustainable community, emphasising environmental stewardship. <LINK>

5.    Oxygen: Manage a community in a post-apocalyptic world in this city-building survival game. Sustainable living practices and careful resource management are crucial for survival. <LINK>

6.    Pacific Drive: Explore the beauty and danger of the Pacific Northwest in this driving survival game. The narrative and gameplay mechanics raise awareness of environmental issues. <LINK>

7.    Patch Quest:  Embark on a rogue-like adventure through a vibrant world teeming with plant and animal life. Learn about biodiversity and habitat preservation through exploration and collection mechanics. <LINK>

8.    Mutazione:  Take on the role of Kai in this adventure game set in the strange community of Mutazione. Care for your ailing grandfather and explore themes of healing, community, and the balance between human emotions and nature through unique gardening mechanics. <LINK>

9.    CreaVures:  Restore light to a dark forest by controlling five mythical creatures with unique abilities in this puzzle-platformer. The game emphasises environmental conservation and the interconnectedness of species. <LINK>

10. Core Keeper:  Explore underground caverns, gather resources, and craft items to build a sustainable base in this sandbox adventure game. Responsible resource management is key to promoting environmental stewardship. <LINK>

11. World Turtles: Build a sustainable society on the back of a giant turtle in this city-building simulation game. Manage resources, ensure the well-being of the turtle, and protect the environment. <LINK>

12. Animal Shelter: Run a shelter for abandoned and rescued animals in this simulation game. The importance of animal welfare, rehabilitation, and providing a safe haven is emphasised. <LINK>

13. Airborne Kingdom:  Create and manage a flying city in this city-building game. Sustainable resource management and harmonious coexistence with nature are key as you explore and trade with grounded kingdoms. <LINK>

14. Arise: A Simple Story: Explore a world inspired by Scandinavian folklore in this platformer. Witness the transformation of the environment from lush landscapes to barren wastelands due to human actions. Arise: A Simple Story uses allegory to convey a powerful message about environmental responsibility. <LINK>

15. Beyond Blue: Dive into the depths of the ocean in this breathtaking exploration game. Interact with marine life, uncover the mysteries of the deep, and witness the impact of human activity on the ocean. Beyond Blue combines stunning visuals with a strong message about ocean conservation. <LINK>

16.  Donut County: Devour everything in your path as a growing hole in the ground in this quirky puzzle game. Though lighthearted, Donut County subtly critiques consumerism and its environmental consequences. <LINK>

17.  Seasons After Fall: Traverse a world divided by constantly changing seasons in this atmospheric puzzle platformer. Utilise the unique properties of each season to solve environmental puzzles. Seasons After Fall explores the concept of impermanence and the need for balance in our ecosystem. <LINK>

18.  Solar Ash: Soar through a surreal, decaying world in this high-speed action game. Face monstrous creatures and navigate treacherous landscapes shaped by environmental collapse. Solar Ash’s striking visuals serve as a stark reminder of the consequences of inaction. <LINK>

19.  Gris: Embark on a beautiful and emotional journey through a fading world in this watercolour platformer. Gris deals with themes of loss, resilience, and hope, with environmental degradation serving as a metaphor for the protagonist’s emotional state. <LINK>

20.  Offworld Trading Company: In this complex economic simulation, you compete for resources on Mars. Engage in cutthroat resource management and manipulate the market to achieve your goals. Offworld Trading Company challenges players to consider the ethical and environmental implications of resource extraction. <LINK>

These are just a few examples of the many games out there already tackling climate change.

By combining engaging gameplay with environmental themes, these titles inspire us to learn more about the issue and take action in the real world.

For more ideas and inspiration about games that are trying to help save the planet, head over to Make Green Tuesday Moves to get going. <LINK>

By Rhea Loucas, CEO, PlanetPlay

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