Games for Mental Health!
Life is filled with difficult decisions and pressure can seem to come from all directions! That’s why the talented students on the Games Art at Nottingham Trent University have created these poignant, narrative experiences that tackle real-life issues faced by young individuals.
Developed by Games Art students at Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, part of Nottingham Trent University, this series of interactive fiction games offers a unique and engaging way to explore the complexities of life and interact with stories that tackle some of the topics featured on the NottAlone website.
Our games address topics such as relationships, peer pressure, grief, drugs and alcohol, mental health, and many more. With each choice you make, you’ll embark on a journey, face dilemmas, make tough decisions, and experience the consequences of your choices first-hand.
The fantastic artwork and narratives in these games were crafted over the period of just twenty-two weeks by Games Art students in collaboration with Freelance Writers, currently studying on the Creative Writing course at the university.
What is Interactive Fiction?
So, why games? We value reading – and we love playing video games! An Interactive fiction game is a genre of video game (or text-based adventure game) that focuses on storytelling and player choice. It is characterised by its emphasis on narrative, as well as the beautiful, original artwork created by students at Confetti. The player could, but not always, influence the direction of the story through their decisions and actions. We feel that this is kind of similar to how life goes – sometimes the choices you make have consequences – sometimes you could feel that nothing you do could have changed the outcome. We’d like to explore that some more and hopefully provide an empowering experience that encourages personal growth, resilience, and empathy.
Who should I play these games with?
Play these games alone, or with friends! These games allow you to step into the shoes of diverse characters, who you may or may-not relate to, exploring their lives and choices. They also provide a safe space for self-reflection, enabling you to explore different outcomes and learn valuable life lessons.
It can be helpful to play these games with someone you trust and have a chat about how you might feel, or have reacted, in some of the tricky situations you’re presented with! Equally, play alone for some quiet reflection.
The Scrum of it All
Studio: Pencils of Doom
Age: Recommended 16+
This game contains Flashing lights, and triggering topics regarding Anxiety, Toxic friendships, Uni life and struggles and links with Alcohol and Drugs.
The Scrum of it all is a casual/horror visual novel that follows the story of Aaron, a student that moves into the big city to attend a Sports University after living in the countryside his entire life. Though optimistic, the sudden change of environment paired with peer pressure from one of his new ‘friends’ soon finds Aaron overwhelmed with stress, manifesting itself into monsters that taunt his every decision.
Studio: Chaos Ink
Age: Suitable for all
This game contains themes focusing on social isolation and anxiety.
Atlas has been stuck in self-imposed isolation for over a year. But with the help of their friends, new and old, they plan to change that.
Guided by their old Uni roommate, the librarian Asher, Atlas embarks on a journey to overcome their mental health woes and get back outside again.
A Silent Home
Studio: Team RAT
This game shows struggles of grief with references to the death of a young child.
A Silent Home is a visual novel game that tackles the topic of grief. In the game, you follow Lex in her journey through the grief of losing her younger sister Dee Dee. You play through the game as the spirit of Dee Dee bringing items back to Lex to help her through this loss. You must help Lex through this rough time in her life or lose her forever to grief.
Studio: Echo Games
Age: Suitable for all
This game showcases anxiety in the form of school performance and stress.
Timmy is a school boy struggling in his classes as his mind plays tricks on him…
Help Timmy get through each of the classes to stop his worrying and stress.
Before You Download
For your discretion, the following topics are touched upon briefly within Constellations. If you or a loved one are affect by any of the following issues, you can seek advice and help at: https://nottalone.org.uk/
Follow Alex and help them navigate the new and intimidating experiences of university life! Meet unique personalities, learn their stories and decide how Alex will approach their own mental health struggles. With three available endings, you can play Constellations with the confidence that your choices matter; no matter how small.
Studio: DeadFish Studios
Age: Suitable for all
This game showcases the struggles of depression and loneliness.
‘You wake up and the world is grey. ‘
Monochrome is a game about managing and living with depression and loneliness. The aim is to speak and interact with other characters throughout the day in hopes to bring colour back into the world, with help from your dog Pixel.
The game features two side characters; the characters dog, Pixel, who will provide encouraging dialogue, and the embodiment of the player’s feelings and mood, a small black moth, which will act as an antagonist to the main character. These two characters will work as a ‘devil and angel on each shoulder’ situation to aid in the progression of the narrative.
Studio: 19th Century Blobfish
This game contains both elements of drug and alcohol abuse.
Who do you trust?
The Party is a visual novel made in collaboration with NTU students and NottAlone for the mental health campaign.
Attending a university flat party for the first time, you encounter different people and choices which affect yourself and others around you. This game teaches about substance abuse and spiking in an easy to use and understand visual novel for young adults.
Studio: Spirit Games
Age: Suitable for teens
This game displays toxic relationships that can be quite upsetting.
This interactive novel brings attention to how relationships can negatively affect mental health. Follow the protagonist, Jasmine, as she juggles her university studies alongside her relationship with her boyfriend, Bradley, who is becoming increasingly demanding of her time and attention.
Help navigate the complications of healing, leaving or dealing with unhealthy situations. This is assisted by an interactive mood bar which is dependent on your choices and will result in one of the three endings within the game! Play your way through, attempt to achieve all three endings, and gain a better understanding of different types of relationships.
Everyone has their own story…
This series of Games for Mental Health were created as part of a year-long project undertaken by students studying on the Games Art ‘Industry Practice’ module at Confetti and those studying on the Creative Writing ‘Freelancer’ modules at Nottingham Trent University.
[He/Him] James Walker is the author of Dawn of the Unread, which was created to support libraries and raise awareness of Nottingham’s literary history. He is the module leader of The Freelancer at Nottingham Trent University which encourages collaboration and experimentation with digital storytelling as part of the B.A in Creative Writing.
[She/Her] Artist, writer and educator currently based in Nottingham. Amelia is a Lecturer and Module Lead on Undergraduate Games Art and Postgraduate at Confetti Institute of Creative Technology, Nottingham Trent University. She is the module leader of the ‘Industry Practice’ module at Confetti which prepares students for a career in Games!
Our website is a comprehensive resource hub that offers support and guidance for young people navigating challenging circumstances. Whether you’re seeking advice, information, or simply a listening ear, NottAlone provides is a supportive hub where you can find the help you need. We want you to know that you are never alone in your struggles.