There are plenty of what you might call standard experiences on the App Store. You know the sort of game I'm talking about. A man wanders around hurting people in order to complete some task, quest, or mission. It's the way video games have been for a while now.
But there are other games out there that do things differently, that let you experience the world from a completely different point of view. And it's those games that we're going to be having a look at today.
This is by-no-means a complete or exhaustive list, but we reckon that these games are the best introduction to the kind of empathy and understanding that mobile gaming can offer up. If you've got your own suggestions then, feel free to stick them in the comments section at the bottom of the article. After all, the more we know, the more we grow.
A Normal Lost Phone - download for iOS
You find a phone on the floor, and need to unlock its secrets and find out what happened to its owner. At first glance it might look like a simple puzzle game, but there's a narrative depth here that's going to make you desperate to find out more. There are some unnerving things to discover on the strangely lifelike phone, and once you've found them all you're going to have a new perspective on things.
This War of Mine - download for iOS
Where normal war games focus on the struggles between combatants, This War of Mine is focused on the struggle of the ordinary population in a warzone. There are moments in the game that truly highlight the horrors of living under occupation, and this is certainly not a game for the faint of heart. Stick with it though and you'll be rewarded with a dark and disturbing glimpse into part of the machinery of war that, hopefully, you'll never have to experience.
Bury Me, My Love - download for iOS
Imagine having to leave your home in order to travel across continents to safety. That's the idea behind Bury Me, My Love, a game about the Syrian refugee crisis. Focusing on a couple trying to keep in touch while one of them follows the treacherous refugee road, Bury Me, My Love is touching in all the right ways. This is a simple story of humanity, and how it can endure even the hardest journeys.
Grayout - download for iOS
What is it like to be unable to use or understand words? That's the idea behind dystopian thriller Grayout. It's set in the same world as the excellent Blackbar, but there's something even more engaging about the way that world is presented in Grayout. Essentially, you play as a character who's being tortured in some awful but ingenious ways. It can be harrowing at times, but it's well worth persevering with.
Florence - download for iOS
What is it for a young woman to feel the first pull of new love? What is it to watch that love blossom into something palpable, before fading away and falling apart? That's what Florence is about, a brief and incredible journey through a relationship. It's simply told, but you're going to stick with it just to see what happens. A game that's filled with humour, heartbreak, and, perhaps most importantly, a good deal of hope.