Life Is Strange really impressed me the first time I played it. And then I played it again, just to see how things would turn out if I made different choices.
It’s really hard to describe Life Is Strange since it doesn’t play like a traditional game. The industry term for these kinds of games is “graphic adventure”, I prefer to call them interactive movies.
But that’s not me knocking on their credibility as video games. After all, I enjoy a well-designed visual novel/ interactive movie with good writing and memorable characters.
That’s why I made this list, to tell you about 15 games like Life Is Strange. I want to share this genre with as many people as possible. If you are tired of the same generic 3rd person action-adventure stuff, try something new. Fewer explosions and more dialogue maybe?
I highly recommend all games on this list for people who want to sit back on the couch and enjoy a good story.
1. Beyond: Two Souls
Another narrative masterpiece from David Cage, and it plays like other Quantic Dream games. It is a walking simulator, so you’ll spend most of your time walking around looking at objects in your environment.
Sometimes you’ll be able to interact with special objects that unlock clues and give hints regarding story progression. Voice acting is done extremely well, and it comes as no surprise since Elliot Page and Willem Dafoe are in this game.
The game dabbles with supernatural themes and has many player-driven outcomes based on choice. If you liked Life Is Strange, you’re going to love this.
2. Gone Home
There is a feeling to this game that can’t be explained unless you actually play it. It feels spooky without having a single supernatural element. The house feels alive, even though you’re alone inside it. And subtle cues hidden in voice messages tell you the story of a family you never once see.
Gone Home is a game that will keep you thinking from beginning to end, and you’ll still have so many unanswered questions. Even the title is misleading because while you do return back to the family home after a trip overseas, everybody has moved on. And all you’re left with is a note from your sister forbidding you from looking for her.
You uncover the rest of the story by picking up and interacting with random objects inside the house. Every room is filled with little things that make it feel like someone actually used to live there.
3. What Remains of Edith Finch
If you enjoy reading, exploration, and fantasy, this game is perfect. Because it tells a story that feels familiar yet supernatural at the same time.
Edith Finch is the last remaining member of the Finch family. Every one of her ancestors has died in mysterious ways. Some of them died at a young age, while the death of others was never explained. After each death, their room was locked up never to be opened again. Yet you want to deviate from this preordained path, the last surviving Finch.
In order to look for answers, you visit your family mansion on a quest to find out the secret of the Finch family. Is it a coincidence? Or is it a curse? Explore the house for clues and cutscenes that show you how each Finch spent their final days.
Maybe you’re too young to remember this, but back in the 1980s, there was this trend of supernatural horror films and TV shows starring teenagers. These were cheaply made, the dialogue was bad, and nobody cared about the plot.
However, there was a certain charm to them. You see modern studios trying to recreate that with shows such as Stranger Things. Turns out video game developers are also putting on their rose-tinted goggles for some 80s teenager horror action.
Oxenfree tells the story of some teenagers who were out partying on an island, but accidentally open a portal to a different dimension. Now you’ve got ghosts and ancient spirits pouring into the island, and you’ve got to survive through it all while finding a way to close the portal.
5. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
Want more Life Is Strange without actually playing Life Is Strange? The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is made by the same developer, set within the same universe, and features supernatural powers in the hands of a little boy.
You play as a 9-year old called Chris who fantasizes about being a superhero. So strong is his imagination that he transports himself into an alternate world where he has superpowers and goes by the alter-ego of “Captain Spirit”.
This is a fun game that will take you back to when you’re a little kid and dreamed of flying around while wearing a cape and mask.
6. Life Is Strange 2
A direct sequel to the first game, but with a completely different story and no returning characters. Life Is Strange 2 plays out like a road movie, as you travel from one place to another instead of living in a small town.
You have 2 new characters who are brothers, trying to escape the police after one of them has discovered that he has telekinetic abilities. You make choices during various points in the game which affect your relationship with your brother, and there are multiple endings to the game depending on which choices you made.
Interacting with objects in the environment and talking to people provides backstory on the world of the game and gives you some perspective on things.
7. Tell Me Why
Another award-winning game from Dontnod that focuses on narrative and characters instead of explosions and action sequences. Tell Me Why is a story of twins who use their supernatural powers to remove the shroud covering their troubled past.
This game is set in a small Alaskan town, which is both tranquil and charming. Everything is choice-driven, so the ending you get will depend on which decisions you made. The characters and dialogue are mature, while the game occasionally tests your wit with puzzles that must be solved to advance the plot.
8. Until Dawn
A classic video game retelling of cabin in the woods style horror. Until Dawn draws you in with excellent characters and a thrilling narrative. It has a choice-driven narrative and there are consequences for every choice you make.
Each character is first introduced to you in unique ways, and you learn about their motivations/ backstory. Then, you are presented with the threat of a hidden killer and must make choices to decide who stays alive. It becomes really tough to make these choices once you get to know each character, and it feels hard sacrificing one to save the other.
Until Dawn also has a very well-detailed environment, and you can interact with pretty much every object to learn more about your surroundings. An atmosphere of suspense keeps you glued to the seat until you finish this excellent horror story.
9. Dreamfall Chapters
A cool twist on traditional sci-fi, Dreamfall Chapters manages to mix fantasy with science fiction. You get a blend of medieval and 21st-century tropes with a couple of excellent characters along for the ride.
There is a woman in the future trying to find answers as to who she really is, an assassin from the past seeking redemption, and a child who is trapped in the present between both of these extremes.
Dreamfall Chapters is a game about the differences between worlds, chaos vs order, and the personal stories of 3 very different characters whose fates are intertwined.
10. Ghost on the Shore
You’re Riley, a woman trapped on a distant island with no help in sight. The island seems abandoned, everyone has just disappeared even though the houses seem like people used to live in them not too long ago.
And in the midst of all this, you have one entity to keep you company- Josh, a ghost. You two chat with each other, exchange friendly banter and the game asks you to make choices that will decide how your relationship with the ghost plays out.
As you explore the abandoned homes on this island, you uncover clues and trinkets that provide context to what Josh said earlier. You gradually begin to understand what happened to everyone on the island and how Josh died.
11. Quantum Break
If you want a game centered around time manipulation, Quantum Break is the best choice you can make. Not only does it combine time-altering powers with 3rd person shooting action in a very unique way, but it also tells the story from 2 different perspectives.
The protagonist is trying to fight his way through armed private forces to stop the “End of Time”. After gameplay ends in each act (there are 5 acts in total) you are presented with a decision-making segment in which you play as the game’s antagonist. He has precognitive powers that allow him to see the consequences of each choice.
Making your choice triggers a live-action TV show in which you see the events of your decision play out. This sequence of gameplay, choice-making and live-action show is repeated for each of the 5 acts.
12. The Uncertain: Light At The End
The Uncertain: Light At The End is an interesting take on a popular science-fiction trope. We have seen countless movies in which humans create sentient robots who then proceed to think for themselves and get killed by humans who fear their rise.
However, in the world of this game robots won that battle. Now, humanity is the one being subjugated to 2nd class citizen status. Robots rule the Earth and treat humans as slaves. You see this world from the view of Emily, a survivor.
There is hope though, a small group of robots that doesn’t think like the rest has shown sympathy for humans. You cooperate with this group to help rescue what’s left of humanity.
A point-and-click adventure game set inside the world of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. You play as Ophelia, and you wake up one night after a vision in which you see that everybody within Elsinore Castle had died.
This vision is from 4 days later, and you’re thrown into a constant time loop from which you cannot escape. You keep reliving the events of that nightmarish day over and over, trying to find a way to break the loop. Interacting with characters and exploring the environment will give you clues on how to stop this event.
14. Last Day of June
You and your lover take a boating trip that doesn’t go well, resulting in tragic loss. However, you’ve been gifted with time travel powers and can now go back to the past and change the events leading up to that day. With a chance at restoring your lover, you must solve puzzles within her paintings that take you back to that fateful day.
The game won’t make things simple for you. It will throw new problems and choices at you which can take the story in completely different directions.
15. Heavy Rain
There is a killer on the loose and 4 separate characters are on their own unique paths to track him down. Will you be able to capture this killer before he takes any more lives?
One thing that makes the Origami killer unique is the fact that he always leaves folded paper shapes (Origami) near his victims. Each one of the 4 people pursuing this killer has their own reasons for catching him.
And the game lets you control each one of them, progressing 4 different stories at the same time. A deep web of dialogue options and choices steers the plot in various directions, deciding who lives and who dies.
I hope this list gave you some idea as to what you can play if you’ve already finished Life Is Strange. Most of these games deal with time travel in some manner and are focused on storytelling.
Quantum Break and Heavy Rain are my personal favorites. If you want an action platformer, definitely check out Oxenfree. Want games set within the universe of Life Is Strange? Life Is Strange 2 and The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit are for you.
All games on this list can be found for ridiculously cheap prices on the Steam store. Except for Until Dawn, that one’s a PS4 exclusive.