17 Games Like ABZÛ To Unleash Your Inner Explorer

games like abzu

ABZÛ, developed by Giant Squid Studios, first plunged us into its mesmerizing depths in 2016, and since then it’s been hard to shake off the feeling it left us with. The awe-inspiring ocean vistas, the enchanting sea creatures, and that profound sense of tranquility—it’s something we gamers don’t come across every day.

But what if I told you that the unique experience ABZÛ offers isn’t the end of the line? What if there are other games out there that can evoke the same sense of wonder and tranquility, that can take us on similarly extraordinary journeys, albeit in different settings and through different stories?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to explore today. In this article, I’m going to dive into a collection of games that, while each unique in their own right, share that same magical quality that made us fall in love with ABZÛ. 

From lush forests and abandoned cities to desolate wilderness and alien underwater worlds, these games are sure to offer an experience you won’t soon forget. 

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First on our list is Journey, a title often mentioned in the same breath as ABZÛ—and for a good reason. Developed by thatgamecompany, Journey offers a gaming experience that’s not just about the destination, but about the voyage itself.

Just like ABZÛ, Journey is a game that speaks volumes without uttering a single word. You’ll find yourself traversing vast deserts and ancient ruins, all the while piecing together the remnants of a once-great civilization. The game’s breathtaking visuals and moving soundtrack combine to create an experience that’s as immersive as it is emotionally charged. And let’s not forget that unique multiplayer component, which sees you sharing your journey with anonymous fellow travelers. It’s no underwater adventure, sure, but it’s a journey you won’t want to miss.

Ori and the Blind Forest

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Next up, we have Ori and the Blind Forest—an absolute gem from Moon Studios. Now, you might be thinking: a platformer? Really? But hear me out. Ori, much like ABZÛ, is a testament to the power of visual storytelling. Yes, there are platforms to jump on and obstacles to dodge, but there’s so much more to this game.

The first thing you’ll notice about Ori is its stunning art style. The game’s lush, beautifully animated environments are enough to rival even ABZÛ’s gorgeous underwater landscapes. The narrative, too, is a deeply emotional one, telling the tale of a young orphan destined for greatness. It’s a game that’ll make you laugh, cry, and sit in awe—and isn’t that what we loved about ABZÛ?


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Firewatch, developed by Campo Santo, might seem like a bit of a departure from ABZÛ at first glance. There’s no deep sea to explore, no ancient ruins to uncover. But beneath its surface, Firewatch shares the same core values that made us fall in love with ABZÛ.

Set in the Wyoming wilderness, Firewatch is a game that’s all about exploration and narrative. As you navigate your way through the game’s stunningly rendered environment, you’ll uncover a deeply personal story that’s as gripping as it is emotional. The dialogue is superbly written and the voice acting is top-notch, creating a sense of immersion that’s hard to find in most games. If you loved the sense of solitude and the emotional narrative in ABZÛ, you’ll find plenty to love in Firewatch.


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Just like ABZÛ, Inside is a game that lets its environments do the talking. Set in a dystopian world, the game sees you taking control of a young boy as you navigate your way through a series of increasingly perilous situations.

What sets Inside apart, much like ABZÛ, is its mastery of visual storytelling. There’s no dialogue, no text—just you, the game’s hauntingly beautiful environments, and a series of puzzles to solve. The narrative is deeply intriguing, and you’ll find yourself pushing forward not just to progress, but to uncover the secrets of the game’s dark, dystopian world. It’s a far cry from ABZÛ’s vibrant ocean landscapes, but if it’s a compelling, exploration-driven experience you’re after, Inside is a game you won’t want to miss.


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Created by thatgamecompany, the same minds behind Journey, Flower gives you control over the wind. Your objective is to guide a petal through beautifully rendered landscapes, impacting the environment and watching as the world reacts to your passage.

Much like ABZÛ, Flower invites players into a calming, almost meditative state. It’s about the joy of exploration and interaction with a lush, vibrant world. There’s no peril, no enemies to defeat, only a series of stunning landscapes waiting to be brought to life. If the tranquility and environmental interaction of ABZÛ appeal to you, then Flower will definitely hit the right notes.

The Witness

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Next, we’re exploring The Witness, a first-person puzzle game developed by Thekla, Inc. The Witness drops you into a beautiful, mysterious island filled with hundreds of puzzles. The puzzles themselves are masterfully integrated into the environment, blending seamlessly with the island’s natural and man-made structures.

Though The Witness lacks ABZÛ’s narrative drive, it shares the same sense of quiet solitude and wonder. The island begs to be explored, and there’s a strange satisfaction in simply wandering around, taking in the sights and sounds. If you loved the exploration aspect of ABZÛ and you’re up for some brain-teasing puzzles, The Witness could be right up your alley.


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Rime, developed by Tequila Works, is another game that strikes a similar chord to ABZÛ. In this third-person adventure, you play as a young boy who wakes up on a mysterious island after a storm. Like ABZÛ, Rime is a game that values exploration and discovery over combat, encouraging you to delve into its beautifully crafted world and uncover its secrets.

What sets Rime apart is its rich storytelling. The game’s narrative is deeply emotional, told through environmental cues and non-verbal communication. The vibrant, colorful world of Rime is filled with awe-inspiring architecture and natural beauty, much like ABZÛ’s ocean. If you loved the emotional storytelling and stunning visuals of ABZÛ, Rime will not disappoint.


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Subnautica is an open-world survival adventure that takes place almost entirely underwater. After crash-landing on an alien planet, it’s up to you to explore the ocean, gather resources, and try to find a way home.

Subnautica shares ABZÛ’s love for the ocean, offering a richly detailed underwater world filled with strange creatures and hidden secrets. But where ABZÛ is calming and meditative, Subnautica can be tense and thrilling. It’s a game about survival, about learning to adapt in a world that’s beautiful, but also dangerous. If you loved the underwater exploration of ABZÛ and you’re up for a bit more action, Subnautica is a must-play.


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Eastshade, developed by Eastshade Studios, is a truly unique game that shares ABZÛ’s relaxed pace and emphasis on exploration. In Eastshade, you play as a traveling painter who explores the eponymous land of Eastshade, capturing its beauty on your canvas.

The world of Eastshade is stunningly beautiful, filled with lush forests, peaceful meadows, and quaint towns. There’s a sense of tranquility in Eastshade that’s reminiscent of ABZÛ, but instead of exploring an underwater world, you’re exploring a picturesque land teeming with life and beauty. If the calm, exploratory nature of ABZÛ resonated with you, Eastshade will surely provide a similar experience.

What Remains of Edith Finch

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Next on our list is What Remains of Edith Finch, a first-person exploration game from Giant Sparrow. The game tells the story of the Finch family through a series of short stories, each with its unique gameplay mechanics.

Just like ABZÛ, What Remains of Edith Finch is a deeply emotional game that places a strong emphasis on storytelling. The game’s narrative is intricately woven and highly immersive, pulling you into the lives of the Finch family as you uncover their stories. It might not have ABZÛ’s stunning underwater vistas, but it shares the same capacity to leave a lasting emotional impact.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

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Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is another narrative-driven exploration game. Set in a deserted English village, the game tasks you with uncovering the events that led to the disappearance of the local population.

Like ABZÛ, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a game that values atmosphere and narrative over action. The game’s world is richly detailed and immersive, creating a sense of place that’s hard to find in most games. If you enjoyed the exploration and narrative elements of ABZÛ, you’ll find a lot to love in Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.

The Long Dark

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The Long Dark offers a more challenging experience compared to the other games on this list, but it shares ABZÛ’s love for exploration and natural beauty.

The game’s world is harsh and unforgiving, but it’s also stunningly beautiful. Each sunrise and sunset paints the snow-covered landscape with vibrant colors, creating a sense of awe and wonder. If you enjoyed the exploration aspect of ABZÛ and you’re up for a survival challenge, The Long Dark is definitely worth a try.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

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In this first-person mystery game, you play as a detective with supernatural abilities, investigating the disappearance of a young boy in a picturesque rural setting.

Like ABZÛ, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a deeply atmospheric game that prioritizes exploration and narrative over combat. Its world is stunningly beautiful, filled with intricate details that make it feel truly alive. If you loved the exploration and mystery elements of ABZÛ, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a game you’ll want to check out.


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Next up is Proteus, a first-person exploration game developed by Ed Key and David Kanaga. Proteus drops you onto a procedurally generated island and invites you to explore its pixel-art landscapes at your own pace.

Much like ABZÛ, Proteus is a game that’s all about the joy of exploration. There are no objectives, no threats, just a beautiful world waiting to be discovered. The game’s unique art style and dynamic soundtrack create an immersive, dreamlike atmosphere that’s hard to find elsewhere. If you loved the relaxing, exploration-focused nature of ABZÛ, Proteus is a game you’ll definitely want to try.


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Spiritfarer, developed by Thunder Lotus Games, is a unique management game about dying. In Spiritfarer, you play as a “Spiritfarer,” a being who helps guide spirits to the afterlife.

While it might seem like a departure from ABZÛ, Spiritfarer shares its emotional depth and focus on storytelling. The game’s world is beautifully crafted, filled with charming characters and touching stories. If you enjoyed the emotional storytelling and beautiful visuals of ABZÛ, you’ll find a lot to love in Spiritfarer.


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Gris is a platformer that tells the story of a young girl dealing with a painful experience in her life. The game’s world is one of sorrow, reflected in its muted colors and melancholic atmosphere.

Like ABZÛ, Gris is a game that’s deeply emotional and visually stunning. Its narrative is told without words, relying instead on its beautiful visuals and emotive soundtrack. While Gris might not offer the same exploration elements as ABZÛ, it shares its capacity to move and captivate players. If you loved the emotional depth and stunning art style of ABZÛ, Gris is a game you won’t want to miss.

Dear Esther

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Set on a deserted island, Dear Esther sees you exploring your surroundings while listening to a series of fragmented narrations.

Dear Esther, much like ABZÛ, is a game that’s deeply atmospheric and narrative-driven. Its world, while desolate, is beautifully rendered, filled with a sense of loneliness and longing that’s hard to shake. The narrative told through abstract, poetic fragments, is intriguing and deeply emotional. If you enjoyed the sense of solitude and the strong narrative focus of ABZÛ, Dear Esther is definitely worth checking out.

While no game can replicate the exact experience of playing ABZÛ, there are plenty of games out there that evoke the same feelings of wonder, tranquility, and emotional depth. These games each offer unique settings, stories, and gameplay mechanics, but they all share ABZÛ’s commitment to creating an immersive, emotionally charged gaming experience.

Whether you’re exploring the lush forests of Ori and the Blind Forest, uncovering the secrets of a deserted village in Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, or navigating the icy wilderness of The Long Dark, these games are sure to offer an experience you won’t soon forget.

So if you’re looking for games like ABZÛ, look no further. These games will not only fill the ABZÛ-shaped hole in your heart but might also introduce you to new worlds and stories that you’ll fall in love with.

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