A downloadable game for Windows


Balance it Out is a prototype for a narrative game based upon Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques. Follow Sam as she faces her next adventure in life whilst attempting to balance out her 'emotional pot'. The choices you make and the skills you learn will impact how well Sam is able to manage her anxieties and prevent her emotional pot from overflowing whilst teaching the player valuable skills to manage their own emotional wellbeing.

The Vision

Balance it Out was formed as an idea to weave gaming and early intervention for emotional wellbeing together. Through working in the NHS delivering Early Intervention, we identified that gaming has the potential to be an accessible and fun way to engage young people in psychoeducation and learn Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based skills that they can apply to their own life.

The vision for Balance It Out is that children and young people can play as a character who faces similar anxieties, stresses and challenges that they face in their own life. For example, this prototype uses Sam. Sam is  a young person who is experiencing anxiety around the transition to university.  Through playing you explore the story line and environment then finds interactive experiences. These interactive experiences education the player in ways that they can reduce their own stress and anxiety.  These emotions are represented within the game as an 'emotional Pot.'  Within this prototype you see Sam learn to restructure her thoughts, learn how to be mindful in the present moment and use deep breathing to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.  As Sam discovers and uses these skills her emotional pot reduces and she is able to begin her journey to university. 

The overall aim is that children and young people play as Sam, learn these skills and techniques in a fun, interactive way and then apply them to their own life. In turn improving their emotional wellbeing. 

Future Plans

The plan for Balance It Out is to create a number of short games using the same framework around the player balancing the character's emotional pot through learning therapeutic skills that they can then apply to their own lives. 

Future Balance It Out Games beyond the original prototype that we envision creating address emotional challenges such as social anxiety, low mood, exam stress and the transition form primary to secondary school. The game is currently a Windows computer game however we are considering moving it to a iOS and Android mobile game as this would potentially be more accessible for children and young people to access. Balance It Out is not seen as a replacement for therapy or mental health services but a tool that can be used in early intervention and prevention. 

We really hope that you've enjoyed reading about our game and can see how Balance It Out can help children and young people Balance their own emotions out. Please don't get in contact by email or twitter. 

Email: Abigail.Martin@nelft.nhs.uk

Twitter: @MHnurseabby


For the full experience please ensure you have sound. 

  • Mouse & Keyboard
  • WASD to move Sam
  • E to Interact
  • TAB to open Sam's phone

About Us

This game was created by Luke Amer and Abigail Martin. Luke is a games programmer, who found moving to university a difficult experience on his emotional wellbeing, which inspired us to design the first "Balance It Out" game around Sam's experience as she moves to university. Abigail is a Senior Registered Mental Health Nurse in the NHS, using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to support  children and young people experiencing emotional difficulties.   

Full Game Playthrough video


Balance It Out - Prototype.zip 64 MB

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