The Game Recommendation For Your Kids thread

Intention: A general discussion thread for games the kids in your life are really enjoying, of particular use as a recommendation engine for finding the new hotness for kids of other Goodjers.

Suggestions: Please note the age(s) of the kids - what your 8 year old is super into might not be useful for a 4 year old.

My daughter is 9, but has been playing little big planet since she was three.

Yesterday she asked if she could play Samorost 3 by herself. We already own it on my Steam account, but it's on the iPad now so we rev ought it for her. She's having a blast with it.

Recently I introduced both my kids (7 and 9) to Pain on the PS3. I know, father of he year, but even though some of the humor is not age appropriate, it flies well over their heads and they just like launching Daxter at crazy amusement park rides until something explodes.

Also, my 7-year-old son loves Mario Maker on the WiiU.

My 6 year old started with Lego games, Undercover is his hands down favorite followed by Star Wars. Dimensions is where it's at now. Some of the titles, like Harry Potter, don't have the draw that others do, mostly because of subject matter.

At the same time he learned to play Skylanders and, grudgingly, Disney Infinity. Skylanders has fallen to the wayside and he only plays DI for the Toy Box mode. He still gets frustrated with Toy Box mode and how it operates, but that makes sense since it's quite complicated.

Minecraft entered his life about a year ago and that changed everything. Minecraft is always on his mind. His interest in Minecraft has allowed him to adjust to using dual thumbsticks and the controller is almost second nature to him now. We have Minecraft on every device possible.

At the same time, Mario Maker also entered his life and is a fixture, but it definitely takes a backseat to Minecraft. Definitely easier to get into because of it being a 2D plane.

He spends significantly more time building things in games than he does playing the "actual" or "proper" mode of the game. I get that.

It's really hard to say what they're going to fixate on. The younger one (6) currently likes Castle Crashers and the Rayman games. The older one (8) likes the base building aspects of Supreme Commander and has moved on to Age of Empires - both played in skirmish mode against extremely weak AI opponents. I like for them to try lots of different games, but they bounce off of most of them, generally because of overly complicated mechanics or overly precise demands on their physical skills.

My kids range from 5-8 and right now they are loving the following, when not gaming on their Kindle Fires (which is GREAT in conjunction with a FreeTime subscription):

Disney Infiniti (Wii U)
Lego Marvel Avengers (Wii U)
Fusion Trials HD (Xbox One)
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 (Xbox One) - EA Access
SSX (Xbox One) - free through Xbox Gold
Madden '16 (Xbox One) - EA Access
FIFA '16 (Xbox One) - EA Access
NBA Live '16 (Xbox One) - EA Access

We're trying to hold off on Lego Dimensions...still getting a ton of mileage out of Disney Infiniti on the relative cheap now that everything's been discounted so heavily.

A shout-out is deserved for the value of Xbox Live (Gold) and EA Access). I got a year of Live on discount for $30 and EA Access costs something like $25 for a year of access to the vault. So for less than the price of a new game, I get 2-4 Xbox Ones Games and 2-4 360 Backward compatible games FREE every month and access to everything in the EA Vault (some titles certainly inappropriate for the kids, but most are).

Tremendous value.

I don't think it's hyperbole to say that as soon as they start to learn to read, you should get your kids into Pokemon right away. I've never seen a game that makes a kid want to read more than one where doing so leads them to discover a world full of cute monsters to collect. And the effect is multiplicative - the more their friends and siblings are playing, the more they're into it.

It can sometimes be a chore to get my 10 year old to read a book all the way, but his reading level has always tested a full grade ahead since he started playing. Math, too.

My son is nine and has a preference for platforming types of games. I think Rayman Legend and Origins have been his favorites so far. I've enjoyed co-oping with him too. He has liked Lego Batman, but hasn't liked Batman 2 and Marvel Heroes as much. I think he preferred the simplicity of controlling Batman instead of jumping to different super heroes in the Marvel game. He liked BITTRIP Presents: Runner 2 ... Future Legend of Rhythm Alien. Castle of Illusion was another he liked, but found some of the areas a little difficult (a couple years ago). We're playing Unraveled together, which he finds a little slow but seems to like it.

He also liked the puzzle game 4 Elements a lot, even played through it multiple times.

My daughter is 2-and-a-half. She's just scratching the surface of games. We've recently started letting her watch her Mama play Supers Mario Galaxy, and she'll now ask "Mama, can I watch you pway Mawio?". Just a few days ago, I let her watch me play Castle Of Illusion, which honestly is a bit scary for her (boss fights!). But at least she asked for "my contrower" - the white 360 controller that doesn't have any batteries in it.

She's played a lot of Endless Alphabet on iOS, and between that and the TV show Super Why, she's really grokked the concept of letters and words. I've got a buttload of Toca Boca games on my phone (I pick them up whenever they go on "sale" for free), and I'll use those as get-out-of-jail-free cards when we're out and about, and she needs a distraction to prevent a meltdown.

I'm not sure what the next step is. I've got an Atari 2600 in the loft that I wonder about hooking up for her to tool around with sometime in the next year. I suspect that we might be picking up a Nintendo NX next year anyway, which is likely going to be her gateway. Family Mario Kart, here we come!

Endless alphabet is amazing. Have you tried Endless Reader? It's from the same developer, but teaches sentences.

EDIT

Your comment on Mario kart reminds me of when my daughter asks to see "Super Smash Bros."

Because she's reading the text, and doesn't know that Bros is an abbreviation of Brothers.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Endless alphabet is amazing. Have you tried Endless Reader? It's from the same developer, but teaches sentences.

No, I haven't but I'm telling my wife about it right now!

Maybe I can return the favor - there's also an Endless Numbers too.

My 4 year old loves playing against me in 1 on 1 matches in Rocket League. It's helping me boost my "dad skills" at things like deflecting shots off his car into my goal, getting the ball to stop right in front of my goal, and flipping out of the way at the last second while trying to make a save, or jumping over the ball on the break. Games are always high scoring affairs, and while he mentions that I'm not very good at the game because I keep scoring in my own goal, I don't think he's caught on that it's intentional

He also enjoys 1 button games such as Bit Trip Runner, and Jetpack Joyride, and pinball simulation games (I forget which ones we have, but he loves mashing the flippers)

He seems to enjoy classic games the most though. Have a Raspberry Pi running emulation station, and he loves playing the River Raid, Atlantis, and Pitfall on the 2600; Mario Brothers, Fisher Price Fire and Rescue, and Ice Hockey on the NES; Thomas the Tank Engine, Mickey Mouse Castle of Illusion, and Alladin on the Genesis; and Mario Kart on the SNES.

Started to introduce our 5 year old to console gaming about a year ago. Before I traded in the PS3 recently, we completed Lego Marvel together (probably his favourite game), he loved Rayman Legends and got on ok with Castle of Illusion. Since getting the PS4 we're well into the second half of Lego Avengers story mode, enjoyed the first few levels of Unravel before it got a bit tricky and there's a random retro pixel fish PS+ side scrolling shooter, I can't recall the name of atm, that he finds amusing playing co-op.

Dug the old Wii out of the loft too, we've been enjoying all of the Mario - New Super Mario Bros, Galaxy, Kart and been showing him the old VC Mario games too along with Kirby's Adventure, which about a year ago got the best reaction from a game to date, big smiles.

Have an ancient iPad kicking around that's only able to run ios 5, so finding games that run is tricky, but I'd agree toca boca titles have been a decent distraction, more so when he was younger, but he'll still ask for them now and again. At the moment though, he's found my old install of Mega Man X - I couldn't cope with the touch controls, but they don't seem to bother him at all and he's blasting his way through no problem.

He also gets to play Mario on the old DS now and again, but hasn't seen my N3DS... YET...

This is a great thread, I was just thinking of starting one up. Struggling to find stuff for my 5 year old that we can play together, that isn't frustrating.

My kids love the Toca Boca apps.

Also they love the Sago Mini apps, even though they're a little too old for them. But one of them features a farting bird! Who can deny the snazzy of that!?

If you want to play with your 5 year old and you have an xbox 360, I can't recommend Castle Crashers highly enough.

shameless plug

Plus one for Toca Boca, our 4 yr old enjoys Toca Kitchen and Nature in particular. His first game, from around 2.5 or so, was probably Katamari Forever, which is great with its infinity mode. Lately he's enjoyed a paid app on iOS called Homer, which is educational but has some simple game mechanics to it. It has taught him a ton of cool stuff too, like about the Pyramids of Egypt and King Tutankhamen and they regularly update the content.

Machinarium is wonderful for kids. There are a couple of tricky puzzles that they used to need help on, but once they learned the steps involved, my boys played through it many times. Also, this may be too old for "modern" youngsters, but my guys loved playing the first few levels of Psychonauts too.

edit: to agree with Castle Crashers being the all time game king for my guys, when it came out on the 360. We must have put 100 hours into it (over the course of 3 years).

Running Man wrote:

Machinarium is wonderful for kids. There are a couple of tricky puzzles that they used to need help on, but once they learned the steps involved, my boys played through it many times. Also, this may be too old for "modern" youngsters, but my guys loved playing the first few levels of Psychonauts too.

edit: to agree with Castle Crashers being the all time game king for my guys, when it came out on the 360. We must have put 100 hours into it (over the course of 3 years).

My kids love everything from Amanita. Samorost, Botanicula and Machinarium are much played and replayed in this house. I can speed-run Samorost 2 in ten minutes.

It's funny, my kids like the characters from Castle Crashers, but don't want to see the game. They do, however, love the heck out of Battleblock Theatre.

They're also fans of Foul Play, which takes that 3/4 view side-scrolling beat-em-up action and puts a top hat and monocle on it.

El-Producto wrote:

This is a great thread, I was just thinking of starting one up. Struggling to find stuff for my 5 year old that we can play together, that isn't frustrating.

All of the Lego-games except for Undercover are fully coop. I've played most of them with my son (8 in a month) since he was around 4-5. Great fun for all involved. They're regularly like five euros a game on Steam

Minecraft of course too. Him on a PC, me on a laptop. Don't know how the coop is on consoles, or if the PC version is usable on a gamepad. I bought one of the laptop mice for my son, to accommodate for his smaller hand. He's a pretty proficient kb+m user nowadays.

My 4 year old boy loves Lego Star Wars on the iPad. It's a very old hand-me-down iPad so it stutters here and there but he doesn't seem to mind. Thing is, he's besotted with Star Wars so I think it's that rather than the Lego part that has him hooked. He recently had a go on it over at my brother's house on a steam link and he surprised me by being able to use a 360 controller. Handed him down some gaming genes methinks.

Other than that, the only games he really plays are cbeebies apps, also on his iPad.

My daughter just beat Samorost 3 on the iPad and immediately started over again.

<-- proud father

Finally got a second Xbox One controller. Any recommendations for local multiplayer games for young folks, preferably co-op games? I've already got Castle Storm, lots of Lego games, and the Halo MCC.

5yo boy- Any of the toys-to-life games on PS4- Disney, Lego, and Skylanders. Grow Home and Grow Up. Castle Crashers. Dungeon Defenders. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. Any LEGO game- the Marvel ones have better free-play modes where you just motor around Marvel New York. I'll let him play my completed Just Cause 3 game because he just likes to jump off mountains, wingsuit into the sea, and swim around.

10 yo girl- Snake.io, Minecraft, Roblox, and Youtuber's Life. She used to play Disney Infinity and LEGO, but isn't into those any more. We played through Machinarium, Unmechanical, Botanicula, and a couple of the Samorost games. She also liked Double Fine games, especially Costume Quest and Stacking.

This might be off topic, buuuuuuuttttt...
Does anyone have 8- and 16-bit recommendations for an 8 year old? Especially two-player beat'em ups!
We've played through turtles in time and he loved it! I'd especially love sega recommendations, as I grew up a Nintendo kid

Aaah, Sega Genesis (or Sega Mega Drive as it was called in Sweden)...that brings me back.

When I was that age, or maybe a bit older, I had fun with games like Golden Axe and Alien Storm. GA is fantasy and As is scifi.

And I never played it but someone once recommended Captain America and The Avangers. That one might be a bit more kid friendly.

If you have an Xbox 360 or PS3 - you might want to check out Ultimate Sega Mega Drive Collection (over here)... Plenty of choice.

marcelp wrote:

This might be off topic, buuuuuuuttttt...
Does anyone have 8- and 16-bit recommendations for an 8 year old? Especially two-player beat'em ups!
We've played through turtles in time and he loved it! I'd especially love sega recommendations, as I grew up a Nintendo kid

I grew up a Sega kid because Genesis did what Nintendidn't.

Play all three Streets of Rage games, in order, preferably on a loud stereo system cranked to a loud volume.
Then:
Altered Beast
Golden Axe
Toejam & Earl 1&2
Final Fight (3 at least)
TMNT: Turtles in Time & Hyperstone Heist
The Punisher
Two Crude Dudes
Knights of the Round
Comix Zone

Not beat-em-ups, but games I loved playing with Dad:

Mega Bomberman
Contra Hard Corps
Forgotten Worlds
Sonic the Hedgehog 2

I can't say enough about how the Pokemon games helped our kids with reading. I think we started them on them when they were six or so. In the beginning it took some coaching and assistance to get them up and running with the games, but after that it was all good stuff.

I have a 3.5 year old and am starting to show him some games in short bursts. Picked up Lego Marvel Superheroes in the steam sale. And was thinking of getting 3 more Lego games in the Bundlestars buy 3 for $10 sale. Sort of an investment in his gaming future, as I see it.

I know they're all kind of samey, but any opinions on the best ones? Would definitely do Jurassic Park, cuz he loves dinos. Then probably Batman 2. After that I'm not sure. Maybe Harry Potter or Avengers?

Other than dinos he's not particularly into the properties. I'm starting to think more about buying games thinkain't of my kids instead of for myself.

+1 to Toca Boca and Sago Mini.

The only non-mobile game my 4-y/o will ask to play is Burnout Paradise (so I've done at least one thing right in raising a human being). She started really liking motorcycles last summer, and Paradise has pink bikes with women riders, so we'll play some of that together every once in a while.