The Game Recommendation For Your Kids thread

I'm really curious about how this feature in the new Switch Mario Kart will work for my 4 and 6 year old;

http://www.express.co.uk/entertainme...

" auto-accelerate and smart steering, which have been included to give younger players a fighting chance on the race track."

My six year old LOVES the mii-maker on the Wii-U.

Does anyone have any game recommendations for facial/body creation for a six year old?

Skylanders Imaginators.
(There is a trick to wiping/resetting the character creation crystals if you have an old Wii... so you only need to buy a few)

Lego Worlds. My 6yr old really likes it, I think it's a janky mess.

jrralls wrote:

My six year old LOVES the mii-maker on the Wii-U.

Does anyone have any game recommendations for facial/body creation for a six year old?

She might like to try the Spore Creature Creator.
http://www.spore.com/creatureCreator

Or, well, The Sims.

What about setting her loose on a Bethesda or Bioware game (but only the character creator)

Marchantia wrote:
jrralls wrote:

My six year old LOVES the mii-maker on the Wii-U.

Does anyone have any game recommendations for facial/body creation for a six year old?

She might like to try the Spore Creature Creator.
http://www.spore.com/creatureCreator

Or, well, The Sims.

That's a good idea.

The Spore Creature Creator at that link is $10, but thanks to Steam sale, I could just buy Spore for $5. I assume that has the creature creator as part of it?

Yes, it's a core component of the game. Plus, you'll get access to the building and vehicle creators too.

So, my 9-year-old boy wants a shooter real bad. He's played Plants vs. Zombie's Garden Warfare (the first one) for many hours and has played Splatoon a good bit, but he recently played one of the Star Wars Battlefront games at a friends house, and now he really wants something more "realistic." He's bored with his former experiences. He recently downloaded a janky pixel shooter game on the iPad in what I'm pretty sure was his attempt to sneak it past me. I deleted it more because of it having unmonitored chat and a grim disposal of all story where players just appear and try to murder one another with hammer, axes, and guns (in a low-fi not particularly gorey way). I explained to him that the chat and aesthetics were the issue more than the game play, and he, smartly, then asked for a shooter that doesn't have those issues.

I've done some research, and I'm struggling.

When I think of my 9 year old son playing a game where he's running around shooting and killing, there's that gut reaction of "That's not good!" But I am a gamer myself, and I don't think playing an FPS will make him into a murderer or more violent or even more aggressive at school. I know it's a game, and he'll see it as a game. I also know that by being too harsh I only give these games more allure. So, while my gut says no, my stupid brain's got lots of reasons to pull me in the other direction.

Of course, there are degrees. I'm not putting him in front of Bioshock or Doom. But even something like Overwatch or the first Halo make me feel uneasy.

I think the real issue is this: what's your Grand Theory of Parental Video Game Appropriateness Decision Making?

My girls are obsessed with Animal Jam. It is a very kid friendly and kid protective MMO. It's cute!

Hangdog wrote:

So, my 9-year-old boy wants a shooter real bad.

When my 11-year-old starts asking for a flavor of the week game, I usually hop on to Common Sense Media's site where they have a great list of different types of games broken down by category and age range. They also list specifically what impacts their ratings (realistic violence, blood, etc) so I can judge what's right for my son (blood, ok - realistic violence, no)

Unfortunately, FPSes are usually geared for higher ages, so the best they have to suggest for a 9yo would be the NERF N-Strike Elite for the Wii. I've actually seen a whole room of kids swarm over this one at my brother's house - if you have a Wii, it's really much better than it deserves to be, especially if you have the gun attachment for the Wiimote.

If you go a little older, it suggests these other games:
- Metroid Prime and sequels (Hunters, Federation Force) - awesome pick but maybe a bit too complex for kiddos
- STRAFE - looks like an old-school Doom remake
- Desync - Cyberspce shooter for the PC
- Gotham City Impostors - Think Overwatch with DC comic Heroes and Villains

Some other suggestions are Serious Sam, which has a "Bloodless" mode, Lovely Planet which may be a bit too cartoony to keep their interest, puzzle FPSes like Portal, Quantum Conundrum or The Talos Principle, Exploration games like No Man's Sky, or crafting games like Astroneer, Dragon Quest Builders or Minecraft.

I think the real issue is this: what's your Grand Theory of Parental Video Game Appropriateness Decision Making?

Play with your kids. It's the best way to know exactly what they're being exposed to, and to know when and where to have those kinds of conversations.

+1 on common sense media... But with the 2 year rule - so at nearly 7 I'm pretty certain if the site says 9 it'll be fine.

Eg. Using your experience as an example Hangdog. Garden Warfare - says 10-2 = 8+ fine. You seem uncertain on Overwatch, CSM site says 13-2= age 11+ which seems in line with your thinking?

Edit...

Alz wrote:

Play with your kids. It's the best way to know exactly what they're being exposed to, and to know when and where to have those kinds of conversations.

+1

Thanks for the input, gang. I do go to Common Sense Media fairly often. The 2 year rule certainly fits with my experience. I've thought a lot about it since I posted, and I do think it's too soon for any true-to-life shooters. I don't mind watching a movie with, say, Star Wars level violence with him, but there's a big difference there as the story and action have context and it's a much different question when you put the gun in his hands. He'll get there, but I think it's too soon. Kids should be kids until they aren't.

I wonder too how much of my angst over this stuff isn't related to the old "kid's growing up fast" pains that parents get.

Alz wrote:

Play with your kids.

Yes, this. I used to be much, much better about it. I'll take this as a call to get back on the couch with my boy.

Depending on how retro you want to go, Oddworld: Strangers Wrath might be a kid friendly shooter. You have guns, but you're mostly shooting bees or other weird critters. You can kill your bounties but it's highly encouraged to not do so. Also a great little underrated gem if you're an adult.

But this is an uncle recommendation, not a parent recommendation. Ymmv.

My own son was really into Team Fortress 2 at 9. These days I'd point him to Overwatch instead.

Of course, you'll still have the same issues that you have with every other online competitive game: other players.

Edit: My filter was this: If it featured "realistic" graphics and a military style shooting component that was clearly meant to represent actual warfare/crime to some degree then it was off limits.

I didn't mind TF2 (though I monitored, of course) because it's so clearly tongue in cheek. Overwatch is a superhero game with guns. At 9, my own son was more than capable of discerning the difference between real world violence and videogame violence.

This might be of some interest to people in this thread: 101 Video Games To Play Before You Grow Up

My six (seven next week) year old daughter is starting to read. What are some good games that encourage kids to read? Not nesesarily edutainment, but some game that would make her want to read.

jrralls wrote:

My six (seven next week) year old daughter is starting to read. What are some good games that encourage kids to read? Not nesesarily edutainment, but some game that would make her want to read.

Breath of the Wild has plenty to read, but can be enjoyed by kids who don't quite read yet.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
jrralls wrote:

My six (seven next week) year old daughter is starting to read. What are some good games that encourage kids to read? Not nesesarily edutainment, but some game that would make her want to read.

Breath of the Wild has plenty to read, but can be enjoyed by kids who don't quite read yet.

We don't have a Wii u or Switch (yet) for BotW, but I'd say Zelda in general a good go to here. 6yr old gets on fine with and has enjoyed Link to the Past on Wii VC.

Pokémon White on DS has been absolutely great for reading, but did have the downside of introducing the boy to game grind (wrote to the CC crew about it). He was up to Gym 4, but gone off it because of that I think. On balance probably a smidge early.

Though will say with Pokémon, there are the bestiary type guide books, have one and he enjoys reading that.

Trying Yonder (the non combat RPG) on PS4 together at the mo.

What classic arcade games (with unlimited quarters) would be good for a five or seven year old?

Maybe Centipede? It's fun, and scales difficulty well, so you don't instantly die, but have to be good to keep playing for a long time.

Pacman Jr, Galaga, or Arkanoid might be good ones as well.

And the TMNT arcade game, especially if multiplayer is an option.

+1 for Centipede. It was a favourite of mine at that age, on the 2600 that is. An arcade machine would be pretty nice.

Or how about this?

Sorry, tagging this.

I've been a bit slack on teaching my 4 year old the joys of computers and computer gaming. But I just watched the MATN video of Viva Pinata and remembered its something I wanted to play with her, atleast until Ooblets comes out (and who knows how long that will be). Is there any way for me to get Viva Pinata on my PC or atleast something else as cute and adorable and with a nurturing animals kind of aspect? Obviously we would be talking super simple control scheme as its a 4 year old, but getting her skills to use a controller up would be great before Ooblets comes out...

It doesn't look like there's any easy way to run it on the PC. From what I can tell, your options are pretty much the XBox 360 for the original discs, or else an XB1 with the Rare Replay compilation package, which includes emulated versions of both VP and its sequel, Trouble in Paradise. (and a ton of other games, some of which are quite good.)

Thanks Malor, that compilation looks a bit pricey for what well get out of it. May have to wait for Ooblets and find something else in the meantime.

Picked up Teddy Floppy Ear Kyaking for 50 cents on steam to play with my 4 year old and it was good! Basically a very simple point and click adventure and my daughter who is four years controlled the game via mouse for most of it and followed the simple plot and solved the basic puzzles (some puzzles were too hard and two or three times the player got a bit stuck and I had to help navigate out of it) definitely will play it again, there are also two other iterations of the game we will probably get. Great price and good introduction to point and click adventure. I'll be putting this on a list for introductory games to play with your kids.