Parents Playing VGames With Their Kids - Post Your Suggestions
I am a proud father: 4 year old, 2.5 year old and a 4 month old.
I read stories (mainly in this fine community) of parents playing vids with their kids. I truly long for the days when I can do this. Right now my 2 oldest can play very basic web games (Sesame Street website Flash games for instance).
But I truly long for the days when I can play decent co-op games with my kids (appropriately rated games of course, no blood/gore/violence for another 10 years or so I imagine). I have a PC (win7) and an Xbox (no Kinect yet, kids still too young I think). Also have Leapster and a Nintendo DSi XL.
So I am posting this thread to hopefully start game suggestions for parents and their kids in 2 categories: toddlers/children and 13 years+. Hoping to learn about new games for my young kids so that we can play together and hoping that other parents will learn from these suggestions. List your top 10 favs for both if possible.
2. google searching various websites: "toddler games"
3. please add your top 10
please add to this list
Last edited by DrDel; 12-12-2010 at 05:33 AM.
I've been playing the Lego games (Star Wars, Batman, Harry Potter) with my oldest since she was six. She loves them and they're good coop.
Starfall.org is my 3 year old's current favorite for letters, phonics, and reading.
Not actually co-op, but I've been playing with the spore creature creator with my daughter since she was 4.
I have 4 kids ages 13 - 18 (three boys and a girl). We were just talking about the games they loved as a kid so this is interesting that you have it as a topic.
The biggest problem my kids had before the rise of the console was using the mouse. I purchased a mouse for smaller hands and that helped them a lot.
Wiz101 is a fun game with kids (not sure of where age would be I say 5+ but maybe a four year old on your lap). My kids loved Banjo Kazooie which is available as an XBLA download.
I think that the Pinball FX 2 is a fun family game on the Xbox 360. Plants and Zombies is another game that is fun and has some strategy.
They tended to like platformers (like Mario). They absolutely loved Mario Smash brothers since it was a game where all four kids could play together. As they grew older they loved Team Fortress 2. Eventually, Halo, Gears of War, COD etc became their favorites. My two youngest liked Sins of he Solar Empires and Civ 4.
When my kids were 9 to 13 we played City of Heroes together. They loved that game. Basically anything they saw me play they wanted to try. Eventually they all moved to the Xbox.
Keeper of the Frop Bog
How To Go
I don't have my own kids, but have become a surrogate parent to nieces, nephews, and kids in the neighborhood. 14 kids to be exact. We have a busy house :)
So here's what's worked extremely well for us:
* Lego Star Wars on Xbox360 (5-teen)
* Burnout Paradise on Xbox360 (4-teen)
* Carcasonne on XBox360 (teen)
* Soul Caliber IV on Xbox 360 (8-teen) just make sure you don't let them see the scantily clad characters
* Sims 3 on PC (5-teen)
* Madden Arcade on Xbox 360 (4-teen)
* NHL Arcade on XBox 360 (6-teen)
I would also highly recommend playing boardgames as well. They can be tremendous fun and offer more interaction than staring into a tv screen.
* Sorry Sliders (4-teen)
* SpongeBob Life (4-teen)
* Pirates of the Caribbean Life (7-teen)
Note, some of the games I've listed a 4-year old can't fully understand, but they can still enjoy playing with help from an older sibling.
* Barbie Dolls
* Fisher Price
You may think I'm kidding about Barbie Dolls but I'm not. My nieces love playing Barbie Dolls with me because I always turn their normality upside down and inject lots of creativity. Pretty much, I put the clothes on upside down or backwards, make them wear a kitchen appliance on their head and say they're from Mars or the Enceladus (snowy moon around Saturn) and we go from there. It's a blast.
LittleBigPlanet is fantastic with kids. Gameplay is simple, stickering everything is a lot of fun, and just goofing around is good. Joe Danger is another simple but fun one.
Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii) is a good co-op game for ages 5 and up.
My 4 year-old loves New Super Mario Bros. Wii. For a long time we would just play the first 4 or 5 levels on the first world. He got really good at it, too. And then one day he got it into his head that he wanted to see the rest of the game, so over the course of weeks, we managed to play every single level (Except for world 9. Fuck that shit!). The cool thing about it is that any time he felt overwhelmed, he's hit the "A" button and go into the bubble and wait until it was safe. I'm still a little shocked at how good he actually is at the game.
He also really likes Pinball FX2. For Christmas he's getting Kirby.
LEGO Star Wars got my son rolling when he was almost 5. The ability to run around in the Cantina with no actual goal let him figure out the 360 controller.
I know a number of four-year-olds who've played Kinect. In a few situations the camera angle can be a challenge for very small kids, but if there's not a playspace issue, kids that age can pretty much run with Kinect once you show them how to wave to get its attention.
Suggestions from our house:
Web: PBSKids.org is good.
DS: Can't believe no one mentioned Scribblenauts (or the more recent Super Scribblenauts) is ideal kid/parent play fodder. You drive, have the kids throw out suggestions for words. Great fun.
XBox: Worms: Armageddon is a good pick (say, 5yo and up); can be co-op or not depending on how you set up the teams.
Wii: Too bad you don't have the Wii; that might be ideal for the demographic (not a slam on the Wii).
Super Mario Galaxy has a co-op mode where player 2 can help player 1 (P2 helps collect gems, so dad/mom would be P1).
I love playing Super Smash Bros Brawl with my kids (9,6,6). It has an auto-handicap feature that helps level the playing field, so even when I'm playing, I don't always win. It's also been a gateway game for my 9yo (not much of a gamer previously): she's picked up Metroid Prime 3 after getting interested in Samus.
And I hate to say it, but sometimes they'll find any old crappy game entertaining. My kids had a hoot playing Chicken Shoot and Go Play: Lumberjacks.
My girls never really cared about gaming until they hit around 10, and even then it mostly just online stuff catering to them like VMK (and now VFK). They like Mario Kart, but never cared for platformers. Music games did ok with them for a while, but now I can't get them to play Rock Band anymore.
My youngest (10 years old) is the biggest gamer. She plays WoW with me, and we have been working our way through the Halo series in co-op. She likes to stay back & provide sniper support while I run in skirmish. It still amuses me to be running in on an enemy, trying to get close enough for a good shotgun blast, when suddenly it drops dead while she cackles.
If you have an iOS or high end Android device, I'll go ahead and plug my own game for the toddler age (2-4 year olds): Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. It's an admittedly pretty typical minigame collection for the age group, but we put a lot of work into the interface and character design. It's not co-op of course, but everything is co-op with a 2 year old, eh?
Originally Posted by DrDel
Shameless plugging aside, I do think iOS is the ideal platform for the youngest children. My 4.5 year old gets a ton of mileage out of Angry Birds, Cut the Rope (which ends up being co-op a lot), and even some unexpected games like Spider. If you have an iPad you can also do things like play PvZ and have your kid collect all the suns.
On to platforms you have:
There's actually a concept often regrettably referred to as "girlfriend mode" which means a co-op game where one player can take a less active/intense role in the play. Giant Bomb doesn't seem to have much under the concept that works for kids sadly, but there might be others out there. The obvious one is of course Super Mario Galaxy.
The lego games are great, but I think probably just out of reach for many 4 year olds, another year and I think you'll be there. Depends on the kid of course and willingness to let you drive/deal with frustration, but I think 5+ is really when the world opens up for gaming with kids.
I'm hoping to get my daughter playing Kirby's Epic Yarn because... just look at it! But I'm sure it'll be way too hard.
I've also heard good things actually about Kinect and 4 year olds. I think it, like iOS, has an interface advantage for younger children. The abstraction of controllers still confuse them. All theory though, got no first hand experience with Kinect.
That said, I've had some pretty good times with the very interface heavy Beatles Rock Band (them set to no-fail mode of course). My 4 year old pretty much gets how the drums work anyway.
That's my ramble on the topic, I could probably drone on for a while since this is lately a big part of my game development work.
Yes, I will second that. I have lego star wars on the Wii and whilst the four year old can "play" in the sense he can (kind of) move the guy around on screen, and wave the lightsaber around, he doesn't quite get it. There is a lot of frustration and "follow daddy this way now". I've found what works best it to unlock a level by finishing the story mode on my own when he is not around and then just play it on "free" mode where you can pretty much just futz around. He just wants to wander around and put on the different helmets. You can also cycle through different characters at a touch of button in this mode, which he enjoys.
Originally Posted by PeterGinsberg
Any of the Wii Sports games are good as well and enjoyed at 4. Otherwise a lot of licensed characters have surprisingly good web games on their sites - Barney the dinosaur is a stand out, but THomas the tank engine and Bob the builder put in a good showing. He also enjoys a learngin to read site called ABC for kids.
For some reason the four year old also loves the lame Hasbro transformers site where all you do is look at different transformers. Unfortunately I think it is the rock music intro!
Last edited by Talorc; 12-13-2010 at 05:08 AM.
Pick up Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise for the 360. Excellent game to play with your kids. My nieces absolutely loved it when I showed them last Christmas and were fascinated by the little world you can build.
My son was 4 a week ago.
We play Tiger Woods on the Wii. He has stacks of holes in 1 as well as a round of 50. Initally games are frustrating as they learn but it doesn't take time to get the hang. We also do Pinball and Crazy Golf. Tiger Woods 2011 on the Wi has some great cazy Golf courses as well.
GT5, he steers with a wheel and i do the pedals.
Viva Pinata we do this one together, i do the controller and he picks what he wants to build and see etc.
My 4 yr old also loves playing rock band in no-fail mode. I'll have to check out your ipad game.
Originally Posted by PeterGinsberg
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox was a huge hit with the four-year-old.