So you may find yourself with a bit more time on your hands. Time where you’ve started to dust off those controllers you haven’t picked up in a while. Oh, also you have a family.
Hi, my name is Pete, and I am a 34 year old Aussie bloke who really loves to play video games. There are plenty of video games available that I love to play that my wife asks me (sometimes not so politely) to turn off because our two young daughters, Miss version 3.5 and Miss version 1.5, are generally running around at the time and my choices may be a bit too violent for them to see.
You might be in the same situation, but like me, find that sometimes it’s not so much about the actual video game that you’re playing, but more about just wanting to be able to play something!
Well I have five tiny kid friendly titles that I’ve gone and found for you below so you can sit in front of the TV and relieve some stress by doing one of your favourite pass-times without the stress of your kids running into the room just as a big baddy with half of his face melting off appears on your crystal clear 60 inch flatscreen.
These games also happen to be what we call cross platform, meaning they are available on whatever you happen to have lying around which generally falls under having a PC, a Nintendo, a Playstation, or an Xbox.
This is my go-to for anytime a fellow parent asks me to recommend a game for their kids to play, which it goes unsaid also means “I’d like it to be something I can play with them.”
Minecraft is not only available on platforms but also tablets, so even if you don’t have a PC or console, you can still get it on your iPads or Androids, and it’s even available on your mobile phone.
My favourite thing about Minecraft is that it is grounded in creativity. With a simple set of tools at your disposal that grows as you grow into the game, you get to start with a blank canvas which can become absolutely anything you can imagine. I’ve seen builds that have gone on for years, the end product of which has been the re-creation of things like major cities around the world, or Harry Potter’s Hogwarts castle.
Minecraft is also an incredible educational tool with some really fun science components like being able to mine base elements, and then break them down and combine them with other mined materials to create brand new elements. SCIENCE!
Lego Masters which is currently into its second season on Channel 9 hosted by Hamish Blake from Hamish and Andy, may have you dusting off your old Lego sets, but there are tonnes of awesome Lego games that exist across all platforms and are built on already popular kids franchises such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and Harry Potter.
Every Lego game is family friendly, have no gore or blood, and are full of great puzzles to solve as you make your way through each title. The best part though is that they do a really good job of hiding some not so easy to get more adult jokes and dialogue, and can be challenging enough for adults to play too! Always entertaining.
SPYRO REIGNITED TRILOGY
Spyro the Dragon is an old favourite of mine from back in the 90’s. You may recognise it as something you, your siblings, or your mates played back on the original Playstation. It’s a colourful world full of puzzles and collectables as you traverse your way through a well thought out story line. It’s recently had a remaster which includes some revamped levels and plenty of action from across all three of the original titles.
JUST DANCE 2020
It’s a dance party in your house! Quite literally if our place is anything to go by you can transform any afternoon into an instant party. There is an element of skill in having to learn specific dance moves to complete songs to perfection, but all your kids want to do is have fun and this certainly allows for that. If they go long enough they’ll tire themselves out too, which is really handy leading into bed time.
Whilst it may not be across all platforms, I chose to add this one because if you can get your hands on a Nintendo Switch this should be the first game you pick up with the family in mind. It’s colourful, it’s exciting, there are collectables to work towards, and for the little little players there is also steer and acceleration assist, so all they have to do is hold onto the controller to feel like they are a part of the action. Mario Kart is also tuned to help the less skilled in that you will be more likely to get more powerful pick ups the further you are back on the grid. It suits all ages, has a tonne of game modes and unlockables, and it also has a pretty decent online mode, so when the kids go to bed you can take on the world and really test out your skill.
There are so many kid friendly titles available, but I hope the above helps you out as a good start, it just takes a moment to dive in and give them a shot. For a long time people have dispensed with video games as a worthwhile past time, but as the years have passed, developers have gotten a lot better at creating titles with really deep content that are well balanced for the entire family and have genuine educational benefits for young kids.
There’s nothing wrong with having a bit of fun along the way.