Kids' Games: 2010 Holiday Guide For Children's Video GamesBy Stephen Johnson - Posted Nov 19, 2010
If you have kids, or are in the market for games that kids might like, you're going to feel a whole lot better about what's out there after you read and watch this. First off, we're going to take a look at X-Play's Adam Sessler's recommendations on the subject, and, after that video, our own Stephen Johnson will give his ten cents. Enjoy!
In spite of reports that the median age of gamers is getting older and older, there are a lot of kids who play games. Unlike adults, who usually have the money to support their gaming habits however they choose, most children have to wait until birthdays and Christmas to get games, and they are chosen by someone else, so picking the right one is important.
Buying video games for kids is tough, though. Too many kid games are brightly colored heaps of garbage that seem to be foisted on kids with the attitude like, "Meh; who cares? It's just a kids game." But there are some games out there that are appropriate for the younger set and also fun for their parents, aunts and uncles and older brothers and sisters. Please use this list to separate the good games from the crap, and make the time you play with younger gamers fun for you, too.
This is a fantastic, kid friendly entry into the world of RPGs. While it's easy to understand and cartoon-friendly looking, the story is epic, the mechanics are complex enough to be interesting, and the character customization is amazingly deep. Older gamers playing with their younger family members will also love the clever references to classic, old-school JRPGs.
This is another game perfect for older gamer-cats to play with the kittens. While the younger set will see NBA Jam as a super-fun, arcade-style basketball game, older gamers will have fond memories of the original, legendary game, as well as appreciate the depth that was added to the older NBA Jam. Plus, big-head mode is fun no matter how old you are.
While younger gamers will be charmed by Kirby's modern incarnation, older gamers will enjoy the game's physic engine's realistic depiction of a world ruled by yarn. Yarn physics for the win! The game also allows players to drop in an out at any point in the middle of a game, so if your younger cousin gets caught, you can step in and take care of business on the fly.
All kids love pets, but few kids actually have the responsibility and/or time that it takes to care for an actual animal. That's where virtual pets come in. Eye Pet and Kinectimals both provide interactive animal simulations that will delight younger kids and fascinate older ones. Both games are detailed, adorable, and worlds away from the Tamagotchi that were the craze back in the 1990s.
The idea of this game is amazing: It posits a darker Disney, where Mickey is propeled into Wasteland, an alternate world made up of Disney’s forgotten creative efforts, and is given the power to wield paint and paint thinner to dynamically change the world. Everyone loves Mickey Mouse (except terrorists), so the audience for this game is destined to be huge.
Okay, you can't play this game all the way through with a kid. You can't play any missions, or even attend any shows, but it's still fun to play GTA IV with a kid. The trick is to turn off the volume of the passerby, then travel Liberty City in search of G-rated fun. Play some darts. Go bowling. Take a helicopter tour. Go out on some dates (no kissing!) Go base jumping. Just make sure obey all the traffic laws, keep the radio tuned to the classical station, and have fun... just don't have too much fun.