Hey guys, it’s Syd! Some of you may remember the last post I wrote about games for kiddos that aren’t first-person shooters a while ago. Well, I’m back with more games just in time for National Video Games Day! This time around, I went a little past just games for younger kids. This is a mix of choices for ages six all the way up to seventeen+. There’s also a nice mix of single-player story games and multiplayer adventures. I have about a thousand recommendations, but let’s keep it to right. REMAIN CALM, Syd. So without further ado, let’s get into the games!

The Best Video Games For Kids Age 6 to 17+

Human: Fall Flat
Just in: video games for National Video Games Day! We've got 8 for kids ages 6 to 17+, w/ a nice mix of single-player story games & multiplayer adventures.

Age Rating: 8+

Price: $14.99
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Single Player: Yes
Multiplayer: 2 – 8 Players (Local and Online*)

Summary: Remember Octodad? All those wacky physics and limbs swinging wildly? There’s another game like it and it’s called Human: Fall Flat. If I’m being honest, I didn’t know there was a story to the game, but apparently all the big floating maps are “dreamscapes”. The goal is to solve the physics puzzles in the maps and make it to the next stage. The game can be a bit frustrating to get the hang of since it’s all physics-based puzzles and you’re basically a boneless human. But it could also be a (subtle) lesson in physics. How close to the wall do I have to be to fling myself to the next platform? How many friends must be stacked in this catapult to break down the castle wall? In the end, you’re able to have up to 8 people working together to solve these puzzles, which means there’s plenty of room for lots of laughs.

West Of Loathing

Just in: video games for National Video Games Day! We've got 8 for kids ages 6 to 17+, w/ a nice mix of single-player story games & multiplayer adventures.Age Rating: 13+

Price: $10.99
Platforms: PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch
Single Player: Yes
Multiplayer: No

Summary: This game is like a digital choose-your-own-adventure book! You get to make a (very basic) character, name them whatever you want, then set off into the wild west. Think of it like a weird version of Dungeons and Dragons, but cowboys…and the scary enemies are demon cows instead of monsters. There’s a mix of turn-based combat, talking with people, and completing quests in order to become, well…whatever you want to be. The writing is funny and goofy, and there are small things that make the game even better. Right in the beginning, there is a book you can read that unlocks the ability for your character to walk silly. If you tell a random character your middle name is “Danger”, your name will change on your character chart to reflect that. It’s an amazing game with a massive world to explore. Just make sure you find a good ten-gallon hat.

The Cave

Just in: video games for National Video Games Day! We've got 8 for kids ages 6 to 17+, w/ a nice mix of single-player story games & multiplayer adventures.Age Rating: 13+

Price: $14.99
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC, Mac, iOS, Android
Single Player: Yes
Multiplayer: 2 – 3 Players (Local)

Summary: If you’re looking for a puzzle adventure game your kiddo can play with a few friends (all on the same system), then this might be a good one to try. There are seven characters to choose from, all with different secrets and abilities, all from different times and places. Three characters must be chosen, but a solo player can move them all or a group of friends can take control of each. Together they must explore the strange (possibly/most definitely magic) cave that is said to help them “learn something about themselves and who they might become”. They’ll have to work together to solve puzzles, and make it through the many tunnels and rooms ahead of them. This game has a great art style (think Little Big Planet) and is kind of in the same vein of 2D side-scrolling platformers made with 3D art.

Sea of Thieves

Just in: video games for National Video Games Day! We've got 8 for kids ages 6 to 17+, w/ a nice mix of single-player story games & multiplayer adventures.Age Rating: 12+

Price: $50.00
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Single Player: Yes
Multiplayer: 2 – 4 Players (Online*)

Summary: I gave Sea of Thieves a try after one of my friends talked me into getting it (and now I’m in love). This game is basically a massive sandbox (oceanbox? I don’t know) for multiple players to sail around in search of fortune. You get to make a pirate, choose a ship, and then set sail alone or with friends. There are different pirates on the islands you can visit that give you quests for treasure, as well as many kinds of enemies out on the open sea. You and your friends could be sailing along and suddenly come across a ghost pirate ship or a megalodon. Someone must man the canons, another has to steer and move the sails, all while being sure to repair the ship when its damaged and bail water to keep from sinking. You can sit in the open waters and fish, play music with your friends, and try to make alliances with other players as well. On top of all the freedom of exploration, the game is also just absolutely beautiful.

Monster Hunter: World

Just in: video games for National Video Games Day! We've got 8 for kids ages 6 to 17+, w/ a nice mix of single-player story games & multiplayer adventures.Age Rating: 14+

Price: It varies depending on who you’re buying from. $19.99 for standard edition on XBOX One/PS4 (insert eye roll. deluxe edition is $59.99). $59.99 on Steam.
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Single Player: Yes
Multiplayer: 2 – 4 Players (Online*)

Summary: OK, so even though I eye-roll into next year when there’s Deluxe Editions and stuff like that….this game is pretty darn cool. You get to make your own character, choose your weapons and armor (like the really tall weird hat in the screenshots called Wiggler Head Alpha), and probably coolest of all, you get a pet/side-kick to run around with. It’s a massive, beautiful open world that you can explore full of big terrifying monsters. This is also a game that you can run solo or team up for with friends online. Who doesn’t want to carry around a gigantic sword and fight big ol’ dragon creatures with their posse? Also, the scale of this game allows for hundreds of hours of play, which makes the price tag worth it.

Moon Hunters

Just in: video games for National Video Games Day! We've got 8 for kids ages 6 to 17+, w/ a nice mix of single-player story games & multiplayer adventures.Age Rating: 10+

Price: $14.99
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac
Single Player: Yes
Multiplayer: 2 – 4 Players (Local and Online*)

Summary: Do your kids like those fun little personality quizzes? Moon Hunters makes me think back to those quizzes a lot. You pick a character, all of whom have different fighting styles, and play through a story that lasts 5 (in-game) days. You can talk to people, fight through randomly generated map levels, and choose what to do when you camp at night. All your responses to people and situations in the game effect your stats in different ways. If you show patience, your character becomes known by that trait. If you’re a fighter, your character may become known for their martial skills or fiery personality. At the end of the 5 days, the game ends whether you’ve achieved your mission or not. What is really cool though is each of the characters you play is immortalized as a constellation on the main menu that you can revisit and read about later. And each playthrough will be different every time. PLUS it’s a couch co-op game! That’s right! Only one system needed for 4 people to play together!

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Just in: video games for National Video Games Day! We've got 8 for kids ages 6 to 17+, w/ a nice mix of single-player story games & multiplayer adventures.Age Rating: 10+

Price: $59.99
Platforms: Switch, Wii U
Single Player: Yes
Multiplayer: No

Summary: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will forever hold a place in my heart as one of my first true adventure games. In my eyes, none of the other Zelda games came close to being as good and yet…here is Breath of the Wild. It’s beautiful and big and full of new and old things. It’s an open world for the player to explore at their own pace with plenty to do. What a lot of people love about the game is just how responsive it is to the player. You can create complex chain reactions with objects in the world to fight enemies or get to new places. And there are survival elements as well. Link (the main character) will need different clothes for different environments, as well as food to eat as you explore the land of Hyrule. It’s still the same magical world through and through, and if your kids like fantasy, this is a great game for them!

Gauntlet: Slayer Edition

Just in: video games for National Video Games Day! We've got 8 for kids ages 6 to 17+, w/ a nice mix of single-player story games & multiplayer adventures.Age Rating: 17+

Price: $19.99
Platforms: Playstation 4, PC
Single Player: Yes
Multiplayer: 2 – 4 Players (Local)

Summary: So first off, I didn’t even realize this game was rated Mature, a wild surprise I got while searching through my library. Secondly, do you remember this game? The original one? Well they made another one and I have to say, it’s pretty darn fun. This is the game I got specifically for family game nights when I was visiting home from college. It’s a pretty simple concept: enter dungeon (the Gauntlet), kill baddies. I guess I can see why it had to be marked as Mature (fantasy violence and whatnot) but it’s….pretty tame compared to other things out there. There are a few different characters to choose from, each with their own play style and abilities. Like just smashing through bad guys? Try Thor. Want to have a little more finesse (and shoot lasers everywhere)? Try Merlin. You and your party work together to survive the dungeons, get the gold, and continue to glory. One catch. Respawns are shared, so be careful how many times you die. But honestly guys, this game has had my family in stitches, all of us shouting at the screen while the last person alive tries to earn enough XP to get another person able to respawn. A super, super fun game that I think is fine for kids 15 and up (to heck with fantasy violence).

Happy gaming!

– Syd

*Online Games Warning

As with any game that is played online, the player is going to be exposed to the gaming community behind it. I believe these games are kid-friendly, but they appeal to a wide range of ages. Be aware of the fact that college students, young adults and middle-schoolers are all sharing an online community. Most of these games offer text chat or microphone chat because they are team games, but they do generally come with the ability to turn them off or mute them. If the gaming community behind any of these games worries you, take a few minutes to poke around the options menus and look for chat settings. Depending on the game, you should be able to disable chat services or turn on a filter for curse words.

And this one’s for the pinners…

Just in: video games for National Video Games Day! We've got 8 for kids ages 6 to 17+, w/ a nice mix of single-player story games & multiplayer adventures.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. I liked West of Loathing! Two non-shooters I’d also recommend: we’ve been playing Overcooked on the Switch and it is the first video game I actually like! Super fun family time with elementary aged kiddos, and so much nicer to hear “I’ve got the onions!” than “Shoot that guy!”. I also recommend Baba is You for puzzle-lovers about 12 and older.

  2. For 2 player local (on the same machine) cooperative play: PS4 – Unravel 2, Never Alone
    On the PC – 39 Days to Mars
    On Nintendo Switch – Nintendo Labo, Super Mario Maker 2 (you can make each other levels to play and there are also coop levels in story mode)

    All of these are appropriate for ages 6 and up I would say, and challenging enough to be fun for older kids. Great if you want to play with your kids or if you have siblings that like to play together.

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