What is Video Games for Kids

Just about everyone loves to get in on the gaming action! Adults, young adults, teenagers, and of course… The little kiddos! Here at VGG’s Little Gamers, great consideration has been put not only toward your kid’s gaming interests but also the interests of the parents as well!

There is a vast realm of video games geared for kids of all ages! in fact, many of these games can also be just as enjoyable for adults (I’m guilty.) However, the increasingly large variety of games, difficulty levels, and in game content can certainly pose a bit of a challenge when it comes to actually picking out a video game for your kid, especially if you are not much into video games yourself.

I present to you this comprehensive guide for all your parental inquires that will better equip you to find just the game for just the child!

Lego Video Games

Build them, Break them, mix them, match them! A childhood favorite toy for over 80 years hits the gaming industry in 1995 producing nearly eighty video game titles to date and still going strong.

LEGO video games is a smash hit for the kids as they allow children to re-live their favorite movies through the eyes of a LEGO figure in the appearance of any celebrity from the movie’s cast! Whether you’re Owen (Chris Pratt) from Jurassic World, Captain Jack Sparrow (Jonny Depp) from Pirates of the Caribbean, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) from Star Wars, or any other character for that matter, LEGO’s got you covered! LEGO doesn’t stop there though, in addition to recreating nearly every blockbuster into a LEGO block buster they’ve also created their own variety of exclusive titles, some of which include the old LEGO Racers games, LEGO City, Lego The Movie Video Game, LEGO Ninjago, and for a more creative experience, the LEGO Creator series along with a more recent LEGO Worlds release in 2017. These games allow the player’s to create virtually anything with an infinite supply of almost every type of brick!

Familiar with Toys to Life video games? LEGO Dimensions, first released in 2015 follows the same idea where you can place different LEGO figures onto a USB toy pad transporting them straight into your TV screen (I had to word it like that for the kids!) All in all, LEGO Video Games is a GREAT pick for the kids and with drop in, drop out split screen co-op it’s loads of fun for friends and family, I highly recommend this franchise!

Parental Review

ESRB Rating:

Players: 1 player to 2 Players (Co-Op and Online Play included)

Platform: Nintendo, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft XBOX, PC

Difficulty: Easy, (Very straight forward, reading not required, simple puzzles, death results in loss of coins not progress loss, rage proof)

Violence: Mild Cartoon Violence, Comic mischief (Basically, busting up them LEGOs)

Blood and Gore: None, (LEGO Figures fall to pieces upon death/hearts depleted)

Weapons: Yes, LEGO weapons

Language: Crude humor

Nudity: None

Sexual Content: None

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Racing

Super Mario Bros.

Everyone knows the super star plumber, bane of the koopas, and hero not only to Peach, the princess in distress, but also to the gaming industry during it’s crash in the early 90s… “Its’a Mario” and his faithful bro Luigi!

These famous siblings would have easily been my first recommendation on this list had it not been for the fact that the Mario Bros franchise released two titles that received a T rating by ESRB. These titles include Super Smash Bros Melee and Super Smash Bros Brawl for comic mischief, mild/cartoon violence, and crude humor. Additionally, the Mario video games proves to be a bit more difficult than that of LEGO. This increase in challenge can potentially pose a threat to your child’s temper… up to and including possible termination of TV screen and/or controller. However, if you ‘feels’ your kid’s got the skills? More power-up to ya! Personally, Super Mario was my all time childhood favorite even when it did kick my butt.

Over the years, Mario and his brother Luigi have become not only a jack of all trades but also (depending on who’s playing) master of them too! Meaning, these supposed plumbers have been placed into such a wide variety of video game genres over the years that I’m beginning to question their actual profession, Plumbing…? hmm… Not so much anymore it would seem! Nevertheless, they don their signature plumber attire like a boss and regardless of whether they’re racing through the exciting tracks of MarioKart, scoring stars on the creative game boards of Mario Party, competing in total battle mayhem on one of the Super Smash Bros chaotic arenas, or engaging in sports such as Super Mario Strikers (soccer), Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Baseball, or Mario Basketball… they manage to make it plumb(er) crazy!

Super Mario Bros video games are great for kids and the whole family! Always good humored, innocent fun, great level design, multiplayer/co-op friendly, steady difficulty progression, many hours of entertainment with Nintendo’s iconic characters from the unforgettable world, the Mushroom Kingdom… A place I spent maybe just a little bit too much time as a kid, I jest… there is no such thing!

Parental Review 

ESRB Rating:

Players: 1 Player, 2 Players, 3 Players, or 4 Players (Co-Op and Online Play included)

Platform: Nintendo (Nintendo exclusive)

Difficulty: Medium (Moderate puzzles, obstacle courses, button combinations required, quick reflexes, good timing, Exception: Adjustable Difficulty available on MarioKart, Mario Sports, Super Smash Bros, and Mario+Rabbids)

Violence: Mild Cartoon Violence (Exception: moderate violence in Super Smash Bros)

Blood and Gore: None (Mario typically appears to pass out upon death or fall off screen. Enemies flatten and poof… gone! Exception: Super Smash Bros characters get thrown around like rag dolls!)

Weapons: Yes, mischievous cartoon weapons such as fire flowers, turtle shells, water gadgets, etc. Exception: Super Smash Bros has a large assortment of just about any weapon from many other Nintendo games)

Language: Crude Humor

Nudity: None

Sexual Content: None

Genres: Adventure, Fighting, Party, Platformer, Puzzle, Racing, RPG, Sports,

,

Donkey Kong

The legendary gorilla and his trusty chimp companions, most notably Diddy Kong, have made a significant influence in the gaming industry with popularity almost on par with that of the Mario Bros! Yes… Mario, Donkey Kong’s first ever rival!

Donkey Kong was first released on the NES in 1981. This game required the player to guide Mario up a series of platforms to save the princess while dodging everything this gorilla threw at him. You could say that Mario owes his success to Donkey Kong as it was specifically this title that Mario made his first appearance to the world and became an instant celebrity! More so than that of DK whom the game was named after. Poor DK, no wonder why these two never got along.

DK continued to make multiple appearances in various Mario titles through the years including MarioKart, Super Smash Bros, Mario Party, and the Mario sports games. Additionally, DK and Mario were pitted against each other yet again in the game series Mario vs. Donkey Kong which consists of 6 different titles released primarily for Nintendo handheld gaming systems from the Nintendo GameBoy Advance to the Nintendo 3DS except for their latest release in the series “Tipping Stars” being playable on the Wii U. In Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong plays the villain role (big surprise there) by robbing a toy factory of little Mario wind-up toys which in turn Mario must retrieve.

Although Donkey Kong might not be the super star Mario is, Him and his Chimpanzees have certainly proven that they don’t necessarily need the glorified plumber to make a hit video game either! These monkeys have provided unforgettable jungle adventure mayhem to the kids for many years now consisting of titles such as Donkey Kong 64, a couple racing games including Diddy Kong Racing and Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, , the DK Bongo drums accessory to be played with Donkey Kong jungle beat or the Donkey Konga series, and let’s not forget the increasingly popular and my personal favorite, Donkey Kong Country series 2D platformer!

Donkey Kong presents a unique, genuine, king of the jungle experience for your little monkeys of all ages! Whether you’re swinging from tree to tree, riding undersized rhinos/mine carts, getting shot from barrel cannons, or teaming up with one of your eleven chimpanzee friends, the kiddos are sure to go bananas for this franchise!

Parental Review

ESRB Rating:

Players: 1 Player, 2 Players (Co-Op, Online Play included)

Platform: Nintendo (Nintendo exclusive)

Difficulty: Moderate (Precise reflexes/timing required)

Violence: Mild Cartoon Violence

Blood and Gore: None (“death” is played out in a comical fashion)

Weapons: None

Language: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Content: None

Genres: Adventure, Platformer, Racing, Rhythm

Little Big Planet

Little explanation has been given to the BIG contradiction of its title, but after a little time playing this BIG game, I got a little bit of a better understanding of what the BIG idea is. Little Big Planet is a puzzle platformer created by Media Molecule and published by Sony PlayStation. Hmm, Media “Molecule” (little) Sony PlayStation (Big) There you have it!, mystery solved! Not quite, I came up with that myself. Let’s start over…

Little Big Planet is a puzzle platformer created by Media Molecule and published by Sony PlayStation, based off of my experience playing this game I’ve come to the conclusion that this title’s meaning derives from the contrast of scale between the game’s considerably little puppet-like character’s versus their consequently BIG environment.

Little Big Planet was first released in 2008… wait a minute… wasn’t it like a year later (2009) that the movie 9 was released? you know, the movie where the little cute cloth people with the zipper down the front of, Whooah!?!…. Okay, coincidence!? I think not!

In this game you will initially play as Sackboy or as his counterpart Sackgirl, other playable character include Oddsock, Toggle, and Swoop who are also Sackfolk. The name Sackfolk and/or Sackpeople is the technical term used in the game when referring to the cute little characters. These entities are quite literally nothing more than stuffed animals brought to life. I mean, they even bleed fluff! But hey, “stuffed animals” just doesn’t sound near as cool and besides, isn’t that what taxidermists make?

Anyway, Little Big Planet is a puzzle platformer, and yes, this is the third time I’ve written that! Platformer meaning that the level layout is much like your typical 2D obstacle course, screen scrolling adventure such as the classic Mario Bros series just with obviously better graphics, MUCH better! The puzzle aspect is undoubtedly one of the game’s strongest qualities as their ingenious design has the potential to actually strengthen your child’s cognitive thinking skills! These include manipulating different shapes and objects to your advantage, understanding basic physics, and utilizing things such as elemental effects and mechanics.

Little Big Planet illustrates the (small/toy) perspective seamlessly with each and every elaborate obstacle course. Each one consisting of items you would typically encounter in a kids playroom including blocks, boxes, gadgets, and artsy crafty items, all appearing relatively large to small little you. You will also realize that this game puts great emphasis on creativity and game play more so than story line or plot as is shown in it’s tagline “Play, Create, Share” Which brings us to yet another amazing aspect of Little Big Planet, creating and sharing! While progressing through Little Big Planet’s fairly large assortment of levels, you have the opportunity to collect stickers, outfits, and many other useful items. Items that can later be applied to not only character customization, but also creating your very own set of challenging levels through the in-game creation tools. Once finished you can either attempt to conquer them yourself or let your friends and family take a swing at it!

Little Big Planet presents a whole new level of creativity and fun for the kids with five different titles released to date! One of which include Little Big Planet Karting where you can take your Sackfolk behind the wheel for fun themed races or create your very own track!

Parental Review

ESRB Rating:

Players: 1 Player to 2 Players (Co-Op and Online play Included)

Platform: Sony PlayStation (PlayStation Exclusive)

Difficulty: Moderate (Moderate puzzles, obstacle courses, death resets you to checkpoint)

Violence: Mild Cartoon Violence (Mild cartoon violence)

Blood and Gore: None (some instances of Sackfolk’s “death” can seem a little graphic even for a stuffed animal)

Weapons: Yes (cartoon silly weapons)

Language: Tobacco reference

Nudity: None

Sexual Content: None

Genres: Creative, Platformer, Puzzle

Minecraft

The 3D 8-bit… Wait… WHAT?! only Minecraft can put those two words together and get away with it in the 21st century! Not only that but Minecraft somehow received critical acclaim and numerous awards to boot, so don’t you judge this book by its cover!

First released to the public in 2009, Minecraft gained immense popularity and managed to rank as one of the top selling video games of all time (despite its blocky appearance) and remains a favorite for both kids and adults alike to this day. Minecraft is a massive world exploration/survival game with a strong element of creativity as you can create virtually anything block by block from resources you gather throughout the world. These resources can be obtained via farming, raising livestock, exploring the open world or delving into dark mineral rich caves/mines deep below the earths service!

WARNING! Survival mode can and most likely will pose a considerable challenge especially for kids. In survival mode you will have to manage your hunger levels by gathering food in the wild, dodge enemy attacks that occur either at night or in dark caves and all the while, manage to obtain valuable resources to progress in the game without losing all your hearts. If your hearts are depleted, it’s game over and you will lose all accumulated levels gained. Worst of all, your entire inventory will be haphazardly strewn across the area that you met your demise, leaving little to no chance of retrieving it before it dissipates (or should I say “pix elates”) into thin air. Additionally, there is an oxygen gauge when under water that’ll make sure you either resurface or pay dearly and your tools, weapons, and armor, has a durability that (unless made from gold or diamond) is about as reliable as a fair weather friend.

If your kid has a knack for this kind of challenge it is actually very rewarding. Otherwise, you will want to make sure the game is set on creative mode, providing the player an open world where you can defy gravity and build whatever you please with an infinite inventory of every resource in the game. This alone has the power to entertain a kid for numerous hours and/or eternity as they quite literally have the ability to create anything their imagination desires… pretty scary huh? the possibilities are endless!

Parental Review

ESRB Rating:

Players: 1 Player to 2 Players (Co-Op and Online Play included)

Platform: Nintendo, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft XBOX, PC

Difficulty: Easy-Hard (survival mode is exceptionally difficult but on the contrary, creative mode is easy and very engrossing)

Violence: Fantasy violence (enemies explode into smoke upon death)

Blood and Gore: None

Weapons: Swords

Language: None

Nudity: None

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Survival

Pikmin

Pikmin hit the Nintendo GameCube in 2001 and these little dudes were a huge success, so much so that three more titles were released. Pikmin 2 in 2004 for Nintendo GameCube followed by Pikmin 3 nine year later (2013) for the Nintendo Wii U. ‘Hey! Pikmin’ is their latest installment in the series and was first released in 2017 for the Nintendo 3DS. This title sets itself apart from its predecessors with it’s 2 dimensional platformer level design. The original Pikmin was also re-released for the Wii in 2009 and supposedly Pikmin 4 is anticipated to be released in the near future.

Pikmin is a Puzzle Strategy Game involving a Captain Olimar, an alienish humanoid, no idea who you are kinda guy, who stars as the main character whom the player controls. Olimar stumbles upon these little ferociously cute plant-like minions called “Pikmins” who apparently have no purpose in life outside of serving you.

Pikmin come in an assortment of three colors: red, yellow, and blue. Each color is to be utilized strategically through the game’s various obstacles according to their specific ability. Red is the first to be encountered in the game’s progression and is also the most powerful of the three, offering the ability of fire resistance. Yellow, known to be the lightest of them all, can be thrown the furthest and possesses the ability to carry explosives called bomb rocks, um… excuse me? I don’t believe this is an actual ability as much as a shortcoming, apparently yellow Pikmin aren’t smart enough to know not to play with bombs. Finally, there are the Blue Pikmin, these lil guys are the only ones who can breathe underwater.

Up to one hundred Pikmin can be employed on the ground at any given time and their main objective is to follow Olimar’s orders. You (as Olimar) must use all three types of Pikmin in collaboration with each other to overcome each levels’ various challenges while protecting them from enemies encountered along the way. The game’s primary objective is to retrieve the missing ship parts before time runs out.

The Pikmin’s series is a great game for the kids! Its clean, fun, great background music and promotes strategic cooperative puzzle solving skills as you orchestrate flawless teamwork among your Pikmin minions!

Parental Review

ESRB Rating:

Players: 1 Player

Platform: Nintendo (Nintendo Exclusive)

Difficulty: Moderate (Puzzles and time restrictions can pose a considerable challenge)

Violence: Mild Cartoon Violence

Blood and Gore: None (Pikmin are expendable and can meet their demise in a variety of ways)

Weapons: None wielded by you

Language: None

Nudity: None

Genres: Puzzle, Strategy

Splatoon

Splatoon, which I’ve come to the conclusion to be a blend word consisting of “Splatter and Cartoon” or “Splatter-toons” (not that it matters) was first released for the Wii U in 2015, receiving both praise and criticism. Although players took a liking to the fresh new title and concept of the game, it wasn’t long before complaints began to surface regarding their online functionality. Particularly the social aspect, matchmaking, and limited map variety. Nintendo was quick to mend these issues through a series of post game updates successfully retaining their fan base. So much so that by 2017 they proceeded to release the sequel, Splatoon 2 for the Nintendo Switch which sold over seven million copies worldwide making it one of the console’s top selling video games!

Splatoon is a third person shooter where you play as one of a wide selection of character known as “inklings.” in brief, Inklings are essentially kids with the supernatural ability to morph into a squid. My first impression of this game was “Cool, looks like crazy kids playing in paint” (like paintball guns, just messier) except, it’s not paint… it’s ink! Paint seems a little more practical but once you incorporate the squid transformation factor, it makes perfect sense!

Here is a couple things to keep in mind when considering Splatoon to be the next addition to your kids video game library. First off, Splatoon puts a heavy emphasis on the online play aspect of the game. This is not to say that there is no campaign or single player content for the lone gamer (as there certainly is) but split screen (couch multiplayer) is none existent on both titles. Secondly, these little “inklings” as they call them, wield a bit of a splattitude if you catch my drift, one you might not wanna see “splattered” around the home.

Aside from those potential parental concerns I would certainly recommend this game for the kids! The concept alone of wielding ink weapons and the colorful aftermath of the mayhem that ensues is an experience of its own and quite frankly, an experience many kids only dream of in real life. That paired with the ability to transform into a squid for purposes such as increased speed and refilling your ink, demonstrates why Splatoon became the hype it is today!

Parental Review

ESRB Rating:

Players: 1 Player (Online Play included)

Platform: Nintendo (Nintendo Exclusive)

Difficulty: Mild

Violence: Cartoon Violence (screen becomes covered in ink, player disappears and re spawns at spawn point)

Blood and Gore: None

Weapons: a variety of ink guns, ink grenades, and tools such as paint rollers

Language: None (slang, moderate attitude in dialogue)

Nudity: None

Genres: Third person shooter

I hope these recommendations prove helpful to you, I have a daughter that I play video games with and these games in particular provided hours of clean innocent fun for the both of us! I am confident that they will prove the same for you as well! Please feel free to email me or leave any comments or concerns below, Thanks!

Anthony

videogamersguru.com

support@videogamersguru.com

2 thoughts on “What is Video Games for Kids

  1. Hi Anthony,

    This was extremely helpful and a great time saver.

    School holidays are around the corner and I’m looking after my friends kids for a little bit. So i’m trying to look at things they can do during quiet time while I work for a little bit.

    I’ll be confident enough to choose any game off this list for the kids and not worry about it being too violent.

    Cheers!!!

    Lolina

    1. Awesome! Finding just the right game for the kiddos can sometimes be a challenge as I have learned with my five year old daughter. Thanks you very much for the input, it’s my pleasure to assistance in this area!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *