5 Video Games I'll Start My Kids On

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5 Video Games I'll Start My Kids On

So far, the boys' catalog consists of a few iPad apps staring the Doras and Diegos and Elmos that populate their world, but the day's soon coming when they'll graduate to more serious fare. Then I'll have to step up like a responsible adult and further their education.

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New Super Mario Bros games seem to have gotten harder over the years, so maybe the Wii version is the best for kids. The Wii U version has many chaotic levels that give a challenge to even seasoned players like myself.

Xman490:
New Super Mario Bros games seem to have gotten harder over the years, so maybe the Wii version is the best for kids. The Wii U version has many chaotic levels that give a challenge to even seasoned players like myself.

I'm glad to hear that it's not just me it's kicking the ass of then. It's the first side scrolling Mario game I've played since Super Mario Bros 3, so yeah... So if vets are finding it difficult, then I don't feel too bad.

I'll start them on the same games I started on.... Battletoads, Ninja Gaiden, Contra, Castlevania and Ghosts and Goblins, in that order... they won't get another game until they finish those. They will learn of my pain!

Ummm, kids like lego. Kids have ALWAYS liked lego, ever since it was invented (trust me I know, I had to write a paper on it back in High School). So you need to add a 6th game: Minecraft.

Good choices. My only thinking on the matter is that they will never get near xbox live.

Once one of them can read (or if you're willing to narrate), I'd recommend World of Keflings. At its heart, it's a management sim with the timer turned off, but the controls are easy, the graphics are fun, and my kids LOVED being "the grown up" in a land of little people.

Happy Action Theater is great. The Just Dance Kids games and Wii Sports are good when the kids are ready to add a little structure to their motion controls.

Portal started out fun, but since it's a "first person" game, my kids (5 & 7 at the time) really picked up on the menace in GLaDOS' voice and were freaked out by the turrets shooting at "them" instead of "their guy". Minecraft on Peaceful is a better option, but it does involve a lot of reading.

The kids really love TT Games' Lego games, but once you start, it's hard to overrule the lesson that "most conflicts can be resolved by mashing the attack button repeatedly".

I have to say, this is pretty close to my list. A 2D mario game, Portal, Bastion, Journey... The only difference is that I would have minecraft as the 5th game. This is basically what I've introduced younger step-siblings and cousins to as they start to get into games.

Well, that and Pokémon. Pokémon is ALWAYS an option.

Around the same time as Bastion, your boys will be wanting to be competitive, and Mario will be old news by then, so that would be a good time to introduce them to another Nintendo staple. Super Smash Bros. Or alternatively, if they're more into racing, Mario Kart. Every child must undertake the rite of passage that is Blue Shell.

Not sure if Journey will appeal to kids. Anyone tested that?
Pokemon is a winner too, I agree. Childfitting story line with simple morals and a really good learning curve.
Portal... not so sure, the atmosphere is dark behind the curtains and when turrets start making an appearance, kids could be scared I think. Portal 2 user generated puzzles (perpetual testing initiative) aside from the storyline would probably be the better option (ofc start with simple ones or even create puzzles with your kids to try them out together afterwards).

Huh... That list contained a lot more recent titles than I was expecting.

As for my list:
- Tetris (Because Tetris. Timeless game design at its best. Learn to think, learn to puzzle; all while listening to a chiptune song - avant la lettre - that will never leave your head, ever!)
- Super Mario All-Stars (Because the idea of having four games in one is awesome for a child. Also, looking at the new 2.5D Super Mario games, what has really changed except for multiplayer? The levels are different, but the characters, mechanics, story (as far as there is one), even style are still the same. Might as well start with the classics.)
- Bombastic (Strange choice, right? Probably because you've never heard of it. It's a puzzle game for the PS2 that can be played with up to 5 players and it is GLORIOUS. It's fun, fast, simple, action-packed, has a cute art-style and still requires you to think. As a plus, it's a great way to remember the order of the eyes on a dice.)
- Psychonauts (I was thinking about a few 3D-platformers to put on here: Spyro, Crash, Sly, Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, Rayman, etc. But when you're looking for a stand-alone game with tons of imagination and a timeless graphical style, there really is only one game to turn to.)
- Final Fantasy IX (When they're a bit older. Yeah, the resolution might hurt my child's iddy biddy eyes a bit, but it doesn't make the fantasy fueled backdrops any less amazing. Fun characters, a dash a humor, some outstanding storytelling, a lot of great designs and some downright delightful music. It's at least as "deep" and "thought provoking" as VII and VIII, but it's more accessible for younger audiences, even if they can't fully understand it yet. Also, it's a lot more coherent.)

I'm going to start my kids on Fallout and a murder simulator of some sort so that they will be ready for the upcoming post apocalyptic world.

mindfaQ:
Not sure if Journey will appeal to kids. Anyone tested that?
Pokemon is a winner too, I agree. Childfitting story line with simple morals and a really good learning curve.
Portal... not so sure, the atmosphere is dark behind the curtains and when turrets start making an appearance, kids could be scared I think. Portal 2 user generated puzzles (perpetual testing initiative) aside from the storyline would probably be the better option (ofc start with simple ones or even create puzzles with your kids to try them out together afterwards).

I had my nieces and nephews playing it last month at a party, and they all loved Journey.
Skylanders too.

I agree that not all of Portal would be great for kids. At least not until they get the hang of walking around in a 3D first person world. I've freaked out some of my adult relatives by showing them the stuff you could do in Portal.

As for other games besides the ones in the list, I agree with the person who mentioned Lego games, and the people who mentioned Minecraft(preferably on peaceful mode at first).

Imp Emissary:
I had my nieces and nephews playing it last month at a party, and they all loved Journey.
Skylanders too.

Nice. Too bad Journey is PS3 exclusive and thus not playable for me.

edit: just thought about it, had a blast with Bomberman clones when I was younger (2 player mode of course). Simple yet gripping arcade game.

mindfaQ:

Imp Emissary:
I had my nieces and nephews playing it last month at a party, and they all loved Journey.
Skylanders too.

Nice. Too bad Journey is PS3 exclusive and thus not playable for me.

edit: just thought about it, had a blast with Bomberman clones when I was younger (2 player mode of course). Simple yet gripping arcade game.

Well, :D you can still get Minecraft.

:/ I've got to wait a bit to be able to play that.

Also, I played a couple of the Bomberman games when I was a kid too. :) Pretty fun.

I wasn't expecting Journey to show up there.

Personally, I'd pick Flower instead for a child. I think Journey's an experience that's much more potent when you're older.

As for me, I think I'll start any kids I have with the games I grew up with. Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, Sly Cooper and Pokémon. They're great kids' games and I think the PS1 games will help keep them from being accustomed to the fancy graphics of recent generations. I never want my kid to say they don't want to play Chrono Trigger because of its graphics like some already do.

Hmm, i'd wait until they're older for Portal, but not 'cause it could be scary. They'd miss out on a lot of the black humour and sarcasm first time around that makes the game so great, and your first blind playthrough of a game is usually your best one.

Then again, I know nothing about children, so i'm probably wrong.

Some game involving detective work would be good too, teaching basic logic and common sense.

Fishcactus:
Hmm, i'd wait until they're older for Portal, but not 'cause it could be scary. They'd miss out on a lot of the black humour and sarcasm first time around that makes the game so great, and your first blind playthrough of a game is usually your best one.

Then again, I know nothing about children, so i'm probably wrong.

No, that sounds about right. "Donate one or all of your vital organs" isn't really funny until you understand what a vital organ is.

1337mokro:
I'll start them on the same games I started on.... Battletoads, Ninja Gaiden, Contra, Castlevania and Ghosts and Goblins, in that order... they won't get another game until they finish those. They will learn of my pain!

It'll teach them a thing or two about good game design as well!

Conservative gaming: games aren't just about fun god dammit.

It's funny because I genuinely believe that.

The_Echo:
I wasn't expecting Journey to show up there.

Personally, I'd pick Flower instead for a child. I think Journey's an experience that's much more potent when you're older.

As for me, I think I'll start any kids I have with the games I grew up with. Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, Sly Cooper and Pokémon. They're great kids' games and I think the PS1 games will help keep them from being accustomed to the fancy graphics of recent generations. I never want my kid to say they don't want to play Chrono Trigger because of its graphics like some already do.

My three year old already plays Chrono Trigger. She likes flying around in the epoch on one of my old save files. Then she goes and crashes into Lavos. Oy.

The very first proper game I ever played (Neopets not withstanding) was Metroid Prime. Now, I'm not going to have kids, of course, but if I wanted to have kids, and if I were straight, then I'd start them off with that. I played it when I was 8, they can handle it. ;)

I'm going to be an uncle soon and once the new niece or nephew is a bit older I plan to get them started on Kerbal Space Program, Surgeon Simulator and Dark Souls. Get them used to disappointment and failure early as an important life lesson

Edit: Fixed a typo

I'd get them Dark Souls 80% off on a steam sale and then say "You're not playing another game until you beat this one!".

And then I'd never have to waste a penny buying them another game. The End.

Honestly, I think I'd start them out on retro NES games that are simple to understand and easy to pick up and play. Stuff like Super Mario, Kirby and Tetris, and tell them "Fine motor skills start here." Eventually move them up to other consoles, Pokémon games and teach them to appreciate the old stuff as well as modern stuff, show them that graphics aren't everything.

My kids already play games and their favorites include:

LEGO Indiana Jones/Star Wars/Batman/Pirates
My kids love these games and I like them a lot too, so it's a win win.

Minecraft
Same as above really.

Angry Birds
All versions will do.

Skylanders
The last one (Swap force) seem to have much better gameplay than previous versions too.

They do play other games as well, but these are the main ones I'd recommend.

My list at this moment in introduction order(I made it when became uncle)
0.MS Paint (I'm not joking, that is really good way to became proficient with mouse and keyboard)
1.Minecraft
2.Adventure games (I could fill all list with them so I grouped them in one category)-The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Runaway1+2+3, Syberia
3.Strategy/tactical games- C&C:TS/FS, X-Com, UFO
4.Bunch of old good RPGs- Baldur's Gate, Arcanum, Planscape, Neverwinter Nights, Fallout (as a last entry)
5.More mature games- System Shock 2, Deus Ex +IW+HR, Bioshock
And after all that hopefully the kid will be grown up enough and ready for the world (who needs things like chemistry, physics, ethics and philosophy, when you have knowledge in computer games?)

P.S.Yes those are not 5 games, so what if I am cheater? My list- my rules.
P.P.S. I know, I know, it is your topic with pre-set rules, but what you need is to realize is SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

Legend Of Zelda
Super Mario Bros.
Then after a month or two, Super Meat Boy
Then after that, whatever they want. The worst is now over.

I could always give my kids "The talk" with Katawa Shoujo.

They'll get it. Or fight over whether or not Shizune's or Rin's route is more deep and meaningfull.

I've often had a fantasy of having a child and sheltering them so completely from the gaming world that I could convince them that games are actually where they were years ago. "Here is a SNES," I would say, "It's the newest, greatest thing!" They would progress to the N64 and Gamecube, play starcraft and diablo 2, experience the Gameboys, and when the time is right, I would say, "Surprise! We're actually decades in the future! Here is your Super Gamebox 10, enjoy."

But mostly I secretly wish someone would do that to me, and I could suddenly find myself decades in the future...

What if they don't like video games? And if they do, wouldn't you rather them make their own experiances and have their own set of childhood games they base their nostalgia on?

I mean sure make suggestions and what not, like any form of media it's great to share and what not, but I figure just let kids do what they want to do.

bug_of_war:
What if they don't like video games? And if they do, wouldn't you rather them make their own experiances and have their own set of childhood games they base their nostalgia on?

I mean sure make suggestions and what not, like any form of media it's great to share and what not, but I figure just let kids do what they want to do.

If they consistently don't like to play the games you show them, then it would probably be wise to back off. However, if they do like games, I think it is okay for you to show them the games. Assuming you are a gaming adult, you know what games are appropriate for their age, and worth their time in terms of gameplay (if its the right difficulty, and if it is engaging). Personally, I wish someone was their to show me all the classic and amazing games that I had no idea about when I was a kid. All I played was Tony Hawk and Battlefront. Those aren't bad games at all (I grew up with them), but there are so many I could have experienced along side them.

Started my daughter on "Sonic 2" - not for any particular reason other than that was the one she was most interested in. Super Mario Bros. 3 and Kirby for NES were also good choices. And Mario Kart for DS; she never wins, but she finishes the track, goddammit!

She's sat with me and watched for playthroughs of Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Wind Waker while I explain every single thing. Still too young (just turned 5) to fully wrap her head around playing on her own (with intent), but enjoys them from a story perspective, and the occasional let-me-run-around.

THeFraz:

If they consistently don't like to play the games you show them, then it would probably be wise to back off. However, if they do like games, I think it is okay for you to show them the games. Assuming you are a gaming adult, you know what games are appropriate for their age, and worth their time in terms of gameplay (if its the right difficulty, and if it is engaging). Personally, I wish someone was their to show me all the classic and amazing games that I had no idea about when I was a kid. All I played was Tony Hawk and Battlefront. Those aren't bad games at all (I grew up with them), but there are so many I could have experienced along side them.

Like I said, make suggestions and what not, but allow them to make the choice. For kids (and I think more people need to view it this way) video games are about fun, and having their parents frequently throw a game that is old at them could put them off. Of course you do have to be the parent, and by that I mean teach your kids how to be decent fucking people. Violent media does not cause violent people, poor parenting/and or mental issues do though. Kids will gloss over a lot of stuff, I remember playing GTA and finding what I was doing hilarious because it was a game. I didn't have a great grasp on what sex was, but I knew that shooting people, stabbing people, running them down in cars, etc. was wrong.

I dunno, I'm not a parent and probably wont be one for another 10 years, alls I think is kids should be allowed to explore the games, books, films, music that they want to (Though granted I wouldn't let a 4 year old play Dead Space, read porn, watch A Nightmare on Elm Street).

great. just start kids with games with stories that are a bit above their heads so they may miss the hidden clues and meanings and risk to be just bored to shit with it.

The_Echo:
I wasn't expecting Journey to show up there.

Personally, I'd pick Flower instead for a child. I think Journey's an experience that's much more potent when you're older.

As for me, I think I'll start any kids I have with the games I grew up with. Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, Sly Cooper and Pokémon. They're great kids' games and I think the PS1 games will help keep them from being accustomed to the fancy graphics of recent generations. I never want my kid to say they don't want to play Chrono Trigger because of its graphics like some already do.

Journey is continually described in religious terms as some sort of transcendental game. I will have to check it out, but it makes me wonder if every reviewer has been turned into a pro-journey pod person. It doesn't sound especially good, but the praise is high and consistently so.

Maybe too much Dark souls mp has warped me to the warm and fuzzy messages of journey.

Portal was one of my least enjoyable games of the last few years. If you want a puzzle game there are plenty of them around, and I am a bit sad that no monkey island games were on the list.

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