A parents guide | What can my kids play?

Here’s a topic I get asked frequently by parents “What games are suitable for my son/daughter?” Usually these people are asking for a child around the age of 5-7 on wards. I grew up with a younger brother and also I have two other little gents in my life who are 7 and 8 years old, so I have a good insight as to what games are suitable and also educational but challenging for their little minds. It’s also something I often think about for when the day comes my own little boy asks me to play a game, so I’m going to include games I feel when he is at the right age, I would be happy for him to play.

Now whether you be the parent of guardian of a child or passing on information to family members and siblings, it’s ultimately up to you what you let them play. I am aware we are living in a world where children are desensitized to violence and gore but I personally will still steer clear of this to the best of my abilities, when my son starts school there won’t always be ways for me to stop this, but until he is of age, I won’t be allowing games over +18 to be played until he is mature enough to handle them, that doesn’t mean at the age of 18, as my own little brother played 18+ at 16 and he hasn’t had any negative affects from it. It’s all about how you know your own children, every body is different and children take in things differently.

I digress however, so moving on to my picks for what games I feel are suitable for specific ages, these are my own opinions and are influenced by what the children in my life enjoy playing.

Minecraft

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Starting with a classic, the one we all know is suitable for children age 7+ Minecraft has been on our consoles and PC’s for 6 years and has been a raging success for adults and children, bringing out the creative side in everyone, giving you the ability to create a whole world suited to your personality. We also had DanTDM on YouTube who is watched by children as young as 5, he explores different Minecraft severs and shows you the capabilities of the game, reaching into the imagination of his viewers. Pixel art is another hit with the Minecraft game, people create logos, fandom characters and even self portraits in perfect detail, often said to be therapeutic and calming. With very little violence in the game and certainly no foul language it makes this game more than suitable for a younger audience.

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Another addition to the Minecraft game is the Tell Tale series, Story mode. You are set with a series of different stories and scenarios or ‘Episodes’ where you are the maker of your own path, how the game turns out all depends on the choices you make. Expanding the imaginations from the building aspect of Minecraft to actually having a story behind it.

Terraria

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Terraria is a 2D action-adventure sandbox video, Originally released for Windows but was later ported and released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, iOS, and Android in 2013, for Windows Phone, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2014, for OS X, Linux, and Nintendo 3DS in 2015, and for Wii U in 2016. The 2D sprite tile based game is perfect for those calmer days, although there is combat in this game it’s not your blood, guts and gore type. You will encounter many different enemies in Terraria, such as simple slimes, zombies and demon eyes. The occurrence of certain enemies depends on several factors including time, location, random events, and player interactions. rated at a PEGI 12+ this ones great for getting creative, challenging your mind and it’s basic all round quirkiness.

The Escapists

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Now with this game I’ve watched a 7 year old have tonnes of fun on this game, teamed with a good challenge, patience and concentration is needed for this one, as a lot of the methods of escaping can be based on timing. It requires lot’s of reading and taking things in, remembering your surroundings and being vigilant. Rated at a 7+ it’s perfect for your little ones who are perhaps a little too young for Terraria. The non realistic looking characters although human, don’t depict a detailed violence.

Disney Infinity

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Disney Infinity is an action-adventure game with physical toys and open world creaton. It’s a story driven game with characters, playsets, and other features brought into the game using figurines and discs with the included Infinity Base. Toy Box mode allows players to create their own game in an open-world arena. Players can mix and match everything that is unlocked within each of the play-sets including characters, weapons and gadgets. With the amount of combat only being that of what children have already seen in the classis Disney movies used in the game, you’d have no worries about what they’re playing. Incredibly child friendly and light hearted, I assure you.

Lego Game Series

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Another classic childrens console game series is the Lego games, now surely they’re suitable for kids, they’re lego! Yes, they are PEGI rated between 5-7 across the game series, depending on which one you chose. The Harry Potter game is rated PEGI 5+. These games are derived from some our childhood favorites and our childrens favorites such as DC Heroes, Lord of the rings and Indiana Jones and of course, Star Wars which is a hit even with the older generation. The aim is to follow and complete a story line facing challenges and boss fights in between, but there is no hardcore gore or anything with jump scare so it’s another fun, light hearted game for all the family to enjoy.

Pokemon Sun & Moon

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It goes without saying, Pokemon is a child friendly game, although PEGI 7+ you really wouldn’t be doing any wrong by allowing your 5/6 year old, even 4 depending on their reading skills as a lot of the game requires reading dialog. The simple world of Pokemon is not only pleasant and relaxing to play, you can’t even ‘kill’ on the game, Pokemon go to a healing center and can continue their your journey with you. You can battle opponents on another DS console via wireless connection.

Despite it’s calming, charming game play Pokemon is still a challenging game in the sense you need to solve riddles/trick questions by selecting the right dialog path. Another challenging aspect is learning the Pokemon type advantages and disadvantages to help your battle strategies along with having a good memories with places you need to return to or paths you need/should take. All in all, Pokemon games on the DS hand held console are perfect for the younger generation and my last but top pick for kids games.

A side note!

Thank you all for taking the time to read, however I would like to add these are all my own pickings and have checked through the official PEGI ratings but as I mentioned before it is all on your knowledge of your child/sibling/family member as what one person may not find offensive of distasteful, other may so it should be at ones own discretion.

-Jet

9 thoughts on “A parents guide | What can my kids play?

  1. I’d like to suggest Super Switch Galaxy Ultra on the PS4. It’s not a good game but my 3 year old saw me playing it and wanted to try. She loved it, and seeing as there’s no fail state in it (you can’t lose the levels, just prevented from moving onto the next one) she could play happily. The only controls are move left and right.

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  2. This is a conversation I’ve been having with my brother about my nephew. The child in question is a few months short of turning 4 and he’s well aware of what games are. He might not entirely understand them, or be all that good at them, but he knows what happens if he picks up the Xbox controller and aims it at the TV.

    My brother see’s no problem with young Jack playing shooters or even GTA. Whilst Jack might not be taking in the violence on screen, I’ve got no doubt that eventually he’ll start to develop a brain that is capable of doing just that, and that’s a worry for me.

    Eventually, I plan to have kid/s. And when that does happen, I’ve got every intention of keeping their gaming time to a minimum. Ideally they won’t see me playing anything but Super Mario and the sort until their old enough to play the games themselves, and when that finally happens, I’ve no interest in letting them play COD or GTA until they’re old enough to handle it/get a copy off a friend without my knowledge.

    I don’t mean to preach, I’m not a parent and therefore have little room to tell my brother how to do it, but I’m somewhat worried about what he’s allowing his son to see at such a small age. Video Games don’t make violent kids, but I’m not foolish enough to think that what he see’s at such a small age won’t impact him in some way.

    Yikes. I went on a bit there. My bad.

    Also if you’re looking for a cute platformer on PS4, look no further than Tearaway Unfolded. It’s a delight.

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    • Hey Dan! Thank you for your response. I’m on your side here, Grand Theft Auto is one of those games children under 16 shouldn’t be playing and should be the parents carefully decided choice if they play at 16+, only we know our own children but there is a limit with GTA. The scenarios are very real and get more life like as the games progress. Same with Call of Duty but I find the community more toxic than the game, people can be really vile over headset. So I am totally with you on why you feel your nephew is being allowed to play games he shouldn’t. There are lots of games I wanted to put and I believe Unravel is another recent-ish pleasant game. I will have a look at Tearaway, I want some calm games for myself to be honest so I’m going to have a look at a few. Thanks again! – Jet

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  3. Nice list! It’s definitely a case of knowing your children and their maturity/developmental level, too. And *gasp* monitoring what they’re doing, so you can step in, either to provide perspective or insight to a difficult theme, or to step in and take the game away if the child seems like they’re not handling the material or the material really isn’t appropriate for them. I’m interested to see your Parents Guide to Gaming series!

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  4. Hi just read through your post and your point is so true! All parents are constantly challenged with violence in games and it is a struggle to have games they can be confident in their children playing. This is exactly the demographic we have set out to cater for by creating games with characters that are child friendly and educational so that parents can rest easy.

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    • Thank you for your response. I apologise for the late reply, we have been on a little break! It is always the choice of the individual parent and I believe we know our own children well enough to make the judgment on what they play, younger children are sponges to information and I believe are moulded by everything they see, but when a child gets to an age where they can take responsibility and understand right from wrong, that’s when introducing them to harder games isn’t so much of a taboo subject, but I will always advise 16/18+ games for children under 13 should always be closely monitored.

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