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Best games for kids


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On 8/3/2019 at 4:26 PM, dogbert said:

We have a Kinect still hooked up to a 360 purely for Kinect Party. 


I was going to say if you have a Kinect still you need Happy Action Theater... but in googling to figure out what it was called, it looks like they just changed their name to Kinect Party... so... I guess you're set. :)

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  • 1 year later...
On 8/4/2019 at 12:15 PM, JTello said:


Someone must have one laying around picking up dust,  someone send this guy a kinect. 🙂

I recently bought a used 360 S to replace my elite with a faulty disc drive, which came with a Kinect (and a few random games). 

I bought the Kinect Party full unlock and it was a big hit! It is the perfect game for my daughter. Her favourite game up to this point was probably the Playroom on PS4, but that only offers about 3 “games” for her to play and gets a bit repetitive (for me). Kinect Party is essentially the same type of idea, but with way more variety. 

Her favourite so far is the lava floor and the fairy forest. 

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I also bought my daughter Paw Patrol: On a Roll for the PS4 (which is on a good sale right now). I had been hesitant that this game might be a tad difficult, which would lead to frustration, but at the price it is now, it was worth the gamble. 

This is literally the perfect game for its target demographic, and a great way to teach young kids basic platforming skills (including a double jump) and super simple puzzle solving.


There are no enemies, no holes to fall down, no death or lives, it just lets them play, collect the games version of coins, and use the different pups abilities when needed. At worst they may need to try a jump a few times to get through. It is probably way too basic for any older kids, but for my 4 year old it is exactly what I have been looking for. 

The only disappointment is that they didn’t get any of the show’s voice actors (Ryder is the only character voiced and I don’t think it’s any of the actors from the show) and all the music are soundalikes instead of licensed from the show (which seems odd). My daughter hasn’t seemed to notice though. 


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Mario Odyssey probably has the best implementation of an assist mode I've seen so far.  My son finished it when he was 6, and it was one of the first "big" games he'd managed on his own.  Double health, regenerating health, and saving you from falling off the edge of the world assist without being as patronizing as the other mario games with the "beat the level for you" or "just make you invincible".  You still find the same moons, and play the same levels, just with a little extra help. 

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  • 3 months later...

I had an interesting experience last night. A few days ago, my 8 year-old son asked if we could play something on the Wii. He didn't have a particular game in mind, so I'm not exactly sure what prompted the request. After a couple days of him asking, I unboxed the Wii U and hooked it up to the TV. I decided to do the Wii U because it required a little less work to get it hooked up, seeing as I could use my spare HDMI cable for the video and audio output, and also because it meant we had access to both Wii and Wii U titles if we wanted.


Once I got everything hooked up and found some AA batteries for the Wii remotes we dove into -- what else? -- Wii Sports. It was actually interesting because as we were getting started, he asked what he was supposed to do with the controller. It was then I realized, Holy shit, this kid has never played Wii Sports before. He didn't realize the remotes were motion sensitive or that you could use them to point at the screen. I got him set up for a tennis match and had to physically show him what to do. It took a few rounds for him to realize that he could swing side-to-side and not just overhand. Once he got the hang of it, he really liked it.


After that, we moved on to bowling, golf, and baseball. Bowling and golf were a bit harder for him to get the hang of. It required him to not only swing his arms, but hold and release a button at the same time. We also did a game of baseball together in which he beat me 1-0 thanks to a solo homerun he hit in the second inning.


After sampling Wii Sports, I suggested trying a few games in Wii Play, but this was less successful. Many of the games in that collection require use of the pointing cursor in some way, and for whatever reason, he couldn't get the hang of moving the cursor around the screen by pointing the Wii remote at the TV. I think maybe he just doesn't have the hand-eye coordination for this yet. Maybe in a couple years, he'll be better at it.


Instead, we moved onto another Wii launch game, I thought he might like: Excite Truck. This was a title I greatly enjoyed back when I played it in 2006, and I figured he would enjoy it too, considering he's a bit car and truck guy. As I was loading up the game, he looked at the controller and asked, "So how does this game work?" Then he thought about it for a second and turned the remote in his hand and held it NES-style. "Oh, I bet it's like this!" he said, titling the controller left and right in his hand like a steering wheel. He played that for quite a bit, going through a bunch of the tutorials and the first grand prix of the game. He actually did pretty well. He plays a lot of driving games, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by that, but I never know how intuitive it would be for him until he actually tried it. I suppose I'll have to tell him that there's a Mario Kart game on Wii at some point as well.


We finished the session off with Super Mario 3D World on Wii U. To be honest, I was surprised at how much he liked this one. He still struggles a bit with platforming, especially Mario games, where it's often required you hold down a button to run. He seemed to get the hang of it pretty quickly though. I suppose it helps that the first few levels are pretty easy overall. I did show him a trick on World 1-2 to get infinite lives, so should he decide to keep playing, he won't have to worry about getting a Game Over.


I decided to leave the Wii U hooked up for now, in case he or his little brother want to play it some more this next week. I do think there may be a few more games he'd like to try out, one of them obviously be Mario Kart Wii. Still, it was fun to sort of relive those days from late-2006 when the Wii was brand new and people's eyes would light up when they realized how it worked. It continues to be a good little machine for kids who want something fun and simple to play.

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I tried Wii Sports awhile ago with my 4 year old. She had trouble with the timing in tennis unless I sat there and told her when to swing. She also had similar issues with the button release timing in bowling (but I think she started to get the hang of it).


Im looking forward to try again when she’s a little older. 

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  • 7 months later...

My daughter (now 5) is obsessed with Nintendoland on the Wii U. She loves Mario Chase and the Luigi Haunted Mansion games (I have to go a bit easy on her, but she’s pretty good at it). 

Right now we are playing Crash Course, which she is surprisingly good at. 

I had never played this before. It is actually quite a good technical demo for the Wii U, and does some neat things with the gamepad, but certainly doesn’t have that immediate pick up and play appeal that Wii Sports had. 

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