Summer Games for Kids - ArticlePatrick Day-Childs , posted on 26 July 2021 / 1,319 Views
It’s summer again, so it’s too hot and my children are currently using toy tools to smash holes in the walls! Does this sound familiar? Well, luckily for you, I've made a short list of games to keep your kids entertained over the summer.
With the recommendations below I've attempted to cater to different types of gamers and avoid the cliches - everyone already knows most kids love Minecraft and Super Mario Party, after all, so these picks are slightly more out of the box.
Pile Up! Box by Box
Good for: Team Players.
Also consider: Human: Fall Flat, Untitled Goose Game.
Talking of thinking outside of the box, Pile Up! Box by Box is an indie puzzle-platformer that shines with kids because it encourages players to do exactly that. Each puzzle has multiple paths to victory, making it ideal for children (trust them to invariably find a totally bizarre way through the game).
The art style looks like a cross between Paper Mario and Tearaway, and there are quite a few different locales, from the bright beachfront islands to magical caves. This change in scenery really keeps the game fresh.
Now, my children hate teamwork, and I was kind of hoping that Pile Up! Box by Box would teach them a thing or two about working together. It didn’t, but it’s certainly a fun game, made all the better by the inclusion of four player split-screen offline play and several mini-games, including unique takes on football, basketball, and noughts & crosses.
Good for: The Giggler, The Explorer.
Also consider: Totally Reliable Delivery Service, Goat Simulator.
Wobbly Life is an open world sandbox game where players take on various jobs. The funds you gain by completing these tasks can then be used to purchase a heap of customization options. It's a highly enjoyable game that's been well received by gamers (96% positive reviews on Steam) thanks to its huge world, exploration elements, and offering plenty of unique vehicles and mini-games to enjoy.
As the name implies, Wobbly Life uses simple rag-doll style physics, which means one of two things: your kids will either find it hilarious and fall in love, or they'll become incredibly frustrated and never quite manage to achieve whatever they attempt to do. Whichever it is, they can once again enjoy playing together thanks to the inclusion of local and online co-op for up to four players.
Note, however, that at the time of writing there’s a bit of a crashing issue with the Xbox version, though the developers hope to have it fixed by early August.
Dragon Quest XI
Good for: The Story Fan, The Explorer.
Also consider: Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Dragon Quest XI is, of course, a well-known and liked JRPG from Square Enix. JRPGs tend not to be recommended to most children, at least younger ones, because of their complexity, length, and slow pace. But Dragon Quest XI not only allows players to change the speed of battles, there's even an option to make the characters fight by themselves (and they usually do a good job of it). It also has an incredibly child-friendly story.
There are other strengths too: a large world that's interesting and exciting to explore, packed with lots of different terrain types; voice acting for key story moments; and pink dotted NPCs that will help your child find their way if they get lost or confused.
The downside? It is a little slow to get the story rolling. But if you're looking for a good entry-level JRPG for children, or a game to play on and off with your kid(s) over the course of several weeks, then this is a great option.
Good for: The Competitive.
Also consider: Super Mario Party, Move or Die, Big Crown Showdown.
Marooners is a pirate-inspired party game that flings you across a map to compete in several different mini-games, where the objective is essentially gather as much booty as you can!
It's a fairly simple game with just two modes: linear and chaotic. The latter causes the mini-games to swap in the middle of each one and switch to another mini-game, meaning you often have to quickly think about where you are and what you need to do.
If a player is knocked out of the game they can come back as a ghost and be semi-involved, so if one of your kids tends to lose more than the others in competitive games then they can still be involved at all times here. There are also a huge amount of (purely cosmetic) weapons to unlock and equip.
Oh, and it has enough space for up to six players, both online and offline.
Hopefully these games help you get through the summer. I can think of plenty more suggestions, including some more famous titles, but hopefully with this selection I've managed to give you some fresh ideas! Please let us know if you have any other suggestions for child-friendly summer video games in the comments.