Gaming with Kids

Enough of us have kids, and the conversations keep popping up in different threads, I thought it might be good if we have a separate thread for family/kids gaming. I have a 5 year old daughter, and I am very actively trying to make a gamer out of her so I have a playmate! :grinning:

We just got the Switch and have only played Mario Kart so far, and it was great. The steering assist made it so easy for her.

On the tabletop front, we are playing Uno, but we take out all of the special cards except for the 4 plain wild cards right now.

We also recently picked up Castle Panic, as I wanted another co-op game other than Outfoxed (which is great). Castle Panic is really tough, and the first time we played we got overrun real fast. She did not want to play anymore after that for a couple weeks. Once I got her to play again, I just slowed the game down by making it so that you only draw 1 monster tile a turn. It kind of makes it too easy now, but she is at least having fun. It really is good for helping to teach strategy and advanced planning (Monza does this too…and we have that…but I really like co-op more for us to play).


I’ve been playing Rhino Hero with my kid for years now. It’s still his favorite game. The new Rhino Hero: Super Battle is even better, but adds a few more twists. Nothing a 5 year-old couldn’t handle, though.


I really appreciate the comments about Rhino Hero: Super Battle. Bought it for my nephew. He had a great time playing it. I introduced it as just a fun activity then slowly introduced the rules.


Cool, I needed something else for under the tree from Santa, this will be good. We play Animal upon Animal, but this looks like more fun.


Haba smash it for games for kids. Animal upon Animal and yes, Rhino Hero, are stars. My only gripe about RHSB is the bloody box.

Have had joy with Deep Sea Adventure and Dungeon Fighter (although DF may need tweaking as some of the throws are ridiculously hard). Rampage is also good.


Mario Odyssey is superb on switch, it’s much played by both my kids. Mario vs Rabbids is enjoyed by my son a lot, I think he may be a budding strategy gamer.

With board games we like to play King of Tokyo and Luchador. Both appear gimmicky, using little standees of the monsters/wrestlers but have some good gameplay mechanics that introduce risk taking to my little uns.

And Buckaroo, there’s always Buckaroo.


IYes, the box is obnoxiously big and doesn’t quite match the size of any other boxes.

Monza is also a great one for kids as is Go Cuckoo

He also really likes Ghost Fighting Treausre Hunters, which is a simple coop but it is a fun game. It’s also Mattel, so it’s cheap, but the components are nice.

There’s always Gulo Gulo, too. My kid loves it because my fingers are too fat to ever beat him and he always wins handily.


Well my Christmas list is growing, cheers guys.

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Chicken Cha Cha on iPad.
I love this game with my 4 year old. He even beats me sometimes without cheating.

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I’ve tried a ridiculous number of different games with my kids (older two are 7) with varying degrees of success. Based on my experiences I can positively recommend ‘Sushi Go Party’ and ‘King of New York’ which they both play well, and really love.

A lot of people recommend Mice and Mystics, but I didn’t have success with it. It’s full of loads of fiddly rules and they just wanted to go through the equipment deck and grab all the cool items. They had fun with it, but not in the way the designer probably intended!

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My son is almost 5 and my daughter just turned 3, for what it’s worth regarding these recommendations.

Haba’s First Orchard was the first game I got my son. It is co-op and mindnumbingly basic, but it was a great way to teach taking turns and following he rules. These days he will take it off the shelf and run a game for his sister, which is awesome. As mentioned, Monza, Animal Upon Animal, and Rhino Hero are all great.

Our current game is My First Stone Age, which I can’t recommend enough because it has taught a 4-year-old how to play a worker placement game. There is a memory element, too, which can be gamed, so any adults would have to throw the game if they want to give the little ones a chance.

Castles of Caladale will be opened in a week. I think most tile-laying games can be good for kids who can at least match the edges. Carcassonne can be simplified for kids.

And my boy loves X-Wing. Throwing all he rules out the window, all kids can select their movement and roll dice to attack things around them.

As for digital games, I really don’t like when my boy plays video games, but somehow I let him anyways. He loves the LEGO games and has actually beat Jurassic World in its entirety, which actually surprised me. There are enough puzzles in the game that I kind of give him a pass with the LEGO series.

The games in his tablet rotate, and when we have a long trip I tend to put more video-game-like games on it to keep him from driving people insane. Aside from the learning games, he likes Hidden Folk, Inks, Cut The Rope, and Thinkrolls.

Finally, there are some really cool sandbox games in iOS for kids to build a little city of some sort. Pango makes a roller coaster park builder and the Dr. Panda series has a game called Hoopa City. He’s probably spent the most time with these. I can’t wait until he can read and reason enough to play a real tycoon game.


I forgot about Patchwork for iOS. The game highlights your possible tiles so there is always a move for your kid to make. Sure, they won’t be playing competitively, but they can see what tiles are available then choose where to put them.


On iOS, I can’t recommend DragonBox enough. It’s engaging enough that my kids have both learned algebraquite happily from it. We enjoy co-ops that way, too, including Pandemic and Forbidden Island.

On tables, we’ve done well with Sushi Go Party, Splendor, and Tokaido. X-Wing usually devolves after a couple turns into my son asking to just play with the pieces. I found Mice and Mystics did the same, though I’ve hope for the future. Come to think of it, Pitchcar Mini, Heroscape, and Crossbows and Catapults went kind of the same way, but that’s sort of expected.

We’ll be trying out Dropmix, the My Little Pony RPG, NMBR9, and, sadly, Pop the Pig in ten days. I’m actually pretty excited to play around with Dropmix myself, and NMBR9 looks pretty cool for a rules-light game. I’m a little nervous about MLP, because I’ve mostly overheard half-episodes while they watched, so I’m less well-informed about the world than my kids. Not sure how that’ll go.

There is a 5 game bundle of panda games, reckon they would be good? Treehouse / racers / city 2 / school / train

The Panda games are like sandbox/imagination games. My kids have some. There isn’t really much in terms of learning or creation, but they instead offer you highly interactive vignettes to play around in. My son likes Dr. Panda firefighters in particular. I think they are high quality for what they are but they are more just to stimulate the imagination than anything.

Will check out the DragonBox, looks like an upgrade from the endless numbers stuff.

We play ticket to ride - kids and also Colt Express. Also playing the free to play “top drives”, mostly cos my boy (3) loves cars, and the gameplay is simple enough.

Had to cleanse my ipads of gree to play games otherwise, so destructive and behaviour altering. Getting rid of those created a LOT of tears. Also, stopped then accessing the App Store. They were simply watching trailers. I don’t mind them consuming digital content on an iPad, but they need to be doing it actively, not passively. So no streaming or movies on there either

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Ahh kk. We have Daniel Tigers neighbourhood/hospital/school etc.

The only things on my daughters ipad are the Youtube Kids app, which she mostly watches these videos of adults making up stories with My Little Pony and Disney characters. We also have the PBS Kids app, which has a bunch of games she likes to play, especially Odd Squad, which she is a big fan of.

Other than Mario Kart, the only other game we have for the Switch is Just Dance 2018. My wife, daughter and I were crazy dancing fools way too much this weekend.

Is Just Dance any good? It sounds like you had fun. I think my kids would love it and I’d join in like an idiot, but I’d like to know that it’s responsive and entertaining.

Yes, it is absolutely entertaining. My wife, who is not a gamer or into gaming much at all, and won’t even try Mario Kart with us…was totally looking forward to after dinner dance party last night.

Not sure how responsive it is, as we are not good enough to be that precise. If you are familiar with Rock Band at all, it’s just like that but for dancing. And while Rock Band is precise where you need to hit the notes when they cross the line, this is more fluid. For instance if there is a fist pump action above the head, and I just thrust my arm out lightly to the side instead, I might get an OK and a few points anyway. On some of the faster songs I am nowhere near what they are doing, but it seems to reward for effort. So you end a lot of songs like that at 2 or 3 stars (out of 5+)

The 40 or so songs the game comes with had a good selection, but we decided to pay the $10 for 90 days to try the full streaming, and they add on another 90 days, so we have 6 months with hundreds of songs. We barely scratched the surface.