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Advice on kid-friendly game console titles?

ninevoltninevolt Registered User new member
edited September 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
First, a little background:
I'm 37, I've got four kids, and the last game console I owned was an Atari 2600.

Yes, that's right.
I've never even played a Super Nintendo, NES64, or original XBox. ( If it didn't run a flight simulator of some sort, I wasn't interested. )

Anyways, I digress.

The wife and I have contemplated getting a game console for some time-- specifically, the Wii. However, we've got little/no knowledge of what games are *good* right now. We've got four kids-- 12, 10, 3, and 7 months. The 7 month old is not a concern at this point.

I'm running on about 3 hours of sleep.
When I'm not sleeping on the futon/bench/bed thing in this hospital room, I've been intermittently getting my butt kicked in various PS2 games on the inroom game system here by my son.
He's *supposed* to get out of the hospital this evening.

If we stop and get a Wii on the way home, other than Wii Sports Resort, can you recommend any good games, preferably with a multiplayer component that we could pick up? It's truly amazing how easy it is for a kid to forget he's got IVs in his arms when he's got a controller in his hands.

My 10yr old's a girl-- all others are boys-- I'm thinking at least two games plus the system.

Thanks for your time and recommendations people.

ninevolt on

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    KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    A card with some wii points would be good too. The console games are generally $5 and there are some great one (world of goo!).

    Elebits is possibly my favorite wii game but doesn't have particularly good multiplayer. Mario party and wario ware are really fun games that are primarily multiplayer but wario ware especially can be physical (standing up, doing squats, ect).

    I know there was another "getting a wii" thread recently that had some good suggestions... I will look for that one.

    Hope your son gets to leave the hospital and is feeling better soon!

    EDIT: This thead may have some good suggestions: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=51844

    And most of the games recommended in this thread would be good too: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=99774

    Kistra on
    Animal Crossing: City Folk Lissa in Filmore 3179-9580-0076
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    vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Most titles for the Wii are fairly kid-friendly, so your chances of making a bad purchase in that sense are fairly low. There are some more mature titles for that platform, and more are coming, so you can't automatically assume "it's for the Wii, therefore it's safe". The game rating on the box will give you a basic overview on what you can expect in the game, and in many cases will be enough to guide your decision. For example, if you're not comfortable with the idea of your 12 year old son being exposed to violence, gore or foul language, games rated "M for Mature" are almost guaranteed to cross one or more lines. For borderline games, where you're not sure if the game will be appropriate or not, a more in-depth review from a parent-oriented game review site (Gaming With Children comes to mind) would be a good resource. The average age of gamers these days is somewhere in the mid-30s, so there's a lot more mature content out on the consoles now. You're probably already aware of that, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

    Once you've determined that a game is well-aligned with the kind of media you're comfortable exposing your children to, you'll probably want to make sure it's a good game, too. I usually use MetaCritic to give me an idea of whether or not a game is generally considered good. MetaCritic aggregates reviews from many sites, normalizes the reviews on a 1-to-100 scale and then provides an overall average. It's not the be-all end-all of course, I've had fun in games with low scores, but generally speaking I find my gaming dollars best spent on games that score 80 or higher.

    Thinking of titles I've played on the Wii, the family-friendly ones I'd recommend are as follows:
    • Super Mario Galaxy. Fun platformer game. If you've ever played any Mario game ever, you probably have a good idea of what to expect. There is a small multiplayer element in that a second player can join the fun and assist the primary player.
    • Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure. Fun puzzle / platform game that makes decent use of the motion controls. I could see this being fun for multiple people, with those not playing giving advice on the puzzles and whatnot.
    • Metroid Prime Trilogy. This one would probably be fine for your 12 year old, it's a shooter but there's no excessive blood or gore. It's a great value too, since there's a lot of gaming in this one title (fully playing through Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is hours upon hours of gaming). It's single player only though.
    • Rock Band 2 and/or Guitar Hero 5, depending on which one has more songs you like. These games are great fun for all ages. Three can play with what comes in the kits, up to four if you get a second guitar. There are some downsides I can think of though. These games are expense to get the full kits (they cost a lot more because of the plastic instruments), potential noise issues (the drums can be kind of loud), and instrument compatibility issues between games. I think these game are worth it though, especially since they allow up to 4 people to play co-operatively and have a great time.
    • WarioWare: Smooth Moves. Up to 4 people can play at once (as long as you have 4 Wiimotes), the various minigames are usually fun and often hilarious, and even if you're not doing very well score-wise you still have a chance to win at the end of a round.
    Have fun, hope your son gets well soon!

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
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    sirchrissypoosirchrissypoo Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'd second titles like Super Mario Galaxy and Warioware.

    Wii Music I had a lot of fun with, but I can see it being challenging if they don't have a good sense of rhythm, because a friend of mine had no sense of rhythm so she just watched rather than play.

    Animal Crossing: City Folk is a lot of fun as well, very kid friendly, and is deep enough that parents can get into it without it necessitating a level of involvement that would confuse younger kids.

    And of course I'd say grab a few Wii Points and grab some classic SNES and NES titles off the Virtual Console, such as Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros.

    sirchrissypoo on
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    RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Pick up Mario Kart, being able to drive with the wheel is a whole lot of fun.

    Rainfall on
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    SwashbucklerXXSwashbucklerXX Swashbucklin' Canuck Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Also, De Blob! You roll a little guy around and he paints buildings. The older kids can play the normal mode, do the timed puzzles and stuff. This will unlock free mode in which the younger kids can just roll around and paint the town all rainbow. :)

    SwashbucklerXX on
    Want to find me on a gaming service? I'm SwashbucklerXX everywhere.
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    SinWithSebastianSinWithSebastian Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The Kirby games are targeted for children and people who're just starting their gaming hobby. They're bright, colourful and easy. And fun!

    SinWithSebastian on
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    ninevoltninevolt Registered User new member
    edited September 2009
    Thanks for the recommendations.

    We're apparently going to be discharged early enough today to make a stop at the store possible on the way home.

    ninevolt on
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    vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Rainfall wrote: »
    Pick up Mario Kart
    I'm stunned that I forgot to recommend this one. Guess I'll just have to settle for liming it.

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
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    NerdtendoNerdtendo Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Also get a couple Gamecube controllers. The Wii is backwards compatible, and the GC games run flawlessly on it.

    Chibi Robo is incredibly adorable, and a fantastic title for kids and adults alike.

    Zelda: Wind Waker is also quite adorable, and a beautiful game in general. No time like the present to get your kids into the Zelda franchise.

    Mario Sunshine is under-appreciated. It's a great title.

    Nerdtendo on
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    physi_marcphysi_marc Positron Tracker In a nutshellRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Put down another vote for Super Mario Galaxy and Mario Kart. Endless fun for all ages with these two games, though Super Mario Galaxy can be quite hard sometimes. I would also highly recommend Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure. Younger kids might need help to figure out some of the puzzles, but it is highly enjoyable and will make their brains work out.

    physi_marc on
    3DS Friend Code: 3952-7043-7606
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    radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Unmentioned:

    Boom Blox!

    The kids can play separately or they have the option to play with one another or against one another; there's the basics of throwing blocks to knock down other blocks, shooting blocks out of the sky for points, and pulling blocks like jenga. Plus for the older kids you have to add points to make the next round and use some skills if you're doing the jenga rounds to figure out how to pull out the rght number of pieces without letting the top fall.

    We had a lot of fun with it.

    radroadkill on
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