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The Legendary Zoltan

Games that All Children Should Play

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The Seiken Densetsu games, that being the GBA remake of the original, Secret of Mana and SD3. Secret of Mana is probably the best because kids don't mind steep difficulty curves, it's a basic action RPG with a big of platforming problem solving, and you and play two players on it.

If you're looking for other easy RPGs with mild themes, the Lunar games are probably a good bet. The way they were localized into english had a lot of jokes that sailed over a kid's head, but I imagine that they're still relatively tame in japanese. The only downside is you have to do emulation, or dig out a PSP to play the Lunar remake that came out a few years back. You pretty much can only do emulation if you want to play Eternal Blue, which is probably the best Lunar game.

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Pac-Man, Earthbound.

eaarthbound yes! for the vibes. i can't imagine that being not inspiring to a young child.

pac man as history lesson, sure, why not. or tetris or space invaders or whatever.

but in the end, i'd let the child pick itself, unless it's some silly gorefest.

picking my few own games at the store was part of the joy. even if you end up choosing some duds...it's part of the process, and you learn what you gravitate towards. it's the same with books or movies, don't really believe in must-read/watch/play.

a nice game library at home doesn't hurt of course! i had that with CDs from my parents...would be awesome with games

well...can't go wrong with mario. boring but true.

and maybe some old adventures. monkey island, or my personal fav, simon the sorcerer II.

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Gonna go ahead and not recommend archaic games because modern video games deserve respect as well:

Awesomenauts

Back to the Future: Episode 1-5

Bastion

Cave Story+

Sid Meiers: Civilization V

Droplitz

Fly'n

Half-minute Hero

Hearthstone

Plants vs. Zombies

Rayman (Origins and the others)

Shatter

Sanctum

Shovel Knight

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archaic

Harsh!

Sid Meiers: Civilization V

If this is a kid's first game, he'll be a guaranteed genius. Also possibly a game addict, but genius and dysfunction are the same coin.

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Toejam and Earl? If i remember correctly in this game you pickup many weird items and you just have to learn how to improvise your way to safety. I had some of the most fun times playing that game with my brother when we were kids.

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Hide and Seek, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Connect Four, etc.

Oh wait, did you mean video games? Haha, let those kids play something that doesn't require a screen. :wink:

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I highly recommend all of the Super Solvers! series of titles -- Ancient Empires is even more action-game than education software, though I enjoyed playing the lot of them as a child. Will likely require Dosbox etc. for most of them.

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Hide and Seek, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Connect Four, etc.

Oh wait, did you mean video games? Haha, let those kids play something that doesn't require a screen. :wink:

all games, all good man.

i'm glad i got to play in the woods, and i'm glad my dad wasn't a VG critic like my mum, so i could enjoy that a fair deal as well.

Edited by Nase

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Hide and Seek, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Connect Four, etc.

Oh wait, did you mean video games? Haha, let those kids play something that doesn't require a screen. :wink:

When I was a kid, we played this great game called "kick the other person off the swing" where as the title suggests, you try to kick the other kid off the swing. Bloody Knuckles was also popular and was best played with coins between your fingers. The best game though, was dodge-ball. Nothing was more satisfying than whipping that ball as hard as you could and watching it knock a kid into next week. Now, schools don't allow it because it's "too violent" or something like that.

Most of the non-video games I played as a kid were more violent than video games.

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Hide and Seek, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Connect Four, etc.

Oh wait, did you mean video games? Haha, let those kids play something that doesn't require a screen. :wink:

Or to be more modern: Settlers of Catan, Carcasonne, Dominion, Forbidden Island, Tsuro of the Seas, etc., etc.

Brandon actually has a good, if tongue-in-cheek point, that "violence solves everything" is a problem even in cartoony games. It's less a problem than in realistic ones, and less likely to generalize to reality, but a healthy dose of cooperative games, and story-rich ones where your protagonist is genuinely good-hearted, can only be a good thing. You can't really be a gamer parent and avoid cartoon violence, though--the games are just so darn good!

Classic Mario and Zelda need to be on the list (at least one 2D and 3D of each). Pokemon probably doesn't have to be mentioned, but it should be in their repertoire. I'd also include Super Metroid, Myst, Portal 1 & 2, Plants vs. Zombies, and Final Fantasy IV, VI, VII, and X.

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I'd also include Super Metroid, Myst, Portal 1 & 2, Plants vs. Zombies, and Final Fantasy IV, VI, VII, and X.

really? portal?

portal is scary as hell for small kids dude

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I tried getting my nephew to play Super Mario Bros. He died on the first level. :( I had him try Kid Icarus. He wasn't all that enthusiastic about it. I personally think that if a kid can't beat Super Mario Bros., he cannot call himself a gamer. That game has a certain level of difficulty that even I still have trouble beating this very day, but it's not impossible.

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oh no, funny robot lady wants me dead!

i don't know, it's sort of an abstract first person fairytale.

i think it works on multiple levels, and could work for younger children on that level.

ok, it's pretty scary, but eh. i watched watership down at age 7. portal? piece of cake compared.

Edited by Nase

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I tried getting my nephew to play Super Mario Bros. He died on the first level. :( I had him try Kid Icarus. He wasn't all that enthusiastic about it. I personally think that if a kid can't beat Super Mario Bros., he cannot call himself a gamer. That game has a certain level of difficulty that even I still have trouble beating this very day, but it's not impossible.

You seem pretty quick to judge someone based on the fact that they got killed in an NES game

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I tried getting my nephew to play Super Mario Bros. He died on the first level. :( I had him try Kid Icarus. He wasn't all that enthusiastic about it. I personally think that if a kid can't beat Super Mario Bros., he cannot call himself a gamer. That game has a certain level of difficulty that even I still have trouble beating this very day, but it's not impossible.

buddy I am in love with Super Mario Bros. but I will plainly admit right now that the furthest I've ever gotten in the game is beating world 1-2

no I'm not kidding. The game has some serious challenge to it.

you are really pushing it when you say "Oh you can't beat Super Mario Bros.? You're not a gamer."

I bet I'm not the only one here who hasn't beaten that game.

for some it's an easy game and for others, not so much. I grew up playing Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. I'm of the younger bunch. I am a huge retro gamer and love side-scrollers but I assume that since I grew up playing both 2D and 3D but probably more dominantly 3D that that's partially why I'm not as good at 2D games. I'm pretty good at old Sonic games, though. Hahahaha

but that's beside the point.

Edited by Garrett Williamson

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