Xbox 360 games suitable for young children
September 24, 2009 6:16 PM   Subscribe

Xbox 360 games suitable for children

A question for Xbox360 owners with kids - wondering what some of the best games are for youngsters - when I say youngsters I mean under 10.

I have Viva Pinata already, wondering what else there was out there that was fun and, if possible (though not "a must") educational.

Thanks so much.
posted by chris88 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There's Uno, except it's ruined by racist VOIP spammers. Otherwise, its basically movie tie-ins, lego games, and movie tie-ins made of legos.
posted by pwnguin at 6:23 PM on September 24, 2009

i would start with the xbox live arcade games - castle crashers and n+ come to mind immediately. there's also lots of puzzle games that will help their little brains.
posted by nadawi at 6:25 PM on September 24, 2009

as far as the lego games go - the star wars lego is fantastic!
posted by nadawi at 6:28 PM on September 24, 2009

Braid is an excellent xbox live arcade game.
posted by kylej at 6:30 PM on September 24, 2009

I played braid recently and absolutely loved it. But for someone under ten, Braid... isn't a great choice. To say the least. Not that it's objectionable in any way, only that it...

just, no.
posted by Rinku at 6:45 PM on September 24, 2009

Braid was awesome, but the puzzles are far too challenging for kids. Plus the story, while not violent, is very esoteric and would definitely go over their heads. Beautiful to look at, though. As for N+, it has some pretty graphic (stick figure) violence -- blood, electrocution, dismemberment. I think you can turn that off, though. A bigger problem, again, would be difficulty -- it's a twitch-fast experience that requires flawless timing and endless repetition on all but the easiest stages. A kid might get frustrated easily.

My recommendation would be Beautiful Katamari. It's not quite as good as the original PS2 series, but the gameplay is addictively simple, the graphics are colorful and clean, the story is wonderfully zany, and the music is very catchy. Plus, it's cheap -- the going rate nowadays is ~$20.

Also, seconding Lego Star Wars. I haven't played it, but I've heard good things, and it would probably be up their alley.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:55 PM on September 24, 2009

Lots of great options on XBox Live Arcade - it's worth a dig through. I'd suggest the Sonic games off the bat because I got on with them great as a kid on the original platforms :)
posted by wackybrit at 7:02 PM on September 24, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is out, and kids seem to enjoy Rayman Raving Rabbids.
posted by misha at 7:18 PM on September 24, 2009

Oh, and Lego Star Wars is fantastic!
posted by misha at 7:18 PM on September 24, 2009

Seconding Beautiful Katamari and suggesting Viva Pinata (both of them)

My 8 year old also loves Test Drive Unlimited and other open ended driving games (not GTA - duh).
posted by lilnublet at 8:07 PM on September 24, 2009

Ugh, I somehow missed the v.p. part of the post - sorry (and i wondered why nobody mentioned it *facepalm*)
posted by lilnublet at 8:08 PM on September 24, 2009

You might check out The Maw.
posted by rewil at 8:20 PM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

My 4 year old loves Feeding Frenzy. Depending on taste and dedication, Kingdom for Keflings would be good for the 10 and under range.
posted by swimbikerun at 9:09 PM on September 24, 2009

For the record, the lego star wars games I've played have been fantastic.
posted by kylej at 10:10 PM on September 24, 2009

Definitely go and buy all of the Lego games first. They're also unique in that they're perfect to play cooperatively parent/child - tons of great problem-solving lessons in there.

My seven-year-old has recently become fascinated with Braid, after watching me finish it. He never makes it past the first few levels, but he enjoys it and it's gorgeous (and the music is great).

Finally, Rock Band - awesome game for a family to play together! We bought a $20 mike stand, so you can play guitar and sing at the same time, which my boy loves to do.
posted by jbickers at 1:54 AM on September 25, 2009

I would suggest sports and racing games, if they're into that stuff. Rock Band also seems like a good idea.

If you're concerned about content and such, it is ESSENTIAL that you do not let them on Xbox Live.
posted by timdicator at 6:19 AM on September 25, 2009

If you're okay with crashing cars as long as there's no human carnage, Burnout Paradise would definitely work.

Nthing the Lego Star Wars games. Music playing GH/RB style games = also good, but be aware that the learning curve on those is steeper for kids than adults.

My kid likes Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader, which can be found in Arcade. Warning: the theme music really grates after a while.

Agree with timdicator re: Live. If you haven't already, you can set up a separate non-Live account on your Xbox for your kid(s).
posted by gnomeloaf at 6:51 AM on September 25, 2009

I'm going to contradict the naysayers and suggest Braid anyway. There were plenty of games that were way too hard for me as a kid (hell, how many of you cut your teeth on impossible NES games?), but I enjoyed spinning my tires because of the aesthetics or at-the-time profound story or whatever ... the fantastic nature of that game, kind of like the Yellow Submarine or any awesome kids movie, makes it perfect for promoting a sense of wonder.

Just don't make it the only option they have, I guess.

If your kid is into it, there's stuff like Marble Blast Ultra and many other puzzle games if you scour XBox Live Arcade. Sadly I can't think of any big franchises beyond Katamari/Viva Pinata, the Wii seems to have soaked up that market.

As for Rock Band, there is a Lego Rock Band coming out soonish! It apparently is designed for a younger crowd, so you don't have to worry about rock songlyrics if that is the kind of thing you would worry about.
posted by man why you even got to do a thing at 8:05 AM on September 25, 2009

My buddy's 6 year old kid loves the Burnout games. Little punk beats me every time too, he's a Burnout Savant or something.
posted by IanMorr at 9:27 AM on September 25, 2009

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