Kid-Friendly Video Games
February 1, 2005 9:20 PM   Subscribe

For a school fundraiser, my wife (a teacher at the school) and I are donating a "Video Game Bonanza Night". This will be six elementary school-age children coming over to play videogames on a 50" HDTV and an outside projection system. I have an Xbox, GC, PS2, DC, and the N64, and some kid-friendly games (Super Monkey Ball, Katamari Damacy, DDR). I would like to offer a few others, and need suggestions on good kid-friendly party games.
posted by xorowo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mario Kart. I loooooooooove Mario Kart.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:22 PM on February 1, 2005 [1 favorite]

Pikmin 2.
posted by inksyndicate at 9:41 PM on February 1, 2005

Namco Museum (available for PS2, GC and XBox) is an inexpensive collection of old-skool videogames, including Pac-Man, DigDug, Pole Position and Galaga. This might be good since the games are easy to pick up and play.

Similarly, the Midway Arcade Treasures collection contains Defender, Joust, Paper Boy, Toobin', etc.
posted by SPrintF at 9:51 PM on February 1, 2005

Find a copy of Bust-A-Move, the greatest 2 player puzzle game ever created. It's kid friendly, and addictive. I have Super Bust A Move 2 for the PS2, and it's the hit every time the ps2 fires up at a party.
posted by tumble at 9:55 PM on February 1, 2005

Don't use Halo.

I support the Mario Kart suggestion though.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:56 PM on February 1, 2005

If you've got access to a Gameboy SP, Pacman Vs. is an incrediblely fun and simple multi-person game.
posted by j.edwards at 10:57 PM on February 1, 2005

I think Mario Party is pretty kid-friendly, and it's definitely a party game. Mario Golf is good, even for those who don't like golf, as it's pretty cartoony (and the GC version will link up with GBAs, so if you can get GC-GBA link cables, the kids can bring their GBAs over). New Tetris for N64 is probably the best implementation of Tetris out there, and is especially good at multi-player. If you can get the drums, I heard Donkey Konga is fun. Sports games are probably kid-friendly in general. And of course, there are always the old standbys such as Pokemon, etc.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 11:39 PM on February 1, 2005

My 5-year-old is _obsessed_ with Mario Kart, and it's a really great party game. You can play head-to-head or coop, it's easy to pick up quickly, it's got a lot of variation, and it's fast-paced.

(And if you want a great excuse to say, "But, honey...I've _got_ to stay up all night playing video games!", make sure to play through as much as possible ahead of time and unlock the extra tracks. You can unlock 4 new tracks with a moderate effort, and if you play all the way through, you can then play all 16 tracks in "mirror" mode. Definitely at least try to unlock the extra 4 tracks--they're great.)

Mario Golf is also a great game, but a little slower paced, and probably not as captivating for a large group of kids.

Actually, "Super Smash Brothers Melee" and "Mario Party 4/5/6" should be _exactly_ what you're looking for, GC-wise.
posted by LairBob at 2:30 AM on February 2, 2005

If they're youngish kids, the EyeToy for the PS2 is a blast. Mind you it's also hilarious for a group of very drunk 30ish people.
posted by lloyder at 4:46 AM on February 2, 2005

My brothers loved Beetle Adventure Racing (N64) when they were that age (and so did my college roommates, so I guess that shows the age group we are talking about), but that is another game you will want to unlock first. The multi-player challenge mode is way too addictive - you drive around an arena picking up bombs and rockets and "nasty" stuff and fire at the other players. Lots of fun. I also second Mario Party.
posted by dual_action at 5:59 AM on February 2, 2005

Response by poster: Mario Party and Mario Golf are definitely going on the list. And thanks, LairBob, for the suggestion about the extra tracks. Any excuse to play more games (for the good of children) is a good excuse for me.

I think I'll look into Donkey Konga. I remember reading about that a while back.
posted by xorowo at 6:09 AM on February 2, 2005

Oh, yeah--Beetle Adventure Racing is _awesome_...another addiction of our family favorites. Great party game for the N64, and if you can find it, you can probably pick it up for just a few bucks.
posted by LairBob at 6:15 AM on February 2, 2005

You want to rock their world with Mario Kart? Borrow a friend's Gamecube. Break the bank and buy a couple broadband adaptors. Hook one GC up to the HDTV, one up to the projector. Run a crossover ethernet cable between the two gamecubes (or connect them both to a hub). You'll be able to get all six of the kids, plus two more, playing simultaneously. I've done this with 3 Gamecubes and 12 people, and it's tons of fun.

(The max is 4 gamecubes, 4 karts per cube, 2 racers per kart, or 32 people playing a single massively fun game.)
posted by Plutor at 6:25 AM on February 2, 2005

Our favorite PS2 party game is Amplitude. It's a rhythm game, and totally kid-friendly. It's got so much to watch and appreciate for onlookers (stuff that you can't possibly while playing yourself, since you're too busy!).

While we prefer the single-player version, it does have multiplayer (up to 4 with some gizmo you probably know better than I).
posted by Aknaton at 6:43 AM on February 2, 2005

Another vote for Mario Kart as it can be enjoyed by both rank beginners and seasoned veterans. By the way, that is a fantastic fundraiser item, the parents get some baby sitting and the kids will have a blast.
posted by caddis at 6:59 AM on February 2, 2005

Donkey Konga is pretty cool, although it's just one player at a time. Still, there are a lot of easy levels and the learning curve isn't too steep (unless you're me, who sucks at these sorts of things).

Alternatively, there's Karaoke Revolution for the PS2, which was pretty fun. I don't know which version we were playing, but apparently you could sing Weird Al's versions of the songs instead and it scored the same; my little brother-in-law (12ish) found this hilarious. Overall, the game got a lot of laughs.

Also, if you have a DDR pad, there's a Disney Dance Revolution game that's a total blast. I found it much easier than the original DDR and the songs are fun. However we had this for the PS1 and I don't know if there's a PS2 version.

If you're getting Mario Kart, I always found the N64 version to be my favourite. (Double Dash is way confusing and hard, IMO). So if you are looking to save some cash, I bet you can get that one a lot cheaper than a new one for the GC.

And way thumbs up for having Katamari already. That game is insanely awesome.
posted by livii at 7:34 AM on February 2, 2005

Have people already forgotten about Wario Ware? That game is sensational, and the learning curve is virtually nil (Well, OK, it's really difficult to figure out what to do in some of the games, but since you only have three seconds that's kind of where the fun lies). Unfortunately I just tried to find the Gamecube version on Amazon and there was no listing -- were they stupid enough to let that game go out of print? It rules!

And I'll sixth or seventh the Mario Kart recommendation, and I'll also say that I've grown to prefer Double Dash to the N64 version.
posted by logovisual at 8:20 AM on February 2, 2005

logovisual: WarioWare is still in print, and yes, it does rock. :-)
Get a copy of Virtua Tennis (the first one, not the second one) for Dreamcast. Should only cost about $5, and it's easily one of the simplest and best 4 player games ever. I'll also second two NGCs for Double Dash in lan mode. It's awesome with 8 players.
posted by Sibrax at 9:08 AM on February 2, 2005

I have an Xbox, GC, PS2, DC, and the N64

Not to completely derail this thread, but how the hell do you get anything done? I have a PS2, and I can barely do my homework and leave the apartment.
posted by MrZero at 9:54 AM on February 2, 2005

gauntlet legends is a great multi-player for the DC.

i'd second the virtua tennis and the bust a move (i was thinking of the most popular multi- games i've played with *my* friends on the DC), but I have to wonder if kids would totally be into tennis (but hey, for five bucks, you can't lose, and it's definitely a *must-own* for the DC -- however, I have to say i like the second one better, because it's got women in it.).
posted by fishfucker at 10:40 AM on February 2, 2005

I'd second Super Smash Bros.

And what an awesome idea to have some fun and raise money for the school, xorowo!
posted by mileena at 11:50 AM on February 2, 2005

Response by poster: These are all great suggestions. I have Virtua Tennis, and hadn't really thought of that. And I have a few other things on the DC that might work...

MrZero -- good question...The PS2 seems to be primarily used for DDR Max, with some Katamari and Monopoly Party thrown in for good measure. Other games, like GT3 or Devil May Cry are only played occasionally. The DC and N64 are used primarily as throw-back devices (taking the place of older PS, Super Nintendo, Sega Master System, etc), where some friends and I play Soul Calibur or Crazy Taxi once or twice a year. The GC gets the 2nd most usage with Metroid Prime, Eternal Darkness, etc. But the Xbox seems to be the winner, hooked up to the HDTV, with sports games, KOTOR, Halo 2, and a bunch of others. As for time -- I split my evenings after work between the wife, gaming and reading. When I can combine two at once, such as playing Burnout 3 with the wife, I do pretty well.

I also find that most of my gaming is in spurts. I will spend a weekend playing a solid 10-15 hours between 2 days, but then only play an average of 2 hours a week for the next week or two. It all depends on my mood. In the end, I like choices and I am sure that I will purchase all 3 next-gen systems as well.

The fundraising idea was something that I came up with when my wife wanted to get the highest bid for a staff donated item. Most things are hikes and picnics, or movie day with the teacher, and I thought that elementary students, especially the fourth graders in my wife's class, would love a night (6-9pm) of pizza, soda, big screen gaming and other great stuff. The feedback has been great and we will know this Saturday night what it sells for. Everything, though, is skewed in this area, and in her district, because of the SES levels. The class-created items, like tiled tables where 1st graders drew their favorite animals on, go for as much as $10,000. These teacher donated items won't go for that much, but should still pull in a healthy amount for the school and the kids.
posted by xorowo at 12:19 PM on February 2, 2005

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