Open-world game on iPad for young'uns.
August 18, 2014 4:08 PM   Subscribe

A coworker's ex-husband's installed the iPad [Mini, though I doubt it matters] version of Grand Theft Auto (I'm not really sure where it fits in the saga) for their 6-year-old son. I'm looking for an age-appropriate alternative.

The complication is that the young lad is on the autism spectrum with social and sensory issues...and did I mention he's 6? For him, open-world gaming is the only kind he really engages (so the mother tells me, but it rings true from the times I've met the boy). While GTA is a magnificent open world, it has (as I can attest as an adult PC gamer) a lot of casual violence even if one does not play the story-game (which he does not, reports the Dad).

I think he's going to have a bad time if he finds himself with a wanted level after some random encounter in the game; cops in that game shoot first and don't get around to questioning. His mother would just like it if there was less murder in his game. I know his father well enough to suspect that if there's a good alternative, he'll negotiate.

I'd love to come up with an alternative, but my knowledge if iOS games is limited, and open-world isn't my usual cup of tea so I don't know the genre's highlights in general.

Much obliged, as always, MeFi.
posted by Sunburnt to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Toca Town
posted by leahwrenn at 4:10 PM on August 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Minecraft? Super, super different from GTA, but it's open world.
posted by brainmouse at 4:14 PM on August 18, 2014

Best answer: My five-year-old godson and his eight-year-old brother play minecraft on the iPad and love it to bits.
posted by Cheese Monster at 7:52 PM on August 18, 2014

Not quite the question, but when I was 6ish, my favourite games were Wolfenstein 3D and Duke Nukem. Comes from having a teenage brother.

For what it's worth, I'm fairly sure I sit somewhere on the autism spectrum and I don't think it ever hurt me. I think having total access to any content I desired (my parents never censored stuff) helped actually, as I was able to study all sorts of things on my own schedule and take the time to process them before getting "forced" exposure in the school yard or whatever, where there are socially expected reactions and the like. I was never shamed for not knowing something, which was a terrifying fear back then. But as always, everyone is different so YMMV.

Mind you, I still equally loved Lego - so Minecraft's a good idea. On PC, I would have absolutely loved Kerbal Space Program (even at that age). Terraria is a pretty fun semi-open 2-d minecraft thing on iPad.
posted by aggyface at 8:28 PM on August 18, 2014

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