Looking for a video game to play with my son
April 8, 2020 1:36 PM   Subscribe

I was playing Team Fortress 2 on my PC and my 3.5 year old came by and watched. He was really interested in controlling the character and seeing the other players running around. We stopped playing when he realized they were fighting each other. Are there any first person non-shooter games that would be appropriate to play with my son?
posted by NoneOfTheAbove to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My son loves x-plane it’s an airplane simulator. It’s sort of first person.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:38 PM on April 8

My kid really enjoyed Portal as an intro to first-person games, but she was much older, maybe around 9.
posted by gnutron at 1:39 PM on April 8

Splatoon? Characters shoot each other with ink.
posted by exogenous at 1:41 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]

I just finished Yonder. There is zero violence in it and it's really, really pretty and when you die there's no frustration (you just respawn at the top of whatever hill or cliff you jumped off). It's not quite first person (the camera follows right behind your character, who you can dress up however you want!), but I think it could be a really good intro game for a little one. Lots and lots to look at and explore even if you did none of the quests or storyline.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 1:51 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]

For a kid that young, I'd get them something like the Yoshi's Island series, or maybe Little Big Planet, and turn them to creative/assist modes where the player becomes functionally invulnerable and it's just about moving your little person around.

When he's a little older, Minecraft in creative mode is usually a *very* big hit. My son also got very emotionally involved in Bastion from Overwatch, so I'd let him play "versus AI" on easy. He didn't do much but you only need like one or two players who are at all on the ball to win the match at that difficulty setting so I knew he wasn't negatively impacting other real humans' enjoyment.

ETA: Yonder is nice but a four-year-old is not going to be able to figure out the menus and controls. I made the mistake of getting that when mine was too young and he bounced off it pretty hard.
posted by Scattercat at 1:52 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]

We play Forza Horizon with the toddlers, and let them drive too. Though while that's technically "first person" that's obviously not what you meant by first-person, but throwing it out there anyway. We get lots of "I want to play the car game!" from the 2-year-old.
posted by brainmouse at 1:53 PM on April 8

Slime Rancher has FPS-like controls, but the core gameplay is not based on violence or conflict, and there's an option to remove the hostile slimes.
posted by Phssthpok at 2:00 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]

Seconding Yonder. I've played it through twice now, and will probably play it again, as it's very charming.
posted by pipeski at 2:13 PM on April 8

A Short Hike is similar to Animal Crossing in its tone, art style, and music styles, and similar to Zelda games in that exploring gets you new items, which get you access to new areas to explore. There's nothing to fight, you're an anthropomorphic bird who can glide around, it's very peaceful and charming, and it's about eight bucks on Steam. A possible downside is that you have to be able to read simple dialogues to navigate conversations with the other characters you encounter. But if you couldn't do the dialogues you could still just roam around.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:37 PM on April 8

My 2yo is obsessed with the new Animal Crossing game, and it's as non-violent and relaxing as they come.
posted by kdar at 2:47 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]

Abzu might be good, you control a diver & explore a beautiful underwater environment. There is a progression through the game if you do the right things, but it's very peaceful & you can also just swim around and explore.

Nthing Animal Crossing- it has dialogue you'd have to read to kid, but kid can also just wander around the island picking stuff up.
posted by DTMFA at 3:06 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]

My 4 year old and my 6 year old like Lonely Mountain Downhill, which they're allowed to play for the ten minutes between bath and dinner. Pretty, chilled, no shooting, but not first person.
posted by conifer at 12:27 AM on April 9

My kids loved Lego games at that age. They're largely puzzle based, you never run out of lives, and they're split screen so you can play together. Not strictly non-violent, but not exactly Call of Duty either.
posted by condour75 at 1:38 AM on April 9

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