I love getting to know more bloggers on a one-to-one basis. That is why I love the Solidarity Sisters. This month, I was paired with Christine from Christine Everyday. She is a lifestyle blogger with a 3 year old daughter. She blogs about blogging, healthy lifestyle, and just every day life. She is so positive!
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Today, we decided to collaborate about a guilty pleasure for both us and our husbands: videogames. However, just like movies have ratings with parental guidance for children, so do some videogames. So, today, we are giving 5 Wii (and Wii-U) and 5 X-Box child-friendly video games to either play in front of or with your young children!
Now, I feel like I am cheating a little because X-box is mostly geared toward older people, whereas Nintendo, the dominant game maker for Wii, gears it’s games toward a younger, more family-oriented audience. And, Justin and I love those types of games. So, we decided to focus on series of games rather than individual games due to how similar games in the same series tend to be.
1) Mario Games (Wii and Wii-U)
These include the Mario platformers, 3-D worlds (like Mario Galaxy), Mario Karts, and Mario Parties, Mario is such a classic, and really, anyone from a young age can play them. You can play these games as individuals or as families. I remember all my siblings and I playing Mario Party on Gamecube together as kids. My youngest sister started playing with us when she was 5 and she could easily play along. True, there is a bad guy (Bowser), and true Justin was actually scared of Bowser when he was a little kid, but it’s very cartoonish. The good guy always conquers evil. The music is light-hearted, the lighting and environments are colorful and bright. I have no problem playing Mario Games in front of Rhys.
2) Wii Sports and Dance Games (Wii and Wii-U)
These include Wii Sports games, and Just Dance games. Some Just Dance versions are rated E 10+, but that is because of the song lyrics themselves. So, as parents, you already know what songs on the radio you want your kids listening to or not, so you can choose which songs you play with. But, these are active games–it’s all about the movement: bowling, dancing, archery, golf, etc. Your kids will see you be active and a lot of times, they’ll want to play with you–especially with Just Dance. Our nieces and nephews all love to dance to the songs on Just Dance, whether or not they have a Wiimote in their hands!
3) Disney Infinity and Skylanders (Wii-U)
Justin and I actually don’t have these, but we I really, really want Disney Infinity. I mean, I’m obsessed with Disney! It is a world-based game, like Sims or other on-line community games. You buy the figurines of different Disney characters, or Marvel and Star Wars characters (since Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars!!!!) and then you can play as those characters in the world. It’s basically the Disney version of Minecraft. And I love it because it focuses on imagination and story-telling. And, obviously I love Disney morals. We’ve already decided that we are going to get Rhys (and our future kids) into Disney Infinity once they’re old enough to actually understand how to play video games. And I can’t wait because that means I can play it with them! Disney Infinity is basically based off how Skylanders is set up–it was the pioneer of the game type. It is Spyro the Dragon based and a lot of times you can defeat the bad guys and turn them good. What a great story line and concept–bad guys can become good guys!
4) Lego Games (Wii and Wii-U)
This includes Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones, really any Lego series. Legos, especially the smaller model-like ones, are a huge hit with young (and teenage, and adult–Justin–) boys. So, being able to play with them and see them move and use their abilities rather than just imagine it, is so fun! The worst “violence” is the Lego character breaking apart–and what little boy hasn’t knocked over a tower of blocks or Legos purposefully anyway?!?! The Lego games also tend to include a lot of jokes and silliness to their games. Justin can’t wait to start playing our Lego Star Wars games with Rhys.
5) Legend of Zelda: Windwaker (originally Game Cube, but redone for the Wii-U)
Now, we had to chose a specific game from the large list of Legend of Zelda games. We are absolutely in love with the series and have played almost every game, and will definitely be raising our children on the series, but there are only a few that are on the Wii and Wii-U platform (the rest are Nintendo 64 or GameCube) and most have a tiny bit of a darker fantasy side, so for young children (8 and under), it might not be as light-hearted. But, Windwaker is definitely geared toward a younger audience. It is a very cartoon-styled game, whereas the rest of the series is more serious in their graphics, and there is a lot more joviality to Windwaker. It is a great intro game for younger kids into the series.
Xbox One (Christine)
The Doctor and I used to be pretty hardcore gamers. Even while pregnant with our daughter, I went to the midnight release of one of the Call of Duty games (I can’t remember which one right now…three years is a long time). We still look forward to the release of new games, and play every chance we get…although those chances are severely limited these days. We love Call of Duty, Gears of War, Halo…pretty much anything in that line. We also have some games we enjoy that we can actually play in front of our daughter, though.
1) Child of Light
This game was actually available for free to Xbox Gold members a few months ago, and I downloaded it not knowing what to expect. The basic premise of the game is that you are a princess who got transferred to another world and you have to find the light in order to escape. But what’s really great about this game is how innocent yet fun it is. The beautiful colors and imagery of the game are perfectly complimented by some lovely music. My daughter loves to watch me play this one, and so I can have fun without worrying about her seeing things I don’t want her to see.
As you probably noticed, this is actually one of the games that my husband and I really enjoy. While there is some violence (shooting lasers at aliens), it is nowhere near the level of Call of Duty or Gears of War. And what’s better is that there is no cursing. It is the only FPS game that I have found that is safe to play around my daughter.
3) Too Many Me
This may be considered a kid’s game, but honestly, I find it hard to use the controls as instructed, so I don’t see that a kid would be able to, either. This was also a game that was offered to Xbox Gold members for free at some point, but it is actually super adorable. You are this little blob character who was copied multiple times in a freak accident, and as you play through the game you encounter different incarnations of yourself – all with different attitudes. It’s cute and enjoyable, with the bonus of being definitely innocent enough for kids to watch (and play, if they can figure out the controls).
4) Zoo Tycoon
Who doesn’t love a good simulation game? This one is really fun. You build and run your own zoo. That’s the long and short of it. There is nothing here to offend the sensibilities, and it’s a great game for kids to watch and play. They even have the added benefit of learning a little bit about caring for animals, running a business, and conservation. Win win!
5) Zumba (requires Kinect)
This one is a great game that is not only safe to play in front of your kids, but is awesome to get them involved in, as well! Get yourself a great workout with lots of fun music and easy-to-follow dance moves, and encourage your kids to get up and some exercise as well! It is easily played with two people, and you can have some friendly competition to see who can score higher. This is a great way to involve your kids in your workouts.
What video games do you feel comfortable playing in front your kids? What video games do you play with your kids?