Video Games to Play with your Kids

Watching - Fun games they can watch you play



Subnautica is a survival crafting game in which you crash land on an ocean planet. The objective is to escape by eventually building a platform allowing you to make a rocket. The game is non-combat and while the game has colorful cartoony visuals, can be quite scary. This is why I’ve placed it in the watching category. The scariness comes from exploring with limit oxygen - it can be quite unsettling to get lost in a cave system and not know which way is up for example. Another scary element is the huge Leviathans that can be found in the depths, which are also part of the story. My eldest found the Leviathans interesting, particularly when we discovered the bones of an ancient one very deep using the submarine.

Playing - Together

Planet Crafter

Planet Crafter

Planet Crafter is a survival crafting game with no combat whatsoever. My eldest and I play this on our PCs together. You start on a uninhabitable planet and gradually terraform the planet to be habitable. You see the gradual change from a barren wasteland to the arrival of water, planets, insects, and animals.

I think this is quite a good introduction to lots of subjects and encourages conversations around those. We have the actual terraforming itself, what makes a planet habitable, the various materials you collect, different types of power (solar, wind, nuclear, etc.), the management of resouces and recycling of scarce materials.

It also encourages learning of some more complicated words e.g. Aluminum, Uranium, Titanium, etc.

Playing - On Their Own

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (TABS)

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

TABS is a physics based tactics game in which the player is presented with a range of units from different eras and themes to choose from, and then arranges these units on a virtual battlefield. The battle then plays out automatically.

While they do fight I must emphasise the fighting is entirely silly visually (like watching very drunk people falling about the place) and not gorey in the slightest. You have to watch a video to appreciate how amusing this is, my eldest got many hours of enjoyment from it.