Nintendo is by far one of the best on the market in making kid-friendly and family-friendly games as well as curating them for release on their platform. Here’s why we actually recommend them.
One thing that I get asked quite a bit whether I’m at GameStop, Best Buy, or some local video game retailer, is what console I think is best for kids, what games I would recommend, and why I recommend them. By just the title, you’ve already guessed who I suggest, but you don’t actually know why that is.
Folks, let me give it to you straight: I absolutely love Nintendo. I love everything about the company and what they stand for. They are all about giving gamers what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. They’ve also remained true to their philosophy that gaming should be available to everyone and in a family-friendly environment.
That much has remained true, even as some of their offerings have become aimed at older generations of gamers. Regardless, there’s also an overwhelming amount of support in the family-friendly field, something that you have to dig, burrow, and even hope to find on their competitor’s digital storefronts or shelves at the store.
With Nintendo, that isn’t the case. It’s not hard to walk into a store, find a game such as Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! or a family-oriented title such as Mario Party 8. Truth-be-told, you’ll find a wide array of games, each offering their own experiences for a variety of ages. But, let’s break it down, and let’s explain the WHAT, the WHY, and the HOW.
What exactly is making Nintendo a highly recommended brand for kids? At least from us.
You know, before I began writing this piece on Monday, I had a lot to think about, I had a lot to mull over before I could truly come to a conclusion that wasn’t a jumbled mess, but one that a parent, a relative, or even a family friend could understand. Truth be told, it’s all about Nintendo’s family-friendly focus.
Whether you know it or not, since the mid-’90s, Nintendo shifted away from the “everything and anything” approach they’d become known for in their earliest years. While this certainly was a massive change in direction for the company, it was one that seemed almost necessary, and it helped Nintendo build their modern foundations that the late Satoru Iwata kept close to his heart up to the day he passed away.
Now, that legacy lives on, and the company is keeping the younger generations in mind with every game they release, every game they see launch on their console, but also on the features that are available for those with kids around to utilize for the child’s safety. That’s where Nintendo stands out above the rest, they want you to know they have your back, they want you to know they have plenty of kid-friendly options, and doing that, it’s why we recommend them over everyone else and will continue doing so unless something changes.
Plus, who doesn’t like the fact you can easily take their latest console hybrid on the go and not have to worry about tons of cables and cords? It’s really an awesome thing to do, but also, the ease of access for more than a single player is a native part of how the Nintendo Switch was designed, allowing for more than one player to play at any one time.
Nintendo doesn’t just focus on games that require you to sit still
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or not paying attention to Nintendo since the Wii, then you might already know they’ve been very open about their want to get gamers up and moving, which hasn’t changed at all over the years.
With games like Just Dance and 1-2-Switch on the market, you’re going to be doing a lot of moving, and Nintendo has been adamant about what kind of advantages developers have when designing games for their hardware. Even Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch emphasizes on Nintendo’s idea of getting gamers moving and having a great time with their friends.
Arms is another showing of Nintendo’s want to keep gamers up and around, getting them moving, and never stop as long as they are playing the game. It’s their way of giving gamers a sense of accomplishment for playing the games that they do. Just remember, just like the Wii and Wii U, you’ll want to keep those straps around, they’re important.
Okay. Got it, what about the games? What ones would be a great start for the kids?
Games aren’t hard to find on the Nintendo Switch, there are so many great choices, and Nintendo gives you a good idea of what to expect thanks to the eShop, but also, the case art and descriptions about the games. But, let’s say you aren’t much into games, and you just want to snag a few kid-friendly games.
Well, that’s going to be an issue. Unfortunately, some of the games are quite misleading in who and what age group they focus on. That’s where a nifty little list does come into play and to get you started, we have a few great games, ones that offer a challenge, but also a decent amount of fun to get things rolling. Just note, not all of these are for the Switch. We still feel the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS are quite relevant and still great options for kids to play.
- 1-2-Switch (Switch)
- Arms (Switch)
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch)
- Detective Pikachu (3DS)
- Kirby – any of these games, literally, they’re great(3DS/Switch)
- LEGO – any of these games, literally, they’re great (3DS/Switch)
- Little Friends: Dogs and Cats (Switch)
- Minecraft (Switch)
- Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)
- Nintendogs and Nintencats (3DS)
- Pokémon – literally, any of these, but they do require some minor reading capabilities (3DS/Switch)
- Splatoon 2 (Switch)
- Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
- Yo-Kai-Watch Series(3DS)
- Yoshi’s Crafted World (Switch)
While these are only a handful of the offerings Nintendo has to offer, they’re great choices and all of them are family-friendly titles. While they are only a small example of what Nintendo has to offer, rest assured, their third-party partners continue to offer out just as much fun, and just as many family-friendly titles including Bomberman, Ugly Dolls: An Imperfect Adventure, and even games like Overcooked that offer a wide array of experiences.
What about that… Nintendo Labo?
Well, don’t expect this to be a game, to be quite honest. Nintendo Labo is a arts and crafts set that can turn into an interactive experience for those using Nintendo’s unique and creative format. The downside, it’s not cheap, but it does help bring out creativity and inspires those who use it to create in brand new ways.
Nintendo also hasn’t been shy about bringing out new parts and pieces for Nintendo Labo. This includes new ways to use it, new tools to enjoy, and interesting enough – mini-games that actually use it. But now you’re wondering, “I thought you said it’s not a game?” and you’d be right to question me.
Truth is, they’re still interactive experiences using Labo. These games can include playing a digital piano, building a little robot that they can drive around, or even small games such as fishing in Nintendo Labo. All of these mini-games requiring the use of brain power, creativity, and hand-eye coordination.
But these also require attention to detail, which is a great education lesson and can help kids become more creative given time and patience.
Whether you go into investing in Nintendo products, I can’t help but state that we openly recommend them, especially when introducing a family-friendly gaming environment to younger people around you. If you do, you’ll find your options have a lot of variety in what kinds of entertainment you have, and also, what kind of games are available to enjoy for both children and adults alike.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.