PLAY: Great Games For Families
Along with our weekly look at which games families are choosing, we wanted to pick out some particularly good games for different age groups.
Using the PEGI ratings as our guide for appropriate games, here are some really good ways to play together in your family.
The majority of games in this category do not contain anything that requires rating or warrants a content warning. Games given this rating are considered suitable for all age groups. Some violence in a comical context or child-friendly setting is acceptable.
Feather (Switch and PC) is a game where you fly around a landscape with other players. It's not only great fun for youngsters, but the word-less communication is a great way to safely introduce the idea of playing with other children they might not know.
Horizon Chase Turbo (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch) is a retro racing game like OutRun. It's good for families and young children because of the simple visuals. You can compete against each other's fastest laps or race together four at a time. There's also the Rookie download content that tailors challenges for beginner players.
Any game that would normally be rated at 3 but contains some possibly frightening scenes or sounds may be considered suitable in this category. A little more violence is permissible. It is always unrealistic and often directed towards fantasy characters, though very mild non-realistic violence to humans may also feature.
Ori and the Blind Forrest (Xbox, PC, Switch) is a platform game where you play a character bringing life back to an old forest. Although you play this one at a time, to complete it you will need all the skills of your family. Solving problems, making jumps and running from enemies is exciting and fun. The beautiful visuals and soundtrack make it a game as good to watch as to play.
Knights and Bikes (PC, Mac, PlayStation 4) is a seaside adventure set in Cornwall. Two players team up as they explore the island as Nessa & Demelza. Riding their trusty BMX bikes, they go looking for a legendary lost treasure in a Goonies-inspired tale of excitement, danger, fun and friendship. For families, it's a great game to share.
At a PEGI 12 more detailed and realistic looking violence towards fantasy characters is allowed. Any violence towards human characters must look unrealistic unless it consists of only minor or trivial injury such as a slap.
Concrete Genie (PlayStation 4) is a platform game where you also use the controller to paint landscapes. By bringing creativity and colour to the walls of your town you awaken friendly monsters to help you progress. The game has a story that touches on the topic of bullying without feeling forced, and is a lovely experience to share in your family.
Sayonara Wild Hearts (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Mac, Apple TV)
This is a rhythm game were you control characters as they travel through futuristic Tron-like landscapes; riding motorcycles, dancing, skateboarding, and battling enemy characters. To keep them moving you need to move in time to the music. It’s simple enough for all players to get started but on a higher difficulty, this will challenge anyone. The combination of beautiful visuals and trippy indie music makes this both relaxing and taxing at the same time.