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#1 Posted by gabor (20 posts) -

my son is 3.5 years old, and i'd like to introduce him to videogames.

he has been playing on an ipad for a long time, and he is fine with those 'for babies' games you can find on ios, you know, touch-based, puzzle-like very simple games. but now id' like to introduce him to "real" videogames, where he has to use a d-pad (or joystick) and buttons (keyboard&mouse can come later :-)... so i wonder, what games you thing would be suitable?

my first idea was super-mario-bros, but while he has no problems understanding the gameplay (move to the right, jump over obstacles, jump on enemies), but maybe doing it and reacting quickly is still too hard for him... so i was thinking about something like super-mario-bros, but easier...

or maybe something completely different..

any ideas?

#2 Edited by believer258 (12310 posts) -

Which Super Mario Bros. did you try? New Super Mario Bros on the Wii or DS might be a good start.

As far as difficulty goes, this was my first game:

and this guy makes it look easy. I was five. Just give him a variety of games to play and see which one he latches on to, if he latches on to one at all.

#3 Posted by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -


#4 Posted by Video_Game_King (36271 posts) -

#5 Edited by flasaltine (1731 posts) -
#6 Posted by Demoskinos (15286 posts) -

@gabor: Portal! It might be a bit tough for him but you could help him play and it would help build problem solving skills for him.

#7 Posted by ILikePopCans (782 posts) -

In all seriousness, Nintendo is the obvious choice for platform and games ( I don't think Nintendo developed a M rated game before ) with their Mario's and Kirbies and stuff. For Wii, the Kirby's Epic Yarn would be a great game I think, with all the cuteness and easyness (never played it, correct me if wrong). That once upon a monster for Kinect might be good.

Also, it would help to list the platforms your are interested in getting games for your child on.

#8 Edited by isomeri (1501 posts) -

I don't know how a kid of that age would react to something like Proteus or Journey, but you might want to try out some of the artsier indie titles of the last few years. The recent Lego games (Star Wars, Batman etc.) are also relatively easy and you could give your kid some guidance through co-op play. Racing games might be a good fit as well, especially kart racing games like Mario Kart or F1 Race Stars. Even Forza can be really easy when you turn on all the assists.

#9 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4987 posts) -

Lego games are good for very young children, and I'd venture to say the new Super Mario side scrollers are good as well. If you can, I'd probably recommend starting out with a Nintendo at that age. The original NES. Two buttons, a D-Pad, start and select. For a kid that's almost four, introducing the concept of a controller with something that simple is probably going to yield better results than giving them a sixteen button monstrosity. Gotta remember that controllers evolved into that, but they had to start somewhere.

#10 Edited by JackSukeru (5993 posts) -

Kirby's Epic Yarn can get a little tricky, but there's no fail state in it so it's an easy recommend. You can play two player in it too and maybe help your kid out.

#11 Posted by EarthBowl (164 posts) -

Math Blaster

#12 Posted by falserelic (5407 posts) -

Sense Nintendo's specialty is making kid games. The Wii U is the right system of choice. I heard Lego City: Undercover is worth checking out.

#13 Posted by Levio (1786 posts) -

Get that kid a super nintendo. Maybe for his 6th birthday he can have an N64.

#14 Posted by Chocobodude3 (648 posts) -

Any Lego Game

#15 Posted by Hunter5024 (6077 posts) -

My first video game was Ecco.

#16 Posted by DarkShaper (1349 posts) -

Just about any Kirby game. They are easy, kid friendly and fun.

#17 Posted by jimmyfenix (3753 posts) -

Grand theft auto, jokes aside Crash bandicoot was one of the first games i ever played when i was a small lad

#18 Edited by Rikus (8 posts) -

I introduced my kids to super Mario 64 on the ds when they were around 3/4 years old. They would not even play the game proper just running and fooling around would be enough fun for them in the beginning. Another one they loved is Lego Star wars but only the lego city bonus stage, were you can just run around and do whatever, kids seem to go nuts over that stuff:) And its a great way for them to get used to the controller.

#19 Posted by Nodima (1319 posts) -

I played Link to the Past (though I barely understood it, ever, and still haven't beaten it) and Super Mario World when I was 3. I didn't actually own a game system until I was 6 or 7, my mom went out of town and my dad bought me an SNES with SMW to look cool and rebellious to his son. It worked.

#20 Posted by DonutFever (3554 posts) -

The LEGO games, maybe the 3D Mario games or the Rareware platformers.

#21 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (3950 posts) -

None. Just give them a 2nd controller unplugged and have them think they're playing even though you are. Worked till he turned 5 years old.

#22 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Real Life. It's one hell of a game.

I think he's too young to play video games. Wait until he's at least 7.

#23 Edited by von_wemberg (169 posts) -


#24 Posted by super2j (1812 posts) -

@gabor: Portal! It might be a bit tough for him but you could help him play and it would help build problem solving skills for him.

lol, no offense but this is a ridiculous suggestion. I dont know if you have met a 3 year old recently but they have a really hard time with simple 2d sidescrollers. And you want to give them a game about giant 3d spatial puzzles made to stump fully developed people? I guarantee you it is impossible for him to play this. This game would be good for him in a couple years, like in 8ish range, I can see your statement apply then.

#25 Posted by mano521 (1238 posts) -

this. A million times this

But for reals, i would start with pokemon like i did, or probably some lego games.

but for actual reals, rapelay

#26 Posted by 8Bit_Archer (460 posts) -

My little girl cant get enough of watching me play minecraft...even though im pretty burnt out on it now...lol

#27 Posted by erhard (457 posts) -

Give him Minecraft or some decent educational game that develops problem solving.

#28 Edited by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -

Or maybe you should just let your children develop interests of their own. Perhaps.

#29 Posted by Demoskinos (15286 posts) -
#30 Posted by BBAlpert (1618 posts) -

When I was really little, my aunt got me Prince of Persia 2. It was like 2 years before I got over the fear that scimitar wielding skeletons would come get me.

So that's something to consider.

#31 Posted by DxBecks (72 posts) -

Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. are always good choices for young children.

#32 Posted by super2j (1812 posts) -
#33 Edited by Duder_Me (299 posts) -

When I was five, I used to play the early Need for Speed games on the PC, but I mostly played educational games such as Math Blaster, Reader Rabbit, JumpStart 1st Grade, etc. I found that playing these games helped me a lot in the long run and I strongly recommend that your child plays these games. When I got a little older, I started playing Disney action games like Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc. Scare Island, thus I got into "real" video games. Basically, you don't need to rush him in too quickly. He's still a toddler and you should use this time to educate him, but in a fun way, like with the games I mentioned above.

#34 Posted by Random45 (1323 posts) -

Or maybe you should just let your children develop interests of their own. Perhaps.

I forgot that we're not supposed to introduce things to our children that we really enjoy ourselves.

On topic, I think the first game I ever played was the original Warcraft on DOS, I also remember playing Jazz the Jackrabbit as well. So if you want to try to find some probably obscure games, you can try those two out!

(Though seriously, Mario is probably a good choice)

#35 Edited by JasonLeeson (200 posts) -
#36 Posted by SexyToad (2722 posts) -

Nintendo is the logical choice to go, seeing as most if not all their games are rated everyone. The old marios are a great choice seeing as they don't need much thought out into it.

However, I'll highly recommend minecraft, it's a game that can actually help with his education. Also lets him be creative.

That's all I can think of for a 3.5 year old kid. As he grows up more, I think you can introduce to more complex games such as Portal, or Bastion.

Oh, and if you're unfamiliar with minecraft. It's available for Tablets, Xbox 360, and the PC. I'll recommend the tablet or Xbox for now. The PC is the most advance in features, but I'm unsure if you think he can handle a mouse and keyboard.

#37 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

How about something like Kirby's Epic Yarn? I haven't played it, but it seems to me like a cute Super Mario Bros where you can't ever lose.

And I can never not recommend Tetris. Simple games like that are a good idea.

#38 Posted by PonchoPowerPhD (34 posts) -

My friend's four year old daughter absolutely LOVES nintendogs/cats and Kinectimals.

#39 Edited by EVO (3944 posts) -


If he likes it you can teach him how to make levels too.

#40 Edited by evanbower (1216 posts) -

@isomeri man, I wish my childhood memories were of playing Proteus and Journey. You'd be setting that kid up to turn out awesome.

#41 Posted by hawkinson76 (377 posts) -

The Maw, it's cute and sweet and you can't actually lose.

#42 Edited by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

Postal or Manhunt.

#43 Edited by Shoey920 (57 posts) -

has anyone made a rapelay joke yet?

scratch that... rapelay isn't suitable for anyone of any age.

#44 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12257 posts) -

Considering I am where I am today because I started playing video games at age 4... maybe wait a few more years?

Alternatively, something easy, short and sweet. Mario Kart comes to mind, as does Kirby.

#45 Posted by DarthOrange (3921 posts) -

Bomberman Ultra: simple Bomberman, you can play with him (and no bots) and help him get the hang of it.

X-Men: basic button masher brawler with unlimited continues.

There are a few others but these are the best ones I can think of.

#46 Posted by BeachThunder (12592 posts) -

Scribblenauts Unlimited.

#47 Edited by Peanut (956 posts) -

My nephew is a little over 2 and a half and he's been playing games for close to 6 months now and loves it. He's weirdly incredible at the 3D Mario's, like SM3DL and SM64, but has a bit of a harder time with the side scrolling ones, though he's begun to improve quite a great deal with those as well.

Honestly, his 3DS is his favourite toy. The things he seems to enjoy most are the NES and Gameboy Kirby games and most of the Mario games. Anything that involves too many buttons or weird Wiimote commands he has issue with, which is why stuff like Epic Yarn is a total brick wall past the first few levels. He enjoys watching people play stuff like DKC and Paper Mario, but has zero interest in playing them.

One of the best things about my nephew playing 3DS is that I've been able to pick him up games based on his favourite kids shows (stuff like UmiZoomi and Bubble Guppies) that can teach as well as entertain and he's more open to them because he sees the 3DS as "fun" and not as a chore. The huge library of games for kids is perfect in this case. Learning games on the Leap Frog or iPad he gets over pretty quickly, but he'll sit and play the counting and matching games on the 3DS for hours now, just because it's ingrained in his mind that it's fun to play.

Another important thing, I think it's important to let your kid come into games naturally. My sister never forced games on my nephew (I wouldn't blame her for not wanting him to be like his uncle) and I never encouraged him, but because he saw them around and had an interest in it, he grew to love it all his own. It's not really anyone's place to tell you how to raise your child, but I feel letting them grow into their own likes is important. Another important thing, if you value your own personal memories and love for some of these games, take caution, because I kind of never want to play most of the Mario games ever again.

#48 Posted by Tobiass (148 posts) -

Kids SHOULD NOT be playing video games at this age.

#49 Posted by Korwin (3107 posts) -
#50 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1863 posts) -

My first game was Doom when I was four and a half, and we all know that I turned out just fine.