Gaming with my niece and nephew

Playing games with my sister's kids has generally been a great experience. I have many wonderful memories of times gaming with them and I want to list some of the games we've played together here for posterity.

Note, my nephew is the one more interested in games so the vast majority of these have been played mostly or exclusively with him.

List items

  • Some of these games aren't necessarily co-op or multiplayer, but we still have managed to have some fun playing them together.

    For a while this game was GREAT. Until it reached a point where my niece and nephew had no interest in actually doing anything other than driving vehicles around the levels. Then it was HELL watching them do that for hours and hours waiting for them to leave so I could actually play the missions myself because they are GREAT.

  • After a bumpy start where we clumsily made our way through the super early bits this really started to pick up steam.

    We're now playing more action focused missions and it's a lot of fun. Plus the leveling up and getting new guns seems like it will really help keep it from getting stale.

    But things aren't as great when we have to do something talky or mess with the menus, the UI is atrocious when playing split screen. Getting lost because we can't make out the map well is a recurring issue.

  • Wii Sports and Wii Sports resort have been the source of some high quality family fun. Bowling was the kids go to for the original game.

  • Sword fighting was the new hotness. Otherwise it was more Wii Sports, which is fine by me. Can't go wrong with bowling or golf.

  • I had played this game on my own around the time it was first released, but a few years had passed before I started playing through it again with my nephew so working through the puzzles with him was fun and I didn't just know all the solutions off the top of my head.

    I believe there is a very minimal actual co-op mode where the other players can use a controller and point at stuff, but mostly I handled the controls and would ask what he thinks we should do so I wasn't solving them on my own. He would take over for some of the motion control bits if they weren't overly complicated or specific. Played that way this was a surprisingly good experience.

  • Rabbids is another game that does actually have a minimal co-op mode where the second player can shoot rabbids at enemies, but again we haven't messed around with it much. Instead we go for the pass and play style. Of all our pass and play games this is one of the more challenging for my nephew to play. But still the rabbids are funny enough that he enjoys it and we've gone back to it over and over again.

  • My nephew and I played through the campaign on normal, which ended up being far to easy for me to really get any challenge out of it but still it was an enjoyable experience.

  • The versus mode is quite fun in short but hilarious bursts. Turn bombs up all the way to 99 and then it's not super skill based so I'm not just stomping him all the time.

    Co-op is trickier, though we've had some good times and surprisingly successful runs with it. But even so we usually end up going with the versus when we fire this up.

  • Another one where I handled the controls most of the time as he watched and helped me with puzzles and stuff. I would let him take over or mess around when things weren't too rough. We both enjoyed it quite a bit, and made it all the way up to the end.

  • This game's alright but my nephew just wants to play it over and over. Sometimes zombies, sometimes versus 1 on 1. Sometimes versus with bots. I try to make the best of it but sometimes I'm just internally hoping the disc catches on fire so I don't have to play against him in a one on one sniper battle again. Doesn't help that I suck with sniper rifles so bad that he'll eventually beat me, but he's not good enough to beat me in a timely fashion.

    Last time we played 1v1 though he let me use any weapon I wanted, so I busted out the LMG which is my preferred weapon in these sorts of games, and I stomped him quite decidedly. For the kill that ended the match I blindly through a sticky grenade across the level and it went through a window and stuck him as he was running down some stairs. I stood up and loudly taunted him. His response was to act super nonchalant as he walked over to the 360 and turned it off with his foot, then quietly march up the stairs as if nothing had happened.

    I'm supposedly an adult.

  • Seemed like a good classic co-op game to try, but turns out it is quite hard! Neither of us is particularly good at this one, but we had fun before running into a brick wall.

  • We tend to end up getting in each others way or he'll run way ahead while I'm trying to find secrets and stuff. It's not the ideal way to play the game but it's fun in occasional short bursts.

  • This is a similar experience to playing 3D World but I have less of an interest in strictly 2D Mario games than 3D ones so I like it a bit less, though we did manage to beat the game together.

  • We've had fun messing with the designer created main story levels but really the character creator part has proven to be my favorite part of the game. This was a go to game for good long a while. My niece even liked it enough to play it with her friends on occasion. I'm always pleased to see her like a game that much.

  • This might be the first game my nephew and I played together but I don't remember much about the game itself other than thinking it was alright.

  • Spec ops is a great mode, but often proves to be a bit too steep of a challenge for the nephew. So we usually end up playing the same handful of scenarios.

  • We worked together to progress and it was easy enough that he could take over more often than some of the other games we played pass and play style. We nearly 100% finished it.

  • Co-op was quite good until we got to a point where the puzzle solving and required coordination and teamwork surpassed what my nephew is capable of.

  • This was a "how bout we try this instead of playing more Black Ops 2" game. It was a good time but we haven't gone back to it yet. If we did I'd be alright with that, but also if we didn't I'd be okay with that, too.

  • Mostly I just let him drive the mako around random planets and occasionally fight guys. He seemed into it. But after a month of this I began trying to steer him more towards other games.

  • One of the games my niece and nephew both genuinely wanted to play with me, however since they very often are over together and this game only has 2 player co-op it led to a few fights over who got to play with me. And they sure didn't want to play with each other.

    They both had fun but after being initially quite interested to give it a go I was unfortunately bored to tears by the gameplay and its utter lack of challenge. Seems a nifty yarn aesthetic can only do so much to hold my attention.

  • This was more of a "I'm gonna play this and you can watch if you want" sort of experience but my nephew seemed to have a good time. He'd help with the puzzles or fight some enemies on occasion.

  • I let my nephew play this so clearly I'm a terrible uncle.

    To be fair I usually only let him drive around, and he would usually try to follow the rules of the road which was adorable. He'd panic when he hit a cop car and throw the controller at me to get him away. For quite a while he didn't even know the name of the game and referred to it as "the driving game" when he'd ask to play it. I also quickly learned to turn the volume down because oh right the radio is fairly dirty!

    ...he eventually figured out the game had guns. But by that point his parents had bought him his own copy so that's on them!

  • I had some really good times playing terrorist hunt with my friends when I first bought my 360, but me and my nephew stick to the co-op mode. But it seems Black Ops and Spec Ops both had surpassed this and this is a bit stale in comparison.

  • Throwing virtual stuff in a virtual fire and watching it blow up seems to be pretty funny. He keeps asking to play this one again from time to time but I think I've had my fill.

  • After we made it through all of Reach together I got this thinking he might like to play it as well. I like it, but unlike reach, odst has has some moments where there's a bit of downtime between the grandiose Halo style missions, and we kinda lose steam during those parts.

    Though I think maybe there's a horde mode type thing in this game and that's something I should give a shot. It might be a nice way for us to have some fun with this. he likes horde type modes a lot.

  • Thought since he liked driving cars and blowing stuff up so much that this would be a surefire hit. But I have the pc version and only 1 controller to play with, so no co-op. That's probably why we've only played this once.

  • We started this shortly after finishing Kazooie and growing tired of Nuts and Bolts so we were kinda banjoed out by this point and didn't stick with it for too long.

  • Yet another game with a minimal co-op mode that we largely ignored in favor of pass and play. Mario Galaxy is a great single player game. It is an okay pass and play game with my nephew. He prefers 2D platformers it seems.

  • Pretty much a similar story to Mario Galaxy.

  • Again a similar experience to the other single player Mario games only I reflexively hum the Bowser level music and my nephew found this quite amusing.

  • my nephew and I split up the buttons and played this together, it actually was pretty fun

  • Gave this a shot once to try and avoid playing something I didn't want to have to play. Of all the games I have played with my nephew this one seemed to scare him most. I wasn't expecting that. But I'm not aware of any recurring nightmares about giant mechanical spiders so I guess he's okay. We fired it up again later on and he seemed rather into it.

  • My nephew never seemed to want to play much of this, which disappointed me as I have fond memories of playing Mario Kart 64 with friends and my younger brother and some cousins when I was about his age and would have liked to play this more.

  • Similar to Mario Kart this is another time I tried to see what came of playing a sequel to a game from my days as a youngster playing games with my friends, and again unfortunately after we gave a shot to versus and some of the story mode thing it didn't really catch on.

  • So my niece won't remember it, but she and I played through this when she was a baby.

    Okay technically she sat on my lap just being a baby while I played it, but still.

  • I recall one holiday family gathering at my parents house some years ago when I, never a social butterfly, somehow ended up in charge of watching my niece (these were again in her days of being a baby) and again she ended up sitting next to me on a chair as I played some of this. My cousin came up and found us in this fashion and exclaimed "OH THAT'S ADORABLE!" or something along those lines.

  • nephew was into it and I also had fun, tried to get my niece to join but she was distracted doing what she dubbed "experiments" but what really was just an excuse for her to make a mess and waste a bunch of stuff in the kitchen.

    update: I did eventually manage to get her to give the game a shot and she liked it. We've all played it a few times now. Pretty fun!

  • me and my nephew goof around against bots, it's a good time

  • More Borderlands, which is fine by me, but my nephew is becoming more interested in continuing our Borderlands 2 stuff as I guess youngins aren't quite as keen on starting over from scratch with a new game every few years. I blame Minecraft.


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Just a heads up, both Halo Reach and ODST have the horde mode, it's called Firefight. Also you seem like a pretty rad uncle man!

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@makayu: Thanks! I try!

And I definitely plan on keeping the Firefight mode in mind for the future, but we just really got going with Borderlands 2 the past few days and my nephew is super high on it at the moment! He even called a bunch this morning asking to come over and play more, but unfortunately he couldn't as I had other plans, else I would have been happy to do so. I'm enjoying it a lot too.

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@pyromagnestir: It's honestly really interesting hearing which games your nephew took interest in. Its easy to fall into the trap of thinking, "kids only like kids games." I hated kids games when I was a kid, I should've known better. Good luck on the Borderlands 2 play through yo.