Windows game recommendations for a pre-literate kid?

I introduced our eldest to games last weekend, after remembering I have an xbox controller.

Overcooked 2 didn’t go down too well - the timer made it stressful for her and she just messed around.

Audiosurf was fun, the simple left-right gameplay and no fail-state was good for her.

The one game she really took to was A Short Hike - open world exploration, kid-friendly, calm, no threats, no fail-state. She explored the whole island and with a little help achieved pretty much everything there is to do (I think - I only paid attention a few times when she asked for help). The one problem is that she couldn’t read any of it. Audio would be better than written content.

So, with the above in mind, any other recommendations?

1 Like

Minecraft? Set to peaceful and/or creative mode it’s just exploring and building.


Animal Crossing needs adult help… but all the kids among my friends who got to play on an island with their parents loved it.

but there is text to read and tasks to get the island story done that are easy to overlook for a child.

Just some thoughts, linked to Steam where applicable but most games are available on multiple stores:

Lego games are good for kids if she’s into any of the franchises they’re based on. There are Lego games based on Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Incredibles and others. Any of them should be suitable but they might rely on knowing the characters/films for her to be interested. Lego Marvel Superheroes is based on the comic book characters rather than the films and is probably more appropriate than the Lego Avengers. These are all 2-player if you are playing together.

I think Minecraft is a good shout if she wants to be a bit creative. I agree with @Whistle_Pig that peaceful or creative mode remove the stress from the default mode.

I think something like Spyro is probably good for kids, they offer free-roaming gameplay that lets you set your own pace. Spyro is a remake of an old game and so has simple mechanics that are easy enough to get to grips with, and doesn’t require any reading.

Unravel, which is probably a fairly straightforward platformer? I haven’t played so might be worth looking up some gameplay to check how much skill it expects from the player. This one doesn’t have violence but the puppet probably dies if you miss your jump so is maybe a bit less peaceful than the previous two.

I think Grow Home might be a hit, it’s got slightly weird controls but you can explore and grow big plants and there’s no violence.

Alba has similar vibes to A Short Hike, but also seems to have a similar amount of reading. Also no violence.

And why not Journey? I think you could make the argument that it’s an “art game” for adults but it’s nice, simple exploration without violence and lets you explore at your own pace. Only a couple controls to learn and nothing too tricky. Cool spaces to play in.

1 Like