TechJunkie Expert Recommendations
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When the video game industry started to evolve, most releases were created solely for kids. As time passed, the focus of developer companies shifted toward grown-ups. Today, finding a high-quality, genuinely entertaining game for kids may be more challenging than fighting a boss in Ghost of Tsushima. Of course, you won’t want your children to play games with too much violence or adult content, so you’ll have to make an extra effort to ensure that the game you buy for your kid is child-friendly. Many games for kids available today have been around for decades, but evolution in the gaming industry allowed such games to get remastered and be packed with brand-new graphics fit for the modern era.
In this guide, we’ve gathered some of the best Xbox One games suitable for children. That doesn’t mean parents will get bored watching them, though. We strived to include releases that provide fun for the whole family. Read on to discover games featuring the most fascinating stories and appealing graphics while avoiding unnecessary violence. You’ll discover the price, pros, and cons of each one.
A legendary game honored by people of all ages, the original release of Minecraft isn’t overly violent. It helps players develop critical thinking, which makes it perfect for younger-generation gamers. Most games require the player to reach the end of the map or complete a particular challenge.
On the other hand, Minecraft doesn’t really have a clear objective. In the cube-rendered world, everyone gets complete freedom of choice. You can explore the endless terrain, build enormous structures, encounter animals, villagers, and other players, or do whatever makes you happy.
Although the description above may make Minecraft seem like a highly relaxing game, it’s often the exact opposite. As the sun sets, various monsters awake, spawning randomly, destroying constructions, and killing terrain inhabitants. And when something you’ve spent days on building gets ruined, emotions may get overwhelming.
Thankfully, Minecraft offers a Creative mode with infinite material supply and health for those who prefer relaxing games.
Spyro Reignited is a relaunch of the famous Spyro the Dragon trilogy released over 20 years ago on Play Station 1. It’s an adventurous single-player story of a cartoonish purple dragon traveling around a fantasy world and fighting enemies. The very first game is narrated about Spyro freeing his brethren from Gnasty Gnorc, a troll-like main protagonist.
In the following releases of the first trilogy, Spyro attempts to take a vacation from adventures but ends up facing off against evil powers again. The renewed trilogy features improved HD graphics and more realistic physics. Overall, the game now looks more like a Dreamwork animation movie with enhanced textures and lively colors. The lighting is warm and blissful, and the highly detailed image pleases the eye.
However, the spirit remains unchanged. The side quests and characters have improved, presenting a captivating new tale and unique personality. For instance, Spyro helps the Himalayan telepath tribe resist a Yeti, or superspy moppets Hansel and Gretel find their way to a nomadic lizard fortress. While the first games involved plenty of grinding, developers seemingly have fixed that to let players focus on the storyline.
Rocket League is a multiplayer sports game. The rules are pretty straightforward; no excessive tutorials are needed. It isn’t just a regular hockey or golf simulation, though. Instead, you must hit a ball into a net while driving a car.
If the game existed in real life, it would probably be called something along the lines of “motor ball.” With the help of car tricks, you can score more points than with an ordinary goal. Even if you’re brilliant at playing FIFA, to become a champion in Rocket League, you’ll have to put in some effort to learn specific techniques. You can also eliminate enemy vehicles to receive additional points and increase your chances of winning.
Physics is especially important because the gameplay is extremely simple, limited to cars and a ball. And the developer didn’t disappoint in this regard. The vehicles are light and buzzy, and you can feel the bounce of the ball as if it was real. Like any game focused on cars, Rocket League offers a wide selection of models for any preference, including retro cars and a Batmobile. In a way, the game is similar to Fortnite. It’s a competitive multiplayer with lively cartoon-like graphics and regular fun events.
Sonic Mania for Xbox One is yet another attempt to refresh the original Sonic the Hedgehog of 1991, and a successful one at that. The main objective is to get from one end of the map to the other, encountering various pitfalls on the way. It features the exact same type of gameplay as the prototype, a side-scrolling pinball-like platformer.
However, closely replicating beloved by the 90s kids Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Mania feels fresh and exciting. The game consists of 13 zones, five completely new areas, and eight remixes of classic locations. Thus, even those who’ve played the original Sonic countless times and memorized every step will likely find the levels challenging. The new zones are an organic addition to the old ones. They feel as if they were plucked directly from the original Sonic.
Naturally, the graphics have been improved, too. Thankfully, the overall style and atmosphere remained unchanged, introducing a distinctive look of retro games. The developer reached the perfect balance between taking advantage of modern technology and preserving tradition. Sonic Mania will likely be appreciated both by kids who’ve never played the series before and their parents.
It’s pretty hard to encounter a person who doesn’t know about Sonic. The super-fast blue hedgehog gained enormous popularity during the 90s’ and remains beloved by kids and their parents even today. Sonic games are the ultimate choice for all the family and inevitably evoke nostalgia.
Unlike the original Sonic the Hedgehog released in 1991, Sonic & All-Stars Racing transformer isn’t a side-scrolling platformer. As the name suggests, it’s a racing game, though the two releases have plenty in common.
Sonic & All-Stars is just as challenging as the prototype. Most of the time, you won’t drive on a solid surface. Instead, the road will disappear right under the wheels. The vehicle may take off into the sky or boost along the water. In other words, the gameplay is far from relaxing and presents the player with various pitfalls on each level. Another factor that brings to mind the original Sonic the Hedgehog is the graphics. Although the release uses modern hardware, the atmosphere closely follows old games. Dazzling lights, cartoonish effects, and matching audio accompaniment allow us to identify the game’s inspiration unmistakably.
Super Lucky’s Tale is a platformer about a fox saving four realms from evil cats, the descendant of the Nintendo 64-era mascot game. Along the way, Lucky encounters friendly characters who need his help.
The main objective is to reach from one end of the map to another, a timeless classic. Platformers, especially side-scrolling, are often made highly challenging to balance the lack of advanced graphics. Super Lucky’s Tale is much more relaxing than, for instance, Mario or Sonic series. The game sticks to a time-tested formula and doesn’t offer a lot of innovation. Although some may call it generic, Super Lucky’s Tale is charming and encourages players to smile.
The bright and joyful picture provides the player with nearly a cartoon-watching experience. The four realms in the game are split into five primary levels plus a handful of optional ones. Though the gameplay doesn’t differ much, the graphics do. Some levels are three-dimensional, others two-dimensional. Such a difference is welcomed as, most of the time, the character has to overcome easy-to-avoid and often very similar obstacles.
Zoo Tycoon will likely be appreciated by all animal lovers, which most kids happen to be. The player can learn how to be a zookeeper through ten training missions. It’s similar to the Sims series in a way, though the main characters here are the zoo animals.
Overall, Zoo Tycoon is delightful and relaxing, paying tribute to the diversity of the planet’s creatures. As a zookeeper, you can explore zoo inhabitant behaviors, care for them, ride around on cute buggies, or change the zoo’s layout. You can place new exhibits or customize existing ones, adopt new animals, build various constructions, and decorate the zoo with fountains, topiaries, and other elements.
The vehicles are surprisingly fun to drive, allowing you to drift and speed like in a good racing game. Caring for animals includes washing, feeding, and playing with them. The game’s graphics remind one of the Sims series, too. This especially applies to people’s appearance and physics. The animals are much more detailed, though, and present natural behaviors. The developers have clearly put a lot of effort into making them feel real.
Disneyland is many kids’ dream destination. Parents often aren’t as excited about the thought, however, imagining the endless lines and high costs. Disneyland Adventures for Xbox allows you to skip the worst while enjoying the best of Mickey’s world.
It’s a full-blown simulation of an adventure park filled with real locations and attractions you would experience in Disneyland. Of course, walking around a theme park without doing anything would quickly become boring. Thankfully, Disneyland Adventures offers plenty of stuff to keep you busy. You can interact with famous Disney characters, ride the attractions, and pursue collectibles.
In a way, the game is even better than the actual theme park. Instead of meeting people dressed in Disney character costumes, little gamers can see the characters themselves. They look and sound as if they were plucked straight from the cartoons. The characters often give the player tasks and quests to complete.
Although these aren’t too challenging, they’re very engaging and create an authentic atmosphere. The rides are presented in a full mini-stage game format. In other words, instead of watching an animation of the protagonist riding a rollercoaster, you’ll have to avoid obstacles and collect items on the way. Last but not least, the game can be played together with a friend, which enhances the realism of the theme park experience. The second player simply tags along on autopilot, though.
Everyone who has worked in retail knows you may encounter plenty of strange things there. A screaming man drifting in a shopping cart with a goat is still a surprising turn, though. And while kids should behave well in real-life stores, they can get complete freedom of expression in Supermarket Shriek.
The plot is pretty bare-bones. The protagonist is a guy trapped in a supermarket, racing his way to the exit with his goat friend. On the way to the destination point, the characters can knock down mannequins, slam into shelves, and do whatever else they wish.
Supermarket Shriek’s main objective isn’t simply destroying the store, though. You have to reach from one end of the map to another, overcoming obstacles, completing quests, and racing, racing, racing. The co-op mode makes the whole process even more fun. The gameplay is straightforward, requiring only two buttons for controls, and the graphics are far from prime. However, the game remains joyful and thrilling regardless.
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