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  1. #1
    Network Hub Hunchback's Avatar
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    Decent (simple?) adventure games for kids

    Hey all,

    We recently built a PC for the 8th b-day of our kid and i am trying to find some decent games for her. She's new to all this, even tho she's been watching us play stuff all her life, she has to learn the keyboard, left hand-right hand coordination etc yet... So i figured some nice point and click adventure games would be a good place to start. Thing is, i am not sure which ones would be accessible for a kid that age. I was thinking about The Book of Unwritten Tales cause it's cute and all, but i think it requires someone a bit older because it kinda relies on pop-culture etc to actually grasp what's going on. Got some other favs but they really ain't for kids (Tormentum, Gemini Rue, ...) so um, any suggestions?

    If you know of some other decent game for kids (other than The Sims lol), feel free to share, doesn't have to be adventure really, just something not too complex, not too much gore and sex, easy on the reading part (still learning :P) and not too tricky as a platformer etc...

    Cheers!
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  2. #2
    Network Hub BathroomCitizen's Avatar
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    Uh, not exactly an adventure, but I'd recommend Scribblenauts Unlimited - it's a lot of fun, and I think it'll stimulate her creativity and her language too!

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus TheDreamlord's Avatar
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    Botanicula would be great for her. Beautiful, cute, simple but with some puzzles.

  4. #4
    Network Hub Hunchback's Avatar
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    Scribblenauts is quite cool, but i forgot to mention - we are actually french (well not me, i am bulgarian but have been living in FR for some 10 years). Not sure if Scribblenauts exists in other languages? Hmm

    And Botanicula is a great suggestion, thanks! :)
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus zanchito's Avatar
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    Scribblenauts does support several languages. If you are going through Steam, I'm pretty sure the available translation list is somewhere in the store page.

    I'm guessing LEGO games would work fine with a controller too, but honestly, Scribblenauts is an ace suggestion.
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  6. #6
    Network Hub Hunchback's Avatar
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    Found another nice looking game with the unfortunate name of TurnOn, will check it out :P
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  7. #7
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    Don't know if there is a modern version of the Magic School Bus games. My little sister (and me and my brother tbh) really enjoyed them when we were kids. Not exactly adventure game so much as exploring rich environments through clicking on things, full of hidden details and interactive bits n bobs and loads of information.

  8. #8
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    Coincidentally, the whole Deponia series is on sale over at Steam right now: http://store.steampowered.com/sale/deponia/
    Available in French (subtitles) and rated "6 years" by our USK. They also have a couple of bundles going, too. They help you save money, if you already have some of their games.

    Other than that, maybe have a look at the "familly friendly" games on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/tag/en/Family%20Friendly/
    You can narrow them down to adventures on the right.

    Broken Age is also available in French: http://store.steampowered.com/app/232790/

    And finally, I really like King's Quest: http://store.steampowered.com/app/345390/ which is also available in French. The first episode is free, so give it a try! Game pad supported.
    Last edited by DanMan; 05-07-2016 at 06:40 PM.
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  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Blackice's Avatar
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    It's not an adventure game, but I found Proteus was an excellent gateway into first person games for my son. No reading, no violence, just a wonderful world to explore.

    Of course once your daughter has mastered keyboard and mouse controls you can get her Minecraft and you probably won't need to get her many more games for quite a while!
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  10. #10
    Moderator alms's Avatar
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    Child of Light, while not an adventure game, is designed from the grounds up to be played with a kid. The story, the characters, the art style, even the gameplay mechanics: in battles, the kid can control the helper character.

    Adventure games may be a tough sell IMO for a kid, outside of specifically designed titles I may not be aware of, because:

    1) the puzzle design is almost invariably centered on sociopathic behaviors, i.e. hurt a living being, either human or animal, so you can have some irrelevant item or trigger whatever response that removes the obstacle, so you can get to the next stage.

    A notable exception is Dropsy, which is entirely based on helping others and make them feel better in whatever way, thus receiving hugs. However it features an ...unattractive, obese clown with a troubled past as the central character, and people have strange reactions to clowns.

    It also features a so-called open-world design which means it's often not quite clear where exactly you're supposed to go or do. It could be a game to play together, maybe?

    2) they're often designed so to include references to pop culture that a 8 yo may not be aware of, nevermind references to adventure game classics. The Book of Unwritten Tales most certainly relies on that entirely too much, there's even references I think I missed probably because I'm not German. The main audience of adventure games is someone who's already a certain age and has played the right games.

    Another one that may look cute on the surface and I wouldn't probably give a kid is The Whispered World.

    As for both 1 and 2: kids often find, surprisingly, things to enjoy where an adult would not think they would be able to, and are unaffected by things we fear could. They are ceratinly able to exceed and subvert expectations, which makes recommending games for kids a more difficult task than would be for an adult.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanMan View Post
    Coincidentally, the whole Deponia series is on sale over at Steam right now: http://store.steampowered.com/sale/deponia/
    Available in French (subtitles) and rated "6 years" by our USK.
    Your USK sure is a strange thing. Shortly after the beginning of the first game, there is a nude scene. It's cartoonish, and since she's being caught under the shower, there may be foam in the right places (it's been a while), maybe worth mentioning though: I would certainly call it outright fan service.

    It's also a game that fits perfectly my first concern as listed above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackice View Post
    It's not an adventure game, but I found Proteus was an excellent gateway into first person games for my son. No reading, no violence, just a wonderful world to explore.

    Of course once your daughter has mastered keyboard and mouse controls you can get her Minecraft and you probably won't need to get her many more games for quite a while!
    I second this.
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  11. #11
    Obscure Node rgk's Avatar
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    Message Quest (seen on Steam during the sale) seems charming and easy albeit short, also available in French (I am not giving a link this time, for some reason my previous reply was not accepted).

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
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    Machinarium, maybe? The atmosphere might be a bit dark for an eight year old though.
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  13. #13
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    Machinarium is hard. I think I couldn't finish it without walktrough.

  14. #14
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    Machinarium does not have child friendly puzzles iirc...

    Some of them took me quite a while to figure out where I was going wrong. It's awesome game and highly recommended for anyone else though...

    I'd second Lego, Minecraft (peaceful mode first?) And scrubblenauts suggestions

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node SirDavies's Avatar
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    My 7 year old sister absolutely loved Botanicula, very organic and accessible, less game-y than Machinarium (less using of objects with other objects, less steps in puzzles), developed by the same studio (Amanita Design). Other relatively recent minimal adventure games are Broken Age, Dropsy, and Dominique Pamplemousse. Another World/Out of this world is a classic, arguably one of the best games ever made, and has fairly simple controls. Of course, it's best for you to play them by their side and knowing the solutions to the puzzles, at least at first. Adventure games can be frustrating if you don't approach them with the right spirit (open minded, ready to explore and experiment).

    Some minimalist platformers like 140 or Thomas Was Alone might be a good start on those twitchy controls. As for 3D movement, so called walking simulators require fairly low accuracy and present interesting worlds and interactions (Proteous, Kairo, Jazzpunk).
    Last edited by SirDavies; 06-07-2016 at 12:57 PM.

  16. #16
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    Another World? This game is super hard and frustrating and certainly it's not for people who just started playing games.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node Matt_W's Avatar
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    I'll second Thomas Was Alone. That game singlehandedly taught my kids platforming. Another obvious game is Minecraft, which is great because it really does stimulate creativity, and all of my kids' friends play it, so becomes a topic for social bonding. My kids also like Stardew Valley, which has simple controls and is about farming and festivals. It's in English, but there's a fan driven translation effort to French here. Lego Worlds is another favorite, like Minecraft but a little more structured and less open. On PS4, my 8 y/o daughter spent many sessions playing through Tearaway Unfolded, which is brilliant and available in French.

  18. #18
    Network Hub TomxJ's Avatar
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    Never underestimate an 8 year old. But do expect them to get bored if they hit a brick wall. The problem with adventure games is that you need to 'solve the puzzle' to progress the narative. I design for kids and its all about engagement, therefore I'd actually recommend something sandboxy. Minecraft is perfect and MASSIVE with the 8-13 year old crowd.
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  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node SirDavies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    Another World? This game is super hard and frustrating and certainly it's not for people who just started playing games.
    That's why I said "it's best for you to play them by their side and knowing the solutions to the puzzles, at least at first". Another World isn't that hard, all the puzzle elements are much clearer than in newer games thanks to the simple art style, and the controls are simple as well. There's no inventory management, no conversation trees, no filler mechanics, no interactions that aren't explicitly part of the puzzle, hell, there isn't even a language barrier because everything is communicated visually.

    Did you play the 20th anniversary edition? That's the one I played and only 1 puzzle gave me trouble (the one with water). Maybe the old version was harder? :/ I think it's a stripped down version of the logic many puzzle games and just games as a whole are built on, and thus a great introduction to the medium.
    Last edited by SirDavies; 06-07-2016 at 04:36 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Your USK sure is a strange thing. Shortly after the beginning of the first game, there is a nude scene. It's cartoonish, and since she's being caught under the shower, there may be foam in the right places (it's been a while), maybe worth mentioning though: I would certainly call it outright fan service.
    Yeah, well... we're not prude at all over here. Plenty of nudes in TV ads even during the day (no genitals, ofc), like, for shower gel and stuff. It's made by a German studio after all.
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