In this day and age, when the average gamer is getting older and older, one has to carefully choose which games to buy for their kids. Let’s face it, you can’t really afford to just purchase a console for them and hope that they make the best decisions. No, to really do the right thing you need to do some research. In all likelihood, that’s probably exactly what brought you here in the first place. So, without further ado, we present the best PS4 games (circa 2014) for younger (or sensitive) children …
“Knack” caught a lot of flak when it was released, mostly from critics who complained that it was fraught with problems, was too simple, etc. What they might not have considered is the fact that the game itself wasn’t really meant for an adult audience. Sure, if you look at this title through the eyes of the experienced video gamer who has conquered countless shooters and RPG’s then yeah, it’s going to seem tame by comparison. If you look at Knack through fresh eyes though, it emerges as something sort of special. Moreover, its mechanics are easy to learn and allow you to pull off all sorts of interesting moves while you’re battling baddies and solving little puzzles. For all intents and purposes it’s basically a really fun, awesomely colorful platformer, which is exactly the sort of thing that kids tend to like.
On its face, “Octodad: Dadliest Catch” is definitely an oddball, and that sentiment continues to ring true on through its gameplay. You assume the role of an octopus who inexplicably is also fulfilling the shoes of your average father, replete with his own wife and kids. What makes the game so intriguing of course is its mechanics, which have you controlling octodad limb by limb, meticulously and painstakingly having to take each step forward. In short, simply moving around is often hilarious and difficult, now just imagine how crazy it’ll get when you try to do something more intricate.
The Skylanders franchise is probably already well-ingrained in your child’s mind and chances are, they’ve probably already heard about this video game too. The cool thing about it is the fact that you can actually use a portal to introduce characters into the game (via an actual portal you plug into the console). This added bit of interactivity seems to bring the onscreen action to life, allowing your little ones to experience a true bit of video game “magic”.
Aside from its charming title, “Doki Doki Universe” will wow you with its gameplay and art direction. It basically plays out like an animated child’s drawing, however, don’t let that fool you, there’s a ton of stuff to do and see. Arguably, this is perhaps one of the best choices for younger kids as it doesn’t require them to learn too many complex controls, yet despite this there’s always plenty of exciting onscreen action.
Including “Escape Plan” on this list is merely an attempt to add something that’s a bit more comically dark, for those that prefer it. The core mechanic of this game revolves around solving ingenious little puzzles wherein the characters you control may or may not be subjected to some macabre fate. Even still, it is presented with charming graphics and a cutesy black and white style that evokes a sense of weirdness.
Yet another great puzzler to check out is “Tiny Brains”, which presents you with a series of rooms for your characters to navigate through and solve. Critics have lambasted it over some minor issues but all in all it remains a fine game for any youngster to check out (assuming they aren’t prone to intense frustration, that is). Yes, Tiny Brains will require patience but there is also the multiplayer element of the game, which makes it worth checking out.
“Putty Squad” is the name of a previously released Amiga 1200 title which has since found its way onto Sony consoles such as the PlayStation Vita, PS3 and now, PS4. Basically, this is a classically-styled colorful platformer with weird and wonderful characters and mechanics.
Last but not least, there’s “Hohokum” – a game that’s not easily classified…at all. Just simply trying to append a label onto this title is a challenge (in the end they just opted to call it an “art” game). You essentially play without any set objectives or goals, controlling a small thread / serpent-like creature across 17 different worlds. Rather than telling you what to do the game’s design beckons you to experiment and explore, which leads to some very interesting moments to say the least. In short, this is the type of title that’s meant to unlock the more creative side of a person, thanks to its decidedly non-linear gameplay.