Overview: Despite the stereotypes and YouTube footage that may have you reaching for the parental control software, there are plenty of nonviolent games for tweens to enjoy. Here are twelve to consider.
There are plenty of traditional gaming options on consoles and PC, including chess, checkers, and a wide range of board games, including modern ones such as Ticket To Ride. And there are also social games families can play together. In this article, we’ll focus instead on more complex games that will engage tweens with writing and graphics as well as gameplay.
Murder By Numbers: This game mixes logic puzzles called nonograms with a visual novel set in the early ’90s starring a newly fired actress and her pet robot. The game plays a bit like an anime version of a prime-time crime drama, with plenty of quirky characters and challenging mysteries to unravel.
Manifold Garden: This violence-free first-person puzzle game uses repeating environments to create mind-bending 3D puzzles. There’s no story, but you’ll be too busy figuring out how it works to notice.
Superliminal: Everything is a matter of perspective in this game, literally, as you have to move objects around to solve puzzles. It’s wrapped up in a story of what might be a dream or a quirky conspiracy.
The Last Campfire: This platform puzzle game follows an adorable protagonist as he saves his friends in a strange lost land, while also teaching valuable lessons about only helping people when they want to be helped.
The Pedestrian: This fascinating mix of puzzle game and platformer follows a sentient sign person as they try to get home. Players need to set up the signs in a certain order and then make tricky jumps and dodges to finish the level.
Ori and The Blind Forest: Following a spirit who wants to find its home, this platformer has a complex, thoughtful story to go with its thumb-bending jumps and puzzles.
Slime Rancher: Capture slimes, the low-level enemy from dozens of games, raise them, breed them, and a lot more in this strange but delightful mix of first-person adventure and farming simulator.
Untitled Goose Game: As the game itself tells you, “It is a lovely day in the village, and you are a horrible goose.” This is essentially a prank simulator where, as the goose, you must solve puzzles, which usually also cause quite a bit of mischief.
Hearthstone: This card-playing game challenges players to create their own decks from cards they earn and square off. It’s presented in a lighter tone full of pop culture jokes and callbacks to the World of Warcraft franchise.
Undertale: Good for older kids, this game does allow you to use violence. Importantly, however, you can always choose not to, and just as key, it’s better if you don’t.
Minit: You only have a minute per round in this adventure game, which creates a fascinating exploration loop.
TIS-100: Probably the strangest game you’ll ever play, the real challenge isn’t to solve the puzzles but to solve them in a minimum number of moves and resources. Amid all this is a mystery about just who built the computer in the title and why.
Screen Time Has Your Back
To learn more about video games, time management, and how Screen Time can help you guide your kids to healthy tech choices, contact us!