Non violent PC games for young kids

I didn’t think this would be tricky.

I would like to get a game or two for my daughters. They like Scribblenauts and Terraria but the first requires reading and the second is (for them) complicated and violent. Maybe something like a simplified version of the Sims would be good, the older one is greatly taken with building houses in Terraria.

When I say non-violent, I don’t mean “no gore”. Even the Lego movie adaptations are too violent for what we’re looking for. Maybe “no conflict” would be a better description.

I know there are heaps of games for small kids, but so far as I can tell, there’s no kids section on Steam or way to sort by ERSB rating. Suggestions, please? Sites with decent games would also be welcome. Some of the ones we’ve looked at are OK, others, even ones tied to popular shows, host some terribly lame games.

Other games they like include Little Wheel, a short adventure game and the cooking simulations collectively called Sara’s Cooking Class, which are OK, I guess, but make you sit through an ad for junk food or other dodgy products and the whole site strikes me as a bit sexist, really.

PC usually isn’t your platform for this sort of stuff, in my experience. Nintendo DS is, in my opinion, probably your best bet for a platform with a ton of great kid games.

Have you considered Minecraft? There’s a difficulty setting called “Peaceful” which turns off all the monsters, which lets you focus on gaining resources and building houses. There’s even a “creative” mode which just lets you build stuff without having to bother with the crafting and resource gathering.

There are, of course, all of the old simulation games. Theme Hospital, Rollercoaster Tycoon, and so on but they may be a bit advanced for kids who are struggling with the reading in Scribblenauts. It may be possible, I played Rollercoaster Tycoon when I was about 8, but then I was purportedly reading at a “post high school level” at that point. Well, that’s what the standardized test said, I highly doubt I could read college-level literature at that age, but either way take my experiences with a grain of salt.

Edit: If they like point and click adventure games, you can take a look at Machinarium. There’s no text, it’s all done in pictures and I don’t recall any violence. There’s also Botanicula, but I found that one frustrating and not as fun, but it’s by the same people and in a similar style.

To wit, I just played that Sara’s Cooking Class and it’s pretty much a ripoff of Cooking Mama for DS and Wii, though I think Cooking Mama is a bit more difficult (you would actually have to move the stylus in a circle when stirring instead of just clicking once, for instance).

I like the PC because it’s easier to make a joint activity than a handheld. A DS is a good thought for a birthday present, though.

Thanks for the Machinarium suggestion.

Adventure games, platformers, simple strategy games might all interest them, and there are plenty to choose on the PC.

My small nephew has taken to Kerbal Space program, though he prefers to tell me what sections to add to a rocket and he lets me handle the actual flying, orbital maneuvering stuff.

Audio surf might be fun for them if they enjoy music.

Platformers like Braid or Fez or the cave might be up their alley, though some of the puzzles can be challenging. The sonic games are available on Steam as well.

Puzzle games like Cogs maybe? From dust is also a bit of a directed puzzle/civ management game without any enemies. There’s also Portal and portal 2. Solar 2 is interesting and sciencey and oooh! world of goo!

There’s also fun time wasters like Peggle and Critter crunch.

Tower defense games might be a fit, depending on how you view the act of towers firing at robots in a conga line. Defense grid would be my recommendation there, dungeon defenders is also tons of fun, but I think that involves attacking monsters, so maybe not.

I know my wife doesn’t play games but she loved Dirt 2. Racing games might be another genre to try. Dirt 2 is tons of fun.

Along with machinarium, maybe the remake of Monkey Island, the soon to be released Broken age, and some of the classics like Full throttle and the Dig.

Collectable cards games! Magic the gathering is on Steam and you can easily get into the Scrolls and HEarthstone betas.

There’s also a ton of games available online. My son is hooked on a couple Lego games right now over at their site as well as the Snail Bob series.

I was going to suggest Minecraft as well.

Unfortunately the absolute perfect game shut down last year. I adored Glitch - no killing, it was all exploring and tradeskills and interesting quests like looking for 20+ spirits that were almost invisible but could be found by sound. I swear if I won a large enough lottery I would try to buy it out, get the staffing and bring it back. As I remember, there were a fair number of smaller kids that played it, in my casual family ‘guild’ we had about 10 kids ranging from 8-12, and a bunch of adults.

EETS - Lemmings-style game where you place objects to guide a cute little creature through levels.

A Virus Named TOM - fairly simple puzzle game. You’re basically just connecting lines.

Toki Tori and its sequel - very cute, but not as easy as it initially appears, puzzle game. The sequel is less structured than the first, more of an adventure element, but at its heart is still basically a puzzle game.

Really? Are your kids not allowed to play with real Legos? Because the games aren’t any different.

That said… dude, Tetris!

The obvious suggestions (Minecraft, Tetris) have already been floated, but it should be easy to dig up some stuff rummaging for puzzle games. (Heck, it’s not on Steam, but maybe they’d like Puzzle Pirates.)

A couple of other thoughts:

Loom (oldie but goodie. Adventure game.).
Proteus (Sometimes accused of ‘not being a game’ because all you do is wander through gorgeous landscapes.)
Ticket to Ride (Hey, trains.)

Just get them GTA V, but tell them under no circumstances are they to use guns or drive cars.

Crayon Physics: “is a 2D physics puzzle / sandbox game, in which you get to experience what it would be like if your drawings would be magically transformed into real physical objects. Solve puzzles with your artistic vision and creative use of physics.”

My 7-year-old daughter likes Sushi Cat. It’s basically a free online (flash) plinko game where you drop a large blue bounceable cat and try to pick up as much sushi as possible. Fairly basic but pretty cute.

Have you heard about Children of Ur? It may be back sometime.


Civ V? Nuclear war is not violent if Ghandi is doing it.

In the adventure game genre: Syberia and Syberia 2.

No I hadn’t, I will check it out. I would really love to have Glitch back :frowning:

Turns out that this was timed pretty well, we had a rainy day today and tried some of the suggestions.

Lego’s game site turned out to be the sort of typical mini-games that we’ve already seen a bunch of times, but searching for it led us to Build With Chrome, where you can use a set of basic Legos to build on plots that correspond with real world locations. Kept them busy, but if you can come back to your build and modify it, I missed how. Incidentally, Justin, Build With Chrome is like playing with Legos. The Lego movie adaptions are like the movies they’re based on.

Sushi Cat was also a hit.

I downloaded the demo for Minecraft and we’ll check it out another day. Crayon Physics looked interesting too, and I’ll revisit the thread and check out some of the others. Racing games and platformers haven’t gone over well so far, incidentally.

Kinthalis, you deserve some sort of prize for your suggestions. Were you responding solely to the thread’s title?

How is Scribblenauts non-conflict? Maybe I played it wrong but IIRC many levels required killing something. (Generally I got God to do it.)

The three year old, who has less trouble with endangered fictional characters than the 5 year old, is the Scribblenauts fan.

Good suggestions above. You might also try the King’s Quest games on I loved them when I was a kid, and have replayed them with my own. There is a tiny bit of fairy tale violence, but IIRC no more than a typical Disney movie. I.E., tripping the evil ogre so he falls off the ledge.

Here’s a clip of one:

Some of the earlier games have graphics and text, like you might have to type in "Get the flask" but I'd consider that a plus given their ages. KQ5-7 do not require reading, although they are captioned.

I think it’s like $10 for the three games above. I can’t see the price because I already own it. :slight_smile: