What do kids like? Like... Mickey Mouse and neon coloured food and making nonsensical noises over and over and over, right? That's cool. We can dig it. And when it comes to our littlest readership, we don't neglect them either! Whether they're made specifically for ankle-biters or just the sort of easy to embrace enjoyment you can get whether you're five or fifty, here are three of our favourite kid-friendly games. Pull your little one a seat at the keyboard, or just pull out your footie jammies (I know you still have them, just like we all remember how to give Cootie Shots) and enjoy them yourselves.
- The Blue Beanie - Daphne Lim's stunning and heart-wrenchingly adorable point-and-click adventure about a little white forest dweller who loses his favourite blue cap one day was an immediate hit with our readers. Just a few minutes of play will show you why. A lack of dialogue doesn't hamper this expressive little tale, which will appeal to fans of light-hearted whimsy and lovers of interactive art alike. It's not particularly long, and the puzzles are fairly simple, but it's the perfect size to send you off into your day with a squee in your heart and a satisfied, dreamy smile on your face.
- Pieces - Soybeansoft's adorable, squeezable little Metroidvania entry into our 5th Casual Gameplay Design Competition embodied not only the given theme of "Upgrade", but adventure, platforming, and exploration to boot. You're tasked with helping tiny Proo, who has crash-landed her father's spaceship on a planet that causes her to forget how to do everything... even walking! To get all the spaceship parts, you have to first help Proo relearn things by tracking down the little creatures that live on the planet and observing how they move. It's a gorgeous, bouncy little game that could wring a smile out of the most hardened of hearts. The relatively low level of complexity makes it a perfect introduction to the genre for young gamers, and an easy way to lose an afternoon to boot.
- Questionaut - Kids usually resent any attempt at "edu-tainment", typically because the product is great at "edu" but not so much at the whole "tainment" bit. Fortunately, when Amanita Design is on the job, you know you're in for one gorgeous, surreal ride. In it, your goal is to track down a wayward flying hat in your magnificent hot air balloon which is fueled by... you guessed it; knowledge! (Yes, Twilight Sparkle is jealous.) To ascend higher, you'll have to solve not only puzzles on each bizarre landing, but answer the questions posed to you as well. It's beautifully animated and exactly the sort of off-beat adventure anyone can enjoy, even if some of the questions are a little odd.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!