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Top 10 TV Video Games for Kids 2024 According to Expert

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Welcome to our guide on the top 10 TV video games for kids in 2024. In a world where digital entertainment is constantly evolving, it can be challenging for parents to find games that are not only engaging but also educational and safe for their children. That’s why we’ve consulted experts to compile a list of the best TV video games that combine fun with learning, ensuring your kids have a blast while developing valuable skills. Whether your child is into adventures, puzzles, or creative play, our selection has something for everyone. Let’s dive in and discover the perfect games for your little ones

Top 10 TV Video Games for Kids in 2024

1. Kirby and the Forgotten Landpen_spark

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a delightful platformer game for the Nintendo Switch, released in March 2024. Taking everyone’s favorite pink puffball, Kirby, on a new adventure, this game offers a charming and engaging experience perfect for young gamers.

A Post-Apocalyptic Picnic

The game throws Kirby into a strange world overtaken by nature. Buildings are crumbling, and overgrown plant life has taken over. Despite the seemingly desolate setting, the game retains a colorful and whimsical aesthetic, ensuring a fun and lighthearted atmosphere.

Copying Abilities with a Twist

Kirby’s signature power of copying enemy abilities returns, but with a twist! In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Kirby can inhale enemies and take on their form, complete with a unique mouthful mode. This lets Kirby use objects in the environment in new ways. Become a cone of fire to burn obstacles, transform into a giant car and zoom through levels, or take flight as a rocket! These creative transformations add a new layer of strategy and fun to the classic Kirby formula.

Exploring a Vibrant World

The world of Kirby and the Forgotten Land is full of secrets to uncover. Each area offers exciting platforming challenges, hidden collectibles, and adorable enemies to combat. Players can freely explore these open-ended levels at their own pace, making the game perfect for younger players who may not be used to fast-paced action games.

Overall, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a fantastic game for young gamers and families alike. Its charming visuals, delightful characters, and creative take on Kirby’s abilities make it a must-play for Nintendo Switch owners.

Here are some additional details that parents might find helpful:

  • Rated E for Everyone by the ESRB, meaning it contains minimal violence suitable for all ages.
  • Single-player and cooperative gameplay is available. Team up with a friend for double the fun!
  • The game offers adjustable difficulty settings, allowing parents to tailor the challenge to their child’s skill level.

2. Minecraft

Minecraft is a phenomenon. This seemingly simple game with its blocky graphics has captivated kids (and adults!) for over a decade. But what exactly makes it so engaging? Here’s a closer look:

  • Endless Creativity: Minecraft’s core strength is its open-ended nature. There are no set goals, no missions you have to complete. The entire world is your canvas to build anything you can imagine. From towering castles to sprawling cities, the possibilities are limited only by your creativity.
  • Problem-Solving and Resource Management: While building is a big part of the fun, gathering the materials to make those creations a reality requires players to think strategically. They need to explore the world, mine for resources, and craft tools, all while managing their inventory and staying safe from nighttime dangers.
  • Collaboration and Social Play: While Minecraft can be enjoyed solo, one of its most exciting aspects is playing with friends. You can team up to build magnificent structures together, explore perilous dungeons, or even create your own adventures with community-made servers.
  • Learning Through Play: Don’t be fooled by the lighthearted gameplay. Minecraft actually sneaks in a lot of learning. Reading comprehension comes into play as players decipher crafting recipes and in-game instructions. Basic math skills are used for calculating resource quantities and planning builds. This all happens organically, driven by the desire to get better at the game.

Minecraft Editions and Availability

Minecraft is one of the most widely available games ever created. You can play it on:

  • Personal computers (PC)
  • Mobile devices (phones and tablets)
  • Gaming consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch)
  • Amazon Fire tablets
  • Even virtual reality headsets (Oculus)

3. Super Mario 3D

Super Mario 3D World is a fantastic choice for kids and families alike. Here’s a breakdown of why it might be the best child-friendly game ever made:

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Open and Welcoming Levels:

  • Unlike some 3D platformers that can be a bit confusing to navigate, Super Mario 3D World features open and linear levels. This makes it easy for younger players to understand where to go and what to do, preventing frustration.

Simple Controls with Hidden Depth:

  • The basic controls for running, jumping, and attacking are very straightforward. This allows even the youngest gamers to pick up the controller and start playing immediately. However, for more experienced players, the game offers challenges in the form of hidden secrets, tougher levels, and high score chasing.

Cooperative Play Paradise:

  • This is where Super Mario 3D World truly shines. The entire game is designed with cooperative play in mind. Up to four players can work together, helping each other reach new areas, sharing power-ups, and reviving fallen teammates. This collaborative aspect makes it a perfect game for families to bond over, fostering teamwork and communication skills.

Coming Soon to the Switch!

The original release of Super Mario 3D World was for the Wii U console, which wasn’t as popular as the Nintendo Switch. The good news is, Nintendo released a remastered version of the game titled Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury for the Switch in 2021. This version includes all the original content of Super Mario 3D World with some graphical enhancements and a new mini-game called Bowser’s Fury.

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Here are some additional details that parents might find helpful:

  • Rated E for Everyone by the ESRB, meaning it contains minimal violence suitable for all ages.
  • The game offers a variety of difficulty levels, allowing parents to choose the right challenge for their child.
  • While the game can be completed solo, the cooperative aspects truly make it shine.

4. The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail sounds like a fantastic way to introduce kids to history and important life skills! Here’s a breakdown of what your child can learn from this game:

A Window into History:

  • The Oregon Trail places players right in the shoes of pioneers venturing westward during the 19th century. They’ll encounter historical events, challenges, and decisions faced by these early settlers. This can spark an interest in history and a deeper understanding of this period in American history.

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving:

  • The core gameplay loop of The Oregon Trail revolves around planning and making tough choices. Players need to carefully consider resource management, decide how to handle unexpected events, and strategize for long-term survival. These skills translate well into real-life situations, encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Resource Management:

  • Food, medicine, and supplies are all precious commodities on the Oregon Trail. Players will learn the importance of budgeting resources, making tough decisions about what to prioritize, and planning ahead for potential needs. This can translate into valuable life lessons about managing finances and making responsible choices.

Adaptability and Resilience:

  • The journey along the Oregon Trail is fraught with challenges – illness, harsh weather, and unforeseen events. Players will learn to adapt to changing situations, make quick decisions under pressure, and persevere through difficulties. These skills are essential for building resilience in real life.

Learning from Different Versions:

The fact that The Oregon Trail has different versions available is a great bonus! You mentioned the classic 5th edition available on Amazon, as well as mobile versions like The Oregon Trail: American Settler and The Oregon Trail from Gameloft. These different options cater to various preferences and can provide a wider range of experiences for your child.

Consider these factors when choosing a version:

  • Age of your child: The classic edition might be more text-heavy for younger children. Mobile versions offer a more interactive experience.
  • Accessibility: The classic edition requires a physical copy, while mobile versions are readily downloadable.
  • Device preference: Choose between PC (classic edition) or iOS devices (mobile versions).

5. Disney Dreamlight Valley

Disney Dreamlight Valley: Build Your Dream Alongside Disney Friends

Disney Dreamlight Valley offers a charming life simulation experience set in a world filled with beloved Disney characters. Here’s a closer look at what the game has to offer:

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  • Relaxing Gameplay: Similar to other life sims like Animal Crossing, Disney Dreamlight Valley focuses on creating a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. You can fish, cook meals, decorate your home, and explore the world at your own pace.
  • Building Friendships with Disney Characters: One of the game’s core features is interacting with iconic Disney figures. You’ll build friendships with characters from various Disney and Pixar properties, unlocking quests and stories as you progress.
  • Unveiling a Hidden Adventure: While the game starts with a focus on relaxation and world-building, there’s also a deeper mystery to uncover. As you delve deeper, you’ll encounter a more adventurous side to the gameplay.

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Availability and Pricing:

  • Disney Dreamlight Valley is currently in Early Access, meaning the full game is still under development. However, you can purchase early access to play the ongoing development version.
  • The price on Steam is $29.99, which is quite reasonable for a life simulation game, especially considering the Disney theme.
  • Here’s a breakdown of the platforms where Disney Dreamlight Valley is available:
    • Nintendo Switch
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation 5
    • Xbox Series X/S
    • Xbox One
    • Mac
    • PC (Early Access on Steam)

6. Fortnite

There’s no doubt that Fortnite is a popular and engaging game. Here’s a breakdown of what you might already know:

  • Free-to-Play: Fortnite is free to download and play, making it very accessible for young gamers.
  • Battle Royale Gameplay: The core mode pits players against each other in a last-man-standing battle. While cartoony and not overly gory, it still features elimination of other players.
  • Pop Culture Powerhouse: Fortnite is a cultural juggernaut, with constant crossovers, dances, and memes. This can be a big draw for kids.

Here are some things to consider before letting your child play Fortnite:

  • Teen Rating (ESRB): Fortnite is rated T for Teen by the ESRB. This rating indicates that it may contain content suitable for ages 13 and up, including violence, suggestive themes, and strong language.
  • In-App Purchases: While Fortnite is free to play, it offers numerous in-app purchases for cosmetic items like character skins and dances. These purchases can add up quickly, so it’s important to set spending limits if you allow your child to play.
  • Social Interaction: Fortnite has voice chat and online interaction features. It’s important to monitor your child’s interactions and consider parental controls to limit exposure to potentially negative online behavior.

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Alternatives to Consider:

Here are some other games that offer similar fun and excitement, but with a more kid-friendly focus:

  • Splatoon 3 (Nintendo Switch): This colorful team-based shooter features paint splatter instead of bullets, making it a more lighthearted alternative.
  • Minecraft (Multiple Platforms): This open-world sandbox game encourages creativity and exploration in a peaceful environment.
  • Super Mario Maker 2 (Nintendo Switch): This game lets players create and share their own Mario levels, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills.

7. Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program sounds like a fantastic game that can spark a love of science and engineering in kids! Here’s a breakdown of its educational value and gameplay:

Launching into Learning with Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program (KSP) isn’t your typical game. It’s a quirky but engaging spaceflight simulator that can teach kids a lot about real-world science and engineering concepts. Here’s why it’s a great choice:

  • Physics in Action: KSP uses realistic physics to simulate rocket flight. Through trial and error (and maybe a few exploded Kerbals!), kids will learn about concepts like gravity, drag, and orbital mechanics.
  • Exploring the Solar System: Once players master the basics of rocketry, they can venture out and explore the wonders of our solar system. This can ignite a passion for astronomy and space exploration.
  • Math in Motion: KSP relies heavily on math for calculating trajectories, fuel consumption, and orbital mechanics. It’s a fun way for kids to apply mathematical concepts in a practical setting.
  • Introduction to Aerospace Engineering: Building rockets in KSP requires understanding basic engineering principles. Players will learn about thrust, propulsion systems, and spacecraft design.

Multiple Modes for Different Play Styles:

KSP offers various modes to cater to different learning styles:

  • Science Mode: Focuses on research and development, unlocking new technologies to advance the Kerbal space program.
  • Career Mode: Provides a more comprehensive experience, where players manage every aspect of the Kerbal space program, from funding to crew management.
  • Sandbox Mode: Offers complete freedom to build rockets and explore space without restrictions, perfect for creative experimentation.

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Availability and Expansions:

  • KSP is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. There are also expansions available, such as Breaking Ground and Making History, which add new content and features.

8. Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 is a popular racing game, but it’s important to consider a few things before letting your child play it:

Exciting Racing with Stunning Scenery

Forza Horizon 4 offers a lot to entice young gamers:

  • Arcade-Style Racing: Unlike the main Forza series, Horizon 4 is more forgiving and arcade-like, making it easier for beginners to pick up and enjoy.
  • Open-World Exploration: Players can freely explore a massive recreation of the English countryside, complete with changing seasons that affect the visuals and driving experience.
  • Variety of Racing Events: There are many different races and challenges to participate in, from street races to off-road challenges, keeping gameplay fresh.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Mature Car Culture: While the game itself is rated E for Everyone, the real-world car culture it depicts can be materialistic and might not align with your values.
  • In-App Purchases: The game offers optional in-app purchases for new cars and cosmetic items. Set spending limits if you allow your child to play.
  • Potential for Risky Behavior: Racing games can indirectly encourage risky driving behavior in real life. Talk to your child about the differences between safe and unsafe driving habits.

Alternatives for Younger Gamers:

Here are some other racing games that offer a fun and safe experience for younger children:

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch): This lighthearted kart racing game is perfect for family fun, with colorful characters and wacky tracks.
  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (Multiple Platforms): Another classic kart racing game with a focus on fun and power-ups, featuring characters from the Crash Bandicoot universe.
  • Disney Cars Ultimate Racing (Multiple Platforms): This game lets players race as characters from the Disney Cars movies on various tracks inspired by the films.

9. Zoombinis

Zoombinis is a fantastic game for kids that disguises learning as fun. Here’s a breakdown of why it’s a great choice:

Zoombinis: A Logical Journey of Learning and Fun

Zoombinis might seem like a simple game on the surface, but it’s a clever educational tool in disguise. Here’s why it’s so beneficial for kids:

  • Developing Logic and Problem-Solving Skills: Each level presents a puzzle that requires kids to identify patterns, analyze data, and make logical deductions to succeed. This strengthens critical thinking abilities and problem-solving skills.
  • Honing Pattern Recognition: Identifying patterns is a key element of Zoombinis. As kids progress, the patterns become more complex, enhancing their ability to recognize and utilize patterns in other areas of life.
  • Data Analysis in Action: The game requires players to analyze information about the Zoombinis and their characteristics to determine which ones can navigate each obstacle. This builds data analysis skills in a fun and engaging way.
  • Logical Thinking Takes Center Stage: Every decision in Zoombinis hinges on logical reasoning. Kids will learn to approach challenges strategically and think critically to solve problems.

Availability Across Devices:

Another great aspect of Zoombinis is its accessibility:

  • You can play it on various devices, including iOS, Android, and PC, making it convenient for families to enjoy together.

10. Rocket League

Rocket League: Gearing Up for Fun (with Some Help)

Here’s why Rocket League can be a good fit for kids:

  • Family Fun with Same-Screen Multiplayer: This is a great game for families to play together on the same screen. It fosters teamwork, communication, and friendly competition.
  • Practicing Against AI: The presence of AI bots allows kids to practice their skills and have fun even when you’re not available to play with them.
  • An Irresistible Premise: The core concept of “cars playing soccer” is undeniably appealing to most kids. It’s a wacky and exciting combination that grabs their attention.

Challenges to Consider:

  • Complex Controls: While the basic premise is simple, mastering the controls in Rocket League can take some practice. Younger children who can’t read yet might need help navigating the menus and understanding the controls.
  • Potential for Online Toxicity: Like many online games, Rocket League can have a bit of a toxic online community. It’s important to consider parental controls or supervised play to ensure a positive experience.

Here are some tips for making Rocket League a good experience for kids:

  • Start with Same-Screen Multiplayer: Playing together as a family is a great way to introduce the game and its mechanics in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Encourage your child to practice against AI bots to develop their skills and confidence before venturing online.
  • Enable Parental Controls: Most gaming platforms offer parental controls that can restrict online interactions and in-app purchases.

Alternatives with a Simpler Setup:

Here are some other games that offer a similar car-based fun with potentially simpler controls:

  • Hot Wheels Unleashed (Multiple Platforms): This game features iconic Hot Wheels cars racing on crazy tracks, with simpler controls that might be easier for younger children to manage.
  • Team Sonic Racing (Multiple Platforms): This team-based kart racing game combines the fast-paced action of racing with the fun of playing as popular Sonic the Hedgehog characters.

FAQs

1. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Q: What age group is Kirby and the Forgotten Land suitable for? A: Kirby and the Forgotten Land is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB, making it suitable for children of all ages.

Q: Can this game be played cooperatively? A: Yes, Kirby and the Forgotten Land offers both single-player and cooperative gameplay, allowing friends or family members to team up.

Q: What platforms is this game available on? A: Kirby and the Forgotten Land is available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.

2. Minecraft

Q: What platforms can my child play Minecraft on? A: Minecraft is available on multiple platforms, including PC, mobile devices, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Fire tablets, and even virtual reality headsets.

Q: Is Minecraft educational? A: Yes, Minecraft can be very educational, teaching kids about problem-solving, resource management, creativity, and basic math skills.

Q: Are there any in-game purchases? A: Yes, Minecraft offers in-game purchases for skins, texture packs, and other cosmetic items. It’s important to set spending limits if necessary.

3. Super Mario 3D World

Q: What makes Super Mario 3D World suitable for kids? A: The game features simple controls, open and linear levels, and cooperative play, making it easy for young gamers to pick up and enjoy.

Q: Can this game be played by more than one person? A: Yes, Super Mario 3D World allows up to four players to play together cooperatively.

Q: Is there a new version available? A: Yes, a remastered version titled Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury was released for the Nintendo Switch in 2021.

4. The Oregon Trail

Q: What educational benefits does The Oregon Trail offer? A: The game teaches critical thinking, resource management, problem-solving, and offers a historical perspective on the pioneer era.

Q: What versions of The Oregon Trail are available? A: There are various versions, including the classic 5th edition on Amazon and mobile versions like The Oregon Trail: American Settler and The Oregon Trail from Gameloft.

Q: Which devices support The Oregon Trail? A: The classic edition is for PC, while the mobile versions are available on iOS and Android devices.

5. Disney Dreamlight Valley

Q: What is the gameplay like in Disney Dreamlight Valley? A: The game focuses on life simulation, allowing players to interact with Disney characters, build friendships, complete quests, and explore a magical world.

Q: Is Disney Dreamlight Valley still in development? A: Yes, it is currently in Early Access, but you can purchase early access to play the ongoing development version.

Q: Which platforms is Disney Dreamlight Valley available on? A: The game is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Mac, and PC (Early Access on Steam).

6. Fortnite

Q: Is Fortnite suitable for young children? A: Fortnite is rated T for Teen by the ESRB, which means it is recommended for ages 13 and up due to its content.

Q: Are there in-game purchases in Fortnite? A: Yes, Fortnite offers numerous in-game purchases for cosmetic items like skins and dances.

Q: What are some child-friendly alternatives to Fortnite? A: Consider games like Splatoon 3, Minecraft, and Super Mario Maker 2 for more kid-friendly experiences.

7. Kerbal Space Program

Q: What can kids learn from Kerbal Space Program? A: The game teaches physics, aerospace engineering, math, and space exploration concepts through realistic rocket simulation.

Q: What modes are available in the game? A: Kerbal Space Program offers Science Mode, Career Mode, and Sandbox Mode to cater to different play styles.

Q: Which platforms support Kerbal Space Program? A: The game is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

8. Forza Horizon 4

Q: Is Forza Horizon 4 appropriate for kids? A: The game is rated E for Everyone, but parents should consider the mature car culture it depicts and the potential for in-app purchases.

Q: What platforms is Forza Horizon 4 available on? A: The game is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Q: Are there any kid-friendly racing game alternatives? A: Yes, consider Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, and Disney Cars Ultimate Racing.

9. Zoombinis

Q: What educational benefits does Zoombinis offer? A: The game helps develop logic, problem-solving skills, pattern recognition, and data analysis.

Q: On which devices can Zoombinis be played? A: Zoombinis is available on iOS, Android, and PC.

10. Rocket League

Q: Is Rocket League suitable for young children? A: The game is fun for kids but has complex controls and an online community that parents may want to monitor.

Q: Can Rocket League be played offline? A: Yes, Rocket League can be played against AI bots, which is great for practicing skills.

Q: What platforms support Rocket League? A: Rocket League is available on multiple platforms, including PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

Q: Are there simpler alternatives to Rocket League? A: Yes, consider Hot Wheels Unleashed and Team Sonic Racing for simpler car-based fun.

Conclusion

In conclusion, our guide to the top 10 TV video games for kids in 2024 highlights a diverse selection of engaging, educational, and safe games that cater to various interests and age groups. From the charming adventures of Kirby and Mario to the creative realms of Minecraft and Disney Dreamlight Valley, each game offers unique opportunities for children to learn and have fun. Whether your child is interested in space exploration with Kerbal Space Program, historical adventures with The Oregon Trail, or simply enjoys the thrill of racing in Forza Horizon 4, this curated list ensures that every young gamer can find something they love while developing valuable skills.

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