5 Games for kids you may have overlooked, but probably shouldn't

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There are so many games out there these days it can be hard to find just the right ones to get your kids without having them tell you directly. This is especially the case when sifting through the PlayStation 4 library -- there's so much to go through and a game's graphics do not always indicate their demographic.

The five games listed here are some of the best young kid-friendly titles on the PlayStation Store today, though they are certainly not the only ones. Each one mentioned here has its own type of gameplay and challenges without inappropriate themes nor excessive violence, and all but one are affordably priced under $20 for the parent on a budget.

Hohokum

Price: $14.99
PlayStation Store link

Hohokum is a unique and colorful puzzle adventure game set in a dream-like universe that begs players to explore. With no obvious goals, kids can control kite-like Long Mover and float through the game's strange landscapes while interacting with its friendly inhabitants at their own pace.

The game's developers liken it to a gigantic playground, and it does a very good job of being just that. Kids can float through Hohokum's surreal landscapes without any pressure to progress through the game's puzzles, which are often simply completed by drifting from one landscape to the next. There are less obvious puzzles, but the primary focus here is on exploration.

There is no offensive content in Hohokum. Violence in this game is at an absolute minimum.

Costume Quest 2 

Price: $14.99
PlayStation Store link

A short Halloween-theme RPG, Costume Quest 2 is a great introductory RPG for kids around age 8 and above.

Costume Quest 2 follows Wren and Reynold on their quest to save Halloween from the maniacal Dr. Orel White, all the while completing quests, obtaining new costumes, and collecting candy. Costumes transform the characters during battle, making them both fun and useful.

Much of the fun in this game lays in the theme. There are plenty of varied costumes to be seen and the dialogue and quests are appropriate and funny.

There is cartoon-esque violence during combat in Costume Quest 2, but no malicious violence nor blood. It may be set during Halloween, but it's a fun ride for kids no matter the time of year.

Tearaway Unfolded

Price: $19.99
PlayStation Store link

Tearaway was once a PlayStation Vita exclusive. Its migration to the PlayStation 4 with the title Tearaway Unfolded opened this wonderful little title up to a broader market, and it's a gem for kids and adults alike.

This stylized 3D platformer goes above and beyond in both its papercraft graphical style and use of the PlayStation 4 Dualshock 4 controller's motion controls. Every moment is oozing with fun and creativity sure to delight kids of most age groups.

Tearaway Unfolded's platforming and exploration are accessible for younger children, especially with the special controller usage such as the ability to control gusts of wind with its touchpad and use the sensor like a flashlight.

There is no offensive content found in Tearaway Unfolded, and kids who are particularly into the game can download and print papercrafts with directions to make their own in real life.

LEGO Marvel's Avengers

Price: $59.99
PlayStation Store link

The LEGO games are some of the most kid-friendly on the market because of their focus on cooperation, simple puzzle solving, and usage of popular franchises. This is one of your best bets if you want a co-op game to play with a child age 6+.

LEGO Marvel's Avengers is the largest of the PlayStation 4 LEGO games, packing a full hub world and a ton of levels themed after Marvel's Avengers comics and movies.

While this and and the other LEGO franchise games on all consoles can be played 1-player, they are most fun co-op. Couch multiplayer takes the game much further than playing alone, especially with such a large pool of Marvel characters to choose from -- each with their own special ability and playstyle.

There is some minor comedic violence in this title as it is a puzzle and combat oriented superhero game, but there is nothing inappropriate here for young ages. This may be the most expensive game on the list, but it is also the largest in terms of content.

A Boy and His Blob

Price: $9.99
PlayStation Store link

Gamers who played games during the NES era may remember the original A Boy and His Blob being a difficult game. This newer re-imagining with modern, cute visuals and more forgiving gameplay is easier than the original and an overall fun and uplifting experience for kids to boot.

This side-scrolling platformer game lets kids transform their blob and use the environment to make it past obstacles and deal with enemies, while having a dedicated button on the controller to give the blob a hug at any time.

This game is one of the more difficult games on the list, as its difficulty does slowly ramp up. Bosses can be difficult for children and adults alike, but resuming play after a death is quick and players do not lose much progress at all during the process.

There are no inappropriate themes in A Boy and His Blob and violence is minimal. The primary focus of this game is the puzzles and platforming. It may be too difficult for children below the age of 8.

Published Mar. 28th 2016

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