Cooperating with Children

Looking for co-op games to play with my daughters, who are 7 and 3 at the time of writing this. More for the older one than the younger, as the younger one isn‘t quite old enough for a lot of this stuff yet. But I think it might be worth having a "good games to play with your kids/your friends’ & family members' kids" thread in general.

In my case specifically, I just . . . Look, Minecraft is great, but if I have to play one more second of it in this calendar year, my heart is going to start pumping all of my blood backwards. I don't know what will happen but I imagine it will be messy. I'm looking for console or handheld games we can play together. If you try to look this up online, it's AI-Generated Listicle Hell, and if you ask on social media you just get people feeding you answers from the AI-Generated Listicle Hell results they got when they googled it. So I come to you, Credit Inserters, in my hour of need. What do you like to play with your kids? What can I theoretically play with my kids? Ideally not Huge "Big-Indie" Titles of the last few years. Every google result is either Fall Guys or Overcooked or The Goose Game and that's probably a very useful answer for a lot of poeple(!), but that's not necessarily what I'm looking for.

Here's a quick run down on what we've tried thus far:

  • - Minecraft (again, the imminent threat of backwards bloodflow prohibits me)
  • - Minecraft Dungeons (entirely my fault here but hooooo boy i just can't)
  • - Kart-Racers of all stripes (she's not really into them, unfortunately)
  • - Belt-Scrolling Beat-Them-Ups (She was definitely into that new TMNT but the repetitive nature of this whole genre makes them drag so hard for me, I've never been able to get into them--no, not even _that_ one)
  • - Shinji Mikami's Goofus McTroopus (Last time we tried this she said it was too hard, but it's been a good year at least, think I might try this again)
  • - Halo (Went extremely well but we can only do the first three levels before The Flood appear because she has a crippling turbo-fear of anything reminiscent of zombies)
  • - Lego games (This is a Me-Problem, but I am--for whatever reason--_violently_ allergic to these games)
  • - STGs/"""shmups""" (ahahahahahahaha this did not go well. she wanted to play g-darius SO bad, until she played it)
  • - Pong (this was an excellent 60 seconds or so . . . windjammers was not the move, however (unfortunately))
  • - Tonky Honk's Pro Skonker (she will ONLY play free skate)
  • So hit me with some co-op games from whatever era or platform, as long as it's not PC and doesn't require knowledge of other languages (meaning not-english) to enjoy. Ideally something where one person's struggling isn't going to blockboth players--like, if I'm able to help carry her through a part she's having difficulty with, that would be good. I've got all the big platforms throughout history and most of the small ones. For everything else, there's MiSTer-card. That was the worst joke I've ever made, and I'm only leaving it in here as a monument to all my sins. The only other thing I'll mention in my particular case is that my daughter tends to want to pull the eject lever on a game if she's not immediately getting it or if it's difficult from the start. Unfortunately this has been a huge barrier for things like the NES games I played with my sisters as a kid. I love this little goblin and I know she just wants to spend time together, I'm just hoping to find more stuff we can do!

    If you have any suggestions for us, we'd both certainly appreciate it! Otherwise, by all means please feel free to just drop whatever comes to mind, for the sake of having a thread that's useful to more people than just me lol.

    Insert Credit is a great place to go for this sort of thing, because there are a ton of “”obscure“” games out there that totally fit the criteria, yet fell to the wayside.

    The first game that I‘ll run straight towards recommending cause I know I’m gonna nail it and it will become a fan favorite is

    Sanrio Smash Ball!!! Not gonna elaborate, it's pick up and play, just go for it ASAP! Boot up your SNES core.

    Seven years old is still pretty young, so yeah, a lot of the others that come to my mind may be too complex or involved. Here they are nontheless
    [_The Adventures of Cookie & Cream - From Software, Playstation 2_](
    Could be nice. Very appealing and cute, not what you'd expect from From.

    I'd recommend The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Four Swords, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, but if you're on mister, I'm not sure if that is even possible due to the GBA-GCN dual console setup.

    Maybe Secret of Mana?
    I'm also not a beat em ups guy, but the one that I can power through with a friend is the Streets of Rage series.

    Kirby Superstar or Kirby's Dream Land 3 could easily be a hit, or even newer ones that have co-op. Maybe you could play through every single kirby game with your daughter? I'm pretty certain I had Kirby's Dream Land by age 7 or 8 and I loved it and it was one of the first challenges I overcame and beat the game.

    Bubble Bobble, Mario Bros., Joust, Balloon Fight, you know all the single screen arcade style co-ops. Don Doko Don?

    @“treefroggy”#p120517 Ooh, I should have thought of Sanrio World Smashball and Cookie & Cream! I have both of those and love them. Can't believe I forgot, thanks!

    Do you need a GBA & cable for each player with Four Swords?

    And don't worry about the MiSTer thing, I have one, but I only use it for games I don't already own. Safe to assume we'd be using real hardware like 99% of the time.

    It just occurred to me that we could play Streets of Rage 3 with infinite lives via Game Genie, that might work??

    I had a good time playing Chicory with my kid (7 at the time) with me as the secondary player. Some moments were too intense for my her but you can skip them.

    I just learnt the first Kororinpa game had a non competitive 2 player mode so I might try that next time she wants to play something other than Animal Crossing.

    For someone who doesn‘t get frustrated with things going the “right” way, I recommend knuckles chaotix! It’s fun to try to figure out what‘s going on as you both bounce around everywhere, there’s a bunch of silly characters to try, and the music is cool. And if someone isn't doing great you can just pick them up! Also you can save and continue later!

    Let's Tap on the Wii was a hit with our kids. Lots of different games, not too much to read and fun for multiple players.

    Not co-op, but she also liked the Wario Ware games (ds and Wii).

    Sonic 2 and 3 might be obvious, but Sonic & Tails make a great co-op pair and it‘s fine if the player controlling Tails isn’t good at the game!

    @“andrewelmore”#p120523 Via Mister you could play two GBAs at the same time and do Four Swords there, or either of the Kirbys. Maybe even DOOM

    @“robinhoodie”#p120535 ah yeah, Kirby mirror labyrinth on gba could be especially fun because it’s open world and both players can go their separate ways. It’s very modern in that way.

    To answer the question, four swords on GCN only requires a gba for players 2-4. Player one can use a GCN controller, I think.

    Another fun family game is the original animal crossing. A lot of kids my age played it with their parents. My dad never played it but he always calls it *Family Crossing*. It’s technically asymmetrical co op, I guess.

    I like how when something old has been recently talked about it creates a void in the mind that prevents people from recalling it again when it's relevant. Like Gunstar Heroes for example.

    Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a good fun coop experience. It isn‘t coop but I playing Kirby’s Dream Buffet with someone is a good time.

    Get into Mario Party with your kids, if you want to figure out whether or not your kids have a winner‘s mentality and a killer edge, or if instead they will be destined to have life chew them up and spit them out (I’m just kidding, after all, I used to whoop my sister‘s ass at Mario Party, but it turned out that she’s the one who ended up with a career and a house and a family)

    I don‘t know if it’s too boring for kids, but Kirby‘s Dream Course on SNES is a fun game to knock some balls around. Even without fully understanding the game mechanics they might just have fun knocking the Kirby’s around.

    Wii Sports Tennis has a great two-player co-op mode, too.

    @“Dunkr”#p120527 Is that the PS1 one? Pretty sure I've got that!

    @"exodus"#p120531 Also something I have never considered! We'll give it a shot, lol, thanks!!

    @"hellomrkearns"#p120532 I'm still holding out for a copy of Let's Tap that shipped with The Box but I'm starting to think that may have only been certain PAL territories from what I can find? I'm being stupid, I should just get a normal copy of the dang thing.

    @"Nemoide"#p120533 G O O D P O I NT

    @"robinhoodie"#p120535 I've had a MiSTer for like three years and I didn't even know this was possible

    @"treefroggy"#p120538 that might be doable then! one of our two GBAs is being Weird again, I need to pop it open and reseat a stupid ribbon cable. But the other one's fine, which means this might be doable, thanks for the info! Also, that's the only Animal Crossing I've played, and pretty sure it's the only one we have. Maybe she's ready for it now!

    @"Gaagaagiins"#p120556 Mario Party is truly the Great Unmaker

    @"Fred Wood"#p120563 I think I at least have an SFC copy of that bad boy kickin around here somewhere. Kirby's Dream Course owns, man.

    Wow! Thank you for all these responses!! By all means, keep em comin'!


    @“andrewelmore”#p120573 Mario Party is truly the Great Unmaker

    To be clear, the unserious part of my recommendation is that playing _Mario Party_ will only sow discord among you and your children. I love _Mario Party_ and think they've got lots of appeal as couch multiplayer games.

    As a person hotly anticipating this activity with my 3.5 year old son and thinking about it regularly, here are some easy pitches:

  • - Boomblox Bash Party after wearing a wrist strap (Wii)
  • - **Harmful Park** on easy mode (PS1)
  • - **Super Monkey Ball** after unlocking the party games (GCN)
  • - **Rayman Legends** after you decide who plays as Rayman (Wii U)
  • - **Gang Beasts** if you think Street Fighter is too much (PS/XB/PC)
  • - **Rhythm Heaven Fever** if you have rhythm and can take turns (Wii)
  • - **Rock Band or Guitar Hero World Tour** if you have a mic and guitar (360/PS3/Wii/PC)
  • - **Pocky and Rocky** with infinite lives cheat (SNES)
  • - **Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed** is a good alt to MK (PS/XB/PC)
  • - **Mickey Mouse World of Illusion** is a great 2D coop platformer (GEN)
  • - **Bubble Bobble** was made to play with people you love (NES/Master System)
  • - **Kirby's Air Ride** (GCN)
  • - **Kirby's Epic Yarn** (Wii)
  • - **Kirby Star Allies** (Switch)
  • - **Yoshi's Wooly World** (Wii U)
  • - **Yoshi's Crafted World** (Switch)
  • - **Warioware Get it Together** (Switch)
  • - **Warioware Smooth Moves** (Wii)
  • - **Snipper Clips** (Switch)
  • - **SSX 3** (Xbox BC)
  • - **Mario Tennis** (Switch/GCN/N64)
  • I wasn’t ever much of a Donkey Kong Country fan as a kid, but as an adult I found the co-op structure to be brilliant. I like the way you take turns seamlessly.

    I‘m guessing you already do this too, but if not then don’t overlook playing single player games together. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom was the first game I played through with my kid, she mostly just watched but was interested enough to pick up the controller herself sometimes. BOTW and TOTK have been similar vibes with her taking control more and more frequently lately.

    @“andrewelmore”#p120573 It's Kororinpa: Marble Mania for the Wii.

    Update: This is not cooperative and it did not go well!