I was always “player two” growing up. Kris had the controls and I grew up watching her play various games such as Super Mario RPG any game from The Legend of Zelda series.
When I was finally able to join her in these games, I was “player two” or the “sidekick.” When something was hard, I let Kris deal with it. When we were in a boss battle, I hid in a corner and Kris fought the bad guy. (Don’t worry – I collected all the coins and shiny stuff afterward!)
It’s not easy playing games with kids. They have no idea what they’re doing – holding the controller wrong, pressing the wrong buttons, just having no clue what they’re doing in the game, essentially making the game harder for you.
It’s all in good fun, of course, but it’s strange that I sometimes end up being “player one” with the kids I babysit and my nephews. It’s like a whole new world.
Super Mario Party
Any Mario Party game is a good one to play with people of any age. I think Super Mario Party, being the newest game to the series and also catering to a wider audience, it’s a great Mario Party to play with kids.
A few weeks ago, the kids I babysit came to my house. They wanted to play a video game and chose Super Mario Party. Other than the luck of the dice gameplay is fairly limited with simple controls of the minigames.
The kids had a blast and while my eight-year-old was a little salty about not winning (she’s still in that phase that the world ends when she loses a game), it went pretty well because she at least beat me. The bottom line was all three of us had a lot of fun together.
Kris talked about Moving Out and its handicaps last week. Developed by SMG Studio and published by Team17, this game came out on the Nintendo Switch on April 28, 2020. It’s a team-based strategy party game that’s a whole lot of fun – especially if you have the right group of people to play with.
When the kids came over and played Super Mario Party, the eight-year-old noticed this game on the Switch and was dying play it. So, it was just me and her for a day and I brought her back to my house and we played video games for about five to six hours straight. It was great.
We started off with Moving Out. That game is hard but not too hard when you have a group of adults playing, even though we did add a handicap. But there are other handicaps as well, which I was thankful for.
When she and I played together, we added three handicaps: items disappear upon being brought to the delivery truck, more time is added (I believe each level gave us an extra five minutes), and two-person items could be carried by one person.
It sounds like the game would be so much easier but it actually was still a bit challenging. Although, that might have been because I was practically playing alone while my eight-year-old sometimes decided to fart around in-game.
After a while with Moving Out, we moved onto Overcooked. It’s a similar enough game and she wanted to try it out. Believe it or not, we made it to level 3-3 before we ran out of stars to unlock the next level. We tried going back to previous levels to get another star before she got frustrated and decided to move back to Moving Out.
Overcooked, again, it easier (and yet harder) when you have a full party of four people. If you have the right people, it’s a delightful game with lots of yelling at one another but lots of laughs as well.
Even though we got pretty far into the game, I didn’t realize how complicated the game was for an eight-year-old. Some of the levels were too involved – hamburgers, for example, need uns on plates, beat the meat into patties, fry the patties, chop lettuce, chop tomatoes, and wash the plates – that she got overwhelmed and I ended up (mostly) single-handedly getting us through each level.
At one point, she asked me, “Can we put on the assist mode like the other game?” She huffed when I told her there wasn’t one. She thought the games were made by the same people because they’re so similar and was appalled that they didn’t think to include an easier option for their rating of “E for everyone.”
(And yes, this comes from the same chick who refused the assist mode in Moving Out at first because she wanted a challenge.)
After trying Mario Kart for a hot minute, it was back to Moving Out.
Switching gears, my nephew, who is almost five, is into video games a little as well.
A few years ago, while on vacation and he was about three or so, Kris and I were obsessed with Miitopia on the 3DS. He used to sit with us while we played the games and he would actually “play” for us.
Miitopia is such a simple game that your characters move forward on the map for you. Other than giving them the occasional snack and changing their room assignment so they can be friends with other members of the team, it’s all turn-based battles. Even then, there’s an auto-battle option where the characters fight the enemies themselves.
My nephew used to sit with me, choose food to feed my Miis and then tap the screen to watch them battle monsters.
Now that he’s a few years older and Miitopia was recently announced for the Nintendo Switch with updated mechanics (yay for horsies!) I’m hoping to play the game with him. I doubt he’ll remember it and I don’t even know if he’ll enjoy it. But I’m looking forward to introducing it to him anyway and playing with him.
Overall, it’s kind of strange to be “player one” for once. It’s an experience and while I love playing video games and would love to do so all day, it’s exhausting playing with little kids.
It’s all in good fun though and a nice change of pace. I’m looking forward to introducing all games to the kids as time goes on.
Are you typically “player one” or “player two?” Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it!