Entry levels to play as a family this summer

Finding really good games to play with your family can be a challenge. Particularly if you haven’t played many games yourself. Not only do you have to find games that are age-appropriate, safe and engaging, but also something that children and parents/carers will enjoy playing together.

I’ve spent some time searching through 1000’s of games in the Family Video Game Database to pick out some really amazing games for you to try.

Wilmot’s Warehouse


This is a game for people who like to organise things. You are in charge of a warehouse and must manage 100s of items of stock. These identical square boxes are labelled with rudimentary icons. On your own or with another player, you must decipher what each icon depicts and invent ways to categorise them. Customers then appear wanting specific combinations of products and you have limited time to find and deliver them.

  • Theme: Organising and collaborating to deliver packages to customers.
  • Development: This develops teamwork, critical thinking, forward planning and communication
  • Age rating: PEGI 3
  • Cost: £12.59 on Consoles £4.99 on iOS and Android
  • Duration: Sessions of 30 minutes
  • Safety features: N/A

Wildfire Swap

Wildfire Swap is a puzzle game where you swap tiles to stop forest fires. Each level starts with a grid of trees, houses and bare land. Your job is to rearrange the tiles so the fires that start can’t spread to the houses.

  • Theme: Puzzle about moving trees and landscape to stop fires from spreading
  • Development: This develops critical thinking, forward planning and the importance of fire safety
  • Age rating: PEGI 3
  • Cost: £7.19 on PC / Mac
  • Duration: Sessions of 30 minutes
  • Safety features: N/A

Knights and Bikes


A hand-painted adventure in a fictional late-eighties British island and work together as Nessa and Demelza to explore its coast on bikes to find treasure, mystery and trouble. There’s fighting with frisbees, water balloons, tape cassettes and puddle-stomping. And as you explore the island, you acquire new abilities. As the two heroes encounter an adult world, it’s their ingenuity, friendship and wide-eyed wonder that guides the adventure.

  • Theme: An adventure about a couple of children investigating mysterious happenings in a theme park
  • Development: This develops reading and collaboration through its two-player modes
  • Age rating: PEGI 7
  • Cost: £16.99 on Consoles, Free on Xbox Game Pass
  • Duration: 10-12 hours in total
  • Safety features: Parental controls available on the console

Chariot


Chariot is a co-op platform game where you haul around a wheeled Chariot, to the end of each level. Pushing, pulling or dragging with ropes, you need to use the real physics of the game to solve puzzles and time jumps to get the heavy object to its destinations.

  • Theme: You transport a chariot through caves by pushing and pulling with a partner.
  • Development: This develops problem solving and collaboration through its two-player modes.
  • Age rating: PEGI 3
  • Cost: £11.99-15.99 on Consoles, £9.99 on iOS
  • Duration: 14-15 hours in total
  • Safety features: Parental controls available on the console

Ibb and Obb


Ibb & Obb is a puzzle game where you run, jump, land on enemies and solve momentum puzzles. The novelty is that it’s a game designed for cooperation. One player controls the green creature, Ibb, and the other controls the pink creature, Obb. The world is divided by a horizontal line in the middle which acts as a mirror and the point around which gravity reverses.

  • Theme: You work with a partner to negotiate a complex fantasy world
  • Development: This develops problem solving and collaboration through its two-player modes. It also has timing and momentum management learning
  • Age rating: PEGI 3
  • Cost: £7.99 on Consoles, Free on Playstation Now
  • Duration: 6-9 hours in total
  • Safety features: Parental controls available on the console

Heave Ho


Heave Ho is a game where up to four players try and swing themselves across a level. But you can only hang on to certain points and must dangle and swing with both arms to progress. The twist is that you can also hold hands with other players and make long chains to get across wide gaps. Or you can let go at just the right time to throw each other where you need to be.

  • Theme: You work with up to four other players to swing across levels by hanging onto architecture and each other
  • Development: This develops physical understanding and momentum management. Also teaches clear communication and resilience when you fail
  • Age rating: PEGI 3
  • Cost: £8.99 on Nintendo Switch
  • Duration: 4-5 hours in total
  • Safety features: Parental controls available on the console

Death Squared


Death Squared is a cooperative puzzle game for 1, 2 or 4 players. Together, you solve puzzles by guiding a robot to a colour-coded goal. Getting there requires co-operation and communication as each player’s path has deadly traps and hazards.

  • Theme: You work with up to four other players to solve the complex puzzles and complete each level
  • Development: This develops forward-thinking, teamwork, timing and strategy
  • Age rating: PEGI 3
  • Cost: £11.99 on Consoles, £5.99 on iOS and Android, free with Google Play
  • Duration: 4-5 hours in total
  • Safety features: Parental controls are available on the console
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