Image 220 This database is a unique way to find games for children, teenagers and young adults. Every game is presented for parents and carers to understand, to empower informed choice through understanding.

It provides one page for each game with a jargon-free overview, hand-picked video, official game ratings, in-game spending, how many players and how long it will take to play. At the bottom of each game page, it suggests alternative games of different age ratings.

The database is supported by AskAboutGames that provides parents, carers and guardians with the information they need to get the most out of the games they play. It's also supported by Parent Zone, that provides support and information to parents, children and schools, working globally to help families to navigate the internet safely and confidently. Find out more about our supporters and how you can get involved.

Featured Games

Each week we feature games. These are favourite Editor’s Choice picks by our family video game experts as well as Sponsored games from publishers we are working with.

Game image Drink More GlurpEditor's Choice

Drink More Glurp

PEGI Rating 3+ for Drink More GlurpESRB Rating EVERYONE 10+ for Drink More Glurp
Game image Thousand ThreadsEditor's Choice

Thousand Threads

Game image Boomerang FuEditor's Choice

Boomerang Fu

PEGI Rating 3+ for Boomerang FuESRB Rating EVERYONE 10+ for Boomerang Fu
Game image WildfireSponsored

Wildfire

Game image TownscraperEditor's Choice

Townscraper

 

What We're Playing

We have 646 games in our suggestions library to date. Each one has been hand-picked and tested with multiple families over long periods of time. We add and update games in the library through our continued testing with families. Here is what we've been testing recently:

 

New Releases

The following games have just come out. While we continue to add games new and old to the database, these are the ones the press will be reviewing and talking about right now:

 

Find Amazing Games

This video game library is organised around a huge long list of lists. These are the different types of games that families or groups have asked me for over the years. You can also search for a specific game, or check through all the games in the library arranged by PEGI rating. Here are the lastest lists we've added:

Your First Video Game

These games are perfect if you’ve never played one before, opening the door to the gaming world for non-gaming parents and carers. They are short, straightforward and easy to understand, so you don’t need to commit hours to learn to play them, and they are played on technology you probably already have in your pocket or in your home. They address mature themes such as love, hope, power, homelessness and even traffic planning by inviting you to interact and play a part in these worlds and stories.

We've found that it's not just parents who have enjoyed the way these games let them in on the world of gaming, but grandparents, uncles and aunts. In fact it's a great list for anyone who's never played a game and wants to know what all the fuss is about.
 

Barclay's Staycation Games

Image 225Barclays have put together a brilliant list of games it thinks are perfect to play at home with family, online with friends, or solo for some well deserved me-time. "So get comfy, reserve some time for yourself, and play some games."

It's a great list with something for everyone in the family and plenty of games you can play together as a family. If you want more lists of games to try you can visit the list of lists page that outlines a wide range of themes and categories, or visit AskAboutGames for advice on setting up technology with sensible limits.
 

Get Children Reading

Image 221We have partnered with the National Literacy Trust to create this resource of video games that encourage and enable reading and writing skills.

The National Literacy Trust is a charity dedicated to improving the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of children and young people who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life.

Video games have significant benefits for children who are reluctant or struggling readers. They give them access to stories through interaction and world building which they may not have been able to read in print. Video games also have benefits for families where parents may not be confident readers, meaning that sharing stories as a family is still accessible to all. The rise of video games on smartphones and tablets, as well as more affordable game consoles has made the sharing of interactive stories easier.

Image 222There are different ways that video games create this kind of collateral reading and aid literacy:
  • Reading In Games: Video games offer all sorts of reading at all levels. This can be from simple narrative in a game like Florence to dialogue in a game like Mutazione or even just identifying useful items and game mechanics with in-game descriptions in a game like Zelda Breath of the Wild. Then there are games like Thousand Threads that help players think about the power and the consequence of words.
  • Reading Around Games: Video games create worlds that often spawn secondary texts. This can be official novels that expand the world or guide books that offer instructions and help. Knights and Bikes, for example, has spin off books, a cartoon series and recipes to read.
  • Routes Into Books: Many popular book series, such as Beast Quest, offer a range of video games as an easy first step into those worlds that lead to then reading the books themselves.
  • Communication Around Games: As well as reading, games encourage all sorts of creative output. This can be to contribute to the many online forums and message boards to talk about the game. This can also be to write fan-fiction after being inspired about a game world or character. The Sims, for example, has an avid community writing and creating all kinds of content online.
 

Persevere After Losing

Video games where you adventure into a harsh setting, try your hardest to survive and slowly develop your abilities but then inevitably die are often called Rogue-likes. This is because one of the first games that offered this style of play was called Rogue.

These are interesting games for families, not only because their difficult nature leads to shorter sessions, but also because they foster perseverance and coping with losing. After dying you are sent back to some sort of central village where you can choose upgrades for your next attempt. The incentive to play again once you have been killed is usually that you start with some more equipment or skills.

In this way, by belligerence and a slowly learned understanding of how the game world works and how best to survive, you incrementally get a bit further each time you play. Here are some really good roguelike games for families:
 

Motion Plus Wii Games

The Wii created a new genre of motion-controlled video games. But it's initially Wii Remote controller was a little limited. Nintendo shortly brought out addition that added more one-to-one detection of movement: Motion Plus.

You could purchase the Motion Plus block and plug it into existing Wii Remote controllers, or purchase updated Wii Remote controllers that included Motion Plus. These newer controllers are indicated by the Motion Plus nomenclature on the bottom. This nuanced motion-controlled continued on to the Wii U in games that used the Wii Remote controls and needed extra fidelity for the player.

Wii U Party minigames, Nintendo Land, Table Tennis and Archery in Wii Sports Resort as well as the exploration and combat in Zelda Skyward Sword each stand out as really good use of this extended Motion Plus controls.
 

Remote Play Together With Steam

Some games are designed with online play. For those that only have local multiplayer, you can use a feature on Steam called Steam Remote Play Together to play these games with a friend in another place as if they were sat next to you. You can use online chat pass the controls back and forth or each control different players to co-operate or compete.

Not all games support these feature but for those that do, listed here, all you need is one copy of the game for the two of you, an account on Steam and a PC to play on in your separate locations and a good internet connection.

You can also use the Steam Remote Play Anywhere feature to stream your games from you PC to another device like a smartphone or tablet. This enables you to play in a different room of the house or on the go.
 

Know Your Body

Video games offer an opportunity to inhabit another body. Whether we step into the powerful frame of a trained marksman or brave adventurer, while we play we have a different sense of our physicality.

This is not only an enjoyable way to escape the reality of daily life but a chance to reflect on and understand ourselves, and our bodies, better. Stepping into the shoes of a vulnerable, small or endangered character can help us understand for a short while some of what it is like to be someone else.

Whether this is into the awkward teenage years of Mord and Ben in Wide Ocean Big Jacket, the grandparent-escaping Tiger and Bee in Kissy Kissy, the fractured heartbroken body in Gris or the haphazard movement of Octodad we have a chance to reassess our own physicality and how we respond to and treat other people's physicality.

More specifically, to use body therapy language, games offer us a chance to discover the inviolability of our bodies, personal autonomy, self-ownership, and self-determination. In travel, as Andrew Soloman says, we go somewhere else to see properly the place where we have come from. In video games, we step into other bodies so we can better understand our own and those of the people around us.
 

Survive The Night

Surviving in games is often a key element. Some games, however, make it the main focus. With minimal resources and little light can you make it through to the morning? Can you prepare a shelter as the daylight dwindles in time for you to cope with the lurking creatures of the dark?

Whether this is as simple as closing the door to keep the zombies out in Minecraft or as complex as crafting food, clothing and medicine to cope with the freezing blackness of The Long Dark these games are exhilarating as they pose a strategic puzzle with personal consequences.

Many of these games offer an open world in which to survive, which opens up more ways of preparing for and then making it through the night time. This, of course, leads to another day where you need to spend time and resources wisely while exploring your surroundings.
 

Make Your Own Video Games

It can seem like making a video-games is only possible with a degree and lots of complicated equipment. The games on this list let you design and share your own levels just using your controller and tools like Scratch.

Image 174You can unleash your creativity with these games that enable you to make your own games. Start with something familiar and try making your own levels in Mario Maker or get to grips with building in Minecraft. Build your confidence and creativity and soon you’ll be creating more complicated games in Dreams or LittleBigPlanet.

We put this list together with the help of the brilliant National Videogame Museum, (NVM). The World's First Fully-Playable Cultural Centre Dedicated to Games. If you want more information about making your own videogames, the NVM has free resources to get you started.
 


Image 210 Image 187 Image 217 Thanks for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.

The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.