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Mechanical Challenge Games for 13 Year-Olds and Over

Games offer us challenges on many levels. When someone plays a game too much it’s easy to think they are taking an easy route to something entertaining, like junk food. But video games are generally hard work. It takes time to understand their systems, mechanics, objectives and worlds.

There are a small group of games that hone this challenge down to the mechanics of moving around the environment. Whereas many games simplify getting around, these games make the complexity and depth of their movement systems part of the joy of playing them.

Rather than relying on the stats of your character or player, you have to execute the moves yourself with timing proficiency and instinct. Rather than offering assistance, these games leave you to it. Whether you rise through the league tables, or just improve compared to your family, the satisfaction or getting to grips with something so monumentally challenging is really satisfying.

This might be understanding how the propulsion of your car lets you take to the air and hit a perfect shot in Rocket League. Or, perhaps, it’s using the limited running and jumping slightly better than other players to get a win in Fall Guys. Maybe it’s learning the perfect combination of angles and trajectories in Videoball. Or it could be learning the complex move lists in a game like Street Fighter.

These games all have in common, a complex control system that can be put to use in imaginative and creative ways to get the edge over your opponents.

This list includes 36 games from the last 33 years, with 544 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to combine dexterity and instincts.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 544
 

 

Boomerang X

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-15 year-olds

Release Date: 08/07/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 37 features

Developer: Video Dang (@VideoDang)

Players: This is a single-player game

Boomerang X is a shooting platform game where you explore worlds and fight enemies with a boomerang-like shuriken weapon. Unusually, you can warp to your boomerang once thrown meaning you can slice, fly, and blast through arenas swarming with evil...

Elden Ring

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 25/02/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Elden Ring (@EldenRing)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

Elden Ring is a role-play game set in a fictional world created by fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin, with a focus on combat similar to Demon's Souls and an open world with real time and weather like Zelda Breath of the Wild.

Lonely Mountains Downhill

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 22/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Race and Sports

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Megagon inds (@Megagon_inds)

Players: This is a single-player game

Race down a mountain on a bike. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash all the way from the peak to the valley. You choose your route to find the fastest way to the finish line.

Osu!

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12-16 year-olds

Release Date: 16/09/2007, updated in 2021

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Action and Rhythm

Developer: Ppy (@Ppy)

Players: This is a single-player game

Osu is a rhythm action game where you tap the screen in time to the music similar to the Elite Beat Agents games. This starts as a simple challenge but develops in speed and complexity. At higher levels the games is an esport with people competing to...

Teardown

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 29/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 6 features

Developer: Tuxedo Labs (@TuxedoLabs)

Players: This is a single-player game

Teardown is a strategic game where you plan and execute a heist in a fully destructible environments. Your objective is to claim the key cards that are hidden around the map. However taking one triggers the alarm, giving you only sixty seconds before...

Dead Cells

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12-14 year-olds

Release Date: 10/05/2017, updated in 2018

Price: 40% off

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting, Platform and Role-Play

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Deep Night Fr (@DeepNightFr)

Players: This is a single-player game

Dead Cells is a running, jumping and fighting game where you are escaping a prison. In a bright pixelated world you must accurately time attacks and dodges to defeat a wide range of enemies. It's intentionally hard, and you will die a lot. But each time...

The Long Dark

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/09/2014

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Play and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Hinterland Games (@HinterlandGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body...

Everyday Shooter

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-13 year-olds

Release Date: 14/02/2008

Platforms: PC, PS Vita and PS3

Genres: Action and Shooting

Developer: Mango Lychee (@Mango_Lychee)

Players: This is a single-player game

Everyday Shooter is a collection of shooting games presented as a music album. The shooting action is familiar but here the dissolute sounds of destruction are replaced with guitar riffs harmonizing over the soundtrack. The visuals join in the...

Forza Horizon 5 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-18 year-olds

Release Date: 05/11/2021

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World, Race, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 47 features

Developer: We Are Playground (@WeArePlayground)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 72-player online game

Forza Horizon 5 is a fast-paced racing game where you drive all manner of different vehicles in races and across the vast open landscape. Building on Forza Horizon 4, this fifth entry to the series is set in Mexico,...

BedWars

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 19/01/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World, Platform and Strategy

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Blockman Go (@BlockmanGo)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 16-player online game

Bed Wars is a game played on Minecraft servers. It's a game similar to the official Minecraft minigames but created by independent developers.

Skyblock

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Genres: Creative, Fighting, Platform and Strategy

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: Sky Block Server (@SkyBlockServer)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 5-player online game

Skyblock is a game played on Minecraft servers where you start on a bare island floating in the sky and must gather resources to thrive and reach other players. It's the Minecraft equivalent to being washed up on a desert island and is hugely popular....

Sifu

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/02/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Fighting, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: Slo Clap (@SloClap)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sifu is a martial arts fighting game with a flowing control system and ageing protagonist. You fight with Kung-Fu combat designed with impact and authenticity in mind.

Knockout City

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 21/05/2021

Price: Free

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Fighting and Sports

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Velan Ventures (@VelanVentures)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 8-player online game

Knockout City is a futuristic sports game were rival crews take on dodgeball style battles. It combines arena battles with projectile combat. With the focus on the ball as much as the other players, this brings more strategy and a great emphasis on...

Super Mario Sunshine

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 26/08/2002, updated in 2020

Platforms: Switch and Wii

Genres: Action, Open World, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single-player game

Super Mario Sunshine is a running, jumping and water-shooting game. It follows Super Mario 64 as the second 3D Mario game. You play Mario, who is marooned on Isle Delfin, convicted of vandalism and graphite. You explore the island to visit other...

Bioshock Infinite

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/03/2013, updated in 2020

Price: 60% off

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Role-Play and Shooting

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Ghost Story Games (@GhostStoryGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Bioshock Infinite is an adventure shooting game. Although the story is unconnected to the previous games in the series, it raises similar themes of dictatorship communities and alternative to capitalistic society. It's another nuanced and complex story...

Dance Central 3 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10-15 year-olds

Release Date: 04/11/2010

Platforms: Oculus, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Physically Active, Rhythm and Sports

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Harmonix (@Harmonix)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room or as a 4-player online game

Dance Central is a dancing rhythm game you play by moving your body in front of the Xbox Kinect camera. The focus on full body movement celebrates accurate, well-timed and energetic moves. As opposed to Just Dance's rough choreography, Dance Central...

I Am Alive

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/03/2012, updated in 2013

Platforms: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Simulation

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: This is a single-player game

I Am Alive is an action adventure in a post apocalyptic future where an event has reduced cities to rubble. You traverse the country to find your wife and child. It draws on end of humanity fiction like The Road, and stands out for its commitment to...

Arms

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 9-14 year-olds

Release Date: 16/06/2017

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Action and Fighting

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 4-player online game

Arms is a fighting game where you brawl other players with your abnormally long arms. The play is simple with motion and button controls to move around and attack the enemy player in a boxing-style arena. It's like Wii-Sports Boxing but with many more...

Cyber Shadow

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 26/01/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Meka Skull (@MekaSkull)

Players: This is a single-player game

Cyber Shadow is a retro running and jumping game where you defeat enemies and dodge obstacles. It combines classic 90's platforming games with modern controls and checkpoints that make it more enjoyable and approachable. Dodge and attack midair to...

Rainbow Islands

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/1989, updated in 2009

Platforms: PS2 and Xbox

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Taito (@Taito)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 is a running and jumping game where you play a character who can create rainbows to traverse levels and attack enemies. The game followed up Taito's hit Bubble Bobble from the previous year. As well as...

Rocket League Sideswipe

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-14 year-olds

Release Date: 29/11/2021

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Race, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Psyonix Studios (@PsyonixStudios)

Players: This is a single-player game

Rocket League Sideswipe is a competitive sport where you drive a car and aim to put a large ball in the goal. It's the mobile/smartphone version of the popular Rocket League esports game. Unlike the main game it is played in two dimensions, but still,...

Aaero

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 11/04/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Rhythm and Shooting

Accessibility: 10 features

Developer: Mad Fellows Games (@MadFellowsGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Aaero is a rhythm game where you control a spacecraft with one stick and target with the other. At times it's like flying an X-Wing on a trench run while at others it's like soaring high and free targeting enemies in a Starfox game. It's an on-rails...

Everybody's Golf (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-16 year-olds

Release Date: 17/07/1997, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Physically Active, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Hanz en (@Hanz_en)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 20-player online game

Everybody's Golf is a series of golf games that create a detailed, gentle electronic version of the game. Although there are cartoon characters the focus is on realism and positive encouragement as you make your way around the various courses. The...

Tetris Effect: Connected

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7-16 year-olds

Release Date: 09/11/2018, updated in 2021

Price: 50% off

Platforms: Oculus, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Puzzle and Rhythm

Developer: Mizuguchitter (@Mizuguchitter)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 4-player online game

Tetris Effect is a tile-matching puzzle game (just like the original Tetris) but with a surprisingly powerful aesthetic twist. The game places each level in a themed area and ties gameplay to the beat of the music across its thirty different stages.

The Ramp

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 03/08/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Platform and Sports

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Hyperparadise (@__Hyperparadise)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Ramp is a relaxed skating game where you perform stunts, jumps and flips with no timers, penalties scores or objectives. It's this simplicity that, along with its deep-yet-simple controls and laidback soundtrack, make it a uniquely calm and...

Zip Zap

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 26/09/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: This is a single-player game

Zip Zap is a puzzle game with a simple premise. You move Erector/Meccano-style metal plates to get a ball in a white circle for at least a couple of seconds. It sounds simple. It is simple, although actually, it soon becomes head scratching to get the...

Dead Containment

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/11/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action and Shooting

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Grump Dog Games (@GrumpDogGames)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 2-player online game

Dead Containment is a shooting game where you only control the aiming. It's inspired by on-rails shooting games found in 90's arcades, played with light guns. You use your weapons to fend off the undead as they race towards you in city locations.

Enter The Gungeon

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-15 year-olds

Release Date: 05/04/2016, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Dodge Roll Games (@DodgeRollGames)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Enter the Gungeon is a shooting game where you use one stick for running around and the other to aim. These twin-stick controls combine with loads of enemy bullets to dodge to create a tough challenge. You play four adventurers descending into the...

Battle Princess Madelyn

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/12/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Platform and Traversal

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Real Monster Bath (@RealMonsterBath)

Players: This is a single-player game

Battle Princess Madelyn is a running and jumping game where you defeat hordes of enemies like the classic arcade game Ghosts 'n' Goblins. It's similarly fast-paced and difficult, here though you have to pick your way through labyrinthine levels, and use...

Get Hi

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9-13 year-olds

Release Date: 22/05/2015, updated in 2021

Price: Free

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: This is a single-player game

Get Hi is an action puzzle game where you try and flick a ball up a series of tilting platforms. Touch the screen to tilt them one way, release to tilt them the other. All the platforms move together to keep it simple, but if the ball falls more than a...

I Wanna Maker

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 13/02/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: I Wanna Maker Game (@IWannaMakerGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

I Wanna Maker is a running and jumping game where you create unique levels and share them with other players. With over 1000 levels to play, all made by different people across the world, it offers a fresh platforming challenge with a wide range of...

Katana Zero

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/04/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: Askiisoft (@Askiisoft)

Players: This is a single-player game

Katana Zero is a noir-styled fighting game where you are a samurai assassin. At (literally) breakneck speed you slash, dash and jump your way through side-on missions. The twist is if you die the game rewinds time and you try that loop again.

Lovely Planet (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-13 year-olds

Release Date: 31/07/2014, updated in 2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Platform, Shooting and Traversal

Developer: Quick Tequila (@QuickTequila)

Players: This is a single-player game

Lovely Planet is a shooting game which focuses on athletic flow and accuracy rather than headshots and gore. You jump and shoot your way through five worlds full of treacherous enemies with your trusty pop-gun. It's an unusual, almost balletic, shooting...

Nuclear Blaze

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-13 year-olds

Release Date: 18/10/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Platform, Shooting and Simulation

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Deep Night Fr (@DeepNightFr)

Players: This is a single-player game

Nuclear Blaze is a running, jumping and fire extinguishing game from the same developer as Dead Cells. You put out fires and dodge explosions, debris and fiery chasms. Along with its uniquely intricate levels, there are...

Rain World: Downpour

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/03/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Genres: Action, Open World, Platform, Simulation and Stealth

Developer: Videocult Media (@VideocultMedia)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 4-player online game

Rain World, and the expansion Downpour, are traversal and survival games where you play a half cat, half slug in a living breathing world. You must venture out and brave the other predatory creatures to find food before the rain comes and you have to...

Vampire Survivors

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12-14 year-olds

Release Date: 17/12/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Fighting, Shooting and Traversal

Developer: Poncle Soft (@Poncle_Soft)

Players: This is a single-player game

Vampire Survivors is a simple silly survival game where you battle to stay alive against waves of enemies. The twist is that you can only control your movement, not your attacks. This creates an unusual game where you must use your automatic attacks to...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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