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Mechanical Challenge Games for 15 to 17 Year-Olds

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 14 games from the last 25 years, with 300 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, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports and Strategy
Total Likes: 300
 

 

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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.

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...

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.

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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