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Motion Controls Better Than Joysticks Games Rated PEGI 16 and Younger

Growing up playing video games has taught us that controllers with two sticks are a good way to move around a game. One controls looking and the other controls movement. Or maybe you prefer a mouse and keyboard?

However, the prevalence of these somewhat awkward schemes (similar to the prevalent but inefficient QUERTY keyboard layout) means that motion controls are often overlooked. This was made worse when the Wii failed to offer many high-end games and made motion synonymous with kid’s games.

The reality of well-implemented motion controls for aiming can make a profound difference to how approachable and accessible the experience is -- especially if two sticks don’t work for you or are unfamiliar.

We’ve worked with Jibb Smart on this list of games that offer motion controls that work as a viable (and often enhanced) replacement for stick control. He is pioneering well-executed motion controls and has created open-source tools JoyShockLibrary and JoyShockMapper to help explore the potential offered by the gyroscopes in these controllers. His website GyroWiki teaches developers how to implement these features well. In this list, we highlight games that put motion controls to good use in a way that is effective and well-executed.

Much of Jibb’s work focuses on the potential of gyro aiming. “It replaces the mouse with gyro controls. And since mouse control is a core pillar of PC gaming, it bridges a significant gap between PC and console players.” But motion controls is a very broad category. It’s worth breaking it down into more specific types of control that can help players in different ways:

  • Motion Aiming: Can use small movements of the gamepad to fine-tune aiming or as the main aiming mechanism. This is sometimes known as Gyro-Aiming. Games like The Last of Us Part II and Rogue Company provide this ability to replace one of the sticks or mouse with gyro controls. This usually requires the ability to calibrate these controls to taste. Search database for Motion Aiming games.
  • Motion Pointing: Can use the direction of the gamepad to move a cursor-target around the screen like a mouse. Games like Ghost Squad, World of Goo and Boom Blox use this to offer a light-gun experience. Search database for Motion Pointing games.
  • Motion Tilting: Can use movements of the gamepad to replace steering or left/right movement with sticks. Games like Forza, Mario Kart and Wipeout offer this to enable you to steer left or right by tilting the controller. Search database for Motion Tilting games.
  • Motion Gesture: Can motion with the controller to direct an in-game action. This can be a nuanced one-to-one motion for analogue sword (Zelda Skyward Sword) or bat movement (Wii Sports Resort). It can also be a simple shake to trigger a one-off action, like in Super Mario Galaxy. Search database for Motion Gesture games.
  • Flick Stick: Enables you control the direction you are facing in a game by pressing the controller stick in that direction, rather than a left or right relative motion. Once you are facing a direction, rotating the stick moves the camera by the same degree. The result is a quicker and simpler way to control your orientation in a game world.

This list includes 16 games from the last 30 years, with 997 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to use motion controls rather than sticks.

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DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports and Stealth
Total Likes: 997
 

 

Boomerang X

Release Date: 08/07/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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...

Astro's Playroom

Release Date: 19/11/2020

Platforms: PS5

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Astro's Playroom is a running and jumping game that launched with the PlayStation 5. It not only showcases the PS5's new DualSense controller but offers a loveable adventure with novel interactions and considerable substance.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Series)

Release Date: 27/08/1992, updated in 2018

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Mario Kart is a go-kart racing game on Nintendo systems. You race against other Nintendo characters around different circuits, picking up power ups, attacks and speed boosts. It is frantic and chaotic, but still requires skills to do well at.

Go Vacation

Release Date: 01/10/2011, updated in 2018

Platforms: Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

This is a resort exploration game where 50 mini-games can be discovered and played. The mini-golf, skating, surfing, volleyball, car racing, tennis and other games use the Wii and Switch motion-sensitive controllers and are simple fun for youngsters....

Wii Sports (Series)

Release Date: 08/02/2006, updated in 2014

Platforms: Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports Club offer motion-controlled sports. Although these games are well known, the depth each of them offer is a best-kept secret. Games like bowling, tennis and boxing are easy to pick up but require considerable...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

This game departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and the passage of the sun and moon...

World of Goo

Release Date: 13/10/2008, updated in 2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Wii, Wii U and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

World of Goo is a puzzle game where you use balls of goo to create bridges that span increasingly large chasms and obstacles. The game simulates real-world physics to determine if structures are strong enough and when they collapse. This means that...

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Release Date: 23/11/2011, updated in 2021

Platforms: Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an adventure game in the Zelda series. You play Link and navigate the floating island of Skyloft before diving down to the land below it. While the island locations and flight drew from Wind Waker, the combat and...

Splatoon 3 (Series)

Release Date: 21/07/2017, updated in 2022

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Splatoon on the Wii U, Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3 on the Switch are games where you shoot ink rather than bullets in this deeply skilled combat game. As well as taking out opponents, teams work together to cover the arena with their colour of ink. This...

Fortnite

Release Date: 25/07/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Fortnite (sometimes misspelled Fortnight) rose to popularity via its Battle Royale mode where 100 players fight against each other in online battles to the death. While they play, using shooting, evasion and building skills to survive, a storm is...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Release Date: 11/12/2020

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

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. When Alba visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island, she is excited for a summer of exploring with her friend Ines. But when...

Rogue Company

Release Date: 30/06/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Rogue Company is an online shooting game where players compete in teams to win rounds. You play as one of the elite agents of Rogue Company, each with their own individual set of skills, and go to war in a variety of different game modes.

Gravity Rush

Release Date: 09/02/2012, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS Vita and PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Gravity Rush is a running, jumping and exploration adventure game. You play as Kat, an amnesiac with the power to manipulate gravity. She uses this ability to help her community and uncover the mystery of her past.

Arms

Release Date: 16/06/2017

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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...

Enter The Gungeon

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

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

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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...

Wii Music

Release Date: 20/01/2008

Platforms: Wii

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Wii Music is a rhythm-music game where you use Wii Remote motion controller to play different instruments. Unlike other music games, here you collaborate on playing arrangements of existing songs. The result is a super-approachable music game that's...

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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