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Mechanical Challenge Games for 8 to 10 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 75 games from the last 41 years, with 461 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 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to M
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 461
 

 

Mario Strikers Battle League

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/06/2022

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Action, Fighting and Sports

Accessibility: 9 features

Developer: Next Level Games (@NextLevelGames)

Players: You can play with 1 to 8 players in the same room or as a 8-player online game

Mario Strikers: Battle League Football is the latest game in the Mario Strikers series. Like the previous games it offers a five-on-five battle sport that combines football and ice hockey with Nintendo characters. It...

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.

Just Shapes & Beats

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 21/06/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia and Switch

Genres: Action, Rhythm and Simulation

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Shapes N Beats (@ShapesNBeats)

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

Just Shapes & Beats is a two player rhythm game where you dodge bullets in time with the music. As well as this unusual premise, play extends the novelty as you have to both avoid the various shapes and move to the Beats. It’s a new spin on the shoot...

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.

Geometry Dash

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 13/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Genres: Creative, Platform and Rhythm

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Rob Top Games (@RobTopGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Geometry Dash is a running, jumping game. It features over 20 stages where you play as a customisable small cube, which you used to dodge 2D obstacles to the rhythm of electronic music using a single button to control the cube. If you hit any of the...

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....

Fancade

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 4-10 year-olds

Release Date: 30/04/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Puzzle, Race and Shooting

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Martin Magni (@MartinMagni)

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

Fancade is a collection of simple games played on smartphones. It offers simple running, jumping, puzzle, shooting challenges depicted with simple pixel visuals. Like Roblox, these offer simple versions of other commercial games. Unlike Roblox, these...

Bonkies

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 29/01/2021

Price: 70% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Bonkie Corp (@BonkieCorp)

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

Bonkies is a co-operative building game where you construct buildings from different blocks. With a jetpack and a grab-arm you work with other players to manoeuvre the blocks into place. It starts quite simply but soon gets everyone shouting.

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...

Tren (Dreams)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-11 year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Price: Free

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Johnee B (@Johnee_B)

Players: This is a single-player game

Tren is a puzzle platform game where you explore a hand-crafted world as a wooden train, sailing boats and helicopters. You control points, shunt trucks around, operate cranes and generally move cargo from one location to the next. Like an escape room...

Super Monkey Ball (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/06/2001, updated in 2021

Price: 55% off

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Genres: Physically Active, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Super Monkey Ball (@SuperMonkeyBall)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room

Super Monkey Ball is a rolling and balancing game where you tilt platforms to control the path of a hamster ball containing a monkey. The peculiar premise is matched with accurate challenging gameplay and some great multiplayer modes (like Monkey...

Switch Sports

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 29/04/2022

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Action, Fighting, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

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

Nintendo Switch Sports, is the latest version of Wii Sports. It brings the classic motion sports game up to date with new sports and ways to play. You can compete in six sports, including Tennis, Volleyball, Golf, Football and Bowling. The novelty, as...

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...

Lawn Mowing Simulator

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/08/2021

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

Genres: Action, Creative, Platform and Simulation

Developer: Skyhook Games (@SkyhookGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Lawn Mowing Simulator is an adventure game where you ride an authentic and expansive roster of lawnmowers. The novelty is a combination of absolute control over lawn care and weed eradication. This is extended beyond a brief distraction by the inclusion...

Rolando

Skill Rating: 4-10 year-olds

Release Date: 03/04/2019

Platforms: Mac and iOS

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Hand Circus (@HandCircus)

Players: This is a single-player game

Rolando is a puzzle-adventure game where you control the ball-like Rolandos. You direct the collection of creatures through levels by tilting the device and interacting with elements like conveyor belts and elevators via the touch screen. It's a lovely...

Bonito Days

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-12 year-olds

Release Date: 14/10/2021

Platforms: Switch

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

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Std Somewhere (@StdSomewhere)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room

Bonito Days is a pastel-retro rolling, jumping and gliding game. You roll down a slope to launch yourself into the air and then glide around before landing. It's a simple challenge that combines with the breezy summer aesthetic with lite touch...

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...

One Hand Clapping

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/07/2020

Price: 20% off

Platforms: Stadia and Switch

Genres: Platform, Puzzle and Rhythm

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Bad Dream Games (@BadDreamGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

One Hand Clapping is a running and jumping game where you sing into a microphone to interact with the world. The game acknowledges how challenging this idea may be, and gently leads you into using your voice to create platforms, adjust the wind and...

Aurascope

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Aurascope Game (@AurascopeGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

Aurascope is a retro running and jumping game that combines elements from other genres. The platform action is central but you also have a lot of collecting and exploration to do. As much as the gameplay, the game stands out for its fast skill-based...

Stonefly

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7-12 year-olds

Release Date: 02/06/2021

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

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

Developer: Flight School HQ (@FlightSchoolHQ)

Players: This is a single-player game

Stonefly is a tranquil adventure game where you play the pilot of insect-like mechanical craft. Tiny and living in an outsized world, you use your vehicle to harness the wind and explore the wilderness. As you meet inhabitants, collect resources and...

Grapple Dog

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/02/2022

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: Jo Gribbin (@JoGribbin)

Players: This is a single-player game

Grapple Dog is a platform game where you play a pixel dog with the ability to grapple onto surfaces to swing and jump around a level. You can extend the length of the rope for a longer swing. In this way you take on puzzles, enemies and various...

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...

Eggggg

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 04/02/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Platform

Developer: Hyper Games (@HyperGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Eggggg is a silly platform game where you can fly by vomiting in the opposite direction. You play Gilbert who has an extreme egg allergy. Eating them makes him vomit like a fountain which you can use as a special power.

Fingle

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9-12 year-olds

Release Date: 21/12/2011, updated in 2016

Price: Free

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Action, Physically Active and Puzzle

Developer: Adriaande Jongh (@AdriaandeJongh)

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

Fingle is a Twister-style physical puzzle game played on a smartphone or tablet screen with your fingers rather than limbs. Like the popular tangley board game, it plays to this physical interaction with other players. "Explore the intimate touch of...

OlliOlli World (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/01/2014, updated in 2022

Price: 34% off

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

Genres: Action, Platform, Simulation and Sports

Developer: Roll 7 (@Roll_7)

Players: This is a single-player game

OlliOlli World is a skateboarding game where you roll, jump and trick your way around the vibrant world of Radlandia. It's hard to start, but once it clicks the controls are designed to let you flow through different moves. You meet colourful characters...

Rez Infinite (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 11/01/2002, updated in 2020

Price: 50% off

Platforms: Android, Oculus, PC, PS2, PS4 and Xbox 360

Genres: Physically Active, Rhythm and Shooting

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Mizuguchitter (@Mizuguchitter)

Players: This is a single-player game

Rez is a shooting game where you fire musical energy rather than bullets. As you guide a figure through the darkness of space you bring down enemies in time with the music. Rez is novel for its use of music and vibration feedback to create a sense of...

Rog & Roll

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Clayzulah (@Clayzulah)

Players: This is a single-player game

Rog and Roll is a running and jumping game where you fight enemies and avoid traps. Unusually, you play a former henchman on a quest to save his friends from re-emerging tyranny. It features retro-inspired graphics and a humorous story where characters...

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,...

Twilight Drive

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 16/06/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Race

Accessibility: 33 features

Developer: Epony Mouse Com (@EponyMouse_Com)

Players: This is a single-player game

Twilight Drive is a racing game where you turbo, drift, and use a grappling hook to turn corners and get fast lap times. Along with racing your own times, an on-line leaderboard lets you compete with friends and family. It's a cross between Micro...

VVVVVV

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 11/01/2010, updated in 2017

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Web and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Terry Cavanagh (@TerryCavanagh)

Players: This is a single-player game

VVVVVV is a running and jumping game, without the jumping. Not having the ability to jump may seem like a disadvantage, but instead you can flip gravity to get around the various rooms of the abandoned space station. It looks like a 1980's game for the...

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...

Away: The Survival Series

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/09/2021

Price: 60% off

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Strategy

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Breaking Walls Co (@BreakingWallsCo)

Players: This is a single-player game

Away: The Survival Series is an open world narrative game about wildlife. It's a bit like playing inside a nature documentary. You explore, glide between the treetops, fight predators and find food on an island that has survived after a cataclysmic...

Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/04/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Physically Active, Puzzle and Strategy

Developer: Resolution Game (@ResolutionGame)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room

Cook-Out is a strategy game where you are preparing food in a restaurant kitchen. Like Overcooked, you need to make the different dishes, wash up and serve customers. Unliked Overcooked, you aren't pressing buttons but performing the cutting, brushing,...

Defunct

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 29/01/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Open World, Platform, Race and Simulation

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: FS Game Studio (@FSGameStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Defunct is an adventure game where you race through a post-human landscape. You play an old, broken racing robot with little propulsion left. However, by using the landscape and varying your gravitation pull you learn how to speed through the world....

Deru - The Art of Cooperation

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/11/2018

Price: 70% off

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Ink Kit Studio (@InkKitStudio)

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

Deru is a cooperative puzzle game about the flow and interaction of colour. Its stylised design hides within it complex conundrums you must work closely together to solve. Each of the two players can only touch streams of their colour, so must carefully...

Donkey Kong

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/1981, updated in 2015

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

Genres: Action and Platform

Players: This is a single-player game

Donkey Kong is a series of running and jumping games where you play Mario, who navigates a single screen to rescue the princess. It was the start of the platform game genre and although is now dated, can still be played on a wide range of systems.

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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