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Mechanical Challenge Games for 9 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 96 games from the last 33 years, with 930 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: 930
 

 

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...

Phantom Abyss

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 21/06/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform, Puzzle and Sports

Developer: Phantom Abyss (@PhantomAbyss)

Players: This is a single-player game

Phantom Abyss is a running and jumping game where you charge through temples to get to the exit. Your only tool is a whip that interacts with objects and can propel you forward. Along the way are numerous traps and difficult jumps to avoid. There are...

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...

Get To The Orange Door

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/05/2019

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Developer: Hitcents (@Hitcents)

Players: This is a single-player game

Get To The Orange Door (GTTOD) is a platform game where you run, jump and shoot your way through minimalist levels. Movement is parkour in nature, meaning that you use architecture, street furniture and other objects to get an advantage when getting...

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.

Drink More Glurp

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 06/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Simulation and Sports

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Catastrophic OL (@Catastrophic_OL)

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

Drink More Glurp is a wacky sports game where you take turns to play athletic challenges. The twist is that you have to control your over-long arms with a separate joystick and your body is a wheel you can roll along on if you lift your arms right up....

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...

Rocket League

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/08/2018

Price: Free

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

Genres: Action and Sports

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: Psyonix Studios (@PsyonixStudios)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 8-player online game

Drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It’s another game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What’s not obvious from the start is the level of control that...

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...

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...

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...

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

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.

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...

Karlson

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: Dani Dev YT (@DaniDevYT)

Players: This is a single-player game

Karlson is a platform game where you take on shooting, running and jumping challenges to complete the level by getting to the tongue-in-cheek Milk prize. The focus is on skilled movement and precision shooting. As you fight your way out of the facility,...

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,...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Solar Ash

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 02/12/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

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

Developer: Heart Machine Z (@HeartMachineZ)

Players: This is a single-player game

Solar Ash is a running and jumping game with a strong focus on fluidity of movement and combat. You play Rei, who is trying to reclaim her homeland. You swing and float your way through a vivid, surreal landscape filled with enemies of all shapes and...

World of Tanks

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 12/08/2010, updated in 2021

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: World Of Tanks EU (@WorldOfTanksEU)

Players: You can play this by yourself or as a 30-player online game

World of Tanks is a multiplayer tank simulation shooting game. You control a tank in a war zone and try and destroy enemy tanks in online matches in a race for supremacy and points. The scale and strategy of the battles recreates a realistic theatre of...

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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