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Mechanical Challenge Games for 12-year-olds (Year 8 Secondary School)

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 73 games from the last 33 years, with 631 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 MA 15+
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: 631
 

 

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...

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...

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...

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....

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.

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Donut Dodo

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 02/02/2022

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Pixel Games (@PixelGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Donut Dodo is an old fashioned running and jumping game. Like games from the 80s arcades it's intentionally hard and requires practice (and dying a lot) to master. You play a Baker who has to run, jump, and climb to collect all donuts in each level as...

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...

Fossil Echo

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/07/2016

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Narrative, Platform, Puzzle and Stealth

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Awaceb (@Awaceb)

Players: This is a single-player game

Fossil Echo is a short running and jumping game about a young boy's mistake and subsequent climb of a giant tower in the middle of the sea. The story is told in short animations and with challenging platform-style gameplay to create a moving and...

Heartbeat: Regret

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/08/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Rhythm

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: My True Sound (@MyTrueSound)

Players: This is a single-player game

Heartbeat: Regret is a horror rhythm-typing game. It's a tough game where you are hunted in a mansion by a dark monster. Unusually, you need to press buttons in time with the audible heart beat to move around and then type directions to take specific...

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.

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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