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Mechanical Challenge Games on Xbox

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 3 games from the last 33 years, with 16 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.

DetailsPlatform Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G
Genres: Action, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle and Shooting
Era: 1989 - 2022
Total Games: 3
Total Likes: 16
 

 

Super Monkey Ball (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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

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...

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...

The House of the Dead (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 01/01/1996, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Xbox and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Shooting

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

The House of the Dead is a horror-themed shooting game where you control the targeting but not the movement. Unlike general on-rails shooting games, this was controlled using a light-gun pointing at the screen (or similar controller). This gives the...

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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