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Motion Controls Better Than Joysticks Games Rated General (G) 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 6 games from the last 30 years, with 448 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 7
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB EVERYONE 10+
Australian Ratings: G
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Simulation and Sports
Total Likes: 448
 

 

Astro's Playroom

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 6-13 year-olds

Release Date: 19/11/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: PS5

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

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)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 3-10 year-olds

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

Price: 26% off

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

Genres: Action and Race

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 12-player online game

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

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 3-10 year-olds

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

Platforms: Switch and Wii

Genres: Action, Adventure, Open World and Simulation

Developer: Bandai Namco US (@BandaiNamcoUS)

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

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....

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-10 year-olds

Release Date: 11/12/2020

Price: 55% off

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

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Us Two (@UsTwo)

Players: This is a single-player game

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...

Wii Sports (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 4-14 year-olds

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

Platforms: Wii and Wii U

Genres: Action, Fighting, Physically Active, Race and Sports

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

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

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...

World of Goo

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7-11 year-olds

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

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

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Tomorrow Corp (@TomorrowCorp)

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

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...

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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