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Nourish Youthful Ambition In 7-12 Year-Olds on Nintendo 2DS|3DS

As children get older, they develop stronger ideas of what they want to play. Friends at school and YouTube stars create popular gaming fads for the latest titles. These are a lot of fun, but children’s choices can end up being narrowed down to big-budget or on-trend games. The games suggested here go beyond the usual suspects. While offering age-appropriate alternatives to older-rated games, they are still exuberant, intriguing and create raucous gaming fun that fires the imagination of children aged 7 to 12 years old.

This list includes 18 games from the last 35 years, with 308 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to nourish youthful ambition.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 12
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB TEEN
Australian Ratings: G to PG
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 308
 

 

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/11/2013

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Open World

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single player game

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is an action-adventure game in the Zelda series. It's the seventeenth game and spiritual successor to the 1991 game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A more open adventure with a novel world-jumping...

Style Boutique / Savvy Style (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-11 year-olds

Release Date: 23/10/2008, updated in 2017

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS and DS

Genres: Puzzle, Role-Playing, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Style Boutique (Style Savvy) is a role play game where you play a fashion shop owner. You work on the style of your fashion collection as well as your own clothes, makeup and so on.

Minecraft

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 6-16 year-olds

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 36 features

Developer: Mojang (@Mojang)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 16 players online

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and...

Terraria

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 25/11/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Platform, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Terraria Logic (@Terraria_Logic)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

Terraria looks like a 2D, lesser, version of Minecraft. However, this is a game every bit as complex and creative as the better-known block building game. To the world-crafting and survival it adds hundreds of items to collect, characters to defeat and...

Sonic the Hedgehog (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 23/06/1991, updated in 2017

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, GameCube, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action and Platform

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: Sonic hedgehog (@Sonic_hedgehog)

Players: This is a single player game

Sonic the Hedgehog is a series of games staring an athletic blue hedgehog who runs, jumps and bounces his way around platform levels. Created as Sega's answer to Mario, Sonic is now on all modern video game platforms.

Paper Mario: The Origami King (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 11/08/2000, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Action, Fighting, Role-Playing and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single player game

Paper Mario is a role-play game featuring Mario and other Nintendo characters. Although cute and cartoon-like in appearance, these games are known for the quality of writing and the well balanced and enjoyable turn-based combat.

Super Mario Maker (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/09/2015

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

Genres: Action, Creative and Platform

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Super Mario Maker is a game-making system. It’s simpler than tools like Dreams or Roblox, but still offers a huge array of ways to create running and jumping platform games that can then be shared online. You can play hundreds of games that other...

Lego City: Undercover

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 04/04/2017

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Shooting

Developer: TT Games (@TTGames)

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

Lego City Undercover offers an open world to explore. While most Lego games have an open-world element in at least some areas, this one keeps play open throughout so that children can enjoy exploring at their own pace.

Rayman Origins

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 7-16 year-olds

Release Date: 15/11/2011, updated in 2013

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, PC, PS Vita, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Adventure and Platform

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

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

Rayman Origins is platform game where you run, jump, swing and attack your way through fantasy cartoon levels. It stands out because of the strong characters and variety of different enemies ranging in difficulty.

Yoshi's Wooly World

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 4-14 year-olds

Release Date: 25/06/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS and Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative and Platform

Accessibility: 15 features

Developer: Gbit Good Feel (@Gbit_GoodFeel)

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

Yoshi's Woolly World is a platform game of knitted yarn. You explore, jump and run your way around, solving puzzles and collecting items to complete each stage.

Hey! Pikmin

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 28/07/2017

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 6 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single player game

Hey! Pikmin is a spinoff game from the Pikmin series. In this game Captain Olimar crash lands on a planet and needs to find fuel to escape, leading a group of Pikmin through 2D side scrolling levels collecting the Sparklium. Players enter a level and...

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-14 year-olds

Release Date: 13/11/2014, updated in 2018

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

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

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

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a running, exploring, puzzle game where you guide the Toad character to save Todette from the villain Wingo and retrieve the Power Stars on each level. You navigate puzzles and obstacles, fighting enemies to reach the...

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 17/11/2005, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Role-Playing and Turn-Based

Developer: Spike Chunsoft e (@SpikeChunsoft_e)

Players: This is a single player game

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is a series of fighting games where you control different cartoon creatures as they make their way through randomly-generated dungeons, defeating enemies and adding them to your team. It's a simple roguelike game where you take...

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 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...

WarioWare: Get It Together (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-16 year-olds

Release Date: 27/07/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, Wii and Wii U

Genres: Action and Puzzle

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 5 players in the same room

WarioWare: Get It Together is the latest in the mini-game series. Games don’t get any sillier than the WarioWare series. Each of its mini-games presents a basic yet peculiar challenge for the player. A simple scene appears on the screen with a...

Mario Tennis Aces (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-12 year-olds

Release Date: 28/08/2000, updated in 2018

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

Genres: Action, Physically Active and Sports

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Mario Tennis Aces is the latest in the series of tennis game. These games recreate a relatively traditional game of tennis, although you play as Nintendo characters who each have special moves and powers.

Bubble Bobble

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 01/10/1986, updated in 2016

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Taito (@Taito)

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

Bubble Bobble is a running and jumping game where you control a small dragon that can blow and jump on bubbles. It rose to popularity in the arcades when released in 1986. In each of the 100 levels you and another player defeat each enemy by trapping...

Donkey Kong Country Returns

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 21/11/2010, updated in 2013

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Wii and Wii U

Genres: Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Retro Studios (@RetroStudios)

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

Donkey Kong Country Returns is a running, jumping and bashing game where you play Donkey Kong and other characters trying to reclaim their island from the Tiki Tak Tribe. It's a return to the side-on platforming of the classic Donkey Kong 64 in 1999.

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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