February Parents Newsletter
Author: Andy Robertson
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Find The Best Video Game OffersThis month we have added sales and discounts to the database. This means we can point you to the biggest savings and cheapest video games that are also really good to play with your family. You can browse lots of offers on the Discount page, but here are some really cheap games:
This month you can win a Nintendo Switch and the Brain Training game in our New Year Competition. Entries close at the end of February so there's still time to enter.
Game WatchEach month we see tens of thousands of parents search for games. This means we have a unique way to see what's exciting or worrying families. These new trending games are important to keep an eye on. Ask your children about these games and click the link to check age ratings and game details:
- Valheim is a Viking inspired strategy game for up to 10 players. You build, survive, conquer, and explore the world. It's popular because it combines strategy of building your town stronghold with tough adventures and encounters with the enemies of the world. Not yet rated by PEGI or ESRB. Likely to be PEGI 16 and ESRB TEEN. As the developer states this is "a brutal exploration and survival game".
- Rust is an older game that children have started watching videos of online. This has led to them wanting to play it themselves. The game is on PC but coming soon as a console version. The developer states that "this Game may contain content not appropriate for all ages, or may not be appropriate for viewing at work: Nudity or Sexual Content, Frequent Violence or Gore, General Mature Content" When this comes to consoles we expect this to be rated PEGI 18 and ESRB MATURE 17+.
- The Forest is a violent survival game rated PEGI 18+ in Europe and MATURE 17+ in the US. "When fighting a mutant, dismemberment or decapitation does not occur, however, once the character falls to the ground they can be decapitated or dismembered."
- Phasmophobia is a scary ghost hunt game. Although Phasmophobia on PC has not yet been rated for PEGI or ESRB, the Vive store states that it is only suitable for those 17+ and over. The game is flagged for Horror on the Steam store. It's likely that it will be rated ESRB MATURE 17+ and PEGI 16.
Safety TipEach month we highlight a great way to keep your children safe while playing video games. This month we look at In-Game Purchases.
Many games can be played for free, but offer children the chance to purchase small items in the game. These purchases provide items to use in the game, outfits and other cosmetic elements that usually don't affect gameplay. You can search for games with or without in-game purchases on the database to see how this works.
Some games include in-game purchases where you don't know what the item is before you purchase it. Like opening a pack of Panini Football stickers of Kinda eggs, you might be happy with what you get or you might be disappointed. These purchases are now rare on game consoles, but still crop up in smartphone games. You can search for games with or without loot boxes on the database to see how this works.
Game Of The MonthIn A Short Hike you play penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to explore the park, help other animals, find seashells and even buried treasure. In return you’re given greater stamina and tools with special powers so you can make it to the top of the mountain. And that’s just the start.
Taming Gaming BookThe book that inspired the database, Taming Gaming, is launched this week. It's available from Amazon and all good book sellers. It offers advice about keeping video games positive and healthy in the family and was recently features in The Times, BBC Breakfast, Sky News and Radio 4. You can buy the book for Kindle or hardback here.
Thank you for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.
The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.