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Mechanical Challenge Games for 13-year-olds (Year 9 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 49 games from the last 33 years, with 494 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: 494
 

 

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...

Everyday Shooter

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-13 year-olds

Release Date: 14/02/2008

Platforms: PC, PS Vita and PS3

Genres: Action and Shooting

Developer: Mango Lychee (@Mango_Lychee)

Players: This is a single-player game

Everyday Shooter is a collection of shooting games presented as a music album. The shooting action is familiar but here the dissolute sounds of destruction are replaced with guitar riffs harmonizing over the soundtrack. The visuals join in the...

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,...

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.

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....

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

Beast Breaker

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/09/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Puzzle and Role-Play

Developer: Vodeo Games (@VodeoGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Beast Breaker is a role play game where you fight monsters in turn-based ricochet style puzzles. You play tiny mouse hero Skipper and must defend your friends from giant mosaic-like beasts that threaten to destroy everything.

Jett: The Far Shore

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Race and Stealth

Developer: Super Brothers HQ (@SuperBrothersHQ)

Players: This is a single-player game

Jett: The Far Shore is a sci-fi adventure where you play inquisitive pilot Mei, exploring a mysterious planet on a nimble jet-powered craft. It draws on films like 2001: Space Odyssey and takes its time building atmosphere. Once it gets going it becomes...

Mon Amour

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/10/2021

Price: 30% off

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Onion Games (@OnionGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Mon Amour is a platform game about love and diversity. You play with one button to keep jumping and stay in the air, Flappy Bird style, in an effort to save people by kissing them (and setting them free from their nightmare). Like Flappy Bird, you will...

The Ramp

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 03/08/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Platform and Sports

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Hyperparadise (@__Hyperparadise)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Ramp is a relaxed skating game where you perform stunts, jumps and flips with no timers, penalties scores or objectives. It's this simplicity that, along with its deep-yet-simple controls and laidback soundtrack, make it a uniquely calm and...

Unsighted

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 30/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World and Role-Play

Developer: Studio Pixel Punk (@StudioPixelPunk)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Unsighted is an action role-play game where you race against the clock to save your robot friends. You play a robot called Alma who has lost their memory and lives in a ruined world after the human war. The inhabitant robots are low on energy and will...

Zip Zap

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 26/09/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: This is a single-player game

Zip Zap is a puzzle game with a simple premise. You move Erector/Meccano-style metal plates to get a ball in a white circle for at least a couple of seconds. It sounds simple. It is simple, although actually, it soon becomes head scratching to get the...

Enter The Gungeon

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-15 year-olds

Release Date: 05/04/2016, updated in 2020

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

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform and Shooting

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Dodge Roll Games (@DodgeRollGames)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Enter the Gungeon is a shooting game where you use one stick for running around and the other to aim. These twin-stick controls combine with loads of enemy bullets to dodge to create a tough challenge. You play four adventurers descending into the...

Selaco

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Shooting, Simulation and Traversal

Developer: Selaco Game (@SelacoGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

Selaco is a shooter game with a focus on fast movement and staged battles in a destructibile underground facility. In many ways it's an update of classic fast shooting games like Quake and Doom, but the detail elevates Selaco to be something more than...

Sometimes You Die

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 17/03/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 5 features

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sometimes You Die is an unusual sliding and jumping game. As you play there is a written narrative on the walls of each level that discusses game design, player motivation and the metaphysics of life. More unusual though, is that to progress you have to...

Battle Princess Madelyn

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/12/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Platform and Traversal

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Real Monster Bath (@RealMonsterBath)

Players: This is a single-player game

Battle Princess Madelyn is a running and jumping game where you defeat hordes of enemies like the classic arcade game Ghosts 'n' Goblins. It's similarly fast-paced and difficult, here though you have to pick your way through labyrinthine levels, and use...

Flinthook

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/04/2017

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

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Developer: Tribute Games (@TributeGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Flinthook is running, swinging and shooting game where you get around using a grappling hook. It stands out for its focus on movement flow. As you learn how to move around quickly, you progress through a series of three ship-based levels to find and...

Get Hi

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9-13 year-olds

Release Date: 22/05/2015, updated in 2021

Price: Free

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Action, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: This is a single-player game

Get Hi is an action puzzle game where you try and flick a ball up a series of tilting platforms. Touch the screen to tilt them one way, release to tilt them the other. All the platforms move together to keep it simple, but if the ball falls more than a...

I Wanna Maker

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 13/02/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: I Wanna Maker Game (@IWannaMakerGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

I Wanna Maker is a running and jumping game where you create unique levels and share them with other players. With over 1000 levels to play, all made by different people across the world, it offers a fresh platforming challenge with a wide range of...

Little Hellions

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Professor Onion (@ProfessorOnion)

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

Little Hellions is a retro brawling game where you can't actually fight the other players directly. You kill the other players by putting yourself in harms way and then using your hook-shot to switch places at the last minute. Like Towerfall, it's not...

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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