Need something to do with the entire family during lockdown? A video game might do it, but you’ll want a title the family can love, so here’s a list that could help there.
It’s not necessarily easy for families to find something to do in lockdown, but games can provide an outlet, offering something on the TV to gather round and enjoy together.
Some games are party-like experiences for the family to play together, but others have a little more story and deliver something else, allowing mum, dad, and the kids to share the controller around and play together.
With lockdown still a life for much of Australia’s population, we’re checking out eight titles worth checking out for families struggling to find something to do together, and who might have a video game console under that big TV of theirs.
Available on: PlayStation 4, iOS (iPhone, iPad), Windows PC
A relaxing game about the dreams of pot plant flowers, this one is a fun one for kids who don’t know much about games, and for adults who want to watch their kids experience the joy of gaming.
You’ll play a flower petal sailing in the wind, controlling it through motion controls as it picks up other petals and brings green to the world, making for a more picturesque place.
With relaxing music and no way to die, Flower can only be frustrating when it’s not easy to control and hit all the targets, but overall is a spot of fun the whole family can enjoy, even kids as young as two (ours did).
Available on: Xbox One, Windows PC, macOS, Nintendo Switch
A fun little 2D platformer with a unique style, and a quickly and brilliant soundtrack from Calum Bowen, Pikuniku is a crazy title where the main tall red character Piku goes exploring and eventually finds his way into a story to help a town deal with a character turning everything into something for his own riches.
The story is a little crazy, but it matches the rest of the game, which is fun and bright and colourful and strange, and the whole thing comes together as a playful title for the family to enjoy.
Available on: Xbox One, Windows PC
Somewhere between an advertisement for Disneyland, a simulator for the theme park, and a series of mini-games, Disneyland Adventures fills some of the gap created by the pandemic that stops families from taking their kids overseas to any of the Disney parks.
In 2021, Disneyland Adventures is about as close as Australians are going to get to a family holiday at the park, and while it doesn’t offer interaction at the rides, it does let kids go up to their favourite characters, talk to them, and give them a hug, the latter of which we’re not sure real Disneyland will allow in a post-pandemic world as it is.
While the idea of the game is loose at best — explore the park, play little games somewhat connected to rides and attractions, and uncover parts of the theme park — the experience of being able to walk around a virtual representation of the park is surprisingly fun for a time, and nice for families to enjoy ahead of hopefully doing the real thing in the years to come.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Media Molecule’s character of Sackboy from the LittleBigPlanet games is back for his own adventure, the titular role in “Sackboy: A Big Adventure”, which is a different take on the series.
While the original series of games was a fun 2D platformer with lots of imagination, the newest game is a little more like a 3D take, letting you roam the world, jump on things, punch the baddies, and get all sorts of costumes for your Sack-person. Gone is the creative mode of the original, with Stephen Fry’s narration also departing, replaced by characters voiced by Dawn French and Richard E. Grant.
However Sackboy is still a lot of fun, and one of those games the family can enjoy playing all together, as Sackboy goes to save his crew from the villainous Vex voiced by Grant.
Lego The Incredibles
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, macOS, Nintendo Switch
A Lego game set in Pixar’s The Incredibles universe, this one takes the fun movie and give it a blocky spin, letting gamers play solo or together in a game that makes it hard to lose.
Lego games have always been very, very kid friendly, and this one is no different, bringing some family movie goodness to a family game good-time, complete with characters from other familiar Pixar titles, too.
It’ll also fill the gap until “Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” arrives next year in 2022, which will bring more Lego gaming goodness across the Star Wars universe.
Untitled Goose Game
Available on: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
One of the more curious attempts at a stealth game, Untitled Goose Game has you play in the position of an untitled goose who goes around creating mischief and messing up little moments in a little town.
Untitled Goose Game is a fabulous little game filled with charm, and features a character that doesn’t die, making it accessible to pretty much anyone, filled with moments of hilarity.
Parents will want to be around to try and solve some of the more difficult puzzles in the game, but this is a fun title for kids and adults, and includes a button to let you make the goose “honk”.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series S:X, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
A beautiful platformer with a mysterious look and feel that’s easy to get drawn into, Ori offers whimsical visuals in a luscious world and a story that ventures its titular character on a quest to find an owl friend lost in a storm.
While the gameplay may need a gamer parent nearby because of how it plays out, Ori is a picturesque game with a deliciously lovely look and fantastic sound, not to mention a cute story that’s easy to be drawn in by.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
We’ll end this little guide with a favourite from our now-four year old: Spider-Man. Who doesn’t like Spider-Man? (Aside for J. Jonah Jameson.)
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a continuation of the excellent Spider-Man game for the PlayStation, allowing you to sling from building to building and fight bad guys in a massive open world New York City itching to be played in. There’s new skills and powers in Miles, different from what fellow original Spider-Man Peter Parker has, and if you finish one of the missions (Looters) and then the game, you’ll unlock a cat suit that has your Spider-Cat join in on fights and such.
Mostly, Miles Morales is just a lot of fun, and allows gamers to live out being Spider-Man jumping and climbing on buildings, and swinging from roof to roof with ease in all the best ways.