Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. —Proverbs 22:6, KJV
Right now, this very minute, there is a mother or father arguing with their children over what is and isn’t an appropriate video game to play. It’s a dilemma many Christian families face.
That said, it’s important to instill good values in your children, and many video games out there threaten those values with violence and other sinful displays.
While quality, faith-based video games are rare, you’ll be happy to know that there are many kid and family-friendly games out there that won’t compromise your Christian beliefs.
1. Nintendo Land (Wii U, E10+)
This new game created exclusively for the Wii U, scoops up your kids’ favorite Nintendo characters and puts them in their own theme park. Everyone from Super Mario Bros. to The Legend of Zelda has come to play.
Many mini games (short games set within the main game) allow up to five players to play at the same time. Fun for the kids and simple enough so that parents can play too.
2. Scribblenauts Unlimited (Wii U, 3DS, PC, Rated E-E10+)
The Scribblenauts line of games is truly unique compared to traditional video games. Gamers are limited only by their imagination. Each player may choose what character they will be (human, animal, adult, child), how that character will move (walk, fly, drive, crawl) and where they will go (school, an amusement park, Africa, the moon). This new game offers 41 different levels and allows players to add adjectives to their character’s description as well.
3. Just Dance Disney Party (360, Wii, Rated E)
While many of the Just Dance games can be very attractive, some of the music may not be appropriate for little ears. However, the Just Dance crew has created a more child-friendly version using music and characters from well known and loved movies like Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Tangled and television shows such as Shake it Up and Good Luck Chuck.
4. Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (360, PS3, Wii U, 3DS, Rated E)
Following on the heels of the enormously popular Epic Mickey, Disney rushed out a second version to somewhat lackluster results. The second looks fantastic but is more difficult to understand and lacks the charm of the first game.
In this strange story, Mickey goes to Wasteland which is similar to Superman’s Bizarro World. Armed with his paint brush and paint thinner, he can tear apart or repair buildings and streets with a flick of the wrist.
Overall, the game is quite tame, but don’t be fooled, this game is meant for older kids and their folks. Young ones will find it difficult to play and some of the scenes may be too frightening for them.
5. Little Big Planet Karting (PS3, Rated E)
Another game phenomenon is Little Big Planet. Here, Sackboy and his friends, all made out of burlap, go on adventures together. This latest game put them all behind wheels of “personality-packed” kart racers. While similar to other racetrack games, this one also features the brand’s signature PLAY, CREATE, and SHARE experience. Kids can create their own vehicles and share them with others online.
6. New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U, Rated E)
Mario and Luigi have withstood the test of time and are more popular than ever. Created just for the Wii U, Nintendo has re-created the franchise of the Mushroom Kingdom with the familiar left-to-right approach that many parents grew up with. Of course, with the Wii U, the game allows you to do more than you ever could with previous versions like being a help or a hindrance to the other players in the new, Boost and Challenge modes.
7. NBA Baller Beats (360, Rated E10+)
Here’s a cool interactive game that you will challenge kids mentally as well as physically in a basketball / music themed competition. Included with the game is a real basketball that is expected to be dribbled in time of the music. While hip hop music isn’t thought of as family-friendly, this is a great way to keep the older one’s moving.
8. Lego Batman, Lego Star Wars, etc. (Various Platforms, Rated E)
The next best thing to building with Legos is playing their video games. The Lego company started with a game based on Star Wars retold in a Lego-themed world and the hits have kept coming. All of the games are similar in approach while staying true to the movies’ source material including famous music scores by John Williams.
Each game also has its own Lego humor. At first glance, mothers may get upset to see character blown to bits, but hopefully their children can reassure them that the characters are really just toy blocks.
9. Skylanders: Giants (360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, Rated E10+)
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure has proven to be quite popular and Giants is no different. The game features a combination of onscreen characters as well as action figures you can hold in your hand. Characters from previous versions of the game are welcome to play too.
10. The Bible DVD Game (Rated E6+)
While not technically a video game, The Bible DVD Game does require a TV. Based on the History Channel’s popular presentation of The Bible miniseries, this trivia game is geared for families of all ages.
The game is hosted by Christian singer Jeremy Camp and features different levels of questions so that anyone in the family can play at the same time without being too hard or too easy for the others. Over 1,300 questions are packed in this game with time limits set at 10, 20 or 30 increments.