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Great games for young kids with few stakes or consequences


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I've got twin 4 year old boys. I think they're pretty good at games considering their age, but they're still working on their fine motor skills and reaction time. We have a blast with games like 3D Mario World. They get to run around and jump on things while I push forward and make progress so we can all get through the level. Unfortunately, most of the stages past like world 3 they end up going in a bubble for a lot of the time because it's just too challenging. We also play a lot of Mario Kart 8, which has auto steering and driving. They loved watching me play Breath of the Wild, so I let them try the Link's Awakening remake. They mostly just like wandering around and attacking enemies with the sword, but that's pretty much the extent of what they can do. They also like 2D Mario and Sonic, even though their skills don't get them very far.


However, they've really taken to Paper Mario Origami King. Obviously the combat system is way too challenging for them and it's not like they can read yet, but the exploration and discovery is really fun for them. They absolutely love exploring the entire world, visiting all of the different locations, towns, and dungeons, finding hidden secrets, playing the mini games, etc. And I realized that this is actually a pretty cool game for them because there's very few stakes, and you can't really lose if you're just passively exploring. If they run into an enemy, they either run away or hand me the controller to beat it.


So with that type of game in mind, can you think of other games in the same vein? Something with lots of variety and charm. Plenty of exploration and secrets to find. But very few stakes or consequences. They recognize their own limits, so they get frustrated when something is too difficult, so it's nice to have a game that they can just relax and explore.

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The Lego games are probably good choices. Minecraft dungeons seems pretty cool. Though I guess I'm looking for games I'd enjoy too. Right now, they're not asking for games or even know about games outside of what I've shown them, and we only let them play once or twice on the weekends. I'll let them discover Roblox and Minecraft on their own through school and friends.



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If you have a PS4 or PS5, Concrete Genie is a good one, though it does get more actiony later in the game. But overall, it was the perfect chill game for me after work.


Chicory is a recent indie game that I believe had similarities and is available on both PS4 and PS5. Looks to be very relaxing and cute.

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To fit your criteria:

Yoshi's Crafted World - way easier platformer than the Mario ones.

Minecraft Dungeons - easy dungeon crawling game, simple mechanics and nice difficulty slider.  Good exploration on the maps.

Bugsnax - if you got PS5 early and redeemed it for free.  The game does get more difficult later and require a bit more gross motor skills to capture certain bugs.



Other games my little kids play constantly.  I have 9yr old and an 8yr old with special needs.

Roblox (obvious answer here)

Side Scrolling Beat-ems

- River City Girls - if you die, your teammate can revive you and if party wipes you just restart in the area you wiped.  This might fit your criteria too as it's somewhat an open world side scroll beat-em.

- Streets of Rage 4 - tons of difficulty modifiers to make this game easy to complete and my kids get excited when they unlock a new character try out.

Moving Out - same people who made Overcooked but way less complex than Overcooked.  Easy to carry little kids through some levels.

Injustice 2 - what little kid doesn't like superheros fighting.

Concrete Genie - I think this might be too difficult for 4yr old but worth a try if you redeemed it on PS+.


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Has nobody mentioned Kirby yet? Kirby Star Allies is a great title for younger kids. My son was playing Kirby games before he was able to really play anything else on his own. Super Kirby Clash is also the only multiplayer game I allow him. I just laugh him out of the room any time he asks me to pay for some random microtransaction.

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