There are a few iconic games for kids out there, with millions of children across the globe putting hours into Minecraft and Roblox, respectively. However, there are many smaller games that are sometimes overlooked. Many games have a quirky, bright, and slightly mischievous feel to them, making them an excellent choice for kids. While a few of these games may need parental input, a lot of them are intuitive enough for older kids to tackle alone.
From horror games for kids to cute, quirky puzzle games, to a particularly iconic game about a naughty goose, there’s something out there to entertain children of all ages. If gamer parents are looking to have a break from Minecraft for a little while, any of these games would make an excellent choice.
7/7 Chuchel (2018)
Chuchel is an underrated puzzle game absolutely bursting with character. The protagonist, Chuchel (a kind of fuzzy orange monster) is furious when his delicious cherry is stolen by a much larger creature. Propelled by anger, the player must navigate Chuchel through a colorful series of puzzles, all using images, with no words or dialogue.
Some puzzles are tricky, so may require some parental input. However, the lively characters, catchy soundtrack, and silly sense of humor are a real bonus for little ones. Plus, there are some very silly moments on Chuchel’s cherry-chasing trip. A nice little game to help younger players develop their puzzle-solving skills.
6/7 Untitled Goose Game (2019)
What’s better than being a naughty goose? In case players haven’t seen it before, Untitled Goose Game gives gamers control of a noisy little goose, wreaking havoc in a picturesque village in the countryside. Players are given a list of objectives, which they must achieve without getting caught.
This is a brilliant game for kids. It gives them the chance to be silly and mischievous, and they never seem to tire of honking at the villagers. The co-op mode introduces another goose to the mix, and kids can team up to tackle the challenges together.
5/7 Unpacking (2021)
Unpacking was incredibly popular when it launched in 2021, for good reason: it’s a peaceful, relaxing puzzle game with a surprisingly moving story. Players must click on boxes to unpack the boxes of an unnamed protagonist, as she moves from one house to the next over the course of her life.
This is a pretty good game for older kids, too. While some of the more touching story moments and interesting little details may be too subtle for them to pick up on, they’ll enjoy the calm, methodical process of finding homes for each item to live in.
4/7 The Adventure Pals (2018)
The Adventure Pals is a super-cute, fast-paced adventure platformer. Players must rescue their kidnapped (or, as the game says, ‘Dadnapped’) father, accompanied by a pet rock and a giraffe with a helicoptering tongue.
This game is just fun. Pure fun from start to finish, and it’s packed with quirky characters, interesting obstacles, and silly quests. Players can team up with a buddy in co-op mode, which is excellent and adds another layer of chaos to the mix. Teaming up to rescue the old folks from being turned into hotdogs is just fun for kids of all ages (and grown-ups, too).
3/7 Lumbearjack (2022)
Lumbearjack is a simple, peaceful game about a rampaging bear on a quest to restore his homeland to its natural state. Humans have polluted the area, and it’s up to the bear – armed with his trusty axe – to destroy structures, smash up heaps of trash, and rescue his friends from tricky situations.
It’s surprisingly peaceful to walk around smashing things, and it has a sweet message about the importance of respecting (and protecting) the natural world. There are some really cute cutscenes at the end of each level, and the puzzles are so gentle that they would suit kids perfectly. Plus, in a fun twist, players get to slap sense into the gray, numb humans plodding around the levels like zombies in order to wake them up to their creative passions. This is extremely satisfying every time.
2/7 WarioWare: Get It Together! (2021)
Any of the WarioWare games would be fun for kids (particularly if parents have a Wii knocking around somewhere: WarioWare Smooth Moves is incredibly fun and intuitive). The latest edition, Get It Together!, is just as quirky and ridiculous as the previous games. Players must complete a series of fun and silly microgames, but they only get a few seconds to do so.
The WarioWare series has a funny and silly sense of humor, which appeals to adults as well as kids, so it’s a good game to play with families. Just be prepared for some potential arguments to erupt among particularly competitive players.
1/7 Ooblets (2020)
Older kids will enjoy the relaxing, quirky world of Ooblets. A kind of Stardew Valley/Animal Crossing/Pokemon mashup, Ooblets involves collecting cute creatures by winning dance battles, running a farm, joining a club, and trying to please the (sometimes odd) locals. It’s a pastel-colored, super-cute game, with the saccharine-sweetness offset with a surprisingly sharp sense of humor.
Ooblets is a good game for kids as well as adults. The dance competitions are fun, and the drive to collect new creatures makes it a fun game to come back to. It was released on the Switch in 2022, and it suits the platform well. It’s a good game to keep children busy on a long car journey, for example.