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Author Topic: DS games for a 4-5 yr old girl  (Read 1816 times)
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KJ
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« on: November 06, 2009, 06:45:48 PM »

Hi,

Long time reader, but low volume poster.  However, I know that a lot of you are like me - an older gamer with youngs kids and a family, so I thought this would be the best place to go asking questions.

My daughter is almost 5 yrs old now and enjoys her DS a great deal.  She has the Wonder Pets game, My Little Pony, Disney Princess and Puppy Palace(sp?).  All of these she has more or less picked out on her own when I've brought her to the store to buy one.  The problem is that the quality of these games are spotty and oft times the mind-numbing repetition is brutal due to lack of content.

I want to change that now that she is a little older and can handle some more complex concepts (although her gaming timing/reflexes are still quite slow at this point).  The problem I have is that when I go to gamefaqs or gamerankings there are no reviews or often even opinions on the newest kids games.  This makes me leary to buy any of them as I'm a gamer that's allergic to crap and I want to make sure that I'm not buying crap games for my daughter.

Any recommendations for that age?  Any ideas where I might go to get opinions from other parents on good DS games for young kids?

Appreciate the help.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2009, 06:55:28 PM »

Have you checked out the Littlest Pet Shop DS games? I think Butterknife is on the dev team so you have someone to yell at if it doesn't live up to expectations. slywink I have a 3 year old that I can't wait to get into gaming and I've seen the same issues you have with finding reviews for kids games. I generally google a game and try to get what I can from amazon user reviews and things like that.

So far he plays a lot Plants vs Zombies on PC and there are some of the mini-games he can actually do fairly well on.
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2009, 06:57:24 PM »

My daughter is 6.  Her main playtime is with Mario Party.  She can play it for hours.  She also likes Mario Kart, but she isn't very good.  That doesn't seem to deter her love for it, though.

Here are other games she has, listed in preference order, near as I can tell:

Animal Crossing
Cooking Mama
Little Mermaid
Littlest Pet Shop Spring
Paris Fashion Studio
Imagine Teacher
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KJ
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 07:03:52 PM »

Thanks for the recommendations so far...

How complex do you think Animal Crossing is?  That might be a good fit since she has a sort of somewhat similar game called Moshi Monsters that she plays on the internet.

I'll have to check out Mario Party as well.  I just don't know if she has the relfexes for that sort of game yet.  Is it quick?
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2009, 07:06:07 PM »

I'd 2nd Mario Party and Mario Kart - definitely doable by 4-5 yr olds IMO. Those games are fantastic if you have a DS and can play them WiFi with her - you might want to consider getting one for yourself if you don't. Cooking Mama is a good game and a good suggestion too.

I got my daughter Nintendogs when she was 7 and she mastered it quickly and loved it. I think with a bit of coaching your daughter could probably handle it too.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 07:10:28 PM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2009, 07:13:40 PM »

My girls love the Littlest Pet Shop games and Nintendogs.
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 07:19:43 PM »

My 5 year old son loves Mario Kart and can play on his own, but I haven't had him try anything else yet.
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 07:27:22 PM »

Dementium 2 is coming out. biggrin
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Devil
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2009, 07:49:29 PM »

I have a 4 year old as well, but no DS yet:

Don't you have to be able to read to play Animal Crossing? Maybe my kid needs to hit the books a little better.
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KJ
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2009, 08:07:02 PM »

Good point, Devil.  One thing I should've mentioned is that she is far ahead in her reading skill and has no problems actually reading 'chapter' books at the moment (Charlotte's Web, etc.)

She is a bit behind her peers in terms of reflexes and sports though.  But reading in a game shouldn't be a problem for her.  Timing jumps will be though.
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2009, 08:23:27 PM »

So my daughter DOES need to hit the books!  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2009, 08:41:57 PM »

Quote from: KJ on November 06, 2009, 08:07:02 PM

Good point, Devil.  One thing I should've mentioned is that she is far ahead in her reading skill and has no problems actually reading 'chapter' books at the moment (Charlotte's Web, etc.)

She is a bit behind her peers in terms of reflexes and sports though.  But reading in a game shouldn't be a problem for her.  Timing jumps will be though.

My daughter is exactly the same.  I'm encouraged by her trying Mario Kart so many times.  Mario Party is good because while some mini-games are tough, there's enough that she can do well.  She's been hounding me to do the final boss for her, but I'm forcing her to do it on her own.  It'll take a while, but she'll be very satisfied when she does.

She just mentioned to me that she also quite enjoys Nintendogs, Wild Petz Dolphinz (which seems to be the one good game in this series) and Horse Life, in that order.   I found a bunch of these raising animal games cheap (actually Nintendogs was mine).  She also has Disney Friends and has played it quite a bit, but has been frustrated 'cause she can't make much progress.

There's a game called Princess Debut that's supposed to be good, but I haven't tracked it down for her yet.  She's also shown interest in the Princess Peach game, but I haven't been able to locate my copy (it's quite good as an intro to platforming, but some sections might be tricky).

For Christmas she'll be getting Wizards of Waverly Place (somewhat reluctantly), the Disney Princess game you mentioned (she has the Wii one and plays it endlessly), and Hello Kitty: Big City Dreams (similar to Animal Crossing).
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2009, 08:45:07 PM »

Have you checked out the What They Play website? I think it's geared towards parents of older gamers who might want to get their kids games like COD5 or GTA4, but it looks like they have reviews on some of the DS games for younger kids too.
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2009, 09:57:09 PM »

Quote from: KJ on November 06, 2009, 08:07:02 PM

Good point, Devil.  One thing I should've mentioned is that she is far ahead in her reading skill and has no problems actually reading 'chapter' books at the moment (Charlotte's Web, etc.)

Wow that is ahead in reading and much what my nephew was like. With that in mind I wouldn't hesitate for a moment in recommending Pokemon Pearl, Diamond or Platinum. I haven't met a kid -Girl or Boy- that doesn't eat up those games; just as long as they can handle the reading which is about grade 2-3 level. I started my nephew on GB Pokemon games when he was 5 and he played them and new titles in the series constantly for the next 5 years or so. I started my son and daughter on them at 7 and same thing - they love them and play them whenever their allowed. slywink
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2009, 10:16:42 PM »

Both of my kids loved New Super Mario Bros and both Drawn To Life games (regular and Spongebob versions). Scribblenauts might be a good suggestion as well.
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2009, 10:17:53 PM »

Drawn To Life has a fair amount of reading in it, though.  It may be a "Let's both play" kind of game.
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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2009, 10:20:29 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on November 06, 2009, 09:57:09 PM

Quote from: KJ on November 06, 2009, 08:07:02 PM

Good point, Devil.  One thing I should've mentioned is that she is far ahead in her reading skill and has no problems actually reading 'chapter' books at the moment (Charlotte's Web, etc.)

Wow that is ahead in reading and much what my nephew was like. With that in mind I wouldn't hesitate for a moment in recommending Pokemon Pearl, Diamond or Platinum. I haven't met a kid -Girl or Boy- that doesn't eat up those games; just as long as they can handle the reading which is about grade 2-3 level. I started my nephew on GB Pokemon games when he was 5 and he played them and new titles in the series constantly for the next 5 years or so. I started my son and daughter on them at 7 and same thing - they love them and play them whenever their allowed. slywink

You may want to start with the Pokemon Rangers game.  It seems a little less intense, content-wise.  That said, my daughter has yet to really get into it.
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2009, 12:47:55 PM »

The pokemon games are surprisingly complex, not so sure about that.
Surprised no one has mentioned there are several titles for Dora the Explorer. There are also the Disney Princess and Tinkerbell ones.
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2009, 02:59:42 PM »

The Dora games get terrible reviews.  Same with Tinkerbell (though I haven't seen anything on the new one).

The Disney Princess one has been mentioned a couple of times.

That's the problem with a lot of kids games, they fall into the same vein as movie tie-ins.  They know the kids will beg for them if they see a familiar name on there, and most parents will buy them, sometimes using the same rational as the people who make them: They're just kids.  They won't care about quality.  That may be true, but that's why we have to teach them quality.

It's hard, though, when a kid is really excited, and there really aren't a lot of choices.  I finally caved on Wizards of Waverly Place because she asks me every time we're in a store, and I saw a couple of reviews that basically said, "It's not awful, for a Disney TV game."
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2009, 04:56:34 PM »

My 3 year old loves Scribblenaughts, but of course needs his daddy to type in his words for him.   Although his solution to every puzzle is to summon a T-Rex.
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2009, 08:42:18 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on November 07, 2009, 02:59:42 PM

The Dora games get terrible reviews.  Same with Tinkerbell (though I haven't seen anything on the new one).

From something other than guys in their 20s? Just curious.
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2009, 10:24:42 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on November 07, 2009, 08:42:18 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on November 07, 2009, 02:59:42 PM

The Dora games get terrible reviews.  Same with Tinkerbell (though I haven't seen anything on the new one).

From something other than guys in their 20s? Just curious.

No, but they do review with the appropriate player in mind.  Additionally, there are plenty of games for kids that do get good reviews.
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« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2009, 01:18:53 PM »

They may try, but sometimes it's hard to remember (and I'm as guilty as anybody) what we might find insipid as adults might be perfect for a child of given age (e.g. Bakugan)
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« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2009, 01:43:18 PM »

Thanks for the tips, guys.  For now I went with Mario Party, given its high scores and popularity (on bestsellers lists).

She's having a blast with it and having a hard time putting it down.  Some of the mini-games in it are flat-out too tough for her, but she can do the majority.  Looks to be a good fit for now.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2009, 04:01:37 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on November 08, 2009, 01:18:53 PM

They may try, but sometimes it's hard to remember (and I'm as guilty as anybody) what we might find insipid as adults might be perfect for a child of given age (e.g. Bakugan)

My kid could be perfectly entertained by utter crap.  Doesn't mean I should let her play or watch it.  We have a ban on Disney direct to DVD sequels in our house.  My daughter has a thing for The Little Mermaid (as do I, but that's another story).  The ads for Ariel's Beginning made the film look borderline okay. And there was the begging.  We got it.  It's crap.  Just terrible.  Of course she loved it.  It's about Ariel.  She can be entranced by  TV commercial that has Ariel in it for half a second.  I can't get rid of the film now, and I'll let he watch it every once in a great while, but we have plenty of good films.  She doesn't need to see the garbage.

Quote from: KJ on November 08, 2009, 01:43:18 PM

Thanks for the tips, guys.  For now I went with Mario Party, given its high scores and popularity (on bestsellers lists).

She's having a blast with it and having a hard time putting it down.  Some of the mini-games in it are flat-out too tough for her, but she can do the majority.  Looks to be a good fit for now.  icon_biggrin

Good pick.  Glad she's enjoying it!
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2009, 05:03:03 PM »

BTW, Mario Party has the best multiplayer I've experienced on DS. Fantastic in the car. Just need one cartridge, but it's smooth and fast.
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2009, 05:59:31 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on November 07, 2009, 02:59:42 PM

That's the problem with a lot of kids games, they fall into the same vein as movie tie-ins.  They know the kids will beg for them if they see a familiar name on there, and most parents will buy them, sometimes using the same rational as the people who make them: They're just kids.  They won't care about quality.  That may be true, but that's why we have to teach them quality.

The problem with the franchise and tie-in shovelware is that it's aimed at such a young age and poor enough in quality, that your kids outgrow it in months or a year at best. I bought a few Disney and  games for my daughter and she's received her fair share as gifts, but she really didn't enjoy any of them for more than a month or 2. My trick was to introduce my kids to the animations and movies for the better game franchises. Which can be a pain because it means renting or purchasing, since most don't get aired any more. As to when they begged or pressured me in stores, I just got in the habit of telling them that I hadn't read about the game and didn't know if it was good. Consistent with that, if they asked for a quality Kirby, Sonic or Pokemon game I'd more often than not buy it for them - balancing that against how much they'd recently been spoiled. slywink  They got the idea fast that if the quality was unknown I wasn't going to go for it. Now that they're old enough to spend their own money, their still careful consumers and often ask me about games they're considering.

Quote from: KJ on November 08, 2009, 01:43:18 PM

Thanks for the tips, guys.  For now I went with Mario Party, given its high scores and popularity (on bestsellers lists).

Excellent choice - that's a game she'll get lots of mileage with.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 06:01:59 PM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2009, 07:38:59 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on November 08, 2009, 05:59:31 PM

I just got in the habit of telling them that I hadn't read about the game and didn't know if it was good...They got the idea fast that if the quality was unknown I wasn't going to go for it.
I do that, too, and the results are generally the same.
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« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2009, 12:35:48 AM »

Another vote for scribblenauts. My 5 year old watched me playing it and now he really likes it. He tries to sound out the words and then types them out. I watch to help him when he spells them wrong or if he doesn't know how to spell it. Sometimes he can figure out what needs to be done but sometimes I have to read to him what it says. I do like that its helping him to solve problems and teaching him to spell.
 
He also plays lots of Kirby in the GBA slot.
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« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2009, 01:09:05 AM »

If you can find it (and if your DS has a GBA cartridge slot), Wario Ware Twisted is just a blast.

I didn't really like the DS version (Touched), but it looks like that may be even more rare so no problem.
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