Recommend a good game for young children.

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ral-clan
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Recommend a good game for young children.

Postby ral-clan » Mon May 26, 2008 5:48 am

I've started this thread so we could have a permanent list of recommendations for VIC-20 (only please) games which are good for young children. If you can also provide links to the game, it would be appreciated.

Good examples are games which can be played and controlled easily by children who are not yet old enough to read. The focus here is on Toddlers, pre-school children and the early grades. Also useful to include here are educational games which can help children learn mathematics and reading.
Last edited by ral-clan on Wed May 28, 2008 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Boray
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Postby Boray » Mon May 26, 2008 6:32 am

Tribbles:
http://user.tninet.se/~pug510w/datormus ... bbles.html

Ideal for playing with your kid. ;) No advanced stearing skills required or anything...
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Postby Schema » Mon May 26, 2008 9:52 am

My son (two and a half years old now) and I play Attack of the Mutant Camels together - Maybe not the best choice! :shock:

Although, it is incredibly cute when the ship blows up and he throws his arms up and says "Booooom!" :lol: He can often beat the first level just by randomly moving the joystick and holding down the button, which is kind of neat. So it's a fairly easy game that way.


The most obvious listing for this thread would be Commodore's own Home Babysitter. Do kids actually find it fun though?

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Jeff-20
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Postby Jeff-20 » Mon May 26, 2008 12:57 pm

This is a great question. A children's game is probably a combination of theme, control, learning curve, ... It would make a fun challenge to create a game kids enjoy.
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Postby MacbthPSW » Mon May 26, 2008 8:17 pm

Jeff-20 wrote:A children's game is probably a combination of theme, control, learning curve

IMO, control is the most important of the 3 you listed, and probably more important than theme and learning curve is the audio/visual feedback the game gives to the kid.

Joysticks are very difficult for kids to understand and use. D-pads are somewhat easier, and the mouse is the easiest. Keyboards are somewhere in the middle... expecting a little kid to hit a certain key is probably expecting too much, but they do love to hit keys in general, and screen flashes and noises make that all the more rewarding.

Really, I've found very few 8-bit games that really work for little kids, and I've tried a lot. For those that don't know, I have five kids aged ten down to two, and we've got another kid due in July.

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Postby jbuonacc » Tue May 27, 2008 1:49 am

i guess keep it interesting? it's hard for one of these types of games to hold my son's interest for more than a little while. i can sit playing stuff like Dig Dug or Centipede far longer than he can. on the other hand, he'll play Lego Star Wars or Ultimate Spider-Man for hours on end. he's better with a PS2 controller than he is with a simple joystick or even a mouse due to the size of his hands, he'll be five in October. i'd say good control and simple puzzles are two great factors.

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Postby carlsson » Tue May 27, 2008 2:38 am

For kids aged 9 and upwards, almost all VIC-20 games should be playable? They were at least when I was a kid. Of course at that age other factors have to taken into consideration, like the VIC games look like a joke compared to modern video games, so the games need to be very playable to draw attention from a middle school kid.

When it comes to educational and other programs for small children, what works on other, modern systems? I mean if there is an interest in developing new VIC-20 games for the youngest (future) members of our community, we ought to know what they'll appreciate.

By the way, I made this thread sticky as recommended. It turns out the moderator has to edit the first message in a thread to do so; no other external moderation tools to sticky a thread.
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Postby nbla000 » Tue May 27, 2008 3:44 am

I often play New York blitz with my son, it's really easy, just press a key when the airplane is over the skyscraper.

warning, it may cause violent conduct !!! :lol:


On zimmer there is the original version that works from tape only.

I've fixed it some times ago to play it from any drive, get it from this disk image that contain a lot of other fixes too.

There is an easy way to quickly play it from MegaCart too, does someone discover how ? :wink:
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Postby Victragic » Tue May 27, 2008 4:07 am

My two girls, now 6 and 3, both enjoy playing Sea Wolf.

I think the constant movement, the easy control (just keep pressing the button), the fact that you don't "lose" and the simplicity all add to that.
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Postby Empa Kendo » Tue May 27, 2008 3:17 pm

My twin boys (age 5) enjoy Sword of Fargoal. Slow enough to be played by them and nevertheless interesting due to the creatures and mazes.

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ral-clan
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Postby ral-clan » Wed May 28, 2008 8:59 am

Okay, I've finally time to post in this thread I started! :lol:

(I have updated the top message since this thread was made "sticky" to more clearly define the nature of our conversation here).

I have a daughter age 4, who has been playing on the VIC-20 since about age 2.

One of the main things about games for young children is that they should provide lots of feedback and not be scary. They don't need to have a goal or keep score. They don't need to be competitive.

In fact, any game where there is something (like a monster) trying to "get" you (i.e. ghosts in Pac-Man) is a definite "no-no". In fact, she would love Pac-Man if there were no ghosts at all, just a maze where you could spend forever trying to eat all the dots.

Home Babysitter is definitely a good game for young kids (when I say young I mean five or under). She plays it a lot. She's progressed beyond the alphabet portion of it, but still enjoys the counting quiz and the face-making section.

Here is a list of games she enjoys:

Home Babysitter
HES Facemaker
Kids on Keys (has drawing, shapes quiz, etc.)
Dancing Bear
Lucy Lizard
Santa Claus (non commercial cassette game where you get to be Santa dropping presents into children's chimneys)


She's starting to get into the following:

Tic-Tac-Toe
Haunted House (a 3K game from COMPUTE!)
any maze game where there is no adversary trying to hunt you down.


and a couple of games I wrote for her (I will try and post .prgs later):

Snowman Alphabet (guess the letter to build the snowman)
Rabbitgame (just control a rabbit and eat all the carrots on screen).


Games I'm going to try when she gets a little older are:

Commodore Artist (not sure about this one)
Mole Attack
Money Wars ('cuz you just move back and forth)


Actually, one of the things she likes to do is just type on the VIC-20's screen and create patterns with the PETSCII characters. I remember I enjoyed doing this as a kid too. Now that's something you CANNOT do with a Windows machine.

Actually, I think the VIC is a GREAT computer for very young children even today. It's simple and has big, bright characters. The games start quickly from floppy disc or cartridge. It has a durable keyboard that can be banged upon.

We don't have a playstation or play modern PC games, and I doubt she would care about the graphics being "bad" on the VIC anyway. They are just perfect for creating the simple images required for young children's games. The VIC is definitely better than some of those V-TECH children's laptops they sell in toy stores.

I agree that the statement that joysticks are hard for very young children to use is correct. It's not that they cannot move it, but they often unconsciously move the base in their laps so that "up" is no longer "up" etc. The Koala pad is a great input device for kids that I wish had been used more. Actually I've found the VIC keyboard to be pretty good as well. It would be better if it had a true cross style cursor control section with arrows on it. The light pen is actually a perfect input device for very young children, because it is so "direct". There is no abstraction as with a mouse or joystick (i.e. if I move this device in my lap towards me it translates to "down" on the screen).

Jeff's game that was on the last compilation (I forget the name but it was the one with all the mini-games requiring button presses only) WOULD be a perfect game for very young children if it was slowed down a lot and required less of a time limit on each game. Right now it's perfect for adults though :lol: . Maybe you could release a kid's variation, Jeff?

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Postby jbuonacc » Wed May 28, 2008 12:27 pm

ral-clan wrote:
In fact, any game where there is something (like a monster) trying to "get" you (i.e. ghosts in Pac-Man) is a definite "no-no".


from what i've seen i can't say this is true for everyone.

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Jeff-20
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Postby Jeff-20 » Wed May 28, 2008 2:53 pm

ral-clan wrote:In fact, any game where there is something (like a monster) trying to "get" you (i.e. ghosts in Pac-Man) is a definite "no-no".


I made the argument elsewhere on the net that Pacman fits all of the criteria of the Survival Horror genre. You're in a dark maze being stalked by ghosts and possessed with the urge to consume! Way scary!

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Victragic
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Postby Victragic » Thu May 29, 2008 3:22 am

Maze games - try 'Hidden Maze' from 'Compute!'s First book of Vic Games'.. delicious simplicity!
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Postby orion70 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:02 am

"Game & Watch" series... simple and fun.

e.g. ...let's see... Parachute :wink:


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