You are here

18 Best PC Games For Kids

  • Appropriate for: Younger and older Kids

    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

    Price: $17.81, amazon.com

    Few zoo simulators offer as much room for creativity as this one. As players load their virtual zoos with dozens of different species, the game's "animal editor" allows kids to change not only the colors and fur patterns of their creatures, but the shapes and sizes of ears, noses, tails, paws and more. You want green and yellow striped giraffes? You got it.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Once they've been created, interacting with and caring for the realistically animated animals is simple enough for even young kids to handle. [Also available on Wii]

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Older Kids

    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

    Price: $19.99, amazon.com

    Something suspicious is going on at a fancy-pants prep school, and everybody's favorite teen sleuth is going to get to the bottom of it. One of the students really wants to be valedictorian, and is threatening to do away with her high-achieving competition, so Nancy Drew goes undercover. Players will help the girl detective scout out clues, moving from room to room and watching carefully for incriminating slips-of-thumb in text messages. As with the rest of the excellent games in the Nancy Drew PC series, players can get completely immersed in the mystery - and feel pretty darn good about finally catching the culprit.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Younger Kids

    ESRB Rating: NR (but equivalent to E for Everyone)

    Price: $19.99 at sabigames.com

    This revolutionary learning game tests children's reading skills by using written requests to ask them to draw something. The object they drew then comes to life and becomes part of the animated scene. Characters will interact with the object the child sketched and use it properly, no matter what it looks like.

    Tags: Video Games
  • The game is set up through a series of "quests" that players complete by drawing the right objects and thereby correctly completing the scene. Although it's intended for young kids testing their vocabulary, there's no reason older kids (or even adults) wouldn't have a ball watching their scribbles come to life.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Older Kids

    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

    Price: $6.99, amazon.com

    Playing as teenage Stacy - whose wholesome goal is to earn enough money to buy a telescope - kids get to put themselves in charge of other kids. But the virtual charges make big messes, and in each of the dozens of very different houses available to babysit in, Stacy will be kept quite busy cleaning up.

    Tags: Video Games
  • While keeping track of rambunctious children, mopping up spills, washing laundry, and picking up garbage may not sound like the kind of fun most kids go for, this hectic time-management game can be addictive fun. And keep in mind that players can give their naughty tykes a time out -- now, that's cathartic.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Older Kids

    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

    Price: $9.45, amazon.com

    Jill Evans, pastry chef extraordinaire, is preparing for her wedding when she is accidentally zapped through time and space. To return home, she must establish awesome bakeries in places like ancient China, medieval England, and revolutionary France (an obvious choice, give the whole "Let them eat cake" business).

    Tags: Video Games
  • Silly sci-fi premise aside, though, this is a fun, frantic game about running a bakery. The pace gets increasingly chaotic as you take order, bake and ice cakes, and try to keep customers happy.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Older Kids

    ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10+

    Price: $8.95 per episode, telltalegames.com

    This episodic game (there are four parts in total) puts you in the clay shoes of Britain¿s funniest stop-motion exports. The hapless, cheese-loving Wallace and his infinitely smarter dog, Gromit, are just as lovable here as they are in their Academy Award-winning film shorts. In these interconnected adventures, the duo deal with swarming bees, wrangle stray dogs, solve a mystery, and save the neighborhood. These are true story games, in which working out puzzling plot points allows players to see what happens next. And what happens next is almost always hilarious. [Also available on Xbox 360]

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Older Kids

    ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10+

    Price: $19.99, amazon.com

    The video game that started the Lego revolution on consoles finally comes to PC. Players can re-enact all six Star Wars films with cute Lego mini-figure versions of their favorite intergalactic heroes and villains.

    Tags: Video Games
  • The laser-blasting combat and dark twists of the saga are made far more palatable to young children by the fact that the cast is made of toy bricks and simply break apart when they "die." One of the coolest features has characters using loose Lego bricks to build new items - from bridges to spaceships - during the course of the game. [Also available on Wii, Xbox 360 & PS3]

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Older Kids

    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

    Price: 800 Microsoft Points, marketplace.xbox.com

    This eerie, atmospheric, fairy tale of a game has a startlingly beautiful look to it. Watching the game is like staring at a picture book come to life, its painted characters magically moving.

    Tags: Video Games
  • The young heroine travels continuously through the game world, so all you have to do is help her continue her journey. The player places items - such as stairs, bridges, and springboards - along her path, in order to help her avoid traps and dangerous animals. It sounds simple, but it's deceptively challenging. [Also available on Xbox 360]

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Older Kids

    ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10+

    Price: $8.95 per episode, telltalegames.com

    Another episodic PC game (this one has five parts in total), Tales of Monkey Island weaves the bizarrely hilarious tale of pirate wannabe, Guybrush Threepwood. If you¿re curious about just how weird the plot can get, in Episode 3, the hero is swallowed by a giant manatee. It¿s an old-school, point-and-click style story game (meaning you point the cursor at objects and people in the scene in order to interact with them), that relies heavily on puzzle-solving¿and paying close attention to the witty dialogue¿in order to move on to the next humorous scene. [Also available on Wii]

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Younger and Older Kids

    ESRB Rating: NR (but equivalent to E for Everyone)

    Price: $19.95, crayonphysics.com

    This brain-expanding puzzle game forces players to really flex their imagination muscles. On each level, you'll have to move a ball to a certain spot in order to win. The way you do it is by drawing new objects (the graphics all look like crayon-on-paper) into the scene. You could sketch ramps, stairs, slides - whatever you think will do the trick. The game is completely open in terms of what players can create and there are no specific solutions to any of the puzzles. If you manage to draw a tree and a banana that somehow move the ball to the goal, you still win.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Younger kids

    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

    Price: $8.55, amazon.com

    Based on the mega-popular toy line, Littlest Pet Shop brings home the magic of owning your own virtual pet shop. The game features 32 of the most popular pets in the series , and players can explore three unique environments and complete 16 puzzles and mini-games to earn new pets, accessories and playsets.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Younger kids

    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

    Price: $4.89, amazon.com

    MySims arrives on the PC with loads of options. Up to eight players can take part in multiplayer sessions that include modifying each other's architecture, playing minigames like hide-and-seek and tag, chatting and using emotes, and dancing. If you're concerned about safety, don't be: EA has included an invite-only multiplayer system, where players must manually add their buddies' EA.com login names before they can play together online.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Older kids

    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

    Price: $14.99, shop.capcom.com

    Flock puts gamers in the cockpit of a UFO. Player aliens try to wrangle various farm animals and safely get from one area of the map back to their alien base to safely abduct the earth creatures. But scarecrows, geysers, piranhas, and even trees and fences provide ample challenge for the task at hand.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Older kids

    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

    Price: $8.55, amazon.com

    FutureU provides a fun way to prep high school students for the SAT by ditching repetitive, monotonous tests. It takes the concepts, theories and formulas behind the questions and turns them into a collection of fun, interactive games to challenge players' readiness. With several game styles that cover the test material, there's something for knowledge seekers of all ages.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: Older kids

    ESRB Rating: E 10+ for Everyone 10 and up

    Price: $29.99, amazon.com

    Players guide a single-cell organism in the primordial ooze (where it feeds in a Pac-Man styled game) as it attempts to climb the food chain. Once certain levels are met, players can give their creatures ears, eyes, legs, arms, and other body parts as they evolve and move up the evolutionary ladder. Creatures can then do battle, build cities, advance their societies, and even explore the stars.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: The whole family

    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

    Price: Free to play

    This massive multi-player online soccer game utilizes anime-inspired graphics and action-packed gamplay to present a compelling respresentation of the world's most popular sport. Players can earn Star Points to customize their characters' skill sets, and coins to purchase avatar add-ons and participate in special events.

    (Click here to play at gongonline.com)

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: The whole family

    ESRB Rating: E 10+ for Everyone 10 and up

    Price: $12.95, amazon.com

    Featuring the celebrity voice talent of pop-singer Jesse McCartney and actor Cody Linley as Frank and Joe Hardy, The Hardy Boys: The Hidden Theft puts players in full sleuth mode as they search for clues, choose from a variety of dialogue to make each game unique, and use a cell phone to call old pal Nancy Drew in order to solve the theft at Spensor Manor.

    Tags: Video Games
  • Appropriate for: The whole family

    ESRB Rating: E is for Everyone

    Price: $12.99, amazon.com

    The entire family can once again experience the magic of the classic fantasy film through this officially licensed PC game tie-in. The Princess Bride Game features varied scenarios that require gamers to help Princess Buttercup and Westley manage life on the farm, concoct miracle remedies, and vanquish the evil prince in order to live happily ever. The game features voices from the film's original cast members.

    Tags: Video Games

comments