What Makes a Good Family Game for the Nintendo Wii?
Children are becoming interested in video games at increasingly younger ages. With the popularity of junior game systems like the V-Smile and the Leapster, it should come as no surprise that children as young as four or five are clamoring to play the Nintendo Wii. However, that doesn’t mean they should get to play whatever game you happen to have handy.
When looking for family games for the Nintendo Wii, you want to avoid titles which include the following:
- Presence of inappropriate language
- Sexual references
- Violent content
- Controls that are too difficult for young players
- An overly involved plot
Good Features for Family Games
Good family games tend to make excellent use of the unique and special features of the Nintendo Wii. Generally speaking, the best family games for the Wii are those which feature a goal that is easy to understand and game play that can be completed in 15 to 30 minute increments. Young children have short attention spans and older players often have too busy of schedules to spend hours in front of a game system.
Rating Systems for Games
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ERSB) provides ratings on video game titles that can give you a rough guideline of what age group a particular game is appropriate for.
- EC (early childhood)
- E (everyone)
- E10 (players ages 10 and up)
- T (teenagers)
- M (ages 17 and up)
- AO (adults only)
Keep in mind that the ratings above are only general guidelines. If your child is very mature for his age and your family doesn’t believe in censoring other types of media consumption, you may have no problem with him playing a game that is rated for slightly older children. On the opposite end of the spectrum, children with developmental disabilities may be more comfortable playing games targeted towards a slightly younger audience.
You can find more detailed information about the content of a particular Nintendo Wii game by reviewing the ratings on sites like Common Sense Media. Customer ratings on sites like Amazon.com can also give good clues as to whether a game is a smart buy for your family.
5 of the Best E/E10 Rated Nintendo Wii Family Games
If you’re searching for the best E/E10 rated Nintendo Wii family games, here are some titles that will appeal to rowdy preschoolers, picky teens, and still-hip grandmas alike.
Wii Sports: This is the basic game that comes bundled with your Nintendo Wii system purchase, but it’s sure to quickly become a favorite for gamers of all ages. Choose from boxing, bowling, golf, tennis, or baseball. All of these games are great family-friendly activities that provide a fairly decent workout.
- Wii Playground: The controls on this game are very simple, but children will love the hilarity of watching Mom and Dad attempt to play dodgeball, tetherball, and other classic recess games. Mom and Dad will appreciate the fact that they’re making fools of themselves in the living room instead of on an actual playground.
- Smarty Pants: Trivia games are very popular, but kind of hard to play if your group includes people of varying ages. Smarty Pants solves this problem by letting you assign an age group for each player, so everyone is assured of getting the appropriate questions for their skill level. Completing fun motion tasks with the Wii remote adds some additional interest to the game.
Mario Kart Wii: A racing game of karts with the characters of the Mario Brothers series, this title is sure to appeal to both the young and the young at heart.
- Let’s Tap: With five mini-games to choose from, this title is a great choice for a family fun night party. Players must tap on a set of cardboard boxes to move their characters, which is a surprisingly accessible game design.
One of the great things about the Nintendo Wii is that make of the games are played with a high level of physical activity. This changes console play from a sedentary activity to one that almost resembles exercise. Because the gameplay is active, accidents happen. Read this article about Nintendo Wii and Wii-mote accidents and disasters for more information.
A Word of Advice
While this article provides a few basic suggestions for the best E/E10 rated Nintendo Wii family games, it’s important to keep in mind that personal preferences play a big role in whether or not someone finds a game to be enjoyable. If you’re on a tight budget, rent a few games at your local video store to see what your children enjoy and what you can see yourself playing more than once or twice. Even if you accidentally rack up a few days worth of late fees, this is still a smarter choice than spending between $20 and $50 on a game you might not even like.