Gamers come in all shapes, sizes, and ages now. You no longer have to wait until you are old enough to hold a controller before mom and dad sink money into a console. Kids can game as soon as they can swipe their fingers on a screen. Mac games may be slightly more complex, but there is still lots of kid-friendly content that even the youngest gamers can enjoy. Here's our list of favorites.
- Frozen Free Fall
- Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
- Cars 2: The Video Game
- Amelia and the Terror of the Night - Story Book for Kids
- Fantastic 4 In A Row Free
- Micro Monster Truck
- Rail Maze 2
Frozen Free Fall
Anything with a Frozen theme is bound to excite most kids these days. Frozen Free Fall is a match-three style game that lets you clear away frosty gems. It provides enough complexity that grown-ups can get carried away with it, but can also be played very simply. If your little one just wants to match colors without keeping score, they will still have fun. Plus, with the likes of Elsa and Olaf hanging around, it's almost like they are right there playing along with you. In addition to the icy Winter mode, you can unlock Summer mode by completing enough levels.
For a bit of match-three fun that the whole family can enjoy, play this Frozen themed version for hours of warm hugs.
This game does offer in-app purchases, so be sure your parental controls are set up.
- Free - Download now
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Castle of Illusion is a great platform game that originally came out on Sega Genesis and has since been updated and released on new devices, including Mac. It's a perfect entry-level game for kids that have mastered simple games and are ready for something a bit more complex.
It is a typical platform style game. Players must time jumps so they don't fall into the abyss. There are puzzles that need solving. But none of it is so complicated or complex that a young gamer couldn't get the hang of it eventually.
It uses the arrow and space keys on your keyboard, with a couple of additional keys for special moves. It was originally built for console gaming, so using a compatible game pad is recommended. I've played it with the keyboard and it is somewhat awkward.
If your little one is ready to graduate to some more skill-based gaming, Castle of Illusion is a great gateway game into the platformer genre.
- $14.99 Download now
Cars 2: The Video Game
What could be more fun than combining one of Disney's most popular animated films with a good old-fashioned racing game? Adding weapons, that's what. You can take control of Lightning McQueen or one of the other iconic Cars 2 characters and race to catch the bad guys as a secret agent for C.H.R.O.M.E. You'll learn all of the tricks to racing, drifting, and pulling off sweet tricks in the air. It's not all fun and games, though. You'll have to take down enemy Lemons with machine guns, lasers, missiles, and more.
You can choose from about a half dozen iconic characters right from the start. Plus, you will unlock new racers as you play missions. Missions also unlock new courses and types of races that you can have fun with.
Cars 2: The Video Game is definitely designed for older kids between ages eight to 13. Players use the arrow keys to drive, but they must also use many different key combinations to activate stunts and weapons.
It has somewhat high system requirements. Don't download the game until you've made sure your Mac meets the minimum.
If your preteen loves racing games and has fond memories of Cars 2, The Video Game will satisfy their need for speed.
- $9.99 - Download now
Amelia and the Terror of the Night - Story Book for Kids
Even grown-ups can be scared of the dark sometimes. It always helps when you have friends to help guide you through the night. That's what Amelia and her adventurous friends find out as they head out on a dangerous journey to stop an evil creature from stealing souls.
This is mostly an interactive storybook with some mini games peppered throughout. On each page, you can look out for three hidden stars. When you click on a circle, you'll reveal a surprise character, and possible a star. There are also a couple of mini games to keep young minds engaged, like Hide & Seek, or a Simon Says style pattern copy game.
Amelia and the Terror of the Night is best suited for smaller children, between the ages of four and six. Though I should point out that it deals with some dark themes and may trigger some questions from your little one.
It is beautifully illustrated and has clear, understandable narration. If you want to take the game for a spin to make sure your tyke enjoys it, you can play the first seven pages for free.
If your tiny tot is looking for something exciting to read for story time, Amelia and the Terror of the Night has an adventure on every page.
- $2.99 - Download now
Fantastic 4 In A Row Free
Kids just can't get enough of the classic game of Connect Four. It's simple. It's fun. It doesn't require any instructions, really. Fantastic 4 In A Row is a digital version that makes it possible for your youngling to play it alone or with a friend.
You can play solo against a computer-generated opponent, or pass-and-play style with another person in the room. You can also connect to Game Center and play online. If you're tired of losing against your kindergartener, let them play solo for a bit while you calm your internal rage.
Depending on the skill level of your opponent, you can play simple and fast, or compete in mind-crushing matches. Kids of all ages will have fun playing because they can change the level of difficulty of the computer opponent. Basically, if your child likes Connect Four, they will like this game, too.
For bite-sized bits of fun that even the youngest of gamers can enjoy, Play Fantastic 4 In A Row Free.
- Free - Download now
Micro Monster Truck
You can have plenty of RC race car fun and not scare the cat with Micro Monster Truck. Players take control of a mini four-wheeler to drive through an obstacle course built from objects right out of the toy chest. The goal is to collect three stars on each level, but you can take the mini monster truck off roading across the entire course.
You play with the WASD keys, so it is important to be clear on your child's skill level with computer games. Micro Monster Truck also uses "rag doll" graphics, or realistic physics. So, it might be a little frustrating for younger gamers. The developer suggests that this game is good for children five to eight years old.
If your tiny gamer likes to perform stunts and is reasonably skilled with WASD keyboard controls, they will be able to zoom across the room playing Micro Monster Truck.
- $1.99 - Download now
Rail Maze 2
This is a fantastic puzzle game for kids, since it teaches some reasoning and logic skills through trying to simply get trains to their destinations. You must rotate, drag, and change the direction of train tracks so that every train gets to where it needs to go without trouble, but each level will have a different obstacle. For example, in one level you must get a train to go when a light turns red so that it stops and lets another train by without smashing into it.
As the game goes on, each level gets increasingly difficult, as track types and obstacles are combined, making for some pretty vexing puzzles. There's even a level of the day that you can play, which has a theme based on the time of year. You can also set the difficulty at easy, medium, or hard, and progress is saved every time you play, so your kids can come back and continue from where they left off. The visuals are fun and change for each level (some even have lava!), and the game's addicting enough to keep your young'ns entertained for quite a while.
- Free - Download now
Does your little one sit behind the computer, playing games better than you ever could at that age? What is their favorite go-to Mac game? Let us know in the comments.
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