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Best NES/SNES/TG-16/Genesis co-op games to play with toddlers


LutherDestroysTheGond
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I'm looking for fun co-op games to play with my toddler/preschooler.  Ideally, a game that isn't too punishing that can just help her get used to controller and can have fun.  1 player game suggestions would be great, too!

I remember there was a thread on NA about this and I think two games mentioned were Chip N Dale and Ms PacMan.  

I've really only played Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros with her so far.  She gets bored after about 5 minutes of each but it's a start!

Thank you for any suggestions.

Edited by LutherDestroysTheGond
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  • The title was changed to Best NES/SNES/TG-16/Genesis co-op games to play with toddlers

I think beat-em-ups are generally good for co-op with younger players. There's typically always something happening on-screen so it keeps their attention, the controls are fairly simple and you can give them as much or as little assistance as you feel they need in most situations. Turtles IV or Hyperstone Heist might be a decent pick and they have adjustable difficulty/extra lives, etc. Turtles IV got a lot of play with my sons when they were younger.

 

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Wheres @archangel - he has a different opinion on not coddling kids with easy games.

Maybe around 4 or 5 I had Gaunlet, SMB, Toobin, Lifeforce, and that Sesame St. game. then maybe around 7 Super Mario World and Zelda: Lttp

I always thought Kirbys Dreamland 3 had good colors and would be easy for kids.

 

Edited by Californication
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My daughter is 6 years old (turning 7 next month) and just couldn't find something she really enjoyed playing co-op but she has low frustration tolerance, what worked best for us was Zelda games with me controlling the action and she giving suggestions on what to do, we've beaten Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild, it was until Ocarina of Time when she could pick up the controller and do some exploration/combat on her own, unfortunately it's not in the consoles you're looking for but if you're open to it give it a try.

Some other suggestions that could work:
SMB3
Bubble Bobble
Life Force (use Konami code)
Guerrilla War (infinite continues if I recall correctly)
TMNT IV & Hyperstone Heist as suggested by @Webhead123
Other good co-op beat'em ups like Final Fight 2/3 & Streets of Rage series
Any version of Street Fighter II to play in Vs. mode
Secret of Mana
 

Edited by Abelardo
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39 minutes ago, Abelardo said:

My daughter is 6 years old (turning 7 next month) and just couldn't find something she really enjoyed playing co-op but she has low frustration tolerance, what worked best for us was Zelda games with me controlling the action and she giving suggestions on what to do, we've beaten Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild, it was until Ocarina of Time when she could pick up the controller and do some exploration/combat on her own, unfortunately it's not in the consoles you're looking for but if you're open to it give it a try.

Some other suggestions that could work:
SMB3
Bubble Bobble
Life Force (use Konami code)
Guerrilla War (infinite continues if I recall correctly)
TMNT IV & Hyperstone Heist as suggested by @Webhead123
Other good co-op beat'em ups like Final Fight 2/3 & Streets of Rage series
Any version of Street Fighter II to play in Vs. mode
Secret of Mana
 

Doing Zelda like that might be a good idea, I think it would keep her engaged enough.  My daughter also has a low threshold for frustration as well.  Once she gets past the frustration and gains a little confidence in something then she's off and running. 

I tried Mega Man X and TMNT IV but she didnt want to hurt the enemies after a bit and she wanted them to be her friends.

 

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My son really liked Fisher Price Firehouse Rescue for NES when he was learning to play games. There are no enemies to fight and the gameplay concepts are simple and easy to grasp. He liked navigating the mazes and saving the little people. It's good for getting someone used to a controller.

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Streets of Rage 2 is a perfect button masher that keeps them engaged.  My 4 and 6 year olds also loved watching me play through Zelda Link's Awakening on Switch.  Oldest would play a lot of overworld parts but would get scared in the dungeons and turn it over to me!

PS - I believe the NA thread that you referenced was started by me too.  Time flies!

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Member · Posted

Played a couple games with my niece (2)and nephew (3).  Seemed like they enjoyed it.

Sonic Mania: He played as Tails which is the perfect tag along character since he can’t die and always flies back.

Kirby Superstar: She played as the ally with the copy ability.  Could move but didn’t get how to attack.

Mario Kart 8:  They both played together as the cars autodrive and stay on course.  She liked steering and he changed the camera a lot.

Each of these sessions was about 10 mins but that is about their attention spans.  They struggled with controlling the stick and pressing buttons at the same time, toddlers just don’t have the fine motor skills.

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Member · Posted

Another thing I thought about is while they do like playing on a big screen, they lose track of where their fingers are on the controller.  Maybe handheld would be easier since they can visually see the screen and the placement of their fingers on the buttons without looking back and forth?  They might be more used to that since they are used to playing on a tablet anyways.

Edited by fox
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I don't have kids, but I think anything with simple controls and a colorful screen would be enjoyed most by young kids.  A few that come to mind for me are:

Arkanoid

Donkey Kong

Boulder Dash

Galaga

There are also several Fisher Price and Sesame Street games that are made for young kids.

 

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Bump.

Well, my kid can now get about halfway through World 1-1 in Super Mario Bros and can consistently hit 3-4 ducks in a round of Duck Hunt, both are big improvements! 

I'm working on tracking down the Sesame Street and Fisher Price games locally.  I looked up the Fisher Price Firehouse Rescue mentioned above and it looks like a good basic game to get used to the d-pad. 

Also I'm going to try the play-along with a top-down Zelda where I'l play and she says where to go.  I'll probably start with the first LoZ or LttP.  The new art style of the Link's Awakening remake might be appealing too.  I might try an Ittle Dew title as well.

Something else I might try when she can fully read is an Animal Crossing title.  Very low stakes and forgiving.  Maybe it'll also teach her budgeting and how to pay off debt! lol

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