Welcome one and all to the profound and surprisingly fun list of top 5 meaningful PS4 games for children. We all want to let the little ones play with us, or on their own, but a lot of games are too violent, or if they are kid friendly, they don’t teach them anything about the world, or about life in general. Yes, games like Peggle are certainly fun, but ultimately the player isn’t gaining any deeper understanding of the world, or themselves, by playing it.
So, today we’ll examine games that young gamers can jump right into with little to no help. Of course, the older the better, I don’t see a two-year-old playing these by themselves, so keep that in mind. Regardless, these games know no age and bring some incredible experiences with them. Let’s check them out.
5 Deep and Meaningful PS4 Games For Kids
When I say "meaningful" I am referring to games that have some sort of life lesson or profound message to pass on to the player. Our children are impressionable and ready to absorb almost limitless messages and ideas. These games will teach them great values and morals while also keeping them entertained. Let's see what made the list!
5. Thomas Was Alone
Image via Screwattack
This game was made by a single guy who was bored one day and decided to make a game. I for one am very glad he was bored that day because this is a unique and fun puzzle/platforming game that weaves a heartfelt tale of friendship and the uniqueness that we all have. You play first as Thomas, a small red rectangle who happens to be alone. The game is set within a computer program and a narrator tells you what each of the characters are thinking as you progress.
Thomas is soon joined by other characters who take the form of a large blue square, a small orange square, and a thin yellow rectangle. They each have unique abilities that help you solve puzzles and as the game progresses, these other characters learn to appreciate each other’s abilities. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this game teaches kids about accepting all kinds of people for who they are, and appreciating the things that make them unique.
4. Valiant Hearts
Image via My Games Lounge
I’ll bet you wouldn’t have a guessed a game based on World War I would be on here, would you? While this game does tackle a very violent subject, it is portrayed in a cartoon style that doesn’t shock and awe with blood and gore, but instead shows the contributions of ordinary people who were able to do extraordinary things.
The game focuses on puzzle-based situations and keeps the violence to a minimum while offering a wealth of educational items to read.
We all know how violent war can be, so how do we explain it to our kids without exposing them to horrific images? The answer is a game like this that does so with a light hand and a focus on the emotions and the people behind the war, instead of focusing on the violence.
3. The Unfinished Swan
Image via Gamer Assault Weekly
While not the most uplifting premise, this game is about a boy named Monroe whose mother loved to paint. When she passed away, he was taken to a orphanage and he could only bring one painting with him. He chose the unfinished swan, and one night the swan from the painting comes to life and leads him into a completely different world.
As you play, you slowly begin to unveil the world by throwing paint onto things to reveal them. More mechanics are introduced as it goes on, and ultimately the children’s book style story teaches us things about life and death, while providing fun puzzles to boot. Ultimately it’s an uplifting title that even the young ones can play without too much difficulty.
Even if they don’t understand the story, the mechanics at play are simple and fun, and the sense of discovery is very genuine.
Image via sms.playstation.com
Flower is a very simple, but very meaningful game. You begin each level as a single flower petal and you hold down any button you’d like to make the wind blow. You guide this petal by tilting the controller to change the direction that the wind is blowing. Through this you gain additional petals and slowly begin to heal the land around you. The game is incredibly deep, but most of the meaning is through metaphors.
Ultimately, it’s a game about how nature will always prevail, and how we sometimes overstep our bounds in the name of progress. It’s a game about the delicate balance that we share with the planet we inhabit. It’s equal parts inspiring, relaxing, and fun. Possibly the best thing about it is how simple the mechanics are. It’s great for almost any age.
It helps your kids understand the impact that we have on nature, and in turn what it can do for us. I cannot recommend this one enough. For more information, check out my full review.
1. Never Alone
Image via PlayStation
When I first heard the concept of this game, I was blown away. The game was brought about as a means of immortalizing and spreading the culture of the Inupiat people who are an Alaskan Native tribe. The game is based off of a folktale that is told among the peoples of this culture. The main character is a young girl named Nuna who, together with her arctic fox companion, must restore balance to the world by visiting the source of an eternal blizzard.
This heartwarming tale would be good on its own, but what elevates Never Alone to greatness is the way that the culture of the Inupiat people is woven into the game itself. As you play you unlock small documentary style clips where you can learn more about the culture and their beliefs from actual people who did interviews for the game.
I had never heard of these people prior to playing this, and I am a better person because I played it. The game introduces a people who truly live off the land and respect everything on it, from the oceans to the polar bears. They are an ancient and proud people who have a love for all living things that every child should be exposed to. Your kid will learn so much about these people, but they will also learn more about themselves and receive a positive message about treating all things with respect and reverence.
It’s a one-of-a-kind experience and the ability to play two-player makes it easy for you to assist or join in on the fun. An absolutely meaningful and educational title that I think everyone should play.
Price and Availability of These Titles
The good news is that you can play each of these games right now. They are all downloadable titles and all of them are less than $20 to purchase. Don’t forget my other list of the top 5 fun PS4 games for children either! You should read that one next. What meaningful games do you play with your kids? Any suggestions for us? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
Article by: Bradley Ramsey
Insert date: 6/30/15