With the kids out of school, video games can be a fun and safe way to create family memories at home.
Looking for family friendly games you can play together? Here are some of our top picks!
This is a cute game that is safe for all ages and encourages creative problem solving. Work together with your teammates to solve puzzles by cutting out paper shapes and jumping around different levels. Since there's more than one way to complete a level, parents and kids can be creative together and try new things.
This wildly popular game may be something your kids are already familiar with. Either way, it's easy to pick up and the sky's the limit in terms of creativity. You can simply jump in together and try to survive, make something amazing in creative mode, or create family challenges.
For example, you can work toward a goal such as building a village or getting everyone ready to enter the Nether. Each person could be assigned a task to complete like mining ore, gathering materials, or trading with villagers. Plus, don't underestiminate the power of a group adventure!
Depending on which platform you use, there are a ton of Minecraft mods and paid add-ons to change the look and feel if you want to shake things up, too. Plus, Mojang is always adding new features to keep things interesting.
Playing on PC? Try Minecraft GameSense for SteelSeries Engine!
If you want to have some good old fashioned family competition, give Rocket League a try. The concept is easy - playing soccer with rocket-powered cars instead of people.
You can have up to four players assigned to each of the two teams, using rocket-powered vehicles to hit a ball into their opponent's goal and score points over the course of a match. Rocket League can be played by yourself or with others, both locally and online. The best part is, you don't all have to have the same platform - Rocket League features cross-play so you can have 4 people on the Xbox and 4 on the PlayStation, etc.
Core rules can be modified to make custom matches, and different game modes let you change things up whenever you like.
Super Mario Party
Super Mario Party is a virtual board game for up to 4 people. Each player takes his/her turn rolling the dice and moving about until they land on one of 80 mini games. The goal is to try to win the most stars and challenges range from matching bananas to flipping meat and duking it out in tanks or playing basketball. As you'd imagine, there are a lot of Nintendo characters to choose from and they each get their own dice, which adds to the strategy.
If you have two Nintendo Switch systems, you can lay them flat on the table and combine the screens into one image for Toad's Rec Room mode, changing your gameplay depending on how the two units are arranged.
The Splatoon series is Nintendo's family friendly answer to the popular shooter genre, where players shoot ink instead of bullets. The game features several modes of competitive play, including a kind of turf war where your team has to spray more of the map with your color of ink than the other team.
Transforming from humanoid to squid will allow you to swim faster through your own ink, as well as replenish ammo and restore your health. Splatoon 2 has several new modes as well as new "weapons" like shields and jet packs to help you navigate the maps and emerge victorious!
Overcooked and Overcooked 2 are two silly but challenging games that require a team to work together in a kitchen to complete orders. Full of food-based puns and crazy characters, the kitchen levels get wackier over time and feature obstacles that you must plan for and communicate with your teammates to overcome.
Just like being a real line cook, players have to adapt and overcome, because mishaps will happen. And, as our cook-turned-SteelSeries content manager says, "Sometimes you just have to watch it burn."
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart is one of those timeless games like Monopoly that will either bring your family together or cause so much drama you will be telling the stories for generations. Pick a player, race, and use your power ups to gain the advantage or slow down your enemies. Good, clean fun featuring all your favorite Super Mario characters.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a smash hit for Nintendo, creating the perfect storm of wholesome gameplay with online connections in a world of social distancing. Customize your island, buy and sell goods, and invite other players to hang out with you.
The internet has been full of heart-warming stories about families playing together, throwing each other birthday parties, and playing games when they can't be together in real life.
Push Me Pull You
This little gem is as wholesome as it is weird to look at. A team of up to 4 people, 2 people to a controller, have to maneuver their wresting, two-headed mutants to keep a ball or balls in a designated area when the time runs out. It's easy to pick up and master, and there are several modes to try ranging from competition to exploration together.
Players are encouraged to express gratitude, encouragement and love regardless of who wins. It's appropriate for all ages and definitely a conversation starter!