Although many of those who are being fathers and mothers in these years are already considered digital natives, there is still a digital gap between our children and us. It is definitely easier to worry about their diet, their physical activity or what they have learned in class rather than understanding what your children watch when they are in front of a screen, especially when we talk about video games. In previous articles we have already talked about the benefits that video games can bring as a family under responsible consumption, as well as we have recommended some ideal coop games to play with your kids.
This week we wanted to gather a total of five open-world games -sandbox video games, as they’re known- which are perfect to promote the creativity of your kids.
PEGI 3 to PEGI 12
With more than 90 million players worldwide, Roblox is one of the most successful current sandbox video games among all children. This game allows players to create, from various Lego-style pieces, their own worlds and mini-games, with the option to play and enjoy the rest of the creation of the community itself. There is no specific goal or end.
According to the official website, there are already more than 15 million creations made by the same community of players. “Every day, virtual explorers visit us to create adventures, play, participate in role-playing games and learn with friends, in an immersive 3D environment suitable for the whole family,” they write from the official site.
Another advantage of this game is its accessibility: in addition of being free-to-play, you can play Roblox from your PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon and Xbox One device. Roblox adventures are accessible from any device so players can play with friends no matter where they are.
Last but not least: the creators of Roblox are fully aware that it is a video game designed for kids so they encourage its use in classrooms. Through manuals for students and educators, the developers explain how the game can become a tool to learn things like video game design or programming.
In Grow Home you play as B.U.D. (Botanical Utility Droid), a robot with a clear mission: find the Star Plant and save your planet. Ubisoft this time introduces to its players an open world artistically beautiful as well as curious; a planet with floating islands, steep descents, caves and waterfalls to navigate...
The world of Grow Home is designed for vertical exploration, so players should always try to ascend in the map. Control the hands of B.U.D., each independently, to grab onto any surface and grow the Star Plant in any direction. Little by little the player will be transforming Star Plant into a very high organic sculpture that will completely remodel every planet he/she explores.
As a good sandbox video game, in Grow Home there is no one way of playing: players are free to explore the diverse biomes, hidden caves and multiple micro-islands in the game. On all the islands you pass through there will be hidden gems that will give you energy for your trip and will improve your skills. Use the Star Plant and your climbing skills to explore the world thoroughly, interact with the local flora and fauna, or simply enjoy the majestic landscape that you will create as you climb higher and higher...
With a total absence of violence and an artistically magical world that invites exploration, Grow Home is another great essential title to promote the imagination of children, with a PEGI 3 - suitable for all family members. It is available on PC and PS4.
Although you are not a regular consumer of video games, it is very difficult that the name of Minecraft does not ring a bell. In a very similar way to Roblox, it is a block-construction sandbox video game set in an open world.
It is such a stimulating game for the little ones that has been used since its launch in 2009 in many schools to enhance creativity and problem solving. The limit of Minecraft is practically in the imagination of each one and in the blocks that form its whole world. Recreations of real and fictional worlds, huge ships, dreamlike landscapes, castles...
Today the community has recreated almost everything you can imagine within Minecraft. Also in a very similar way to Roblox, another important feature of Minecraft is that there is no goal or way of winning it. Players can decide how to spend time in the game: from collecting resources, going to fight against enemies to simply building. And last but not least: you can play cooperatively, so your children can play with their friends - or even with their parents - by coordinating and creating strategies together to go forward the game. Minecraft has a PEGI 7, so it is not recommended for children under seven years old.
Subnautica is a sandbox-underwater-world video game. The player must create his/her equipment, fly submarines and avoid wildlife to explore incredible underwater life in an unknown world.
Subnautica oceans range from shallow and sun-drenched coral reefs to treacherous deep-water trenches, lava fields and bioluminescent underwater rivers. Without forgetting to manage the oxygen supply, players can explore seaweed forests, plateaus, reefs and sinuous cave systems. Craft equipment, pilot submarines and out-smart wildlife to explore lush coral reefs, volcanoes, cave systems, and more - all while trying to survive.
The game also has a huge community that helps and advises each other, as is well reflected in its official forums, where players share their tips, tricks and guides to find rare materials, craft new objects or discover the most remote secrets of this universe.
Subnautica gathers exploration, survival and resource management in the best way. Of course, unlike the first recommended games, Subnautica has a PEGI 7, so it is not recommended for children under seven years.
Considered by many people as a 2D Minecraft-alike, Terraria is a sandbox video game that combines exploration, crafting and construction. As defined by its creators: "The world is your canvas and the earth, it is your painting."
In addition to a free way to play with an entire world at your disposal, another interesting feature about Terraria is its randomly generated worlds, so the experience of each user is completely different. This aspect also allows users to exploit the game to the fullest, dedicating dozens and even hundreds of hours to the game.
Explore, gather resources, dig, build your own home or castle to defend yourself against enemies... Unlike Roblox or Minecraft, Terraria itself is more goal-based, since every task you complete, you can bring new villagers to the buildings that you have built. Terraria is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, mobile devices and Nintendo Switch. Important notice for parents: Terraria has a PEGI 12, so it is not recommended for children under twelve.
What is good from this sandbox video games?
Definitely what sets apart this selection of sandbox video games is their open-ended play aspect, and that is something we firmly believe it makes a great kids game and something we always incorporate in Melbits products, like the multiple strategies you can use to overcome the puzzles of Melbits World or the different ways of hatching a Melbit you can try with our upcoming product, the Melbits POD. Open ended play is something that is present in all traditional toys and what makes kids imagination to flex.
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