Tagged:  video games

Old Games for New Kids: Katamari Damacy

katamari damacy

In our series Old Games for New Kids, we suggest a great past-generation game to play with your new-generation children.

Katamari Damacy (2003)
by Namco – PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Vita, Xbox 360

(Okay, I realize this series is about “old” games and I’m talking about a series that’s available on all of the current systems. But since this franchise reaches back to the PlayStation 2, it’s fair to say that you’d be “old school” enough to yank the ol’ PS2 out of your closet and set it up in your kid’s room.)

If you yourself have never played the Katamari Damacy series, you’re missing out on a real treat. In every game in the series, you play the Prince, whose father is the King of All Cosmos – a foppishly dressed dude in charge of making stars. So, he has you, a little green prince, roll a ball around, picking stuff up (which you use to make stars…don’t ask). Literally, that’s the whole game! But whereas you start in small areas like a bedroom, picking up paperclips and candy, you later find yourself outside, rolling up whole buildings and oil tankers. As your ball gets bigger in a given level, you’re able to access more areas. The bigger your ball of stuff when the timer hits zero, the more pleased your dad-king is. And if you roll up hidden items in the level, you get extra royal rainbows!


simpsons hit and run

In our series Old Games for New Kids, we suggest a great past-generation game to play with your new-generation children.

The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003)
by Vivendi Universal – GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox

I love sharing video games with my daughter, but I’ll admit that, lately, I’ve been a little concerned about HOW she plays video games. My kid is six, so the majority of games she plays are either touch-based games on the iPad or motion controller games on the Nintendo Wii. And, as a guy who grew up in the Nintendo generation, I wanted my daughter to spend some quality time with a more old school controller – i.e. a rectangular thing you hold with some kind of directional pad and/or stick and some kind of A/B button configuration. So I set out looking for older controller-centric games that might catch her interest and be simple enough in their design to help her get comfortable using an iconic action-button gamepad design. And the game I landed on was 2003’s The Simpsons Hit & Run.


Sorry Son Nerd Hoard

I’m nerdy. And I’m a hoarder. This was bad enough news for my wife, who made the mistake of telling me when we met that she had a box of old Nintendo and Super Nintendo games in her parents’ garage. Most of them corroded beyond repair, I still kept them. She may not know this fact.

But my nerd hoarding is worse news for my son. Now, most nerds love to share their wares with their children; true, no one’s teaching their kids to read with collectible comics, nor are they donning their potty-training toddlers in “rare” shirts they picked up at Comic-Con. But many nerdy dads are more than happy to peel off a page of video game themed stickers they got somewhere, or make their kid the envy of his class by passing along a Super Mario Bros. rubber bracelet to them or a Nintendo hat. Not this guy.


Old Games for New Kids: Rampage


In our series Old Games for New Kids, we suggest a great past-generation game to play with your new-generation children.

Rampage (1988)
by Data East – NES (and more, see below)

The beauty of old Nintendo games is that the two-button limitation kept games simple. In Rampage, you play as either Lizzie the giant lizard, George, the King Kong clone, or Ralph, a giant warewolf. You’re presented with a couple of blocks-worth of cityscape per level, and in the simplest of terms, you destroy it. You climb buildings and punch holes in them, often discovering food and traps inside. You can also smash the cars, tanks and helicopters that chase you as you move city to city.


Donkey Kong Pauline Hack

There’s a great article up on Wired by-and-about the dad who hacked Donkey Kong so that his daughter could play as Pauline, relegating Mario to the position of captured love interest.

Mike Mika wasn’t thinking about feminist agendas or affronts to the patriarchy when he made Pauline a playable character for his 3 year old daughter. They had just come off of a Super Mario Bros. 2 binge and Mika’s daughter loved using Princess Toadstool. The duo also had watched the gamer classic The King of Kong, so Donkey Kong was on the playlist. But Mika’s daughter wanted to know why she couldn’t play as a female character in Donkey Kong.


Olde Tyme Gamer: Raising a Gamer

Olde Tyme Gamer

Tony DiGerolamo’s Olde Tyme Gamer comic tackles the intricacies of a parenthood plan of action in “Raising a Gamer.” You can click the comic above to see it full-size over at The Webcomic Factory.

Also, our 8BitDad Fact Checking Service® says that dad’s advice is sound: you definitely need to move cover to cover in an FPS. If you’re just running through the middle of a map firing willy-nilly, some 12 year old kid who plays this like it’s his living will indeed snipe you hard.

The Webcomic Factory


bad dudes

Thanks to Chris “Canadian Dad” Read for pointing us to our dad of the week: a Chinese fella named Mr. Feng.

Mr. Feng’s son Xiao was a gamer with a bit of an addiction. Xiao’s grades in school suffered, and he couldn’t hold down a job.

Well, crap like that doesn’t work for Mr. Feng. So Mr. Feng fought fire with fire: he hired online hitmen to hunt down Xiao and kill him every time he entered the game. He figured that if Xiao was spawn-killed every time he was in the game, he’d grow tired of the game and rejoin reality.


Dad Level: Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk's Pro Parent

Let’s say you’ve got a video game franchise named after you. Now let’s say you’ve got kids that want to play video games and will fight over them. WAT DO?!

You just be Tony Hawk.