Topic: Looking for a super simple game for a three year old

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My three year old loves to watch me play BotW (or any game, really), and really enjoys being able to press the controller buttons to make things happen (eg. cook, detonate bombs, glide). I'd like to find a game that he can have a bit of fun with and be in control — it doesn't have to be something he can beat, or even progress through much, but something he can enjoy.

He lacks the coordination to use dual-stick 3D movement, so something 2D might be good. Obviously something bright and colourful and friendly would also be ideal. I had thought about Forager, but the combat makes things tricky. I'm not ideologically opposed to it, but the reflexes required might be a bit much for him and make it frustrating. Basically, a 2D Minecraft-on-creative-mode would be perfect, but I don't know if that exists.

Does anyone have any suggestions?



Untitled Goose Game

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@detly Untitled Goose Game is a good one to try. My two nieces couldn't navigate a 3d world until 5ish. The best thing I found was Mario Kart 8 with assists on, but you'll need to navigate the menus. The youngest liked picking characters over & over to hear their catchphrases, especially Donkey Kong saying "ooo hoo!".

By 7ish, they liked making miis, driving around forza horizon 3 & 4. They LOVED the Halloween level of Simpsons Hit & run on the gamecube. Although it is teen rated, and some repetitious rude language, while amusing, homer saying "jerk ass" isn't appropriate. But they've loved this level for many holidays over 3-4 years.

I tried a lot of things. Those were the things they liked. Maybe someone else here will have other suggestions.

Edited on by WoomyNNYes

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Press buttons to make things happen? LOL that's pretty much what got me into gaming. I was amazed as a toddler or whenever i first picked up a game controller when i pressed the buttons and stuff would happen on the screen. I was like wow it's like magic! Been gaming ever since!

Oh yeah to answer your question anything Mario or cutesy platformer would be great for little ones. Can't go wrong with that! How bout Yoshi's crafted world?

Edited on by Zeldafan79

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" Optimus Prime


I would also have to say Mario Kart 8, with assist on. All the toddler needs to be able to do is press a button to use the weapons, boosts etc. Probably a bit much to expect a three-year-old to be able to handle a controller to navigate a 2D platformer, let alone a 3D world.

If you really want to try, though, Kirby Star Allies is worth a go - especially if you can play alongside your little boy so he plays a support character. My youngest would keep vanishing off the top of the screen or getting left behind, but it really doesn’t matter on something like Kirby and she had a ball. It’s such a bright, colourful and charming game, full of flashy effects. He’ll love being a part of it. Also, as he learns to control the support character, he will get used to the controls and eventually be able to take over as Kirby.

Oh, another thought: old-school 2D fighters. Smash and Dragon Ball Fighterz are too busy, Mortal Kombat is unsuitable, but there are some older 2D fighters that work, like Waku Waku 7. The sprites are big, so it’s easy for kids to work out who they are controlling, and the inputs are obvious, so the gratification is instant. Don’t expect him to mash out special moves, and he will soon get bored of playing the CPU, but he’ll have fun against a generous human opponent.

Edited on by Krull

Switch ID: 5948-6652-1589
3DS ID: 2492-5142-7789


My first suggestion would have been Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with its various assist modes.

Fun! Fun! Animal Park is also a great option for kids. While I do have the game, I cannot quite remember, but it definitely only supports up to 2 players, and it is quite multiplayer-heavy. In fact, I'm not sure if it is even possible to play the game with only one person (I'll have to get back to you on that).

Kirby might be a bit difficult for a 3 year old (at least without another player assisting), however, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe allows you to play as Nabbit, who cannot be killed by enemies, so that's another option, and it's something you can play together without compromise.

Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun is also a great game that I would recommend for children as it's an easy-to-play hard-to-master rhythm game that can be played with conventional or motion controls. There is also a really cool drum controller, though it's quite expensive and would have to be imported from Japan. I believe there was a software+drum bundle released in Europe, but I suspect that physical copies in the west may be out of print. For what it's worth, most of the songs are in Japanese with only a handful of English-language songs.

Just Dance games are also very easy for young children to get into (and drop in price fairly regularly/quickly), but in spite of the G ratings that it receives, some parents may have concerns about the themes that some of the songs promote (such as drinking/partying/fornicating).

And lastly, Super Mario Party is also a great option for children/families, and being able to interact via motion controls will be a great source of fun for children, I'm sure. Luck also plays a big part in the game (for better and for worse) so lesser skilled players are not overly disadvantaged.

Edited on by Silly_G

Extra Virgin Smoliv Oil.

Switch Friend Code: SW-1910-7582-3323


I would definitely recommend a few of the titles already mentioned:

  • Kirby Star Allies as your ally
  • Mario Kart 8 with assist on
  • Super Mario Party. If the full game is too hard I'm positive that some of the mini games are suitable. I believe you can add these to your favourites so they're easy to find
  • Mario and Sonic at the Olympics arrives soon - seems to have a few easy minigames and a button mashing 2D mode
  • There's some very basic soccer games in the e-shop. I'm quite convinced that one of these would work, but I haven't tried so I'm not sure

I'm pretty sure your kid will improve really fast after playing these games. In a few months, you'll be his ally in Kirby


Switch Friend Code: SW-2231-9448-5129


I would definetly recommend Super Mario Maker 2.
Since you can build your own Levels in this Game you can make simple Stages for your Child to enjoy.
There are a lot of possibilitys. You could make a Level where he can just explore and try things out without the fear of running into Enemies.

Edited on by Nagi



Thanks so much for all the suggestions! I look forward to trying them. I needed an excuse to get Mario Kart 8 too.

I have to laugh at the Goose Game idea, because (a) running around and causing trouble is basically what a three year old does and (b) he's literally just started shouting "honk" whenever he doesn't want to do something and I have no idea why.



@detly If you're looking for very simple then check out Colours Zen (touch controls - I think it's on Switch). That's what I introduced my first kid to the Wii U with. Then progressed to Art of Balance (touch controls - on Switch too I think), before Super Mario 3D World (not on Switch).

I'd also suggest a simple 2D platformer - James Pond: Codename Robocod is on Switch and should fit the bill.

Edited on by gcunit

What better way to celebrate than firing something out of the pipe?

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

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Good suggestions, especially Mario Bros. U and Mario Maker 2. The latter might be your best bet if it's going to be a Switch game; its level editor might be fun to play around with as well.

My first thought would be SNES Online especially platformers like Kirby's Dream Land 3 or the Super Mario World games. They have little to no text, no story focus, are very colourful, and fairly accessible. KDL has co-op if that's of note. Maybe Super Mario Kart as well. I grew up with these myself and started gaming when I was two for what it's worth. XD

If assist mode would suffice there's Super Mario Odyssey and Pokémon Let's Go, the latter lets player 2 help with catching Pokémon (both players throw Poké Balls, bonus if you throw at the same time) and join battles (essentially making it 2 vs 1 against AI). That way he can do things and feel useful though you might have to help out a bit. If he likes cute things he can feed and pet your starter.

If 3DS games are fine there's Cooking Mama, especially Sweet Shop given he doesn't think pink is too feminine for a manly hunk like him. A Switch instalment has been announced, too. Maybe something like Pokémon Art Academy's early lessons or Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer if he likes to draw and design things.

I hope you'll find something good. Happy gaming, you two!

Currently playing: ACNL, Pokémon Pearl, Pokémon Art Academy, Minecraft, Mario Tennis Aces
Sidegames: Super Kirby Clash, Overcooked 2, Kirby's Dream Land 3

Looking forward to: Luigi's Mansion 3, Pokémon Swish
Hyped for: ACNH


Don't forget about the stuff you can buy using the Platinum Coins on I've been planning ahead with that stuff for when my son gets older. He's only 3 months right now. But you can redeem rewards with these platinum coins, such as, Printable Pokemon Sword and Shield Activity Sheet Placemats, Printable Lunch Bag Name Tags of Pokemon Sword and Shield characters, Yoshi Placemats, Yoshi Capcake Wrappers and a Cupcake Box, 20 Mario Bingo Cards, and a bunch of other stuff you'll probably find very useful.

A lot of people already recommended some of the games I would've recommended for you and him. There's a couple that might be a little advanced for him at his age, but I would say Ni No Kuni, Link's Awakening and Dragon Age XI. Even if he can't play them just yet, I'm sure you'll have his full attention with the art style and colors.


Switch Friend Code: SW-3418-3031-5143 | My Nintendo: Morpheus


Plantera is a simple “garden keeping” game.

You basically just buy stuff and the game can play itself, but you can also take your time to scare away pests and harvest stuff yourself.

I’d recommend it.

Edited on by Eel


<My slightly less dead youtube channel>

SMM2 Maker ID: 69R-F81-NLG

My Nintendo: Abgarok | Nintendo Network ID: Abgarok


You could try the Labo variety kit. My 3 year old loved the piano and the house and still plays with it. They are able to interact with the touchscreen which is more intuitive for that age these days. He probably won't have the patience for building so you'll have to do that on your own time.



@detly I've seen nobody mention Go Vacation, which is literally one giant playground for children from all ages. It is a 3D game, so initially, you'll probably need to assist him a little bit, but after that, he has several areas to roam around in and do stuff in. It's basically a free roaming island game that offers all kinds of holiday related activities, from simply going swimming or diving, to cart racing, horse riding, hang gliding, skiing, and dozens more.

A good and reasonably simple 2D game is Snipperclips, which I think you might also very much enjoy playing together. And last but not least, there's 1-2 Switch, the mini game bundle that shows off the Switch'es unique capabilities.

There's several simple games in there that he will probably relatively easily pick up. The various games also each have their own specific screen color, so even if he can't read yet, he'll probably be able to tell you soon enough that he'd like to play the red or the yellow game. Or the game with the cowboys in it, or the one with the fishes (you'll see if you decide to get it).

Either way, I've learned long ago already, to never underestimate the intelligence and learning capabilities of kids, so I'm all but sure that he will be perfectly able to eventually find his way in any of these games.

Forgot to mention some other titles, such as Mario Party, Carnival Games and Little Friends: Dogs and Cats.

Edited on by ThanosReXXX

'The console wars are like boobs: Sony and Microsoft fight over which ones look the nicest and Nintendo's are the most fun to play with.'

Nintendo Network ID: ThanosReXX


@detly And here's the entire Nintendo Switch games catalog for your area. On the boxes, you can see the various recommended age classifications (look for yellow and green labels), so you can quite easily look out for the more suitable games:

'The console wars are like boobs: Sony and Microsoft fight over which ones look the nicest and Nintendo's are the most fun to play with.'

Nintendo Network ID: ThanosReXX


@detly the one thing I would say is just about any 2d game that has simple controls would be good. Think nes games. I was a little over 4 years old when I got an NES for christmas with the SMB/duck hunt cartridge. I wasn't getting very far in the game but I enjoyed playing it and getting farther and farther each time. I know a lot of development happens in kids from year to year but I would consider quickly graduating to full games. You can explain that the fun is in continually trying to get better and better.

My parents weren't gamers so I had to figure out all this for myself when I was kid but it worked. I think having a parent as a guide will really help things.


Nintendo Network ID: yorumi

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