Chris Plante has an interesting post up on kid's games — well, sort of. Following the idea that there's no reason to patronise children with edutainment and titles aimed specifically at wee munchkins, he argues there are plenty of games that grown up gamers play and love that are appropriate for kids, including ... Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword for the DS? Well, yes — with a few caveats. But why a Ninja Gaiden game of all things? It's all in the mechanics:
I call it the scribble factor. On the normal setting, the player can wildly scribble across the screen, mostly back and forth between enemies, and fair pretty well. Eventually, they must learn to make distinct and correct pen strokes to progress, but by that appointment they have a move-set so exciting and large it allows for plenty of creativity. The complexity's nice for advanced gamers. The scribble factor's great for a young player, creating a sense of wonder as the game translates his simple movements into elaborate, elegant attacks.
Some interesting food for thought on what makes for good 'children's' games.
Baby's First Sword [Hardcasual]