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Gaming on Linux for Kids
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I have an 8-year old who plays video games on my computer (Ubuntu 20.04), via my Steam account. I'll flag specific games as "Family Games" (right-click on a title -> Manage -> Add to Family Games). Steam is set to always start in Family Mode, locked by a pin, so there's no access to the store or anything but the whitelisted games.

As for what he plays? Lego games. So many Lego games. All of the ones we've tried so far run great via Proton, and they can be played 2-player co-op. We've played Lego Batman 2 and 3, Lego Marvel Super-Heroes 1+2, Lego Marvel Avengers, and Lego DC Super-Villains. They range from good to great, with Lego Batman 3 the best of them so far. They're also regularly deeply discounted to below $10 each in Steam sales.

Another all-time favorite is Donut County, which was actually the first game my kid would play by himself (as in, with him using the controller independently). It's short, but wonderful.

Chuchel is a hilarious point-and-click puzzle game that's wonderfully animated and absolutely suitable for kids.
HerrLange 5 Jan
thx @Guppy @Chuckaluphagus for the additional input.

Maybe I have to rethink my attitude to steam. Action Henk really looks great like it could be real funny.

How is the Lego Co-Op mode is working on a single Computer? Splitscreen? How about controls?
@HerrLange, co-op mode for the Lego games uses split-screen when two players have moved far enough apart, then melds the two views back together as the players come back into proximity. It's handled well and lets both players explore a level or area independently, then join back up again for cooperative tasks and to battle enemies together.

Controls are with whatever device you choose. We've used Steam controllers, Gamecube controllers, keyboard - each player gets to have their own control device assigned and all the keys remapped, if you want to change anything.
CatKiller 12 Jan
In case anyone's children are in need of a management sim, I can suggest The Colonists and Two Point Hospital. Mine's too young to play them himself, but he loves watching them. I'll also be looking at getting Megaquarium and Parkitect in the future.
stud68 13 Jan
Quoting: GuestRTS: 0ad(alternative for: AoE(Age of Empires) 3)

Nothing wrong with that.
My 8 year old has built his own Dos machine from my parts bin, without my help just supervised.
Now playing Command and Conquer Red Alert.
As well as Subnautica and Satisfactory on his Virtual Machine.
My 3 year old is playing Portal 2.
Kanagram. Kanagram is a KDE letter-order game that aims to build children's vocabulary by teaching them words.
GCompris.
Tux Paint.
ChildsPlay.
KStars.
KWordQuiz.
Scratch.
Celestia.
denyasis 20 Apr
My oldest (7) just started in on Polybridge. It's pretty fun although, I think it might be a little too advanced for them. I need to get them a mouse too. I realized my trackball is too big for their hands, which probably makes things harder than it should be.

I think it was mentioned before, but my children have really enjoyed "playing" along with Stardew Valley. Mostly it's watching my Spouse play the game and read to them the text.

We did a similar thing with Portal 1/2 and Hollow Knight when they were younger (3/5 I think). Part of it is that we live in what some would call a "small" house and only have one TV. So what one person plays, everyone watches.

It's actually kinda fun since everyone adds thier own commentary and suggestions. Portal was really fun that way. I never played that way before, being a solitary hobby for me, but it was nice making it more social. Probably wouldn't work for every game though.

My youngest still asks every so often about "Pertle - that game with the holes".

Last edited by denyasis on 20 April 2021 at 2:11 am UTC
My kids are grown but when they were that age they played a lot of games on GOG:

* Pajama Sam series
* Bit.Trip series
* Dust Force DX
* The Adventures of Shuggy
* Ittle Dew
* Tetrobot and Co.
CatKiller 20 Apr
Quoting: denyasisIt's actually kinda fun since everyone adds thier own commentary and suggestions. Portal was really fun that way. I never played that way before, being a solitary hobby for me, but it was nice making it more social. Probably wouldn't work for every game though.
The point-and-click adventure games work really well in that format. That's how I played all the classics back in the day, albeit with peers rather than family. You all get to share in the story and the (generally bonkers) puzzle-solving.
denyasis 22 Apr
Quoting: CatKillerThe point-and-click adventure games work really well in that format. That's how I played all the classics back in the day, albeit with peers rather than family. You all get to share in the story and the (generally bonkers) puzzle-solving.

Great idea!
I just tried Machinarium with the kids and they were captivated once I got it working (steam play/controller/link was a little..odd)

They really enjoyed yelling at the TV and
Coming up with solutions to the puzzles. It was a lot of fun!
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