As we are a family-friendly site, we, of course, also review games that are specifically aimed at younger children. It requires being able to see video games through the eyes of a child, and fortunately, most in our writing team have ample experience as a parent or a grandparent.
We do understand too, that if you aren’t into buying video games yourself, it can be a daunting task to find the best present. This is why we have gathered the best games for kids available on our most beloved console, the Switch.
The games mentioned aren’t in any kind of order, just our thoughts on how well a game performs and fits the target audience. We added our advice for the age rating too!
My Friend Peppa Pig (3 to 6 yrs)
Peppa Pig is a phenomenon with young children across the globe. My Friend Peppa Pig is aimed at very young children (toddlers and pre-school), and I would imagine it will be huge fun for them to be a part of Peppa’s world. The gameplay is simple, so you can even let your youngest play the game alone, they only need to press one button. However, playing this together will surely delight your child and make for some good quality time.
If this game was aimed at a slightly higher age group, I would say that it gets repetitive and you can’t skip scenes you have seen before. Combined with the price point it might not be a good choice for children age 6+. But seeing familiar faces and places from the popular TV show is key here, as is the exploration and being a part of it. So if you have a huge Peppa fan in your home, My Friend Peppa Pig will be a good present for the upcoming holidays.
You can find our review of My Friend Peppa Pig here.
Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City Racers (9 to 12 yrs)
Blaze and the Monster Machines is a very popular children’s show which has been around since 2014. A CGI show which stars talking monster trucks. It’s a show with a positive and upbeat presentation that presents simple problems and encourages children to count and repeat lessons as the show progresses.
Time to make a video game, a simple racing game that is designed for its fan base. There are 10 tracks in total, you start off with only 3 tracks but more can be unlocked by completing the Grand Prix in adventure mode. There are three difficulty settings but no mini-games, it’s only about the racing. You are able to play with four players locally.
PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night (4 to 7 yrs)
Is your child is a fan of the animated TV series and are you looking for a first video game to introduce them to gaming? Then PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night would be one I would recommend. The adventure game is based on a popular preschool children’s TV program. PJ Masks are a titular superhero team consisting of Amaya, Greg, and Connor. They become the superhero team PJ Masks (known as “PJs” for short) when night falls to fight enemies and rivals such as Romeo, Luna Girl, Night Ninja and more.
Paula, who reviewed the game, has seven grandchildren and one of them is a keen watcher of PJ’s Masks TV series, he would be delighted to be able to play the game. With its mix of platforming, driving, and the PJ’s superpower youngsters will have heaps of fun and save the day, or as the PJs themselves say “PJ Masks all shout hooray, cause in the night, we saved the day”!
My Universe Games (6 to 12 yrs)
There are several My Universe Games available on the Switch and all of them have something in common. The player is put into the shoes of a certain kind of job, like being a fashion designer, a vet or someone who is running a restaurant. it’s aimed at kids who want to make believe that they are a grown-up in their favourite profession. The gameplay consists of mini-games, every profession has mini-games that are reminiscent of real-life jobs, wrapped in a colourful package and with lots of items fitting to the topic.
Like in Pet Clinic Cats & Dogs (find our review here), where you first have to diagnose what is wrong with the patient and then treat their illness. You’ll be listening to their heart and matching heartbeats to determine if they need some medicine. If they do need medicine you mix up some herbs and pills for the poor animal. Or you could be looking for fleas using a magnifying glass and then removing said fleas. Tending to wounds on a dog’s leg, cleaning it, applying cream and a bandage.
We have reviewed My Fashion Boutique and Cooking Star as well, but there are more titles out there. Each of them starts with My Universe, so easily recognisable.
Where’s Samantha? ( 9 to 12 yrs)
Where’s Samantha? Is a warm fuzzy 2D platformer, quite literally. You play a piece of fabric called George who has been separated from his love Samantha by a gust of wind. Interesting what a light breeze can do! The goal of the game is simply to reach the end of each level in one piece of fabric. Traverse several fabric filled levels of puzzle and warm fuzzy feelings to reunite with your love.
Between each level, the story is narrated in the form of a storybook by a very enthusiastic narrator. If you are looking for a game suitable for the entire family with some light but enjoyable challenges. This might be the fuzzy adventure you are looking for.
James reviewed Where’s Samantha? here.
Pretty Princess Party (6+ yrs )
Pretty Princess Party is cute, cheerful and colourful and it is a great game for people who love decorating and collecting. It’s primarily aimed at a younger audience, who will get a kick out of the cute and colourful. However, if you, as an adult, like the same sort of things and go for some laid-back gaming, this might be one for you too.
Your character in the game has Design Magic, tied to the magic bracelet, and she can whip up all kinds of furniture and decoration as long as she has the recipe. And that’s exactly what she is doing: taking on one room at a time to make them beautiful again. For every room that is redecorated, she receives a Jewel Stone, that revives a small part of the Glass Rose in the Hall.
Decorating is done with items you get through recipes that you have to earn by doing mini-games and decorating requests. The game might get repetitive after a while as there are no other sim elements included, though levelling up and the constant stream of new items does keep you interested.
If you would like to know more about the game, our review is here.
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger (9+ yrs)
This year, two Ty the Tasmanian Tigers came to the Switch. The first game in the series is set on a fictional Australian island and follows Ty as he searches for “Thunder Eggs” to power a machine to locate five scattered talismans and free his family. They are trapped in an alternate realm known as “The Dreaming” by baddy Boss Cass, a cassowary, plotting world domination. This 3D platformer with an emphasis on collecting has been remastered in HD for the Switch, and we made our review for it here.
The second game coming to Switch is Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Fire Rescue. This time, the game is set in an open world where you have to complete missions to progress the story. These missions range from helicopter rescue mini-games, taking out multitudes of enemies in an area and of course lots of platforming.
James reviewed this game as well, here it is.
Bonkies (9+ yrs)
It’s the future and scientists are colonizing various planets in space. However, colonies are not built in a day; they need a ragtag crew of monkeys in space suits with giant robot arms to put together the constructions while the humans sit back and have a nice cup of coffee. The premise is light-hearted and the 3D graphics are colourful and vibrant. The characters have big cute eyes and it’s hard not to look at them and warm to their adorable appearance.
This puzzle game can be played alone or enjoyed with a friend. You get the task of putting together a construction with blocks within a time limit. Using your giant robot arm you can grab onto blocks and place them correctly in the highlighted region. You often need to stack blocks on top of each other and soon it all becomes a balancing act where you need to hold the structure in place for 3 seconds before finishing the stage.
We sure enjoyed the game, our review is here.
Hope’s Farm (9+ yrs)
Hope’s Farm is a farm simulation game that has been combined with a matching game. This game is colourful, family-friendly, and does exceptionally well in the Switch’s handheld mode, which makes it great for travel.
Players get orders from customers to fulfil, and must plant, water and harvest each veggie or fruit to fill that order. After level 3, players can also take orders for eggs and build a chicken coop, et cattle, and plant an array of vegetables and fruit trees. Everything is watered and harvested by dragging and dropping water buckets or scythes across the screen. Once Hope has enough to complete an order, you can click on the orders menu and start a puzzle.
The puzzle portion of the game is similar to many big-name matching titles, like Bejeweled and Candy Crush. Players have to line up the foods into lines of threes. Lines of fours, fives, or other special layouts earn players extra points and can give them items like bombs that blow up sections of the screen. Want to know more about Hope’s Farm? Here’s our review.
Ayo the Clown (9+ yrs)
In Ayo’s hometown, things are generally peaceful. Accompanied by his talented circus dog, Bo, Ayo juggles in the park, hangs out at the carnival and longs after the Shoemaker’s granddaughter. Until one day, Bo goes missing!
What happened to Bo? Will Ayo and Bo ever juggle together at the park again? Or set up that circus act they’ve always planned? Help Ayo in this incredible platformer, like all good adventures, you won’t be all on your own. Ayo’s world is full of friendly people and interesting creatures that are willing to lend a helping hand.
Want to know more? Our review of the game is here.
Alba: a Wildlife Adventure (8+ yrs)
Meet Alba, an enthusiastic youngster as she visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island. She is ready for a peaceful summer of wildlife exploration with her friend Ines, but when she sees an animal in danger, she realises she needs to do something about it. With Ines and her grandfather – who is a total bird nerd – by her side, she starts the movement to save the island.
The idea of the game is walking around and taking photos as you’re trying to document everything you can. It is not a large island as Alba can skip across it in a short time. However, the island is pretty densely packed with wildlife with over 62 species of birds and mammals, so there is plenty to see, photograph and learn about.
Our review for Alba: a Wildlife Adventure got our highest score!
Very, Very Valet (9+ yrs)
You play as colourful puppet valets who are going to save the world from a severe parking crisis. The game can be played alone or with up to three additional players in co-op. You are dropped into one of 20 levels from the sky with the main objective being to take cars from waiting customers, park them literally anywhere you can then collect the cars later and drive them back to the customer. It can get hectic but makes for good fun too when you play it with your family (local multiplayer up to four people).
Our review for this game is here.
Space Otter Charlie (9+ yrs)
With humanity gone, it’s up to the otters to save animal-kind from an inhospitable Earth. Join Charlie and his ragtag crew of critters on a daring mission through Otter Space as they search for a new planet to call home. Explore derelict space stations in this 2D platformer with a little twist, battle unhinged robots, and enjoy some otterly terrific puns as you jump, float, and fly through over a dozen levels of furry fun.
Zero gravity gives classic puzzle platforming a whole new twist. Anything that’s not bolted down floats freely, making for a plethora of fresh new puzzles and predicaments. On your way, you’ll find plans to craft all kinds of gear, from jetpacks to ray guns – even a foam shark suit?! It all helps you on your quest for a furrier future!
The story is presented in colourful storybook-style art panels and keeps things simple but also quite humorous. It can be played alone, but you can also play it with four players locally.
James reviewed this game here.
Colors Live (9+ yrs)
Colours Live caters to everyone from serious artists to aimless doodlers. Customise the stroke thickness and opacity, and paint every day to level up in Colours Quest game mode. Whether you’re sketching, painting or drawing up your next plans for world domination, Colours Live is the perfect digital sketchbook.
In addition, you can paint with your fingers, or your favourite stylus or use the Colors SonarPen, a pressure-sensitive pen that turns your Nintendo Switch into the perfect digital sketchbook.
My review of Color Live is here.
Kirby’s Dream Buffet (7+ yrs)
Have a feast of fun with family and friends in Kirby’s Dream Buffet. Roll through delicious, food-themed obstacle courses in 4-player matches. Collect strawberries to grow bigger and prepare for the final battle.
Boost and battle with a buddy on the same system or up to 4 players via local wireless. In addtion, you can increase your Gourmet Rank to unlock customizations for your Kirby and other in-game rewards like music and stages. As you play, earn character treats such as cookies, chocolates, and candies from the Kirby series!
You can find Kirby’s Dream Buffet review here.
Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions (10+ yrs)
Upon moving to Japan, the shy Damien invented an imaginary hero named Captain Velvet Meteor, who embarks on an adventure with his favourite Shonen Jump+ heroes in a fantasy world. Will he overcome all the adversities and recover his longed-for peace and tranquillity?
The game takes place between two worlds: the real world, where you can freely explore the environment, and the imaginary world, where tactical combat, full of puzzles and stealth moments, will take place. In the exploration sections, Damien will have to deal with his daily life in a new country. Even getting around his grandma’s house is an adventure.
On the other hand, in the combat sections, Damien has to defeat enemies using combined attack and support techniques, side by side with allied Shonen Jump+ heroes.
The review for Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions is here.
Love Colors (8+ yrs)
Love Colors is a paint-by-numbers pixel art game. It’s super relaxing and easy to start! Choose from a variety of themes and complexity and begin to color!
Pixel color-by-number mechanics is easy! You don’t need to learn some advanced mechanics to have fun and put a smile on your face. That is a casual game for everyone. It can be played by adults and kids as well.
Our review of Love Colors is here.
My Fantastic Ranch (10+ yrs)
Train dragons and unicorns in your fantastic ranch. Take care of them and build relationships between them and students through riding lessons. In addition, you’ll build the perfect ranch to raise the magical creatures and become the best trainer with the most famous ranch in the enchanted kingdom.
Build the facilities you need to take care of your unicorns and dragons. Take care of their everyday well-being and ensure they have an environment where they can thrive. My Fantastic Ranch is an easy-to-play game with a unique design. It is perfect as an introduction to management simulation games and for being immersed in a fantasy world filled with the most adorable creatures.
Find our My Fantastic Ranch review here.