July 8 is National Video Game Day and what better time to celebrate than now. With everyone staying inside and all your favorite streaming shows on repeat, you could probably use a break from the monotonous non-interactive entertainment. Lucky for you we just the right answer. Below are five easy to play games, some you’ve probably even heard of or seen before. They’re great for beginning gamers and veterans alike, regardless of age. Take some time out of your day to play these easy games and invite your kids young or grown-up to play with you, or embark on a journey of discovery with another loved one. Games are meant to bring us together and these five games will do just that.
There’s a reason that Minecraft has become a global phenomenon. It’s spawned an entire genre of games unto itself and in my time in the ‘gaming scene,’ I’ve used the word “Minecraft-esque’ more often than I can count. The best way to explain Minecraft is video game Legos. You walk around in a first-person view in a world of blocks and collect materials to make whatever you want. That’s no exaggeration. Some of the ‘pros’ have made entire recreations of the Lord of the Rings city to scale. One gamer made the entire continent of Westeros from Game of Thrones.
Now, you don’t have to get that fancy, of course. Just explore the world of Minecraft with your family or friends. It’s one of the easy games to play with your kids because there’s no real winning or losing. Just play. Dig into caverns and caves, build some houses or castles. The game has even expanded into other Minecraft games like ‘Minecraft Story Mode’ which features a narrative component, or the recently released ‘Minecraft Dungeon“. If you fall in love with this game, you’ll never give Netflix or Hulu a second glance.
Rocket League is a very easy game to learn but can take a while to truly master. In a nutshell, it’s soccer with race cars. Who doesn’t love soccer and race cars? When I grew up, I’d go outside and play catch with my dad. However, given the insane temperatures of some summer days and the current trends of social distancing, Rocket League is a great indoor alternative. The games are short, the goal is pretty easy so it’s a good game to pick up and play at any time and for any occasion.
There is even a pro-league centered around the game. So if you find that playing isn’t really your speed but you want to enjoy the game with a child or spouse. You can tune to pro play and watch kids who are barely out of high school earn tens of thousands of dollars doing it.
Fair warning: you’re going to be bad at this game. I work in video games and I’m bad at this game. But that’s ok! It’s not going to stop you from having fun. If you’re not familiar with Fortnite, I’m sorry, you’ll need to leave the rock you’ve been living under. Fortnite is a cartoon-like battle royale-style shooting game. You drop out of a party bus onto an island with 100 other people and have to run around collecting equipment and weapons and be the last person alive.
You can play in squads of 2-4 people, so hopefully, your son or daughter is good enough to carry you to victory. The biggest difference between Fortnite and most other games on the market like it is that Fortnite has ‘building mode’. You collect materials as you play and use them to construct ramps and towers to aid you in your quest to be the best. If the competitive nature of Fortnite isn’t your style but you do enjoy playing, there’s a mode called Save The World. This doesn’t have other people in it and allows you to play at more your own speed.
This game is a special case when it comes to bringing people together. Because there is also a good chance it will tear a family apart. If you’ve ever gotten into a really heated game of Monopoly, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Overcooked 2 perfectly encapsulates the competitive yet cooperative nature needed for classic board games of old.
The premise is that you’re playing cooks in a kitchen. As you play, orders will come in and the cooks will have a time limit to start getting orders ready. You’ll have to prepare food, make sure to cook it just right without burning it. The further you go, the faster and more chaotic things will get. Did someone leave the roast in too long? Who was in charge of frying the veggies?! By the end, you’ll be blaming each other things you probably forgot to do yourself.
This game came out on the Nintendo Switch during peak Quarantine, so you might’ve heard of it. The Detroit Lions even made a short video using the video game to announce their season schedule. The premise is that you’ve moved onto a deserted island and must build and renovate it to become a thriving tropical community.
This one is a bit different in the way you play as there’s no competitive aspect to it. In order to play directly with others, you’d need multiple Switches. But, if you have just one the same family can all inhabit, play and build an island together. Though only one person would be able to do it at a time. And you might end up fighting over where to play the Museum or where the best place to build the new community center is.
We even have a guide on how to quickly make Bells in Animal Crossing, that’s the currency you’ll need to buy materials to build up your island.