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5 Games You Can Play With Your Mom

5 Games You Can Play With Your Mom

Filed inside: Games

As more non-traditional gamer types venture into the lands of computer, console and mobile games, it’s important that their first experiences be fun and welcoming, not intimidating or confusing. When recommending games to novice or non-hard core gamers, I ask myself, would my mom like this?

1. Plants vs. Zombies


  • The Basics – Tower defense. You play a homeowner trying to protect your house and precious, precious brain from zombies who won’t stay off your freaking lawn! To aid in this quest, you get access to a growing catalog of seeds, everything from peashooters to potato bombs and walnut walls. Occasionally Crazy Dave shows up to give you a whacky tutorial.
  • Why it’s Mom friendly – Gameplay is simple to learn and complex to master. PvZ can be played in short bursts so is ideal for a busy person with a few minutes here and there. No hard core or challenge modes, just the simple joy of watching a zombie with a cone on his head face a watermelon catapult. What’s not to love?
  • Addition potential – High. Each level is short, only a few minutes of play time, which lures the player into the “Just one more level” trap. PvZ is very repayable, and the achievements, for completeist players, actually require more than one run through. With additional features, such as the Zen Garden and mini games, one can lose a lot of time soiling one’s plants.
  • Platforms – Windows PC, Mac, Xbox Live Arcade, PS Network, Nintendo DS, iOS, Android, Blackberry

2. Fez


  • The Basics – Platform based puzzle game where the main character, Gomez, learns his 2 dimensional world exists in 3 dimensional space. Puzzles solving requires a lot of rotation and exploration
  • Why it’s Mom friendly – Failure is always an option. There is no punishment for falling or missing. Gomez just resets and the game goes on.
  • Addiction potential – Medium. While the puzzles are fun and interesting, they can also be very frustrating, leading to players in need of ‘time out’.
  • Platforms – Windows PC (via Steam), Linux PC, Mac, PS3 & PS4, Xbox 360

3. The Room:


  • The Basics – A puzzle game in the style of the Myst series. In The Room you use a lot of touch and move features, such as enlarging or turning objects to find clues.
  • Why it’s Mom friendly – Engrossing game play, challenging puzzles, very intuitive interface.
  • Addiction potential – High. The game has a relatively short play-thru time and is not very repeatable so at least Mom won’t be gone forever. There is a sequel out, so beware. Mom may disappear again for a few hours.
  • Platforms – iOS and Android

4. Guild Wars II


  • The Basics – An MMORPG with a slightly more mature community than most. Different classes and races, as well as secondary professions. Game play focuses on storyline quests, side quests and exploration.
  • Why it’s Mom friendly – Customizable characters. Tons of content. Ability to play with a group or solo. Interesting story/quest lines. Enjoyable for casual players.
  • Addiction potential – Medium. As new content is added all the time, players aren’t stuck grinding or capped with nowhere to go, keeping the game feeling fresh and fun. Since group play isn’t mandatory, players don’t have to coordinate their gaming schedules to advance so there’s less social pressure to on at certain times.
  • Platforms – Window PCs and Macs

5. Lego Lord of the Rings

LOTR Lineup 1.30.12

  • The Basics – Another in the popular Lego series of video games. Lego characters advance the story by fighting and puzzle solving their way across Middle Earth.
  • Why it’s Mom friendly – Co-op available so you can play with friends and family. While the game play is fun and challenging, it’s not too difficult or frustrating for novice gamers.
  • Addiction potential – Medium. With tons of characters and items to unlock and manage there’s a lot going on.
  • Platforms – Windows PCs, Macs, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS & 3DS, iOS
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