Today I’m introducing a new series to IGWT: Kid and Play. No, it’s not about the visceral Chucky doll, it’s about getting involved as a parent with your child in video games. I’m sure adult gamers have visions of playing co-op with their children much like most dads seem to envision playing catch in the backyard. Over the weekend I took some time to play Plants vs. Zombies on our Xbox 360 with my 5 year old son, and I loved it.
A teaching opportunity
As with most tower defense games, the key to the game is finding the pattern. Look at what your opposition is throwing at you and use what you have at your disposal to dispatch the enemy. In PvZ, a key to success is the use of patterns. Sunflowers. Peashooters. Chompers. Walnuts. That’s just one pattern, but as we worked through co-op levels together we both had our portion of a pattern to work on. He’s been able to immediately translate the patterns we learned on the 360 to his Nintendo DS. He has a copy there too.
Before every level, he and I would talk about the different plants that were available and why we would use them. We would compare our selection to the zombies that were waiting to come and eat our brains. It was amazing to see him put together the strategy aspect of the game no matter how simple it may be.
Just having fun
Overall, it was just fun to hear him call out things in the game. When the football zombies came running, he would call them out, select a hypno-shroom, and send that dead jock back to where he came (across the street). He would react and do these things on his own mostly.
It makes me continuously look for other games I can play with my 5 year old son. A while back we played TMNT: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled. Now I want to keep looking to find more opportunities for Kid and Play.
Kid and Play – Gaming with the next generation opens up entirely new experiences for all ages.