When my son was born nearly five years ago, I had visions of playing catch with him in the backyard, watching him play sports, go to college, and, of course, play video games with me. Now that he’s close to five years old, he’s able to take simple game concepts and adapt to them. Last night I had a fun time playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled on Xbox LIVE Arcade. It not only got me excited about the upcoming years, but I was also impressed to watch as his gamer skills improved.
It’s fun to watch him play. His facial expressions range from blank start to tongue wagging like a dog as he goes through the emotions of the game. Last night we played on ‘Normal’ difficulty for the first time together, and he made it through. He did end up using all his lives and then some to beat it, but he stormed on like a little trooper.
I felt it was time for the challenge because he can beat TMNT by himself on ‘Easy’ without any coaching. I wanted him to learn he may not always do great but to keep trying if at first he didn’t succeed. I didn’t hear one peep.
At times, when he didn’t quite know what to do or felt it was too much, he would just pick a spot and stand and tell me to “handle it.” It’s like he was my mob boss.
Throughout the whole experience, one thing stayed consistent. He loves to repeat what the characters say. I can’t tell you how many times I heard him yell, “My toes! My toes!” or “I’m shell-shocked.” Then he started to use those phrases in conversation as we played. At one point he said, “You beat up those dinosaurs. I’ll bring the sunscreen!”
We finally worked our way to Shredder and won. Two things stuck out to me as we reached the end together:
- His face as we defeated Shredder and the hug that followed; and
- His ability to co-op through an entire game.
In fighting Shredder he followed instruction very well and worked with me as a teammate – not just another playing the game. He understood on saving the pizza for health until he was really low. He understood when to hit and when to move. He listened to instruction well.
Turtles in Time may not be the best game on XBLA in the world, but it was a great game to teach a new gamer a few valuable lessons (and have a good time with my son).
What other games would be great to play co-op with my son? Have you played certain games with your children?
Kid and Play – Gaming with the next generation opens up entirely new experiences for all ages.