Some games might put your child in danger. The games your child downloads may be inappropriate for their age. Besides, they might put your child’s personal data at risk. Some of these games are hotbeds for child abusers. Therefore, to protect your child, we suggest lending a hand to your child in selecting the best safe games for kids.
This article will tell you what to look for when selecting a safe game for kids. We’ll explain what risks your child is exposed to when playing inappropriate games downloaded from unreliable resources and how to keep them safe. We’ll also introduce some safe mobile games for kids of all ages.
What Risks Is Your Child Exposed to When Downloading & Playing Games?
App Store doesn’t allow children under 14, and Google Play doesn’t allow children under 13 to download applications. However, not all children go by the rules. They sometimes fake their age or use third-party app distribution platforms. Not to forget that if they play on other gaming platforms, they could download games that are made for adults. When children use third-party app distribution platforms (which are quite a few), they first and foremost risk infecting their devices with malware. Other than that, they are exposed to a plethora of untrusted mobile games.
Here is a list of issues with untrusted mobile games that may put children’s safety at risk:
- Age-Inappropriate Content (Violence & Sex)
- In-App Purchases
- In-App Chat
- Data Collection
Some parents do not take these issues as serious safety risks. In the following lines, we will explain why they’re, in fact, serious issues.
Games on official app distribution platforms are rated according to the age group suggested by developers and platform moderators. They receive an age rate based on their subject, gameplay difficulty, and content. Games rated ALL or E have content suitable for all ages. Those rated 12+, 15+, or T usually contain some violence or nudity. Games rated 18+ are suitable for adults.
Younger children are more susceptible to violent content. Therefore, you should stop your child from downloading and playing games that are not recommended for their age.
Purchased games do not contain ads, but most free ones do. Showing ads to users is one of the ways developers make money out of their products. However, ads can be harmful to children for four reasons. Firstly, they propel children into spending money on products they may not need. Secondly, they may promote other games that are not appropriate for young children. Thirdly, they sometimes show nude pictures and videos intending to lure the older audience into clicking links. Lastly, they may share links that lead to phishing pages.
For the reasons mentioned above, we suggest advising your child not to click these ads in the first place. Secondly, teach them to select trusted games to play that don’t show inappropriate ads.
In-app purchases are another way developers monetize their games. Children can buy items for their avatars or unlock levels in some games by paying money. These purchases usually require a small amount of money, but when they pile up, they can be significant.
On top of spending too much, purchases may act as a wrong role model for children. If the games require paying money in order to advance to higher levels, they could promote a ‘pay-to-win’ mindset. This means that you must always spend money to grow in life.
Some communicative games offer an in-app chat feature allowing children to send messages or voice chat with their peers. This feature is meant to help children build teams and plan out strategies. However, predators take advantage of it to abuse children. These people may be adults or peers who send children vulgar, derogatory, or sexual words or try to groom or cyberbully them.
Some games allow users to deactivate the in-app chat function, while others don’t. Parents should help children download games that create a safe environment for them by moderating in-app messages.
Most games collect user data for gameplay or to show related ads. However, some of them may be dangerous malware undercover that steal personal data. So, you should be careful about the important information your child shares with games, such as credit card credentials.
To sustain your child’s safety, we suggest banning your child from downloading unknown games from untrusted platforms. You can block these platforms using Safes (we will explain how later in this article).
Safe Games for Kids of All Ages
Here, we’ve listed the best safe games for kids of all ages. They’re organized according to their age rate from the lowest to the highest. You can download them on the App Store, Google Play, or other trusted app distribution platforms.
Nintendo Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a racing video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. In this game, players control characters from the Nintendo universe and race against each other in various kart-style races. The game features a variety of tracks, characters, and vehicles, and includes both single-player and multiplayer modes.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is widely recognized as a kid-friendly game suitable for all ages, as evidenced by its “E for Everyone” ESRB rating. It’s free from realistic violence and offensive language, featuring cartoonish, non-threatening competitive elements. The game lacks an in-game chat in its online multiplayer mode, reducing the risk of inappropriate interactions.
Overall, it’s a family-friendly, fun game that’s appropriate for children, though parental supervision and familiarity with the game are advised to ensure a safe gaming experience.
Among Us by Innersloth is a popular online multiplayer game that emphasizes social deduction and teamwork. Players are assigned roles as either Crewmates or Impostors. Crewmates must complete tasks around a spaceship or station and identify the Impostors. Impostors, meanwhile, secretly sabotage the mission and try to eliminate Crewmates without being caught. Among Us is available on multiple platforms, including PC, iOS, Android, and gaming consoles like Nintendo Switch.
Among Us features cartoonish, minimal violence during gameplay, with no graphic or realistic content, making it suitable for players aged 10 and up. The game involves strategic thinking and deception, which might be challenging for younger kids. Communication is limited to text chat, without voice chat in standard mode, which helps reduce the risk of inappropriate verbal interactions. However, like any online game, there’s a potential for encountering unsuitable behavior in public game chats, so parental supervision and playing in private sessions are needed.
Toca Life is a kids’ game series for pre-schoolers. Using Toca Life, children can create their own colorful world with multiple characters and stories that the game offers. For example, they can adopt and train a pet or build a hair salon.
Almost all the games in the Toca Life series, such as Toca Life: Pets and Toca Life: City, should be purchased. Although one of them, called Toca Life World, is free. However, in-app purchase options are included in the game, which you can deactivate in the settings.
Toca Life doesn’t show ads or inappropriate content and doesn’t have an in-app chatting feature. It’s available on Android and iOS devices.
Pokémon was first released on Nintendo game consoles in 1996 and later adapted into a popular anime series. Chances are you’re already familiar with the characters and atmosphere of the game. Pokémon Playhouse gathers the familiar Pokémon characters in a mobile game for pre-schoolers. Children can groom and take care of their favorite characters and explore various locations.
Kids can play Pokémon Playhouse for free. However, it contains in-app purchases, which can be turned off by parents. It doesn’t have in-app chatting and doesn’t show ads. It’s available on Android and iOS devices.
MentalUP Educational Games
MentalUP offers a variety of educational games for children from pre-school to tweens. These games boost children’s brainpower through memory training, critical thinking, problem-solving, and many other brain-cognitive and puzzle games.
MentalUP contains no ads and no in-app chatting. It’s not a free game but offers a 7-day free trial. To continue playing, you need to purchase subscription plans. MentalUP is available on Android and iOS devices.
The Sims is a famous game first released in 2000 on PCs. The gameplay hasn’t changed in The Sims Mobile. Chances are you played The Sims when you were a child. But if you haven’t, The Sims is, in short, a game of life. Children can create human characters called Sims, feed them, teach them, help them grow up, and continue until they’re old and finally die. Sims can build houses, purchase items, make families, adopt pets, interact with other Sims, and do many other activities.
The Sims series is rated “T for Teen” by the ESRB, which means that it’s suitable for teens 13 and up. It features simulated life experiences like dating, relationships, and family dynamics without explicit content. The game lacks explicit language and graphic violence. Some versions offer online features for sharing or downloading content, which could expose players to external user-generated content, though direct interaction is limited. Overall, the game could be safe for children with parental supervision.
Fortnite is a popular Play Station video game for teens. The gameplay on the mobile version is the same: It involves picking avatars and engaging in survival combats. Since Fortnite contains violence and in-app chat, it’s suggested for 13+ children. Fortnite is a free app but doesn’t show ads; in return, it has in-app purchases.
The in-app chat may pose a safety risk for younger children; however, you can turn it off in the app settings.
How Can Safes Make Your Child’s Gaming Safer?
As explained earlier, you need to take responsibility for your child’s safety when playing games on mobile phones. Safes can help you in this matter. Safes is a parental control app that enables parents to monitor and control how their children use their mobile devices and the internet. Safes comes with comprehensive features that can help you keep your kids safe.
Start your journey to a safer digital world for your child with Safes! Sign up for our free trial today and gain access to advanced parental control features that extend beyond individual devices. Take the first step towards comprehensive online safety – begin your trial now!
Concluding Safe Mobile Games for Kids of All Ages
Mobile games may look harmless to many parents, but games downloaded from unreliable app distribution sources may harm your child’s phone or steal their private data. On the other hand, not all games are appropriate for all ages. On official app distribution platforms, games are age-rated. Those rated 12+ and 15+ may include violent or sexual content inappropriate for younger children. Ads, in-app purchases, in-app chat, and data collection are other essential issues to keep in mind when selecting safe mobile games for kids.
Safes parental control app can help you in creating a safe gaming experience for your child. With Safes, you can monitor and restrict your child’s screen time, internet use, and the games installed on their phone.