Now that M my oldest has turned 8, I have been introducing her to some Switch and mobile multiplayer games that are good for kids and dad, and that we can co-op together on. She used to watch me play all the time so you could say she’s quite the native. My 4-year-old though…has a lot of enthusiasm, not so much skill.
I’ve been subscribed to Apple Arcade just so it’s easier for everyone in the family to join in, but I’ve also had to wade through quite a lot of underwhelming or overly complicated games to get to some of the better stuff. Even Apple-curated recommendations are a bit of a hit-and-miss.
So I thought it’d be a good idea to compile a list of some of the co-op or multiplayer games for kids that are available on Apple Arcade, from one tired gamer dad and his kids to another. These are in no particular order.
Best Multiplayer Games for Kids and Dad
1. Butter Royale
Imagine a food fight of the most epic proportions. Bazookas shooting bread, blasting pancakes (that’s my new favorite in the game), and gumball shotguns.
The aim is to be the last one standing while avoiding an ever-encroaching lava pool of butter. The movement and shooting mechanics are easy enough, and the graphics are cute to boot. M definitely seems to love it.
Not gonna lie though, the controls are a little bit too hard for my 4-year-old E so we have to adapt when he insists on joining in. It’s a dual joystick setup but thankfully has a tap-to-shoot mechanic, so I get him to do that. I focus on running around, collecting enough ammo to make up for his trigger-happy ways, and just try to keep us in the game for as long as I can. Butter Royale is also the best action game.
2. Crossy Road Castle
The 8-bit graphics for this game were really nostalgic for me, and even the game mechanics closely resemble old-school Mario – hopping from platform to platform while collecting coins and jumping on enemies to kill them. Except with Crossy Road characters, with earned coins unlocking even more characters from a gacha-like machine.
The purpose is to scale the castle as quickly as possible as a team, and as long as one player reaches the end the whole team progresses to the next level, even if they’ve died. I usually take the lead and each level is really short and you can easily clear 10 levels in a couple of minutes.
M goes crazy for the derpy-looking characters (especially the unicorn) and rainbow-colored palette, and tap-to-move mechanics are pretty intuitive too.
3. Sonic Racing
Mario Kart is great for competing against friends, but Sonic Racing lets you ally up and help each other out. When playing with my kid, I’d prefer something like this over other more competitive racing games. It just feels like a better bonding experience when we’re working together.
Basically, each team has three players with different abilities: speed, power, or technique. Each player has to take turns picking up different power-ups or boost items based on their ‘type’. It takes quite a bit of communication to coordinate this, but that’s what I love about playing it with M. Also, the racing speed is relatively slower so it’s not too hard for an 8-year-old to steer around the track.
Okay, I admit, I’m a bigger fan of this game than she is, but it’s never too early to start teaching her some road sense.
Monopoly is another classic board and online game that can be enjoyed by kids and dad alike. It is a multiplayer game that involves selling, buying, and trading properties, as well as collecting rent and avoiding bankruptcy. Monopoly can also be a learning game, as it teaches children about negotiation skills, money management, and strategic thinking. Monopoly is a fun and educational game for the whole family. You can play it online with other players, bots, and friends or offline using the monopoly australia board game.
5. Super Mega Mini Party
Think of this as a party pack of fun mini-games, and every challenge you complete unlocks even more mini-games. M loves the dance challenge game and gets a kick (no pun intended) out of the one where Bruce Lee karate chops a tree – it is relatively straightforward pattern recognition that challenges reaction time.
There are 20 mini-games altogether, but to be honest, it can get a little bit repetitive for me once you’ve completed all of them a few times. The part that makes it fun is when M and I team up against other players online, but she is also happy enough (at least for a while) playing the solo training mode when I can’t co-op with her.
M calls this “the piggy game”. You spend your time smashing through fruit, soaking up mud puddles, and evading the water-hose-toting farmhand as you try to smear as much mud as possible all over the farmer’s stuff.
Sure, you get to play as the farmhand too. But why would you?
The controls can get a little tricky though for M (the right-handed joystick that pans the camera gets her a little frustrated at times). E thinks it’s the height of funny as a very opinionated four-year-old. Still, he gets upset when he can’t quite get it or join in so we tend to play this when he’s not around.