I like to play the odd video game, but I knew that once I was a father, there wouldn't be much time. Still I manage to play the odd game of Rock Band 2. This is a game with a natural advantage for parents: you can stop at any point to attend to the necessities of parenting, and even if it causes you to mess up, it doesn't matter. The song is only 5 minutes long and you can always start again. It's just a great way to take a short break amidst all the chaos.

So I was wondering, what other games are parent friendly like this? i.e. fun in ultra short doses, without too much depth.

I'll make this a community wiki. Please list games one-per-answer and vote up the ones you agree with.

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asked 24 Apr '10, 19:16

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edited 26 Apr '10, 17:55

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Scottie T
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I also like the mini sports games that come with Wii & Wii Fit. They're short & fun and you don't lose momentum if you can't play for a few days.

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answered 24 Apr '10, 23:12

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Kate
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I second the Wii and Wii Fit games.

(25 Apr '10, 01:51) Tammy ♦♦

How do you keep your munchkins off of your balance board? I've played with my wii fit about 3 times because each time was a battle to keep the littles from hijacking it! Help!

(25 Apr '10, 05:04) Neen

+1 for Wii Sports. My 5 and a half year old plays amazing "bowling". I have still not be able beat her :-)

(25 Apr '10, 05:53) Emi

@Neen: I don't dare play Wii when they are awake, and although I don't personally have the balance board, I keep my Guitar hidden at all times to keep it safe from little hands (although I think my kids are littler than yours, so out-of-sight is good enough!)

(25 Apr '10, 21:54) Kate

@Neen -My daughter is small enough that she doesn't try to get on the board of take the guitar. Sometimes we set her up to bang on the drums even if they aren't hooked up so she feels like she's playing with us. Usually she dances around or "exercises" on the floor alongside me.

(26 Apr '10, 18:00) Tammy ♦♦

Ah, well, 3 and 19 months are a challenge on their own, when they band together, I don't get to play. :( And after they go to bed their older brothers take over the TV. I'm screwed. (@Tammy, that's what my daughter used to do when her brothers played Rock Band before her little brother was born, we have some great video of her singing into the mike while they played!)

(27 Apr '10, 03:43) Neen
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

When our daughter was first born, I did manage to play Spore a bit. It was definitely easy to get into and out of.

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answered 27 Apr '10, 09:59

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Well, I'd had a weird desire to play the Super Nintendo version of Sim City, so I downloaded it on the Wii virtual console. It's a pretty easy game to just up and leave running, let those funds build up for a few virtual years. On the fastest speed setting, an in game year is 5 minutes. So I could split my time reading my favorite feeds in between budget years. And if my daughter needed me, I had no problem just letting it run while I took care of her.

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answered 11 May '10, 03:17

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I would also like to suggest Puzzle Quest. I'm sure that's a game that would easily lend itself to tending a child. It's a pretty fun game that you can drop in and drop out of with ease. It's also great that it's available on multiple platforms (including some cell phones). I actually have it on Nintendo DS, PC, AND Xbox Live Arcade (Xbox 360), so that it's generally available no matter where I'm at or if someone else is using the PC or TV.

(17 May '10, 17:07) JustinP8

I agree with this one. The older consoles seem to have a larger collection of throw away games that you can pick up and drop really easily. Newer games seem to get you more involved and are generally more time consuming. Jumping around with a Wii-mote is probably not the best idea when there are kids about, in my opinion.

(06 Jun '10, 20:37) Rick

I'll second the Rock Band/Guitar Hero line of games... especially after listening to kids music all day.

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answered 24 Apr '10, 23:10

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Kate
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You didn't specify your platform, but there's lots of other Wii answers, so I suggest Rayman Raving Rabbids. It's got great humor and it's composed of mini games that you can play several in a 10-15 minute span. I haven't played any of the other Rayman games, but I understand the other Rabbids titles are more of the same.

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answered 15 May '10, 18:17

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Michael Itzoe
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Thanks! I don't think the platform matters, but it's interesting that there are so many Wii examples. Maybe that means the Wii is the platform for parents...

(16 May '10, 10:57) Scott ♦♦

Oh, I miss my games! The only thing I've been able to play much lately is a vocabulary game on the Wii, after I've chased everybody to bed, just to keep my mind from turning into complete mush. It's called "My Word Coach". But, I really miss Mario and Link!

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answered 24 Apr '10, 22:06

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Neen
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I play Quake Live now and then. I think I will still be able to play this occasionally when our firstborn will arrive. It's a free online multiplayer shoot'em up, and you can stop in the middle of the game whenever you need.

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answered 27 Apr '10, 07:56

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It would be interesting for you to revisit this question in a year. ;)

(27 Apr '10, 09:57) Scott ♦♦

@Scott, ok, will do :-)

(27 Apr '10, 14:05) Fisherman
1

almost 3 years later I can tell I have barely the time to play Solitaire or Freecell... (I have 2 kids now)

(28 Jan '13, 07:56) Fisherman

My husband and I sometimes play Perfect World after the kids are in bed. And he likes to play Final Fantasy: Chocobo's Dungeon for Wii, which is safe to play with kids in the room.

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answered 11 May '10, 14:54

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edited 11 May '10, 16:13

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Snood!

Brainless but satisfying. I love the sounds too.

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answered 05 Jun '10, 04:32

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edited 05 Jun '10, 20:46

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Asked: 24 Apr '10, 19:16

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Last updated: 28 Jan '13, 07:56