Life After Minecraft: 5 games for the fading Minecraft fan
Posted on February 26, 2018
Although Minecraft might still be new to some of us, it does have 100 million copies in the wild, having sold over 50,000 copies per day in 2016. Even so, individual gamers do eventually lose the love for Minecraft. Often they get to the age of 12 or 13 and it feels a little bit kiddy – they want something bit more grownup and exciting (even if they rediscover the love in their late teens or 20s). Or even with Minecraft’s infinite creativity, sometimes they just get bored with a game that they may have played for over 100 hours. So what are the alternatives? In this post we mention a few games that are still age-appropriate but can continue to feed that love of gaming well into the tweens and teens, especially at a Game Truck party.
Anything not online-only
OK, this isn’t exactly a title, but is a useful way of describing what will and won’t work in the Truck. Kids often want to play the latest and favourite games that they play in their own homes, online with their friends via the Internet and a headset. At the moment these include titles such as Star Wars Battlefront II, Rainbow Six: Siege, Overwatch (which I love but doesn’t work in the Truck), or high-end racing games like Project Cars. The problem with these games is that they have no local multiplayer, and rely solely on an internet connection to have more than one player at a time in the game. This is a problem for a number of reasons: technical and financial (mobile broadband is difficult and expensive to get working) and social – I don’t want to be responsible for the interactions kids have in the truck with people outside in the wide world, and we really wanton have awesome face-to-face party experiences with more than four people at once. So unfortunately, although these games might be a great way to level up at home, we don’t have them in the Truck.
Terraria is perhaps the most obvious choice for a substitute: with a similar visual design, procedural generation of levels, and focus on crafting, it has immediate appeal to big fans of Minecraft. One difference is that it is a 2D side-scroller, meaning that instead of exploring in a 3D space in all directions, you move simply from the left to the right along platforms. It is significantly more action-based – this is more of the core of that game rather than allowing for the pure creativity of Minecraft, but if players have been into Minecraft for a while they are probably ready for this step up. Unfortunately it just doesn’t have the traction with players to work very well at Game Truck parties – although some are keen, there are just not enough kids who know Terraria well enough to get into it.
Depending on the age and maturity of the player, and the boundaries set by parents, a logical step might be to move into more action-based games and shooters like Halo or Call of Duty. Usually rated M or M15+, these games make it important to become familiar with the Australian Classification Board’s ratings system, and especially what the M ratings mean, so it’s important to consider whether Halo 4 (for example) would be good for a party. But it’s worth a thought. All up, there is no substitute for sitting down and spending some time watching a game and especially observing (or even participating) in kids playing to get an in-depth perspective on whether these games are appropriate for any age group.
A big sleeper hit in the Game Truck, Trials Fusion never fails to engage players of all ages and experience levels, and with its PG rating it’s definitely age-appropriate. I’m actually rather surprised about it success, because in its pure form Trials is actually quite difficult and skills-based. In short it’s a side-scrolling motorbike race and stunt game. Its local multiplayer or ‘split-screen’ mode means that individual players can crash quite often and only one player needs to get through each checkpoint, so as long as you have two or three players with at least enough skills to progress through the track, the action keeps flowing and everyone has a great time. The individual (‘campaign’) mode is much more in-depth and challenging, meaning that players at home on their own can take the time to learn the high level of skill needed to take on the challenges. Best of all it’s excellent value – at around $20 maximum there is no reason not to pick it up.
Standing it as perhaps the most recent sleeper-hit addition in the Game Truck, Rocket League commands incredible respect and excitement amongst players who are edging out of an interest in Minecraft. Summed up as soccer played by remote-controlled cars, Rocket League has an enormous eSports following and just enough light competition to make it really fun. Kids love the customisation options and it comes across as an ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ game. The genius of Rocket League is that with its G rating, parents, guardians and Game Truck coaches need have no concerns about it being played even in the company of the youngest kids in the truck. This is great when post-Minecraft fans want something a bit more challenging and action-based but age means that more mature titles might be a bit problematic.
So if you have a little gamer who seems to be losing the love for Minecraft, here are a few options to try. It also gives a bit of a sense of what works at Game Truck party and what doesn’t really fit the style of party that we offer.
Interested in talking about a Game Truck Party for your next child’s birthday? Call Chad on 0433 318 001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; see you in the Truck!