Gaming has changed so much since the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System. When we got a game, we were stuck with it. Forced to play it over and over until we knew every last little move we needed to do.
Most of the kids today do not have the patience to deal with “Nintendo Hard”. Heck, I no longer have the patience. So if you are looking for some retro games to keep your kids occupied and won’t cause them to launch a controller across the room, this is
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10 Of The Best NES Games for Kids Under 10
Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers 2
Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers 2 was released in 1993. It was based on the hit cartoon and is a sequel to its first game which was released 3 years earlier. CAPCOM did a lot of work for Disney back in the day resulting in some of the best games for the system.
It is a side-scrolling action-platformer that features both single and multiplayer. The levels are great with the ability to pick up and throw objects from the environment (including each other).
Interesting characters, memorable bosses, and a good story, paired with tight control, make this an awesome hidden gem, even if your little one knows nothing about the show.
I’m not going to pretend that Nintendo didn’t just steal Joust and put their on spin on it. But really not much is different. Like Joust, Balloon Fight is be played with 2 players.
The game features a Balloon Fighter who flies with the aid of balloons attached to his helmet. The player has defeat enemies (or opponents) by popping their balloons, forcing them down.
Because there is no shooting controls are kept simple. One button to flap then just move the direction you want to go.
The game was published and developed in 1986 by Nintendo for NES. Several other versions of the game have been since then and are now available on Nintendo Switch Online.
The Bugs Bunny’s Crazy Castle
Everybody loves Bugs Bunny. He is one of the most famous and successful cartoons of all time. Crazy Castle was one of his first trips onto a home console.
The objective of the game is simple. Control Bugs’ through a series of levels while collecting carrots. There are other items such as flower pots, crates, potions, etc. which help you to avoid and fight the enemies.
Sylvester, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, and Wile E. Coyote all make an appearance as you explore the caste to save Honey Bunny.
It’s also worth noting that this game has a GameBoy port which was just as good.
Tiny Toon Adventures
Another Warner Bros classics is Tiny Toon Adventures. Konami published a game based on the popular cartoon show in 1991.
You control Buster Bunny as the who has to rescue his best friend Babs Bunny from Montana Max. There are six worlds in the game each split up into three levels per world.
As the game progresses, more characters become available each with theirs own abilities. Furrball, Plucky Duck, and Dizzy Devil are among the playable characters. There is tons to explore and the gameplay is quite easy.
Adventures In The Magic Kingdom
Who doesn’t love Disney? And who wouldn’t love a trip to the Magic Kingdom? In 1990 Capcom and Disney collaborated once again to bring that experience home to the NES.
The story of the game starts with Goofy who has left the golden key for the Castle inside. The player has to walk through five different stages collecting silver keys to open the Cinderella Castle Gate.
All the stages have been made like Disney theme park rides. Some levels also feature vehicles. Overall, it is a perfect game for younger kids where they can play with their favorite characters while roaming through the Magic Kingdom.
Punch-Out may seem like a hard game at first but the fact is the controls are super simple, and once you memorize the enemy patterns you find yourself getting farther and farther each time your play.
You get to play as Little Mac fight his way up to the “Dream Fight”, or Mike Tyson (depending on what version you have). You fight different characters as you progress your way through the circuits. Each enemy has certain abilities and patterns which are easy to learn and counter against once you know how.
If you can’t get enough, there are sequels for both the SNES and the Wii that stay true to the original.
Talking about kids’ games, here is one for the little bike riders. Excitebike is a motocross racing game by Nintendo for NES. The game was released in 1984 and Excite became a franchise for other similar games like Excite Truck, Excitebots (both good games on the Wii if you can find them).
You get the option to choose from 5 different tracks to race. The race proceeds in a time attack mode and the objective is to qualify for the championship.
The tracks feature jumps and hurdles through which you have to make your way by controlling the bike’s speed and temperature. High acceleration causes the bike to heat up and reduce speed.
Adventures of Lolo
Adventures of Lolo is was a popular puzzle game for its time. It was one of the first games published and developed by HAL Laboratory in 1989 for NES. It is educational, fun, and forgiving.
You get to control a blue blob-like creature named Lolo and make your way through 50 stages to rescue Princess Lala. The evil King Egger has kidnapped her and placed his guards at each stage to prevent Lolo from rescuing her.
Each level acts as its own puzzle and you must use your abilities to complete tasks in a certain order. It sounds simple but it involves some critical thinking along with some trial and error.
Bubble Bobble for NES was an awesome port of the original arcade game. Like Lolo, you progress through levels one at a time, but there is no puzzle-solving here, just clear out all the enemies and move on.
The game stars the twin’s Bub and Bob. Baron Von Blubba has kidnapped Bub and Bob’s girlfriends and they are on a machine to rescue them. What an original and creative plot right?
You control each one of the little dragons and make your way through the levels by encapsulating your enemies in bubbles and popping them. And because it is 2 player co-op, you can just in and offer as little or as much help as needed.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Last on the list is everyone’s favorite Plumer. Really I could have put any of the 3 NES Mario releases on here but I chose Super Mario 3 for a few reasons.
First, the power-up system is a little more forgiving when you get hit. If you are wearing a suit when you get hit, you only lose the suit, and you still remain “super” This kind gives you an extra hit and makes it a little easier.
Second is the powerups themselves. In the original Mario, you only got the fire flower. Now you get a wide range of power-ups to make the task easier. And the developers did a good job of placing the right power-ups in the right places.
Also, the 2 player here, while not really co-op, it is not really vs either. If your little one is stuck on a level you can pass it and it will be cleared for them as well, allowing them to proceed.
Lastly, this game is just longer and more fun than the original. Not to take anything away from the original but Nintendo has always been good at taking what they have an improvement on it so it would make sense that Mario’s final outing on the system was his best.