PS4, being the one system my teens ask for CONSTANTLY, has obviously seen the most gameplay (at least, until it crashed). With four wireless controllers and a wide variety of games to appeal to all ages, PS4 games can be used for programs for all the different divisions within a library- youth, tween, teen, and young adult.
With that being said, there are some considerations to remember when looking at games to purchase:
- Does it need online connectivity or constant communication?
- Does it need additional support, like connection to an online community?
- How many players does it actually support?
- What’s the age range of the game, and why was it rated like that?
- For the program I have in mind, can I use this game in that context?
- Is my gaming area open to everyone or restricted by ages? If I plan to use an M game, will parents/younger kids be able to see the violence/gore that earned the game the M rating?
- How much shelf life does it have? Is it a flash trend (snap braclets) or is it here to stay (duct tape)?
The Best (according to my teens):
- SPORTS: anything sports related they love- basketball, football, soccer, get it and you’re golden. You can set up tournaments, 2 on 2 play, freestyle (drop-in) play- anything you want, and it’ll work. The only thing we haven’t tried is wrestling (WWE2K15), but that’s because my teens aren’t big wrestling fans.
- LITTLE BIG PLANET: my tweens and younger teens ADORE this series, going through all the different levels together with the different Sackboy characters and gaining different clothes and articles. They’re just challenging enough to hold their interest, but not too hard that they’ll give up. The older teens get into developing their own levels, then showing them off to their peers, and friends compete to see who can run through it the fastest.
- INJUSTICE: Pitting famous DC characters against each other in battle and in story mode, this game is one of my teens’ favorite to battle with, and to sit around and watch someone go through the story.
Ones to Look Forward To:
- Destiny: I’ve been holding off on this one as the multiplayer aspect is buried a bit into the game, and the requirement for being online. However, as funds become available and teens are becoming familiar with the game at home, they swear they can work through the beginning levels easily to where the multiplayer aspects will be available relatively easily. This being one of the few FPS games that is rated T, and thereby useful for freeplay, I’m hopeful that it’ll work out.
- Minecraft: This came out for PS4 too late for our budget year last year, but I’m hoping to pick it up soon and get it launched with the XBOX ONE version for a huge program in the spring. My tweens LOVE Minecraft, and their only stumbling block for the computer version is the price point of membership.
Ones to be Cautious Of:
- Just Dance: Unless you have a PS4 bundle that comes with the PS Camera, you’ll have to buy it separately- that’s the piece that reads the body motions required for the movement part of Just Dance. Otherwise, it’s just mashing buttons, and what’s the fun in that?
- LEGO Titles: Fun and easy to play, and very easy to find cheats such as infinite lives, a lot of the titles will drop characters out at certain points so there’s only one player being used at a time. That can be frustrating for younger tweens who don’t understand what’s going on, or why THAT person is getting more playing time. They do have wonderful graphics and compelling stories, and I always get a good crowd that wants to watch everyone play, so with careful staffing and watching to make sure everyone gets their fair share of “screen time” these are by far the best bet for your youngest players.