The Dad Game: Back to School Video Game Buying with a Five Year Old

As a teacher and as a parent, back to school shopping is a big deal. In our capitalistic society that has a heavy emphasis on consumerism, we always want to have new things when we begin a new (school) season. This means new clothes, a new haircut, new accessories, etc. One of these new things to me has always been a new game to play. When I see students in the Fall, there is always something new that they are playing, in the past it has always been a new iteration of the Call of Duty series, or some other First Person Shooter. This year I am guessing it is the new Fortnite patch…

As a Dad, I don’t get to play too many games anymore. Lately my gaming time has been spent beating “Super Mario Maker 2” levels (I would probably prefer WoW:Classic, but I really don’t have the timel). So, I have been lobbying in my house for the purchase of a “Dad” game! What this is to me is a game that is for “Dad” to play alone. My criteria for a “Dad” game is

  • Single player, no multiplayer. It is Dad only who plays it.
  • It needs to be family friendly. If my son sees me play it he should not see any content that is excessively inappropriate.
  • It needs to have a deep story that has a complex theme and narrative.
  • The game-play needs to be simple and complex. Games that are too simple don’t work, but at the same time it should not be frustrating to the point of “rage quitting”.

So with this criteria and the fact that right now my console of choice in the Nintendo Switch, I have a few options that I am looking at:

  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses
  • Astral Chain
  • Octopath Traveller

There would be some other options for other consoles, maybe even games that I have sitting in a box in my basement somewhere, but I want to focus on something that does not have any “questionable content” while playing in a family environment without having to move my HDMI cables around.

Looking at the three I listed, I am not crazy about the “guns” in Astral Chain, I want to play the game with my son around from time to time. Octopath may be too old school for me. Fire Emblem is tempting, but I have heard that the story can be dark, and I am not sure about playing a game about being a teacher when I am a teacher already.

I am probably leaning towards Fire Emblem, but I am new to the series. Maybe I just wait for the Link’s Awakening remake. Who knows.

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