Sometimes even old and well-known games can give completely unexpected experiences and emotions, especially if you play them in a company with a child. Several days ago I introduced my three-year-old son Yegor to the computer game King’s Bounty. It turned out that such leisure is not only suitable for any age, but can also become an interesting challenge for a parent. Here are a few takeaways that I would like to share.



Playing with a small child is a challenge and hardcore… The developers certainly did not foresee such a level of complexity and immersion. Firstly, I had to make a lot of effort to broadcast the gaming experience to my son and explain everything that was happening on the screen in an accessible language. Of course, I had to answer millions of questions along the way: “And what is this?”, “Where is the horse running?”, “Why is my uncle fighting? He is bad?” etc. At first it was a little annoying, but then it even began to amuse, because the child’s reaction was very lively and sincere. For the first time in his life he saw a computer game – a cartoon in which you can control characters and build your own stories. I even praised myself for the good choice of King’s Bounty, because it is very bright, colorful and to some extent “cartoonish”.

Secondly, in such a joint game, the child became not only a spectator, but also a direct participant in the process: in response to what he saw, he conveyed to me his own reactions, thoughts and wishes, set tasks and even dictated the conditions for passage. Because of this, during the game, a lot of funny situations arose that made completing tasks even more interesting.

Exploring the dungeons

The child made him read dialogues and descriptions of quests… I usually omit such nuances when talking to NPCs and quickly click the lines until I get the task itself. When I did this for the first time in the presence of my son, I immediately heard a simple question, which immediately baffled me: “What did this uncle want?” And really, what? I just glanced at the text and knew that I needed to defeat some robbers, but why and why I did not even think. Previously, I simply did not waste time on this, trying to quickly clean up the map and pump the hero.

It turned out to be important for Yegor to understand the motives and the entire background of the quest. After that, I began to read dialogues to him and offer options for answers – this is how we got almost complete interactive fairy tales about wizards, bandits, princesses and wild animals. Of course, some of the stories had to be adapted, the vocabulary was smoothed out and the “content is not age-appropriate,” but the child was still very interested. Honestly, such a thoughtful reading of dialogues helped me to complete a couple of tricky quests myself.

Whenever he wants, Yegor can be damn cute and photogenic 🙂

The son has his favorite units… During the game, Yegor did not really delve into running around the map and pumping a character, but battles with opponents aroused genuine delight and interest in him. He was especially worried about the fate of the battle bears, which at that moment constituted the shock stack of my army. I will not say that I was surprised by his affection, because in real life he adores teddy bears, which he considers almost full-fledged family members. Very quickly, these clubfoots received a “special status” in the army, and then situations arose that I could not foresee.

The son insisted that these bears always be in the army. It was strictly forbidden to exchange them for other units (even stronger and suitable for combat) under the threat of tears and hysteria. Take my word for it, if you have an option not to anger a three-year-old – don’t tempt fate. Another child very quickly figured out that units can be strengthened or protected with buffs. As a result, each new fight began with the phrase: “Dad, don’t forget to make my bear little white!” (This is the visual effect of the Stoneskin spell). What can you say, I took care of the bears as best I could, did not substitute for blows and generously supplied them with buffs. Periodically replenished their numbers so as not to lose in battle (that would be a fiasco).

Gives out valuable directions for bears

In the game as in life? King’s Bounty is a relatively friendly game in which there is no dismemberment, murders, screamers, blood and all that stuff. Otherwise, I wouldn’t play it with my little son. But as practice has shown, at the age of three, children have a more sensitive attitude to morality, cruelty, good and evil. For example, when I attacked the screen with griffins, Yegor was completely outraged and said: “Dad, what are you doing? You can’t offend birds! ” As a decent parent, since childhood I have been trying to instill in Yegor love and respect for animals, but in the virtual world this scheme has clearly failed. It is interesting that battles with various monsters, bandits, pirates and other barbarians did not cause such internal protest in the child, since he already knows that not all people are good. But with animals, the situation is more straightforward: for Yegor, they are not divided into good and bad, because that is how he was raised. As a result, we decided to leave the birds alone, and in general I tried not to fight with animals (especially with my beloved bears).

Children’s fears can affect the gaming experience… Quests in the cemetery became an interesting test for the joint passage with the child. In “The Legend of the Knight” there is a dark location, decorated with crypts, gravestones and cobwebs. There are also many skeletons, vampires and ghosts. Egor is very careful about the “afterlife”, he loves themed series about Halloween in cartoons, but at the same time he is wary of everything mystical and otherworldly. During the game, a violent childhood fantasy (together with natural curiosity) posed a new task for me – to explain what was happening without delving into philosophy and without frightening the child with talking about death. To be honest, I was not ready to explain to a three-year-old child where skeletons come from, how zombies appeared, etc. In the end, I decided to go through this location without getting involved in battles (where possible), but simply luring enemies out of the passages. Didn’t get far, well, okay.

In general, I consider the first such experience of joint leisure more than successful. Perhaps in a couple of years my son will help me not as a spectator and commander, but as a full-fledged partner. As the wise men said Dota, if you want to play with a good teammate, educate him yourself.