Has anyone come across any submission(s) you would particularly recommend for kids? I haven’t been able to look at many of the comp games, and I want to go through a couple with my daughter this weekend. She’s a strong reader (i.e. well above grade level) but she’s 9, and will be better engaged if a game/story has a somewhat simpler command set and/or not an overly adult setting.
Haven’t played any of these, but judging by the blurbs:
The Adventure of Esmeralda and Ruby on the Magical Island
AND WHEN I SQUINT IT LOOKS LIKE CHRISTMAS
Goodbye Cruel Squirrel
Guttersnipe: St. Hesper’s Asylum for the Criminally Mischievous
The Very Old Witch and the Turnip Girl
The Wizard Sniffer
Goodbye Cruel Squirrel is pretty, well, cruel. Not in the zarfian cruelty sense–it goes out of its way to be merciful, it seems (there are lots of actions that should get you killed but don’t)–but you do spend of time doing mean things. See Sam Ashwell’s review.
Also there was one puzzle that sent me straight to the walkthrough and would probably do the same for your kid:
you have to examine the westbound car several times to figure out when you can profitably go into the street, and AFAICT there’s no hint that the westbound car does anything except for the disambiguation message you get from “x traffic”
Ultimate Escape Room: IF City might work as far as I can remember. It doesn’t have any traditional signifiers of being For Kids but it has a pretty simple command set.
as long as you know that LOOK BEHIND, LOOK UNDER, and SEARCH are things
though it’s pretty plain.
I think Harbinger would be a great choice. I kept thinking I would have loved it when I was a kid.
Guttersnipe has some things you might find inappropriate for children. (i.e., there’s a film reel you pick up that describes the adventures of Great Gams Googie and the Sexual Harassment Tree.)
The Very Old Witch and the Turnip Girl would probably go over her head. I concur on Harbinger. Escape Room could be fun if she’s played similar games, or has any interest in going to one of the real-life rooms. Future Threads has a major character who is a small child, so that might appeal, although the concept of “do things now to affect things in the future” might be too tricky.