By Lisa - Homeschooling Mom
Most Popular Nintendo 3DS, DS and DSi Games for Girls ( 8,9,10,11,12 years old)
Updated October 2012
I do find that the video games that girls are drawn to are much different then ones for boys. Girls tend to like “creating” and nurturing rather than destroying and smashing.. this is generalizing and you child may not fit this stereotype at all- so hopefully I am not offending anyone!
I have found that both boys AND girls like to do problem solving and puzzle games.
I started this list about 6 years ago and have been constantly updating ever since. I have 2 kids and belong to several homeschooling groups- and I am always keeping an eye and ear out for the best Nintendo 3DS and DS video games for girls and boys. In this list I have concentrated on best 3ds and DS games for girls in the 8,9,20,11, 12 year old range. I can help you decide on what best game to buy.
If you are specifically looking for Nintendo DS games, jump down the post here, at List of Best Nintendo DS Games for Girls
What are the Best Nintendo 3DS and DS Video Games for Girls ( 8-12 years old) ?
There are a whole slew of taking care of animals and creature games- some of them done well and some not. I have tried to list the best Nintendo DS games for girls that I have found to have good play value for the money and not just a gimmick. In particular I often mention the Professor Layton series of Nintendo DS games- these are top notch and for me represent the best of the best when it comes to DS games for kids.
Best Nintendo 3DS Games for Girls
Updated October 2012
Rhythm Thief- WOW! A FANTASTIC game! Set in Paris it has tons of mini games and puzzles to solve- All with an injection of funky dancing and music.Hard to explain but exceptionally well done and appeals to boys as much as girls. Searching for hidden trasure in the streets of Paris you must master rhythms to get ahead in the game. Challenging, fun and no violence.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 might be best 3DS game on the market today. Hey to give Nintendo full marks for not tinkering with the “Mario” brand and sticking with what works. Silly fun with great graphics and challenging mini games. I can just imagine some executive trying to push the concept of Princess Peach mud wresting in bikini!
If you are stuck on what game to buy- buy this.
Super Mario 3D LandLike most of the Mario franchise it is excellent and does not disappoint.
Great play value as the game is good for all ages and for both girls and boys.
Nintendogs + Cats: Golden Retriever and New Friends is surefire hit. This interactive video game lets you train you r pet to do tricks and respond to your commands. You also need to take care of your pet- feeding, grooming and regular trips to the vet. Girls LOVE this game.
Other titles in the series:
Nintendogs + Cats: French Bulldog and New Friends
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is well designed and lots of fun. More suitable for older girls.
Newest Professor Layton,
Yay! Finally another Professor Layton DS game! Professor Layton and the Last Specter is just out. I cant recommend this series high enough. No violence, requires some reading and LOTS of problem solving and riddles. This is a great DS game for boys and girls and lots of play value. Would not hesitate to buy.
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box Second part of the Professor Layton trilogy . This series is to me what videos are what parents think they should be :-) . Both this and the first one ( below) are perfect for long car rides, school bus rides in the morning, orthodontist waiting rooms and and just plain puzzle fun.
My daughter (12) LOVES these. We got this- Professor Layton and the Curious Villagethe first in the Professor Layton series first one in the series on a long drive back from Florida and my daughter, then 10 was riveted by it. I think, she played it for about 7 hours straight. We both had a lot of fun together trying to figure out the brain teaser like puzzles and it was a real bonding experience.
This became our standard birthday gift and I can’t recommend strongly enough. The second on is Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, third is Professor Layton and the Unwound Future and most recent Professor Layton and the Last Specter. I highly recommend all of them.
Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals is just out. Part of the the HUGELY popular Zoo Hospital series. This time you are take care of and save endangered series. This is a video game that appeals to both younger and older girls but does requite reading skills.
Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling AdventureThis is my new FAVORITE game. I was a huge fan of Professor Layton and the Curious Village and Henry Hatsworth ranks right up there for me- and my kids. I think that this especially appeals to boys because their is more “action” along with puzzles. I bit more action in this then the Professor Layton series if you think you want to kick things up a notch. Don’t hesitate to buy if you are looking for a good Nintendo DS game to buy for a girl.
Animal Planet: Emergency Vets what more do you want for e little girl? Sick animals and you get to fix them :-). The craze for girls and animal pet vet type games never seems to end or get old. Anything with sick and or baby animals will be a hit. This is release from Animal Planet series and you start off as a “beginning” vet. This Pet Vet game is bit better then the average “Petz” type video game and better story and play value than most of the deluge of pet related Nintendo DS games.
A Nintendo DS game for older girls is Spore Creatures a spinoff of the Spore PC game. It was designed by the makers of Sims 2 PC and hugely popular. Spore is extremely well done. This is a surefire hit for both girls and boys and lots of play value. This is a little bit older release from 2008 but don’t let that stop you from buying- it is top notch and a superior game, Lots of critical thinking involved and a game that will be played an played. Buy this instead of the usual Cooking/Figure Skating/Baby Sitting type game.
The Imagine Seriesof video games is specifically aimed at girls and range from downlright dumb to pretty good. I’ve listed the ones below that I thought were worth a look.
Imagine Teacher made by the same video game designers who brought us “Fashion Designer” and “Figure Skater” this is kind of cute. My daughter finds it quite fun. Also just released is Imagine Wedding Designer Good harmless fun. Okay, I made fun of these type of games earlier in post but a girl has to have SOME fun. These games get made for a reason- girls love them and may as well have one or two in their stash. They cant all be learning educational good for you games- some can just be fun to play video games :-)
Mario Party DS is a great, safe choice than girls will like. Probably one of the best games of the year for NDS. It has lots of different little “mini-games” to play and challenging enough that kids will never get bored. I like this one because you can play over wi-fi with your friends. An excellent Nintendo Ds game that hold its own and great play value.
Nintendogs Labrador Retriever & Friends You CANNOT go wrong with any of this series of Nintendo games , These games are HUGELY popular and are a great game for girls who are getting their first DS. You name then “train” your dog to respond to your voice and commands. You will listen to your daughter tell you DS to “sit” over again for hours and hours and one night I was shocked to see her “blow” into it repeated. This apparently made it DO something. Most boys will have little interest in this game and girls will be GAGA over it.
Very fun and lots of mileage out of it- great for both boys and girls and adults is Crossword DS is what it says it is. Crossword puzzles on your DS. This I think may be more fun for Parents than kids. Go ahead and put in their stocking and play when they aren’t looking :)
For older girls or those more into dragons or magic then I would get The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass or the newer The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks both are challenging and fun and one of the best Nintendo DS games to get for a girl 11, 12, 13 years old.
One of my favourite games is Eco Creatures: Save The Forest you manage a forest and take care of the animals and its resources. Good for all ages and also suitable for boys.
This is FANTASTIC game for girls- Zoo Hospital- VERY popular- especially if your daughter likes animals.
A new “Taking Care if Horses” type video game, Let’s Ride: Friends Forever
Just out is Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings and it is wildly popular for older kids into RPG type games.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates is good for older more cerebral girls.
You will NOT go wrong with one of these- they are best selling and most popular DS games for girls of all time: Nintendogs (Chihuahua) DS This is a HUGE favorite, and one she will pick up and play a lot. Probably her most played game in last year. This is older game and will be a HUGE hit if you are looking for Nintendo DS game for 8-10 year girl.
Cooking Mama. This was good – sounds more boring but tons of fun. You you use the Nintendo ds stylus to “cook” meals, chopping and dicing /measuring. I think this is a great unschooling game . . This was a bonus as my 4 year old son loves to watch her play… so they enjoyed on long road trip to Florida last year. Again- very fun- good for 8-10 year olds..
Newer version og the popular Cooking Mama series is Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic and we got as much mileage out of it as the first Cooking Mama.
For fun check out Camping Mama Outdoor Adventures which has the twist of making camping food :-)
All of the animal Nintendo games are a hit- ones, especially Pet Vet . This has everything going for it- all kinds of animals and being a “Vet”. A hands down winner. Other very popular animal themed Nintendo ds games are Catz, Purr Pals and Dogz
Any other best NDS games for girls? Let me know!
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