With the flurry and rush to include hype up and praise games that are AAA sensations or designed to appeal to large audiences, certain titles get lost in the rush. We forget about games that can build foundations. Children’s games get pushed aside, labeled as bargain bin titles. They might be dismissed by a greater audience. The more cynical gamers might even deem them shovelware. While such games will certainly never come away with major accolades, we have to remember that they can still matter. Titles like Paw Patrol: On a Roll can help establish younger gamers, give older gamers a way to connect with kids and get them invested in the hobby, and perhaps even be the source of fond memories.
For reference, Paw Patrol: On a Roll is one of those kids games from Nickelodeon. Depending on your age, you might have grown up with similar Ren & Stimpy or Spongebob-inspired titles. This one puts players in Adventure Bay, where they can explore eight areas and complete sixteen adventures with the different puppies, each of which has their own skills. Basically, it is an interactive version of the show children love. It lets them spend time with characters they likely adore in a positive way. It may even impart some valuable life lessons and make those kids who play it better people.
While rudimentary, there appears to be a lot of variation in Paw Patrol: On a Roll that could help children grow to love gaming and perhaps become better people. After all, it is a game about conducting rescues. Each of the puppies is tied to a certain kind of rescue force, like cops or firepeople. This instills the virtues of looking out for others. The basic platforming helps them find their way. The puzzles get them using complex thinking. All of these show how attractive gaming can be in a pleasant and encouraging environment designed just for them.
It is also a chance to give parents and guardians a way to connect with kids doing something they love. The children playing Paw Patrol: On a Roll might not be 100% ready to start playing games yet. Even though the puzzles are designed with kids in mind and it is geared toward a younger audience, the beginners playing might need a little extra input or assistance. An older gamer watching could then lend a hand and help them find their footing. It would be a way to build memories and connect over a shared love of games, even if it is not the sort of game you might not normally play.
A game like Paw Patrol: On a Roll could even be to a child today what Oregon Trail or some other licensed game is to the gamers who have seen it all. Case in point: I loved Kool-Aid Man on the Intellivision when I was a kid. It is a very bad game that no one should really play. It was incredibly simple and featured some horrible design choices. Still, I loved it. I spent hours playing it. It was one of the “kids” games that made me want to play more involved titles and get into the hobby. Something like this Paw Patrol game could do that for current kids.
We need to remember that not all games need to be major sensations geared towards older audiences. Making sure there are titles to appeal to the younger set is important too. They can serve as a way to connect with children and foster a love of gaming in kids who are new to the hobby. That’s why games like Paw Patrol: On a Roll matter. They may not be amazing or memorable to us, but they could be to the next generation of gamers.