By request: Best and worst children in games

By request of droewyn

The best and worst children in video games? Bah, that’s an easy one.

The best? My kid from Tomodachi Life.


Even though she broke our hearts when she moved out the instant she got her drivers license. The kids in Tomodachi Life work so well because they skip the whole “cutesy rugrat” stage — they start as caterwauling infants, become fussy toddlers, and then they’re out of the house. Video games, like most media, are just awful at depicting convincing children, but Tomodachi Life is no-holds-barred realism about the harrowing hell that is being a new parent. And then at the end your baby ditches you, only coming back home long enough to crash and grab a free meal.

The worst? I’m gonna have to go with Cooke and Mack from Lost Odyssey.

I don’t know that there have ever been two other characters in the history of video games who have made me cringe harder the instant they appear on-screen than these creepy little Palom and Porom wannabes. They’re everything bad about children in media — overly precocious, shrill-voiced, and thanks to the goofy pantomime motion capture of this particular game they’re deeply and intensely creepy with every move they make.

Maybe I’m forgetting someone even more irritating, but I doubt it.

4 thoughts on “By request: Best and worst children in games

  1. Pokey from Earthbound is pretty awful, although he’s that way by design. He’s kind of a proto-Cartman in that he’s thoroughly obnoxious and detestable. I think he even becomes the main villain in the third game on Game Boy Advance!

  2. I think the most realistic thing about the newborns on Tomodachi is that if they’re crying, you hear it regardless of what you’re doing in the game until you manage to calm them down. I got to that point in the game about the same time my newborns were doing the same kinds of crying and it pretty much killed all my interest in continuing. Thank goodness she grew up in a week’s time.

    That said, I’ve probably already told this story before but new parent amnesia is making me forget if I’ve said it or just imagined it.

  3. Thank you. Mack and Cooke are God awful, and that was just the beginning of Lost Odyssey’s problems

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