I am currently designing a game for small kids that have not yet learned to read and would like to get some opinions, and views, on scoring?

Given that these (hopefully) will be small children that cannot yet read or children that have just learned to read, between 2 - 5 maybe what about scoring, do you think that is needed?

My idea was to avoid both any character at all and only use pictures. However, if scoring is implemented there re always other ways to do that i guess with colors, bars etc.

Would someone nice just elaborate a bit on general design criteria's for this type of games and applications with this target audience?


I am not an expert on the subject, but I do have a 4 year old son.

The most important thing for him in a game, seems to be characters, colors, and sounds. The game also needs to be quite simple. He prefers playing games on a touchpad screen, as the interface is the easiest for him to use.

At his gaming maturity level, scores are irrelevant. What is most important is to provide a good feedback, preferably a visual feedback, that will indicate if you are doing what you are suppose to do in order to win the game.

Keeping score can be as simple as making it to the second level. A simplified explanation of what I mean could be changing the background color from Red to Blue after a goal is accomplished. The next time they play, they will start understanding that they are starting off on Red and need to make it to the Blue.

The main thought is that you need to entertain. A scoring system is typically used to promote competition in your gaming experience.


It's unclear if this is going to be a single or multi player game. If it's single-player, @Jon's answer stands.

If it's multi-player, and some kind of scoring is really required, you could represent it with bigger crowns, higher piles of cake, and so on.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I am no sure if children too young to read would be interested in multiplayer. \$\endgroup\$ – rojcyk Dec 24 '11 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rojcyk: multiplayer definitely, PvP only some of them. I started very young (no later than 3y old), though I admit I already could read... \$\endgroup\$ – o0'. Dec 24 '11 at 16:56

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.