One of the games which made an appearance on Christmas was three copies of Triforce Heroes. This is a Zelda game for 3DS which is best enjoyed with three players who are sitting in the same room with their three devices. At first it was Kiki, Link, and Patch, but over time Patch lost interest and went off to play other games. This left Kiki and Link in need of a third player. They drafted me.
I’m not a particularly experienced player of video games. I played Nintendo 64 quite a bit when the kids were young because they liked to watch. Recently I picked up the new version of Majora’s Mask and have been playing through that. But I don’t have the practice or twitch speed that my two kids have. This is fine. My job is to follow along, not get hit by the bad guys and to assist in the solving of puzzles. I like not being in charge. I like moving through a world where the kids are the experts and they look out for me. “Mom you just stay up there until I kill all the skeletons.” “If you run close to the middle when it shoots, you won’t get hit by the laser.” Occasionally I show unexpected expertise and then I get a “Way to go Mom!”
Of course the game sometimes gets frustrating. There are times where I lose track of which little person I’m piloting on the screen and I accidentally run off the edge. Or none of us know how to beat a monster and it kills us over and over again. I may have said things like “Agh! I’m no good at this!” and it is possible that I stomped my feet on the floor in frustration. Then I looked up to see my kids looking at me with wide eyes. “Mom, do we need to take a break?” No. I was fine. The frustration was momentary. It comes and goes in the intensity of the moment. They just aren’t used to seeing me distressed in that particular way. So we all took a deep breath and agreed we’d give the frustrating monster one more try. We made a plan for who would take which role in the attack. And then we beat the thing. Together.
Triforce Heroes is a brilliant game for getting three people to practice team work. We try things and they don’t work, so we try different things. We talk about what we’re seeing, because it is impossible to complete the game unless we cooperate. I’m having a great time playing with my kids. I needed the challenge, the cathartic frustration, and the uproarious laughter. I kind of hope that Patch stays uninterested so I can finish the story with the others.