"Gamesrankings.com":http://www.gamerankings.com/itemrankings/default_PC/5 is a great site that averages reviews across the web. Here are some games I found that I think the kids might like:
* "Sports Games":http://www.download.com/Sports/2001-2117_4-0.html?tag=dir. Free downloads are key so they can try the games. Cnet has a great collection of sports games.
* "Kids Games":http://www.download.com/3150-2102_4-0-1-0.html?qt=&author=&titlename=&desc=&dlcount=&daysback=&swlink=&gfiletype=&os=128&li=&dlsize=&ca= These are games for smaller kids under 7 or so. Amongst these, the Caillou games and Jr. Architect look pretty good and worth trying.
For bigger kids, there are the simulation games including:
* "Ship Simulator 2006":http://www.shipsim-secure.com/index.php?id=4. You can download it, but it doesn't have sailing, but gives you big yachts around the world :-0 This game we bought and turned out OK, but ultimately it was a litlle too simple. Virtual Skipper which is just about sailing has turned out way more interesting. Basically just tooling around a harbor is kinda boring.
* "GT Legends":http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/927979.asp. This is a car simulation of authentic old models. It has a demo version too to try.
* "City Life":http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/930964.asp. This is Simcity for the 21st century with a "demo":http://www.download.com/City-Life-demo/3000-7481_4-10524345.html version to try.
* "Keepsake":http://www.download.com/Keepsake-demo/3000-7543_4-10503605.html. An Adventure game updated and it doesn't sound like it is violent. Also has a free trial download.