GamerDad and family Welcome to GamerDad: Gaming with Children. My name is Andrew S. Bub - the GamerDad - and I've been writing about videogames, movies, and children for over 15 years now. After working as a magazine journalist, I switched gears to write about how media violence affects children, educating parents about them, and working closely with magazines, newspapers, major retailers and even politicians. GamerDad is an internationally recognized expert in this field. Games, movies and media are fun, kids and families love them, they aren't going away. So join me in cutting through the hype and lets have a real conversation about the things that matter: Video Games, Violent Media, and their supposed effect on children and families.
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Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop (3DS)

The most popular mother in gaming is back on the 3DS with Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop.  This time the recipes you bake are all desserts: cakes, cookies, and other sweet stuff.  Just like before, you’ll use the stylus and touch screen to perform cooking activities like chopping, sifting, cracking, and baking.  Each recipe (over 60 in all) has multiple steps for you to complete in order, and you’ll be ranked at the end on how well you do.  But this time you’ll be able to present your sugary concoctions in your very own Sweet Shop for customers to buy!

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Stardew Valley (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The farming sim that took PCs by storm last year is now available on consoles.  In the game, your dying grandfather gives you an envelope to open later.  One day, while bored and frustrated at your cubicle job at Jojo Co., you open the envelope and find the deed to your grandfather’s farm in Stardew Valley.  So you pack up your things and start your new life out in the country.  Will you be able to work hard to make money and cultivate the land and friendships to find happiness, or will you succumb to Jojo Co. who is trying to buy the land for warehouse space?  Stardew Valley is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PCs, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (3DS)

Before game developer HAL Laboratory created Kirby and the Smash Bros. series, they were famous for a popular puzzle game trio on the NES called Adventures of Lolo (I loved those games as a kid).  Over the past couple of years, they’ve proven they still have what it takes to make great puzzlers with the BoxBoy! titles, downloadable on the 3DS.  Now the third and final game in the trilogy is out, with more block puzzles, stages, and powers than ever before!

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SnipperClips: Cut It Out Together (Switch)

SnipperClips’ unique cooperative puzzle gameplay shows off Nintendo’s classic family-friendly innovation in gaming. Two players overlap their on-screen shapes in order to cut out parts to create a new shape. This can be repeated until the players create the shapes needed to solve the puzzle. SnipperClips endearing characters and creative gameplay make a perfect, if somewhat short, cooperative title for any Switch owner’s library.

 

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TumbleSeed (PS4, Switch, PC)

Can you name a video game where you play as a seed?  Yeah, me neither.  But now you can with TumbleSeed, a new downloadable game for PS4, Switch, and PC (reviewed on PS4 here).  In this game, you must guide a seed up a mountain so it can plant itself at the top to save the world or something.  It’s a very unique, but also very difficult, game.

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The Games of The Disney Afternoon Collection

Recently I reviewed The Disney Afternoon Collection.  It’s a compilation of Capcom’s NES titles that were based on shows on The Disney Afternoon, a block of Disney cartoons that aired back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  I really loved watching The Disney Afternoon as a kid, and I also enjoyed the NES games a lot, too.  In fact, many of the games on this collection are more memorable to me than titles like Mario!  They could’ve called this the Cary’s Childhood Collection!  So I thought I’d go into more detail and share my memories of each of the NES games on this collection, and the cartoons they’re based on.

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The Disney Afternoon Collection (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Back in the late 80’s and early to mid 90’s, Disney had a block of weekday after school cartoons on TV called The Disney Afternoon.  They featured such memorable and high-quality shows like DuckTales, Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, and many more.  Tons of people, including myself, have very fond memories watching these cartoons as kids.  I guarantee that if you search for Disney Afternoon on the Web or YouTube, you’ll find lots of folks gushing about these shows.  Anyway, around this time, game maker Capcom published some licensed games based on many Disney Afternoon properties for the Nintendo Entertainment System.  Back then, just like today, most licensed games were not very good.  But Capcom bucked that trend with their Disney games, as most of them were just as good as what the best the NES had to offer.  In fact, Capcom’s Disney and Mega Man games were more memorable to me as a kid than Mario!  Anyway, many other gamers can attest to the statement that these games were good.  And now, Capcom has gathered six of these classics in a compilation called The Disney Afternoon Collection.  Although they might as well have called it The Cary’s Childhood Collection.  Anyway, you can download this set of games on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but it’s reviewed on PS4 here.

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Neverwinter (PC,PS4,Xbox One)

As a “free to play” online game, Neverwinter provides an enjoyable action-oriented solo role-playing game that can expand into 3-5 player quests offering deeper player vs environment play. The game’s strength lies in its close ties to Dungeons and Dragons including expansions and events built to incorporate the ongoing D&D storylines. Players willing to cough up some money will find their lives a bit easier through faster leveling or extra loot. The initial focus on a single city helps to tie together the stories told at lower levels of the game, helping to keep things interesting until players reach the endgame of high level raids.

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Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Back in the day, Wonder Boy was a game series with lots of sequels and spinoffs, and even has ties with the Adventure Island titles.  But you really don’t hear about it much today.  But that may change with the release of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap.  It’s a remake of the classic game of the same name, now with improved visuals and sound.  It’s really a remake done right, and this 2-D platforming adventure is available to download on PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and soon PCs, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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The Wide World of Mario Sports Superstars

Recently Nintendo released a 3DS game featuring a collection of Mario themed sporting events.  The sports you can play in these games are Baseball, Horse Racing, Golf, Tennis, and Soccer.  But there are a couple of surprises tucked away in this game as well so I thought I’d go over them here in this blog.

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