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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Bowser’s Minions amiibo

I got a new batch of amiibo figures recently.  This time it’s two of Mario’s most famous enemies: Goomba and Koopa Troopa.  Let’s check them out.

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The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game (PS4, Xbox One, Switch)

Ninjago is a popular toy line from the building block giants at LEGO.  It features a group of heroic teen ninjas as they battle all sorts of bad guys to defend Ninjago City.  Ninjago has spawned a massive toy line, a TV cartoon series, and now a full-length animated feature film now in theaters!  And now you can play as the characters and relive the action of the new movie with The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game.  It’s available for nearly all the current home video game consoles, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Unplugged: Printing 3D Terrain

Role-playing games are typically a theater of the mind, but sometimes setting up a fancy game area makes an encounter extra special. Plaster or resin terrain can be used to set up a dungeon or castle, but they aren’t cheap, about $1.50 per piece. However, if you have access to a 3D printer, you can print your own for about ¼ the price. While some 3D files can be found at the popular Thingiverse site, Fat Dragon Games (currently running a Kickstarter) sells a selection of files for printing professionally sculpted 3D terrain pieces.

 

 

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Mystik Belle (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Belle is a first-year witch student at the Hagmore Academy.  Late one night while practicing fire magic outside her room, a mysterious stranger crashes into her and runs away, and next thing she knows, she’s in trouble for spilling a special brew.  Now she must find ingredients to make the brew again and find out who really spilled it in the first place.  Mystik Belle is a 2-D side scrolling platformer that also has elements of point and click adventures, as you must find items and combine them to bypass obstacles and progress the story along.  The game’s graphics and style look like a 16-bit title, although it also makes me think of something that could’ve been done on the GBA.  With its spooky settings and bosses that include Frankenstein-like monsters, werewolves, and giant spiders, it’s also a good pick to play around Halloween.  Mystik Belle was originally on PC, but WayForward published it to download on PS4 and Xbox One (PS4 version reviewed here).  WayForward didn’t actually make the game, but it does feel like something they would’ve done.

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Hasbro Fun Night (Party Games)

The party game has evolved from the days of Charades and Trivial Pursuit. Here are a pair of games from Hasbro that are less “game” and more “party”, but should supply plenty of laughter.  Speak Out has players trying to pronounce words while their lips are spread apart, and Pour Taste simply challenges players to drink from a cup full of a little bit of everything.

 

 

 

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Ninja Surfer (iOS, Google Play)

What could be cooler than a ninja…surfing on a missile…IN SPACE?  What sounds like an idea for a bored schoolkid’s notebook doodle is now a free-to-play game you can download on iOS and Google Play (reviewed on iPad here).  The game has a bit more of a complicated backstory, but all you need to know is that you’re a ninja riding a missile in space in this 2-D left-to-right continuous flyer.

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LEGO Dimensions The Powerpuff Girls Team Pack & Fun Pack

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice.  These were the ingredients chosen to make the perfect little girls.  But Professor Utonium accidentally added an extra ingredient…Chemical X.  Plus a few LEGOs for good measure.  Thus The Powerpuff Girls Team Pack and Fun Pack for LEGO Dimensions was born!  The Powerpuff Girls was one of Cartoon Network’s most successful and well-known shows.  So much so that it got a remake last year (although it isn’t as good as the original).  Now you can relive the adventures of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup with add-ons for LEGO Dimensions, available for nearly all current game consoles but reviewed on Wii U here.

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Ink (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Ink is a simple 2-D platformer with an “ink”-teresting twist.  It’s available to download on PS4, Xbox One, and PC (reviewed on PS4 here).  You play as a simple little white square, and all you can see in each level initially are your character and the door you must exit.  But as you move and jump along, you’ll splurt out ink everywhere that’ll cover the surface of walls and floors that you can climb and run on.  It may take you several tries to find the right path to the door, but luckily you get unlimited lives and the ink will stay when you die.

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Splasher (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

An evil scientist in a paint factory is injecting ink into the workers and transforming them into monsters.  Now a heroic purple haired employee armed with a paint cannon is out to save the day in this super challenging 2-D platformer.  Splatter water and special paint on walls to help you climb on surfaces and bounce high into the air.  It kind of reminds me of the goo puzzles from Portal 2.  Splasher is available to download on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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LEGO Dimensions Teen Titans Go! Team Pack & Fun Pack

Teen Titans Go! is one of Cartoon Network’s most popular shows right now.  It has to be because nearly every time I turn on the TV, that show is on.  I’ve never been a big fan of Teen Titans, both the original cartoon and this new one, but I’m sure the new one is popular with kids thanks to its irreverent humor.  And now you can relive the adventures of the wacky super hero teens with the Teen Titans Go! Team Pack and Fun Pack for LEGO Dimensions.  It’s available for nearly all current game consoles, but reviewed on Wii U here.

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