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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Video Game Lottery Tickets

Got a couple of video game themed scratch off lottery tickets I thought I’d show you all.  These are from the Texas Lottery, so if they’re not in your state, they may be soon or have already appeared.

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Spiel.Digital 2020 in Essen

The largest gaming convention in the world is not GenCon or PAX. It is Spiel (literally “Game” in German) an annual gathering in Essen Germany. Typically it is housed in six huge halls in the Essen convention center. Publishers from all over the world attend, many of them using the convention to make their holiday season releases. While there is obviously a very strong German presence (boardgaming has been a popular family activity for many years,) gamers from all over Europe and the rest of the world flock to Essen to get a chance to be the first to see (and buy) these new games. Obviously, a huge in-person convention is just not going to happen this year, so the organizers have created a virtual convention Spiel.Digital that is absolutely free and runs 24 hrs a day from Thursday, October 22nd through Sunday, October 25th.

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Circuit Dude (Switch, Mobile, PC)

Meet Circuit Dude.  He’s a little robot who needs your help.  Guide him to place chips into slots so he can power up his big invention (whatever that is).  Run around 2-D top down mazes, solving puzzles along the way in this downloadable title for Switch, mobile devices, and PC (reviewed on Switch here).

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Kids: Farm Coloring (Switch)

Now the youngest of Switch gamers can color a selection of farm animals in Kids: Farm Coloring.  There are twelve different animals in all, such as a rooster, pig, sheep, and more.  Plus a blank page for free drawing.  Use various colors, patterns, and drawing tools like pencils, crayons, markers, and others.  Plus a selection of stickers for each page.

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No Straight Roads (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Mayday and Zuke are in an indie rock band and they live in Vinyl City.  Mayday is the guitarist and Zuke is the drummer.  The city they live in is powered by music, provided by the NSR power company.  Musicians can audition to be part of NSR, but when Mayday and Zuke try out, they are rejected.  Later they find out their power output was higher than anyone else’s, and that NSR is withholding power and electricity to everyone except the very elite.  And now they’ve banned rock and roll, too!  Mayday and Zuke decide to use their rock music to rebel and take back the city for everyone in No Straight Roads.  It’s kind of like a video game version of the 80’s song, “We Built this City on Rock and Roll.”  It’s a 3-D platformer with an emphasis on multi-tiered boss fights and music timing gameplay.  The game is available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Piffle (Switch, Mobile)

You’re what looks like a person in a cat costume, and you’re happily playing with your dog.  When all of a sudden, a blocky demon swoops in, takes your dog, and sends evil purple blocks all over the place.  Now it’s up to you to bounce little kitten pellet balls called piffles to destroy those blocks and save your dog.  Well it’s a good thing story doesn’t matter in this adorable action puzzle game.  Piffle kind of plays like a cross between BreakOut and Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move.  It’s available to download on Switch and mobile devices, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Fight Crab (Switch, PC)

Is the first rule of Fight Crab not to talk about Fight Crab?  Well too bad because I’m talking about it anyway!  Fight Crab is what you expect it is.  You’re a crab, and you fight other crabs.  Punch and pinch your opponents, and use weapons like swords, guns, maces, and even chainsaws that your little crabs grab with their claws!  Fight underwater, on beaches, as a giant crab in a city, on a dinner table, or even at the seafood section of a supermarket!  It’s as weird as it sounds, and it’s available on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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The Games of the Namcot Collection (Switch Import)

A few months ago, we got a couple of downloadable only collections of Namco NES and Famicom games.  I even wrote about them, which you can read here.  But did you know that in Japan, they got a physical copy of the game on the Switch, and that it had different games and a new interface?  I actually imported this game because it was only 30 bucks, which isn’t bad for an import title.  So let’s take a look at this collection and what makes it different from the ones we got in the US!

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Ary and the Secret of Seasons (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Ary and the Secret of Seasons is a 3-D platformer action adventure game that hearkens back to the PS2 days and is similar to titles like Jak & Daxter.  The story is kind of a cross between Mulan and Avatar: The Last Airbender.  You play as Aryelle, a girl who lives with her family in a magical world where people have the power to control the seasons.  These people are called Guardians, and Ary’s brother Flynn is training to become one.  But when Flynn goes missing and is presumed dead, their father is stricken with grief and it’s up to Ary to cut her hair, put on her brother’s uniform, and take his place to find Flynn and solve the mystery of why dark crystals are raining down upon the land.  The game is available on most current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Connection Haunted (Switch, PC)

You’re about to connect to a server to boot up a classic FPS styled capture the flag game.  But when you start, nobody is around to play.  When someone else finally shows up, they don’t say anything in the chat and you can’t see them anywhere at first.  Then mysterious shadows appear that can take you out of the game!  Are the servers haunted?  It’s up to you to find out in this psychological thriller disguised as a first person shooter from the early 2000’s era.  It’s available on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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