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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Aliens vs. Pinball (PS3, PS4, Vita, Xbox One, 360, iOS, PC)

ALIENS_BOXIn space, no one can hear you tilt. Zen Studios has a new pack of pinball tables for their Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX 2 games, and they’re based on the Aliens movie and video game franchises.  You can download and play the new Aliens vs. Pinball pack on consoles that support Zen Studios pinball platforms (PS3 version reviewed here). When you download Pinball FX 2 or Zen Pinball 2 (depending on which game console you own), you’re just downloading the hub.  It’s free, and then you purchase separate tables for play in the game.  Here are the three tables in the Aliens vs. Pinball pack.

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Angry Birds Movie Toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals

To coincide with the new animated Angry Birds movie, McDonald’s has Angry Birds Movie themed toys in their Happy Meals.  Click here for more info and pictures.

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Fold+ (iOS, Android)

FOLD_BOXThis is a really neat puzzle game where colored lines are arranged on the screen and you must tap either end to shrink them down into a single square. When all colors have just one square apiece, you win the level.  But you must plan your moves as colored lines can attach to other lines and move when you shrink them down, so you have to think ahead.  I’m not really sure why this game is called Fold+ since you’re not really folding anything, but I guess they had to call it something.  It’s also a sequel to a game that came out in 2013, but since that’s about the time I got my iPad, I never played the first one so I don’t know how the ‘plus’ version has improved.  You can download Fold+ on iOS and Android devices, and it’s reviewed on iPad here.

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Orbit’s Odyssey (iOS, Android, Amazon Appstore)

ORBIT_BOXEvil aliens have stolen life-giving crystals from a peaceful planet, leaving it for dead. And now it’s up to a little space hero named Orbit to travel to planetoids to get all the crystals back.  Orbit’s Odyssey is an action game where you walk around little round planets and satellites, collecting coins and crystals while avoiding aliens.  It’s available to download on iOS, Android, and Amazon Appstore, but reviewed on iPad here.

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Star Fox Space Tour

PEPPYYou know, there are a lot of Nintendo franchises that I really like, such as Kirby, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Metroid, etc. And there are some that I don’t like as much, but I don’t hate either.  Star Fox is one of those franchises.  But for as indifferent as I am about Star Fox, I’ve ended up playing every game in the series, so I guess I at least like it a little bit.  So in honor of the recent release of Star Fox Zero, I thought I’d go through all the Star Fox games and give my quick impressions and personal experiences with each one.  I’m not really rating each of these games on this list, although if I had to say, the first three here would be my favorites.  So hop into your Arwing and let’s take an intergalactic tour of all the Star Fox games!

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Dungenious (iOS, Android)

DUNGENIOUS_BOXBack in the early 90s, Capcom made an arcade game that was like a mix of a fantasy RPG and a trivia game called Quiz & Dragons. I never saw it in an arcade, but I did play it on one of their collections and thought it was a neat idea.  So I was happy to see something similar in Dungenious, a downloadable game for iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here), that’s a mix of a quiz game and an RPG dungeon crawler.  The story goes that owls are the keepers of knowledge, but one greedy owl wanted all the knowledge for himself.  So he stole all the words and pictures from books and hid them in monster-filled dungeons.  Now it’s up to you to be the hero and venture forth into the dungeons to seek out knowledge.

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Mars Mountain (iOS, Google Play)

MARS_BOXYour spacecraft has crashed on the peak of an intergalactic mountain made of cubes, and you must hop all the way down while avoiding obstacles in Mars Mountain. It’s a downloadable game for iOS and Google Play (reviewed on iPad here) that resembles arcade classics like Q*bert.

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My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (3DS)

ZELDA_BOXNintendo has a new rewards program to replace their Club Nintendo one, and it’s called My Nintendo. You mostly get rewarded for doing online tasks this time, and the rewards are all download and online things only.  One of the exclusive rewards you can get is a new game for the 3DS: My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.  It’s a Picross puzzle game featuring music, backgrounds, and characters from Twilight Princess, and is laid out a lot like Pokémon Picross, except without all the free-to-play stuff.  Since I had enough points to redeem it, I decided I’d review it here as well!

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Miitomo (iOS, Google Play)

MIITOMO_BOXFor as long as most gamers can remember, Nintendo has been a first party developer, only making games for their consoles and nobody else’s. That’s why Miitomo is such a historical event for them because it’s their first stab at mobile software. And it’s also the first time they’ve made a game on something else besides their own consoles since they ported their arcade classics like Donkey Kong and Popeye to everything under the sun back in the Atari and Colecovision days.  So since it’s so significant (and free-to-play), I decided to review Miitomo here at GamerDad!  (reviewed on iPad here)

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Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus (Wii U, PS4)

TEDDY_BOXSo once upon a time, the king of monsters was lonely so he went to the human world and stole a little girl’s teddy bear. She went after it, and after many adventures, she and the monster king became friends and he wasn’t lonely anymore.  The girl and her teddy bear returned home, but later the monster king was defeated by an evil magician, and possesses the girl’s teddy bear and leads her on an adventure in the monster world.  So yeah, the story of this game doesn’t make any sense, but nothing about this game does.  Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus is a 2-D side-scrolling adventure game with exploration elements similar to Metroid or Zelda.  It features retro-style pixel graphics and atmospheric music and is downloadable on the PS4 and Wii U (reviewed here on the latter).

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