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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Crystal Crisis (Switch)

About a year ago, I wrote about a fighting game called Blade Strangers, which featured characters from various indie games like Cave Story, Code of Princess, The Binding of Isaac, and more.  And now many of these characters, plus some new ones, are starring in a new puzzle game for Nintendo Switch.  Two cool things about this game:  One, it plays just like Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, which is one of my top favorite puzzle games ever.  And two, one of the new characters you can play as is FREAKING ASTRO BOY!!!

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Gato Roboto (Switch, PC)

In the future, a spaceman is on patrol when he receives a distress call from the planet below.  Unfortunately, his pet cat Kiki jumps on the keyboard and causes the ship to crash.  The spaceman is trapped in the wreckage, but the cat escapes.  Now it’s up to Kiki the cat to explore the planet and find robot suits to defend herself and rescue her master in this retro styled 2-D action platformer.  The planet is a maze full of power-ups that will allow you to reach new areas, similar to games like Metroid.  So yeah, this is a “Metroidvania” title, or better yet, a “Meowtroidvania.”  It’s available on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Am I Just Too Weird for E3?

So another E3 has come and gone, and it’s another year where I was denied a press pass.  Ever since 1996, I was going to E3 pretty regularly, but for some reason a few years ago, they stopped letting me in.  And yet somehow I was able to get a press pass last year.  But not this time!  They may say it’s because the numbers of the site I write for are too low, but I’m beginning to wonder if it’s really because I’m just too weird for E3.  And if that statement has you intrigued, then please read on for my unique reactions and commentary on things I read and watched about this year’s show.

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Nintendo Labo VR Kit: Bird

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…nah, it’s just a bird.  The next thing you can build in the Nintendo Labo VR Kit is a bird.  Make a cardboard bird’s wings flap to play bird style mini-games!  Hey, at least the thing you build this time lets you play games related to that animal, not like that VR Elephant!

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Redout (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Redout is a high speed futuristic racing game very similar to titles like F-Zero.  Pick a hovercar and zoom around planetary tracks with loops, cylinders, and more.  It’s available on nearly all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Nintendo Labo VR Kit: Elephant

This is probably the weirdest of the bunch.  It doesn’t let you really be an elephant though.  This one just lets you play games where you have to manipulate and rotate objects in 3-D space, and the apparatus they have you build to do that just kind of looks like an elephant.  Maybe some of the Labo makers are Alabama fans?  Roll Tide!

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VA-11 HALL-A (Switch, Vita, PC)

In a dystopian future where implanted nanobots and fearful law enforcement run everyone’s lives, people seek ways to escape.  Some devote themselves to their work, others just give up, and some just find answers at the bottom of a glass.  And that’s where you come in.  In this game you are a bartender at a dive with a location number called VA-11 HALL-A.  Since that’s a mouthful and sounds like the room number of your college biology class, everyone just calls it Valhalla.  Mix and serve drinks in this unique narrative adventure game.  It’s available for Switch, Vita, and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Nintendo Labo VR Kit: Camera

Say cheese and smile!  You’re on Labo Camera!  The next thing we’ll take a look at that you can build in the Labo VR Kit is a camera.  Use it to take pictures of fish in a virtual reality undersea environment!

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Nintendo Labo VR Kit: Goggles

Nintendo made a splash last year with their Nintendo Labo kits.  These building toys had you folding carboard around your Nintendo Switch game system and controllers to play games in totally new ways.  TIME Magazine even named Nintendo Labo one of the best inventions of last year, and even I awarded it my Game of the Year in 2018 as well!  And now Nintendo has done it again with the Labo VR Kit.  This kit lets you build VR goggles and accessories to play virtual reality games and activities on your Nintendo Switch.  You can get two different versions: one that lets you just build the goggles and blaster, and one that lets you build those and many more.  Naturally I got the bigger set, and we’ll look at each thing you can build separately, starting with the VR goggles first.

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Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia

When I was a kid, I read a lot of Nintendo Power.  It was Nintendo’s own self-published magazine.  But they did more than just magazines, they did strategy guides, too.  In fact, I think they helped popularize strategy guides, and theirs were very well written, too.  One of their guides was Mario Mania.  It was a cleverly disguised guide to Super Mario World, but it also had a large section at the front about the history of Mario up to that point.  As a kid, I poured over that guide.  And now, nearly 30 years later, there’s another Mario history book making the rounds with the Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia.  I got it for Christmas, so let’s take a quick look at it!

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