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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Cary’s Best Games of 2019 SO FAR Awards Show!

The year is already half over, so it’s that time for me to do my Best Games of the Year SO FAR Awards Show!  Most of the big name games come out in the later half of the year during the holiday season, so sometimes the games that come out in the first six months tend to be forgotten. Well this is where those games get their due!  Keep in mind that no outside opinions went into making this list, and since it’s my list, if a game didn’t appear on here, I either haven’t played it yet or it just didn’t appeal to me as much.  OK with that out of the way, let’s begin!

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Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets (Switch, PC)

In the future, a mad scientist named Professor Lupo collects a menagerie of killer alien creatures (his horrible pets) and houses them aboard a space station orbiting Earth.  He plans on auctioning them off as weapons to the highest bidder, but before the first bid can start, the space station is attacked by unknown forces.  You play as an intern who is normally just bait for these creatures, but now you must try to escape the crumbling space station all the while avoiding alien monsters in this action puzzle game.  It’s downloadable on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Tetris 99 (Switch)

When Nintendo announced their paid online service for the Switch, I didn’t get it right away.  I imagine playing Smash Bros. online was a big selling point, but as much as I like Smash Bros., I’m not that good enough to play against others online, so I didn’t get it then.  But recently when Super Mario Maker 2 came out, they had a version where you only had to pay ten bucks for the online service instead of 20, so I got that one.  You kind of NEED the online service to play and upload Mario Maker 2 levels, so now I have a subscription (my first Mario Maker 2 level code if anyone is interested, by the way: 19T-PV8-V7G).  So after I got my online subscription, I immediately downloaded another game: Tetris 99.  Tetris is still one of my all time favorite puzzle games, and this one is free but you can only play it with an online subscription.  So I figured now that I have it, I might as well review it.  Better late than never, right? (it came out earlier this year)

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Blazing Chrome (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Back when I was a kid and teen in the 8- and 16-bit days, Contra was huge.  It was a run and gun 2-D action game from Konami, and I remember playing it with my friends many times, whether we rented the ones on the NES or later Contra 3 on the SNES.  Now an indie developer has recreated the feel of a 16-bit Contra style game with Blazing Chrome, downloadable on nearly all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Role-Playing Accessories (RPG)

So, you were intrigued by the recent reviews of Starfinder and the D&D Essentials kit and want to know what else you can spend your hard earned cash on. Look no further! Here’s a brief roundup of various other bits and pieces one can purchase to add a bit of zing to a night of RPG gaming.

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Nintendo Labo VR Kit Wrap-Up

Well all the Labo VR things are built and all my articles about each one are written, so I figured I’d put them all into one place for easy reference if anyone is interested in reading about them.  Enjoy!

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Dungeons and Dragons Essentials Kit (RPG)

The newest edition of Dungeons and Dragons (known as D&D) burst on the scene in 2014 and this “5th Edition” released by the Wizards of the Coast has never looked back. Thanks to the rise of a large streaming culture, where gamers broadcast their games on Twitch or other streaming media, play of D&D has grown nearly 50% in each of the past two years. A recent announcement states that over 40 million people now play the game, with 9 million of those also watching streamers play their games. While the initial release of 5th Edition included a Starter Set, Wizards of the Coast has gone back to the drawing board and created a new entry-level experience to provide a better on-ramp to the world of Dungeons and Dragons role-playing.

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Nintendo Labo Customization Set

I’ve got a bonus Labo article for you!  When Nintendo Labo first came out, they released a small Customization Set that I didn’t get then.  It was only ten bucks, and came with supplies you could use to decorate your cardboard creations after you built them.  Recently, a close relative of mine found them on clearance and bought them for me half off.  So I figured that since I wrote about all the other Labo stuff, I might as well write about this, too.

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Starfinder Beginner Box (RPG)

Role-playing games are experiencing a huge renaissance, with gamers not only playing but watching other people play on Twitch and other streaming sites. The most popular genre remains high fantasy (think Tolkien or Harry Potter) while other genres, such as space or superheroes, tend to fade into the background. Starfinder is Paizo’s newest RPG, a conglomeration of their popular Pathfinder fantasy game with common tropes found in space operas. As with any complex game, the challenge lies in getting past the initial learning curve. The Starfinder Beginner Box is Paizo’s answer to easing gamers into the setting and rules. Containing everything a group of players need to get started, the Beginner Box is a great way to jump into the Starfinder game at a pretty good value.

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Nintendo Labo VR Kit: Blaster

The final thing you can build in the Labo VR Kit is the Blaster.  It’s the most complicated thing you can build in the set.  In fact, Nintendo even made a version where you just build the goggles and blaster only.  So let’s take a look and see what it does!

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