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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Make Friends With the Blade Strangers

There’s a new fighting game starring all sorts of video game characters, and no it’s not Smash Bros.  If you were upset that Shovel Knight is just an assist trophy in the new Smash, well this may be the game for you.  Blade Strangers is a 2-D one-on-one fighter featuring characters from games like Shovel Knight, Code of Princess, Cave Story, The Binding of Isaac, and Umihara Kawase.  Since the characters are interesting enough, here’s a blog about them!

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Claws of Furry (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

You are a ninja cat training in your dojo, when all of a sudden your sensei (who I think is a chihuahua), gets kidnapped by a bloodhound in a giant mech suit.  So now you must use your ninja cat skills to fight and rescue your sensei.  Claws of Furry is a 2-D beat-em-up for up to four players, and it’s available to download on nearly all current game consoles (reviewed on PS4 here).

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Marble it Up! (Switch)

When I was a kid one of my favorite arcade games was Marble Madness.  I even had it on the NES, that’s how much I liked it.  So I’m always up for playing and reviewing any kind of marble rolling maze game, whether it be Super Monkey Ball, Marble Blast Ultra, etc.  So I definitely snapped up the chance to review Marble it Up, downloadable on Switch.  It’s kind of a cross between Super Monkey Ball and Marble Blast Ultra.  In fact, many of the team members of Marble Blast Ultra worked on this game, too!

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Ultimate Chicken Horse (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Ultimate Chicken Horse is a pretty simple concept for a game, but it’s also fairly unique from what I can tell.  Choose your favorite barnyard animal, like a horse, chicken, sheep, and more.  Then compete in short 2-D platform races where the winner gets points.  But before you start, each player can pick an object to put on the level, like platforms or traps to make it easier for them or harder for the other players.  Then you must navigate your newly constructed level to the finish.  There’s also a new Chimply Amazing Update that adds new characters, outfits, levels, objects, and more!  This madcap multiplayer game is available to download on nearly all the current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Ticket to Ride: New York (Boardgame)

Arguably the best-selling modern boardgame is Ticket to Ride and its sequels.  Players collect sets of train cards (like sets in Rummy), and use them to occupy routes on a game board map of the United States. Players earn points for placing large sets of trains as well as bonus points for managing to connect cities shown on their personal “ticket” cards.  Many versions have been released which change the map (Europe, Asia, the UK, etc…) and each add in some small twist to make the version unique. Ticket to Ride: New York is the newest release and it takes most of what is best about the game and distills it down to a small box game, playable in less than 20 minutes (closer to 30-45 minutes if playing with new players.)  While the “large box” games tend to allow more long-term grand strategy, New York serves as both a great introduction to the game and a fully playable version when you have less than an hour to spare.

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Arcade Islands: Volume One (PS4, Xbox One)

Welcome to an island filled with arcade style mini-games!  Arcade Islands: Volume One is a downloadable collection of simple mini-games for one to four players.  It’s available on PS4 and Xbox One, but reviewed on PS4 here.  If you remember my review of Party Planet on the Switch, you have a good idea what this game is like.

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Pinball FX3: Solo: A Star Wars Story (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Earlier this year, we got a new Star Wars movie based on Han Solo’s adventures before he met up with Luke and friends.  I read that it bombed in theaters, which is a shame because I thought it was pretty good!  I think I even liked it better than The Last Jedi.  But now you can enjoy the movie in pinball form with Pinball FX3’s Solo: A Star Wars Story pack, downloadable for PS4, Xbox One, and PC (reviewed on PS4 here).

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A Gummy’s Life (Switch, PC)

At the end of this month, on Halloween kids will dress up and go door to door getting candy, so what better time to play a game about gummy candies beating the sugar out of each other?  That’s exactly what you do in A Gummy’s Life, an arena fighter for up to 8 players!  It’s available to download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Lightfield: Hyper Edition (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Lightfield is a futuristic racer but it’s unique in that you can fly anywhere you like in your spaceship.  But you can press a button to hug onto nearby walls, floors, ceilings, and other surfaces, and when you do this, you go much faster.  So you’ll want to do this as much as you can on the crazy tracks where you can go pretty much anywhere.  The game is available to download on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures (iOS, Android)

For nearly every little girl who loves to play with Barbie dolls, the ultimate dream is to own Barbie’s Dreamhouse, a giant dollhouse for Barbie and her friends.  And now your little girl can have that dreamhouse without having to put in a second mortgage and spend all night putting it together.  The Barbie Dreamhouse app is available to download on smart devices (reviewed on iPad here) and is basically a virtual dollhouse featuring Barbie and her friends.  I read there’s apparently a Netflix show about it, too.

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