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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Doraemon: Story of Seasons (Switch, PC)

This is a crossover game but the two properties featured here may not be so familiar to many Americans.  Especially Doraemon.  Doraemon is a cartoon blue robot cat with no ears who is especially popular in Japan.  You may have even seen him and not realized it.  He’s been a star of manga comic books and anime cartoons and movies for decades, and is sometimes even called “Japan’s Mickey Mouse.”  Some of his comic books have been translated into English, and Disney brought some of the newest iterations of the Doraemon cartoons to the US under the Disney XD channel a few years back (good on them), but other than that, Doraemon has stayed relatively unknown in the States.  Some US gamers may be more familiar with Story of Seasons, though, as it’s a farming sim series that used to go under the name of Harvest Moon.  And now the two franchises are together in quite the unexpected crossover game you can download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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New Frontiers (Boardgame)

New Frontiers has players taking turns to select an action card, which then dictates the action that is performed by all players. Through the course of the game, players settle planets, build developments, and exchange goods for points or profit. Develop the best economy (be it building, exchanging, settling, or a combination of them) to be crowned the winner of the game.  This 2-5 player game is a great, family-friendlier version of the popular Race for the Galaxy card game.

 

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LEGO Duplo World (Mobile)

There are tons of video games based on the popular LEGO building toy franchise, but not so much about the blocks for the younger set called Duplo.  That is until now.  In LEGO Duplo World, little gamers can learn early concepts like counting and matching, all in the colorful Duplo universe.  This new app is available on mobile devices but reviewed on iPad here.

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The Games of the SEGA Genesis Mini: Part 1

A couple of years ago, Nintendo made a big splash with their NES Mini and SNES Mini consoles.  Now SEGA is joining the bandwagon with a mini version of their most popular console, the SEGA Genesis.  But there have already been mini Genesis consoles with pre-loaded games on them, and Genesis collections on consoles, so what’s the big deal with this one?  Well, mainly SEGA is making this one themselves, and they’re taking Nintendo’s approach to how they include which games will be on it.  So what does that mean?  Well you’ll just have to find out in this blog series.  We’re going to take a look at the games on this mini console, but there are so many that we are going to split this up into three sections, one a week this month.  For this first part, we’ll take a look at the Genesis Mini itself, and a few of the expected games on it.  Don’t worry, we’ll get to the good stuff soon!

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Welcome To… (Boardgame)

Fill in your suburb wisely (in numerical order) to score points in this (sort of) Roll and Write style game of designing neighborhoods.  Cards are flipped up from a deck and players must choose which cards to use and for what purpose as they fill in the blanks on their personal score sheet.  

 

 

 

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Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Ice Age is one of the longest running computer animated movie series, and it stars a group of prehistoric animals like saber tooth tigers and woolly mammoths.  But clearly the crowd favorite has to be Scrat the saber toothed squirrel and his constant chase for his beloved acorn nut.  And now Scrat gets his very own game with Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure.  While chasing his acorn, Scrat stumbles across a hidden temple of the Scratazons, an ancient advanced race of saber toothed squirrels.  Now in order to get his nut back, he must collect special purple crystal acorns across the land.  Scrat’s Nutty Adventure is a 3-D platformer available for all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Switch)

The simplicity of track and field events made them an excellent candidate for early videogames. I remember hammering away at our family computer in 1982 as my brother and I spammed keys in an effort to defeat each other in Olympic Decathlon. One year later, Track and FIeld appeared in the arcades and was an instant hit, allowing up to four players to spam buttons in a head to head competition. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (yes, that’s the full name) blends modern gaming with some retro-inspired gameplay through dozens of Olympic-themed mini-games. When played multiplayer (as it should be) iIt manages to capture much of that early videogame magic.

 

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River City Melee Mach!! (PS4, Switch, PC)

In Japan there is a popular series of video games that has gone back since the 80s starring a character named Kunio-kun.  Kunio is a hot-blooded high school student who sometimes gets into fights and trouble, but always stands up for his friends and against bullies.  Kunio also likes to play sports and when he’s not beating up baddies, he’s competing in events like soccer or dodgeball.  Some of Kunio’s games have made it to the US under name or graphical changes.  If you’ve ever played a game like Renegade, River City Ransom, Crash N the Boyz Street Challenge, or Super Dodge Ball, then you’ve played a Kunio game!  Now all the characters in the Kunio series are gearing up for a four-player free-for-all martial arts tournament with River City Melee Mach!!  It’s available to download on PS4, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Untitled Goose Game (Switch, PC)

Thanksgiving is this month, but instead of turkey, you may want to eat goose instead after playing this game.  Untitled Goose Game is a unique and original comical stealth action game where you play as a goose out to cause mischief and mayhem to humans in a small town setting.  It’s available to download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Pig Eat Ball (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The King of Cake rules the space station kingdom and has a pig daughter named Princess Bow.  One day he has a contest to decide who will marry her, but she wants none of that so she dons a disguise and competes in the contests herself.  Along the way she’ll discover a threat to her kingdom and must save the day in the process. So what are these contests?  Well, you must run around mazes and eat these tennis ball-like things to win.  But when you eat a lot of them, you get fatter and can’t fit through narrow corridors.  So what do you do?  You press a button to barf up the balls so you can be thin enough to fit in the mazes again.  So yeah, it’s Pac-Man with gross bodily functions.  Yay?  Pig Eat Ball is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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