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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LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin (3DS, Vita)

NINJAGO_BOXLEGO Ninjago is a popular line of toys, as well as a long-running action-adventure computer animated series on Cartoon Network portraying the escapades of a group of LEGO ninja friends.  Now you can embark on their latest journey on the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita (reviewed on 3DS here).  One day, a mysterious villain named Ronin appears and steals the ninjas’ memories with a secret weapon called the Obsidian Glaive.  Now it’s up to the four ninja heroes to find their own Obsidian weapons to regain their memories and elemental powers to stop Ronin’s evil plans in this all-new 3D adventure that plays similar to other LEGO titles.

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Dot Arcade (Wii U)

DOT_BOXI’m afraid I’m going to age myself here, but back when I was a kid in the late 70’s and early 80’s, if you wanted to play a handheld game, you usually had to settle with a primitive electronic device like Mattel’s Football and Baseball games, or Parker Brother’s Merlin.  I didn’t have those, but I did have one of the mini arcade cabinets made by Coleco (mine was Pac-Man of course).  All of these games just used LED lights to simulate game graphics.  Recently a game designer made his own dot arcade game, and ported it to Wii U.  The story behind all this is pretty interesting; just do a search on YouTube for Dot Arcade and you can watch a video about it.  Anyway, Dot Arcade is now downloadable on Wii U and has three simple lighted games you can play: Mr. Snake, Dodge Club, and Rally Driver.

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Jump ‘N’ Shoot Attack! (iPad)

JUMP_BOXMost continuous running games that run rampant on smartphones and tablets are geared toward casual gamers.  But now there is one that is just for retro hard-core gamers who grew up on tough-as-nails 8-bit challenges.  In Jump ‘N’ Shoot Attack, the president of Earth 4 has been kidnapped by aliens, and it’s up to Louise Lightfoot to stop them!  You can download this game on iOS and Android devices as well as Windows phones, but it’s reviewed on iPad here.

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Hola! Amiibos! (Mario Party Wave)

AMIIBO_LOGOGot a new batch of Amiibos recently, so here’s a blog about them.  Nintendo just released Mario Party 10 and put out a series of Super Mario Amiibos to go with them.  Check ‘em out here!

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Trivial Pursuit Live! (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)

TRIVIAL_BOXWhen I was a kid back in the 80’s, the Trivial Pursuit board game just came out and it was really popular.  In fact, many people, even my parents, hosted Trivial Pursuit parties where everyone would play the game.  The only problem was the actual rules of the old board game were not very well designed.  If you’ve ever played it, you know how long it can take to get all six pie wedge categories.  I found it more fun just to bring the question card box on car trips and read them aloud to pass the time.  In fact, when I was in elementary school, one of our teachers had a Junior Edition and would quiz the class in between lessons, during down times, or as a reward.  Now the popular quiz game enters the 21st century with Trivial Pursuit Live!  And luckily it’s much better designed than the old board game, as it takes the form of a fast-paced trivia quiz game show!  It’s downloadable for Microsoft’s and Sony’s home game consoles, but reviewed on Xbox 360 here.

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KromacelliK (iPad)

KROMA_BOXThe story behind this game is kind of interesting, as one of the developers worked on this game when he was going through cancer treatments.  When the game was finished and ready to go, he got better!  In the game, you maneuver a cell in a dark, 8-bit looking world, avoiding obstacles and guiding lost cells to where they need to be.  It’s downloadable for iOS and Android devices, but reviewed on iPad here.

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Unplugged: Skylanders Skystones Cereal Box Prizes

SKYSTONE1When was the last time you saw an actual prize in a cereal box?  I don’t think they really do that much anymore.  I’ve seen some that give you codes to unlock things in online games and such, but no physical prizes.  When I was a kid, cereal box prizes were everywhere.  We’d get things like stickers, cars, those baking soda submarines, baseball cards, rings, flipbooks, candy that we could pack in our school lunch that day, and much more.  One time in boxes of Chex, you could even get a computer game called Chex Quest (which I reviewed at The Dallas Morning News back then).  Sometimes, as a kid, the prizes were more interesting than the cereal itself.  So if I see a prize in a cereal box nowadays, I might notice it a bit more, especially if it’s Skylanders related.  And since Skylanders is a big deal here at GamerDad.com, here’s a write-up about the new Skylanders Skystones prizes in certain boxes of General Mills cereals!

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Skylanders Fruit Snacks

FRUIT2When I went to the PAX South gaming convention back in January, I attended a Gamer Parenting panel and it was really fun.  One of the major topics that everyone talked about nearly half the time on that panel was Skylanders, the hit game series that combines video games with toy collecting.  It’s made over a billion dollars for Activision and there are countless products and tie-ins.  So since Skylanders was such a big deal at the panel and here at GamerDad also, I’ve decided to write about everything I can that comes along that’s Skylanders related.  Even if it’s something small, like new Skylanders Fruit Snacks!

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The Awakened Fate Ultimatum (PS3)

AWAKE_BOXOne day, a high school student gets lost walking home one evening and is ambushed by a horde of flying devils.  They almost kill him, but some angelic beings come down and bring him back to life and take him back to their heavenly fortress called Celestia.  Here, they imbue him with a powerful crystal that makes him a god, and now he must lead an army of angels against a war with devils in this anime-inspired dungeon crawling RPG.  It’s actually a sequel of sorts to last year’s The Guided Fate Paradox, but you don’t really need to play the first one to know what’s going on in the sequel, as the stories seem completely unrelated from what I can tell.

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Maya the Bee: Flying Challenge (iPad)

MAYA_BOXMaya the Bee was originally a German children’s book from the early 1900’s.  But most people probably remember it as a Japanese anime cartoon from the 1970’s, which was shown on Nick Jr. in the US in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  Yeah, back in those days, Nick Jr. showed a lot of children’s anime.  And now there is a new computer animated Maya the Bee cartoon and movie.  Not sure if the new cartoon is being shown in the US, but I think the movie is coming to video later on.  Now you can help young Maya collect honey and rare flowers for her teacher Mrs. Cassandra in Maya the Bee: Flying Challenge.  It’s a 3-D continuous runner (flyer?) downloadable for iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here).

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