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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Reader Review: Toren (PC)

TOREN_BOXMy good friend Robbie Allen reviewed this game on Steam called Toren.  It’s about a girl who must venture through a tower, and may be based on a Brazilian legend.  The game really captivated my friend, so be sure to read his review!

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Formula Cartoon All-Stars (iPad)

CARTOON_BOXRace as and against your favorite Cartoon Network characters in this top-down viewed kart game, downloadable on iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here).  Actually they look more like four-wheelers than karts, but whatever.  You’ll play as characters from Cartoon Network’s large history of characters and shows, like Clarence, Steven Universe, Johnny Bravo, PowerPuff Girls, Flapjack, Adventure Time, Gumball, Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, Ben 10, Dexter’s Laboratory, and even some I don’t recognize!  I’m a little disappointed that Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and Samurai Jack weren’t represented, but that’s still a lot of characters!

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Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight (3DS)

EO2U_boxI’m a fan of old school, open ended RPGs from the 80s and early 90s, while others prefer the Japanese-style RPGs rich in story but with few choices to character development.  The newest entry of Etrian Odyssey attempts to cater to both types of fans, and does a pretty good job.
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Shiftlings (Wii U)

SHIFT_BOXWay off in a distant part of the galaxy, two alien spacemen are on an intergalactic reality TV show where they must work together to solve puzzles while being berated by an annoying announcer.  But in the Black Hola Cola factory, one of the aliens accidentally drinks a bottle of the fizziest cola in the universe, and gets a little gassy.  The air fills up his spacesuit like a big ball.  Luckily the two aliens are connected by a tube on their spacesuits, so they can trade off being filled with gas.  Help them solve puzzles and overcome obstacles in this 2-D platform jumping puzzler downloadable on Wii U.

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Katamari: Volume One (Book)

KATAMARI1A couple of years ago, Shifty Look, a site that hosted web comics, started featuring strips and other media like web animated series with various Namco game characters.  Many of these characters were very obscure ones, like Bravoman, Klonoa, Wonder Momo, etc.  I’m a classic Namco game junkie so I loved seeing all this happen.  I always wondered how they made money doing this, but I guess they didn’t make enough because sadly, Shifty Look closed its doors about a year or so ago.  I’m not sure if you can still read their comics online, but they did team up with Udon Entertainment to bring some of their Namco series to hardcover book collections.  Last year I reviewed the books based on Bravoman and Wonder Momo (I got a press release a while back that the Bravoman book won some sort of children’s book award in Canada).  And recently I just got a book with a collection of comics based around one of my favorite Namco games: Katamari Damacy!  So here’s a review of the Katamari: Volume One book!

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Never Alone (Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Never Alone_20141116230236In Never Alone, you play as an Alaskan Native girl as she embarks on a quest to find out why her village is being pelted by an endless blizzard.  Along the way, she teams up with a white artic fox.  Together, they’ll solve 2-D platforming puzzles and obstacles on an adventure with characters and settings based on actual stories and myths from Native Alaskan people.  Originally a downloadable title for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, you can now play it on the Wii U (Wii U version reviewed here).

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Life of Pixel (Wii U)

PIXEL_BOXOne day a green pixel decided he was tired of being part of the crowd and ventured off into the wide world on his own.  He found a video game museum and decided to have a 2-D platforming adventure through various 8- and 16-bit gaming computers and consoles.  Join Pixel on a trip down memory lane in this downloadable Wii U title.

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Inside Out: Thought Bubbles (iPad)

INSIDE_BOXSo a few weeks ago I went to go see Inside Out, Pixar’s newest movie.  It’s about a girl and her personified emotions, and it’s a very touching, thought-provoking film.  During the previews, they had a commercial for a downloadable Inside Out free-to-play game on iOS and Google Play.  In the movie, the girl’s memories are represented by colored bubbles, so I guess someone got the idea to make a puzzle game out of it similar to Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move, or another game I reviewed recently called Bubble Bath Blast.  And since I liked the movie and Puzzle Bobble is one of my favorite puzzle games, I decided to review this game, too (reviewed on iPad here).

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Cary’s Top Five Favorite Video Game Squids and Octopi

SQUIDWe’ll conclude Squid Week (it’s like Shark Week, but with squids) with a look at some of my favorite tentacled creatures in video games.  This includes both squids and octopi (octopuses is actually an acceptable plural form of octopus, too, I looked it up).  So hide the calamari and let’s begin! more…

Unplugged: Hyperborea (Boardgame)

hperborea boxThe idea of a deckbuilding game has been around for quite awhile, the idea of making a game solely about building a deck of powerful cards over the course of a single game. Designers have since “riffed” on that basic idea in many ways, and Hyperborea takes as its new twist the idea of bag-building. In Hyperborea, players place and remove colored cubes from their personal bag. The colors drawn dictate a player’s options for that turn. This new(ish) mechanism is used to good effect. Combined with unique player powers and multiple paths to victory, Hyperborea is a fun game that feels something mildly akin to Risk, but Risk where each player (and country) has special powers.

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