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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SpeedRunners (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Do you remember the intro to Disney-Pixar’s The Incredibles?  It was done in silhouettes and solid colors with a bravado brass heroic soundtrack.  That’s what I first thought of when booting up SpeedRunners.  The game has been out for a while on nearly every platform, but for some reason I haven’t reviewed it yet.  Just one of those games that fell through the cracks for me I guess.  But it was recently released on Switch, so I finally hopped on board.  Anyway, SpeedRunners is a 2-D platformer racing game where you choose a super hero character and race against others in lap-based levels.  It also kind of reminds me of Runbow, so if you liked that one, you’ll definitely want to check out this review and the game itself.

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Wattam (PS4, PC)

Those of you who know me may also know that I’m a huge fan of Katamari Damacy.  It was my Game of the Year back in 2004 and aside from a couple of early mobile offerings, I’ve played every game in the series since.  And I’ve also played other games from the Katamari creator, like Noby Noby Boy and I really want to get the Play Date handheld for his other game, but it may be too expensive.  So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I visited Annapurna’s booth at PAX South and found out they were publishing another game by the Katamari creator, and it’s every bit as weird and charming as his other works.  And I was even more happy that I get to review it!  The game is called Wattam and it’s available on PS4 and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Haunted Halloween ’86 (Switch, NES, Xbox One, PC)

Donny and Tami are two schoolkids in 1986.  Which means they’d be about my age now.  It’s Halloween night, and they’re walking home from school to get ready to go trick or treating.  But on the way they hear about some strange noises at a farmhouse, and decide to investigate.  But they fall into a trap and now must defend their town from a zombie attack!  The game is like a cross between River City Ransom on the NES, and maybe, I dunno, Castlevania or Costume Quest, what with the Halloween themes and all.  Anyway, Haunted Halloween ’86 is available to download on most current consoles and PC, and even an old console as well!  Yeah you heard that right, at one point you could get this game as a homebrew NES cartridge!  So it’s actually running on that hardware!  But it’s reviewed on Switch here.

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Willy Jetman: Astromonkey’s Revenge (Switch, PS4, PC)

A starship with a careless space chimp pilot on board has exploded, leaving wreckage on a nearby planet.  So now it’s up to intergalactic garbage man Willy Jetman to clean up the mess.  But as he’s cleaning up, he ends up fighting some rogue robots and frees a space monkey from their prison.  Could this be the same monkey from the crashed spaceship?  And why is the monkey causing so much trouble?  It’s up to you to find out in this 2-D action platform shooter, available on most current consoles and PC (reviewed on Switch here).  The game kind of reminds me of a cross between Cave Story and an obscure NES game I used to rent as a kid called Solar Jetman.

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Amiibo Duo Clad in Blue-o

Got a couple of new amiibo figures recently.  Both are from Smash Ultimate and are echo characters: Dark Samus from Metroid and Richter from Castlevania.  Let’s check them out.

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Rescue Pets (Mobile)

Run your own pet rescue center in Rescue Pets, a free to download title on mobile devices (reviewed on iPad here).  You’ll get to select a breed of dog to help you, and then name it.  And every time you pet your pup, you’ll get coins you can use to upgrade your rescue center.  So yeah, it’s an endless clicker.   Or in this case, an endless petter?

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Sonic the Hedgehog Toys in Arby’s Kids’ Meals!

Just in time for the live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie, Arby’s has toys in their kids’ meals based on the popular game characters.  Heck, I didn’t even know Arby’s had kids’ meals!  Anyway, I managed to get one, so let’s take a look and see what they’re like!

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New Mario Valentines!

You know those cheap paper valentines with popular cartoon characters that you’d give out to your classmates on Valentine’s Day?  Or maybe your kids do that now?  Well they make Mario ones and I wrote about them last year.  They’re doing the same thing this year, but the valentines are a little different so I’m writing about them again!

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The Adventures of Elena Temple: Definitive Edition (Switch, Xbox One, PC)

I’m such a staunch console gamer now that it’s hard to believe that I started out as a PC gamer in the home.  Well, I started in arcades, but you know what I mean!  But yeah, our first gaming ‘console’ was actually an Apple ][+ computer.  Aside from playing far better arcade conversions than what was on the Atari 2600 (Pac-Man, I’m looking at you), I also enjoyed playing games on our family’s Apple like Spare Change, Aquatron, and Lode Runner.  Speaking of which, another popular type of game on computer back then were single screen 2-D platformers, sometimes with multiple maze like areas that made it feel like an adventure.  Some of these kinds of games I remember were Montezuma’s Revenge and Miner 2049er.  The Adventures of Elena Temple pays tribute to those kinds of games.  It’s available for download on a couple of consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Heroland (PS4, Switch, PC)

There is a theme park on an island where tourists can go and pretend to be RPG heroes.  It’s called Heroland, and visitors can explore dungeons, battle monsters in turn-based fashion, and nab treasure.  But they need a tour guide to help them.  That’s where you come in.  Play as “Lucky” who has come to Heroland for a job as a tour guide.  On his first day he breaks a priceless vase and will be working off debt for a long time.  But is this island more than it seems?  That’s what you’ll find out in Heroland, available for most consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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