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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High Score: A Review and Retrospective on the Netflix Series

Recently, Netflix launched High Score, a new documentary series on the history of video games.  I thought it was entertaining enough that I wanted to discuss and review it here on this blog.  So here’s my thoughts on the six episode series!

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Super-Skill Pinball (Boardgame)

Super-Skill Pinball is a great example of how a boardgame’s mechanics and theme can be interwoven to produce a gaming experience that gives the “feel” of the original theme.  Playing the roll and write boardgame Super-Skill Pinball: 4-Cade feels like playing a pinball.  Someone rolls a pair of dice and then players use either die to record the movement of their pinball on their personal dry-erase game board, marking off locations as they are “hit.”  Eventually, a player will “lose” their ball off the bottom of the board and will need to start again.  After everyone has played through three balls, players total up their accumulated points to record a winner.  

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Mini Motor Racing X (Switch, PS4, PC)

Race pocket toy cars on bite-sized tracks in Mini Motor Racing X.  The strength of this game is its versatility and many ways to play and view the action.  It’s available on Switch, PS4, and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Spinch (Switch, PC)

What if colors were alive and needed to eat to survive?  And their favorite food was a little white ball creature called a Spinch.  Play as a Spinch as you run, jump, and dash to avoid colors out to get you in this psychedelic super challenging 2-D platformer.  It’s available to download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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PAX Online 2020

The Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX for short, is one of the largest video game conventions open to the public.  Unfortunately, the flagship show, PAX West in Seattle, had to be cancelled this year because of COVID.  So instead, they created PAX Online, which was all last week.  Virtual showgoers could watch videos of upcoming games, and even try demos of some of them on Steam and Xbox Live.  I got a virtual press pass to the event, so here’s an article about the show.

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Ninjala (Switch)

There’s a special kind of bubblegum that gives kids ninja powers when they chew it.  Be one of those gum chewing ninja kids in Ninjala, a free-to-play online multiplayer battle game for Nintendo Switch.

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Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Apple Arcade)

Samurai Jack was one of Cartoon Network’s most unique, artful, and beloved action cartoons.  A heroic samurai from feudal Japan battles a shapeshifting demon named Aku.  But Aku sends the samurai into a time portal to the future where Aku reigns supreme.  The first person who sees the samurai in the future calls him “Jack,” so that’s the name he goes by here.  Now Samurai Jack must find a way back to the past so he can defeat Aku for good.  The cool thing about the cartoon is that it actually had an ending, although it took it long enough to get there.  Nearly two decades after the initial run, they added one last season on Adult Swim that was a bit darker and bloodier, but Jack FINALLY beat Aku!  This new video game takes place when Jack and his love interest Ashi are in the portal going to the past.  Aku has one final trick up his sleeve and grabs Jack and sends him to a place between time and space where he must fight familiar foes.  Flimsy story aside, it’s a great way for fans to relive their favorite scenes, enemies, and friends in this 3-D action game.  Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is available on nearly anything you can play a game on, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Minecraft Creeper Crunch Cereal

You know you’ve hit the big time when you have your own breakfast cereal.  And Minecraft has definitely hit the big time ten times over.  It’s one of the most popular games ever made.  I’ve never played it myself, but that’s only because I’m purposely staying away from it as I’m afraid I would get addicted to it.  I’m bad enough as it is with Animal Crossing!  I would especially like to try Minecraft now that there is a Pac-Man update to it!  Anyway, so when I saw the very last box of a Minecraft cereal at Wal-Mart, I knew I had to get it and review it!  I wonder if this stuff is hard to find now, like the Mario cereal used to be?

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Manifold Garden (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mobile)

Manifold Garden is a first person perspective puzzle game that takes a lot of inspiration from M.C. Escher’s artwork.  You’ll solve basic block and switch puzzles, but the gimmick here is that you can change gravity so you can walk on walls and ceilings!  And don’t worry if you fall, the levels loop so you can land where you started, or somewhere else if need be.  The game is available to download on pretty much anything you can play a game on, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Good Pizza, Great Pizza (Switch, Mobile, PC)

Run your own pizza restaurant in Good Pizza, Great Pizza.  Take orders, cook the pizza, and make sure you earn a profit in this restaurant simulation cooking game.  It’s available to download on Nintendo Switch, mobile devices, and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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