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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Penguin Wars (Switch)

Back in the mid 80’s, there was an arcade game called Penguin Wars.  But it was only released in Japan.  However, it proved to be fairly popular there because it was ported to several home consoles, including the Famicom (Japanese NES) and MSX.  I think the only version that made it overseas was the Game Boy one.  In the old game, you play as a bunch of different animals (including a penguin) as you rolled balls across a table to your opponent and tried to avoid and toss back balls your opponent sent to you.  It was like a cross between dodgeball, air hockey, and table tennis.  Actually it most reminds me of a dodgeball variant game I played in elementary school P.E. called “Sock it to Me.”  Anyway, now Penguin Wars is back and better than ever with a modern downloadable take on the Switch.

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Moad Racing (iOS, Android)

How would you like to play a racing game where you can drive the A-Team van, Back to the Future DeLorean, Flintstones car, Jetsons ship, Simpsons car, Batmobile, and more?  If it sounds too good to be true, well it kind of is, but you can sort of do that in Moad Racing.  It’s a new free to play game for mobile devices (reviewed on iPad here).

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Classic Game Design: From Pong to Pac-Man With Unity, Second Edition

Earlier this year when I went to PAX South, one of the booths I set up a meeting with was Mercury Learning Books.  They publish all sorts of educational reading material about how to make games and other electronics.  I reviewed a few of those books a while back, which you can read about here.  I think my favorite of the books I reviewed was Classic Game Design: From Pong to Pac-Man With Unity.  It was written by the same guy who made the Atari arcade classic Crystal Castles, and it was written so well that I bet I’d be able to make classic arcade styled games if I followed the steps in the book.  One of the things I was worried about is if the information would become outdated in the books, but I guess I don’t have to worry about it anymore because they made a second edition of it!  The Mercury Learning folks sent me that book, too, so I think I’ll do a quick review of it as well.

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Dr. Mario World (iOS, Android)

Dr. Mario is one of Nintendo’s most popular puzzle games and it started back on the NES.  It was one of the few NES games I could get my mom to play back then and it’s one of her favorites!  So we were both excited when Nintendo recently released Dr. Mario World.  It’s a free-to-play downloadable mobile title (reviewed on iPad here) that takes gameplay elements from the original title to create a whole new kind of game, pretty much.

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Astro Bears (Switch)

Anyone remember the old game Snake, sometimes called Snafu?  Or maybe you would recognize it as the light cycle game in TRON?  You know, where you leave a trail and try not to touch it?  Or you try and block other players with your trail?  Now just add bears in astronaut suits running around spherical planetoids like you do in Mario Galaxy and you have Astro Bears for Switch!  And you know I couldn’t pass up reviewing a game called “Astro Bears” anyway.

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Cary’s Best Games of 2019 SO FAR Awards Show!

The year is already half over, so it’s that time for me to do my Best Games of the Year SO FAR Awards Show!  Most of the big name games come out in the later half of the year during the holiday season, so sometimes the games that come out in the first six months tend to be forgotten. Well this is where those games get their due!  Keep in mind that no outside opinions went into making this list, and since it’s my list, if a game didn’t appear on here, I either haven’t played it yet or it just didn’t appeal to me as much.  OK with that out of the way, let’s begin!

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Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets (Switch, PC)

In the future, a mad scientist named Professor Lupo collects a menagerie of killer alien creatures (his horrible pets) and houses them aboard a space station orbiting Earth.  He plans on auctioning them off as weapons to the highest bidder, but before the first bid can start, the space station is attacked by unknown forces.  You play as an intern who is normally just bait for these creatures, but now you must try to escape the crumbling space station all the while avoiding alien monsters in this action puzzle game.  It’s downloadable on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Tetris 99 (Switch)

When Nintendo announced their paid online service for the Switch, I didn’t get it right away.  I imagine playing Smash Bros. online was a big selling point, but as much as I like Smash Bros., I’m not that good enough to play against others online, so I didn’t get it then.  But recently when Super Mario Maker 2 came out, they had a version where you only had to pay ten bucks for the online service instead of 20, so I got that one.  You kind of NEED the online service to play and upload Mario Maker 2 levels, so now I have a subscription (my first Mario Maker 2 level code if anyone is interested, by the way: 19T-PV8-V7G).  So after I got my online subscription, I immediately downloaded another game: Tetris 99.  Tetris is still one of my all time favorite puzzle games, and this one is free but you can only play it with an online subscription.  So I figured now that I have it, I might as well review it.  Better late than never, right? (it came out earlier this year)

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Blazing Chrome (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Back when I was a kid and teen in the 8- and 16-bit days, Contra was huge.  It was a run and gun 2-D action game from Konami, and I remember playing it with my friends many times, whether we rented the ones on the NES or later Contra 3 on the SNES.  Now an indie developer has recreated the feel of a 16-bit Contra style game with Blazing Chrome, downloadable on nearly all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Role-Playing Accessories (RPG)

So, you were intrigued by the recent reviews of Starfinder and the D&D Essentials kit and want to know what else you can spend your hard earned cash on. Look no further! Here’s a brief roundup of various other bits and pieces one can purchase to add a bit of zing to a night of RPG gaming.

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