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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Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Ice Age is one of the longest running computer animated movie series, and it stars a group of prehistoric animals like saber tooth tigers and woolly mammoths.  But clearly the crowd favorite has to be Scrat the saber toothed squirrel and his constant chase for his beloved acorn nut.  And now Scrat gets his very own game with Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure.  While chasing his acorn, Scrat stumbles across a hidden temple of the Scratazons, an ancient advanced race of saber toothed squirrels.  Now in order to get his nut back, he must collect special purple crystal acorns across the land.  Scrat’s Nutty Adventure is a 3-D platformer available for all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Switch)

The simplicity of track and field events made them an excellent candidate for early videogames. I remember hammering away at our family computer in 1982 as my brother and I spammed keys in an effort to defeat each other in Olympic Decathlon. One year later, Track and FIeld appeared in the arcades and was an instant hit, allowing up to four players to spam buttons in a head to head competition. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (yes, that’s the full name) blends modern gaming with some retro-inspired gameplay through dozens of Olympic-themed mini-games. When played multiplayer (as it should be) iIt manages to capture much of that early videogame magic.

 

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River City Melee Mach!! (PS4, Switch, PC)

In Japan there is a popular series of video games that has gone back since the 80s starring a character named Kunio-kun.  Kunio is a hot-blooded high school student who sometimes gets into fights and trouble, but always stands up for his friends and against bullies.  Kunio also likes to play sports and when he’s not beating up baddies, he’s competing in events like soccer or dodgeball.  Some of Kunio’s games have made it to the US under name or graphical changes.  If you’ve ever played a game like Renegade, River City Ransom, Crash N the Boyz Street Challenge, or Super Dodge Ball, then you’ve played a Kunio game!  Now all the characters in the Kunio series are gearing up for a four-player free-for-all martial arts tournament with River City Melee Mach!!  It’s available to download on PS4, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Untitled Goose Game (Switch, PC)

Thanksgiving is this month, but instead of turkey, you may want to eat goose instead after playing this game.  Untitled Goose Game is a unique and original comical stealth action game where you play as a goose out to cause mischief and mayhem to humans in a small town setting.  It’s available to download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Pig Eat Ball (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The King of Cake rules the space station kingdom and has a pig daughter named Princess Bow.  One day he has a contest to decide who will marry her, but she wants none of that so she dons a disguise and competes in the contests herself.  Along the way she’ll discover a threat to her kingdom and must save the day in the process. So what are these contests?  Well, you must run around mazes and eat these tennis ball-like things to win.  But when you eat a lot of them, you get fatter and can’t fit through narrow corridors.  So what do you do?  You press a button to barf up the balls so you can be thin enough to fit in the mazes again.  So yeah, it’s Pac-Man with gross bodily functions.  Yay?  Pig Eat Ball is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Day and Night (Switch)

Day and Night is a Tetris-like puzzler exclusively on Nintendo Switch.  I was really surprised how good this game was.  It’s very polished and feels like a complete game, unlike a lot of the other indie titles I’ve played.  It’s also pretty original, too.  Most of these puzzlers play exactly like another game, such as Crystal Crisis pretty much copying Puzzle Fighter.  But Day and Night is kind of its own thing.  If you like playing Switch puzzlers like Tetris 99, you’ll definitely want to read this review!

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Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

The Gunvolt game series is made by Inti Creates, who specializes in mostly 2-D action games.  In fact, they helped make some of Capcom’s Mega Man titles and spinoffs, including the Mega Man Zero series.  Gameplay-wise, the Gunvolt games play a lot like Mega Man X, just a bit more anime-ish.  And now the newest in the Gunvolt saga is out, and stars a side character named Copen and his adorable android helper Lola.  But it’s still the same kind of 2-D action that Gunvolt and Mega Man X fans love.  Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avengers iX is available to download on all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Kine (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Three personified musical instruments aspire to play together on the main stage, but in order to get there, they must solve puzzles along the way.  Help Roo the piano-turned-accordion, Quat the drummer, and Euler the trombone solve 3-D puzzles in this downloadable game for all current game consoles (reviewed on Switch here).

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Family Tree (Switch)

A family of fruits lives peacefully in an orchard, but late one night Pedro the Day of the Dead-looking skull swoops down and fruit-naps all the babies!  Now it’s up to the Daddy (?) Fruit to get them all back in this action platform game that mixes pinball and Breakout elements.  Family Tree is available to download exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

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Mario Kart Tour (Mobile)

When the first Super Mario Kart game came out on the SNES, I knew it would be big the first time I saw it.  That first game even ended up being one of my top five favorite games of all time.  But I don’t know if I realized just HOW big it would end up being, with eight games in the main series, three arcade titles, a VR attraction, an upcoming ride at Universal Studios, and tons of toys and products like slot car tracks and Hot Wheels sets!  Wow!  So naturally when Nintendo was thinking about what games to bring to mobile devices, Mario Kart would eventually be one of them.  So here comes the free-to-play Mario Kart Tour (reviewed on iPad here).  So is it any good?  You’ll just have to read on to find out!

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