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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Wonder Momo: Battle Idol Volume 1 (Book)

MOMO1The next entry in our “Nutty Namco Week” is another hardcover book collection of web comics, and this one is called “Wonder Momo: Battle Idol.”  Wonder Momo was an arcade game in Japan made by Namco (creators of Pac-Man) in the late 80’s.  In the game, you played as young girl Momo and kicked bad guys on a theater stage (there’s an audience and curtains and everything).  If Momo ran into a tornado and spun really fast, she would turn into Wonder Momo, a stronger super-hero version of herself who could throw a hula hoop at bad guys.  The game was meant to be a parody of “Magical Girl” anime cartoons like Sailor Moon, and spoofs of ‘sentai’ super hero shows like Power Rangers.  It was never released in the US, probably due to its slightly suggestive themes.  You had to avoid a photographer in the audience, for instance, who would try and take upskirt pictures of Momo from below.  The flash from the camera would stun Momo for a moment.  Anyhow, Wonder Momo has remained fairly popular in Japan and Namco has had cameo appearances of her in various other games.  Shifty Look, an online web comics site, makes comic strips featuring classic Namco characters, and Wonder Momo is one of their most popular ones.  It spawned a web anime series and now you can get a collection of the first 100 strips in a quality, hardcover book format!  Let’s take a quick look at what’s inside.

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Bravoman Volume 1 (Book)

BRAVO1It’s “Nutty Namco Week” here at GamerDad, where we’ll take a look at new books and games featuring odd Namco characters!  First up is Bravoman!  Bravoman is a classic arcade game by Namco, makers of Pac-Man.  The Bravoman arcade game was released in Japan only, but it did get ported to the US by way of the TurboGrafix-16 game console (and Wii Virtual Console).  It’s a 2-D platformer beat ‘em up featuring a super hero who can stretch his arms and limbs to punch and kick bad guys.  The game is meant to be a silly parody of super heroes and video games.  While Bravoman has made cameo appearances in other Namco titles, he would’ve faded into obscurity had it not been for Shifty Look.  Shifty Look is an online web comics site who has recently published strips featuring obscure Namco game characters.  Bravoman is probably their most successful and long-running series, and has spawned into a high quality web cartoon (featuring prolific cartoon voice actors like Rob Paulsen), and even a tablet game (that one’s not so good).  And now you can buy a hardcover book with the first 100 or so strips from the Bravoman web comic!  Click here to take a closer look!

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Cary’s Best Video Games of 2014 SO FAR Awards Show!

KIRBYAWARDCan you believe this year is already half over?  What I like to do this time of year is write about the best games of the year 2014 so far.  Most of the really good titles come out during the Christmas season at the tail end of the year, and the games that come out earlier tend to be forgotten.  So this is where those games get their due.

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Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack (360, PS3, Vita, PC)

BLOB_BOXIn a secret laboratory facility, little space blobs are kept locked up and have experiments performed on them.  But one green, one-eyed blob doesn’t like it and isn’t going to take it anymore.  He escapes and hides in a backpack belonging to a college kid on a student tour of the laboratory.  Now the blob must brave obstacles in a college dorm and frat house, around town, at a military base, and even on the moon!  He’ll have to eat and absorb as many things as he can so he can grow bigger and exact revenge on the lab that performed experiments on him and his blob friends!  Tales form Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is a downloadable 2-D platforming action game with lots of zany madcap humor (360 version reviewed here).

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Mugen Souls Z (PS3)

MUGEN_BOXChou-Chou may just be a little girl with pink hair, but she’s also a powerful goddess deity who took over seven worlds in her first RPG adventure.  However, she quickly tires of ruling over her worlds, and wants to conquer more.  By entering a dimensional portal, she and her peons find another universe with twelve worlds to take over.  But on the very first world, she encounters another girl who claims to be a deity as well.  This new girl, Syrma, carries around a strange coffin, and when Chou-Chou goes inside, the coffin drains her powers! Chou-Chou is transformed into a tiny version of herself, and must enlist Syrma and a host of other wacky characters to help her get her powers back and conquer twelve new worlds along the way in this anime-inspired RPG sequel for the PS3.

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 (360, PS3, Wii U, Wii, 3DS)

DRAGON_BOXIn the land of Berk, Vikings and dragons live and work together in harmony thanks to the heroic efforts of boy Hiccup and his dragon friend Toothless.  Now, instead of fighting against each other, riders compete in friendly dragon tournaments in this video game based on the new DreamWorks computer animated movie (360 version reviewed here).

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Pigs Can’t Fly (iPad)

PIG_BOXAt the bacon factory, angel pigs fly up into heaven.  But one of those holy hogs accidentally bumped into an airplane and fell into a deep hole and ended up in…well, the other place.  Now the departed pig must use his newfound angel wings to fly and escape hellish obstacles in this silly little 2-D action game for iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here).

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SXPD: The Rookie (iPad)

SXPD_BOXSXPD is a unique mix of underground comic book narrative combined with battle and chase style driving.  The game is set in the future, and the 52nd state of America is ruled by a wealthy leader and there is crime and terrorism everywhere.  The law is upheld (in the loosest sense of the word), by an all-female police force called the SXPD.  You play as one of the members of the SXPD in this downloadable game exclusive to iPad, directed by David Perry (creator of Earthworm Jim).

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Max – The Curse of Brotherhood (360, Xbox One, PC)

MAX_BOXOne day after school, Max comes home to find his little brother Felix in his room playing with Max’s toys.  Disgusted, Max does an Internet search on ‘Giggle’ to find a way to get rid of his brother.  He finds a magic spell, but when he reads it aloud, to his surprise it actually works and a dimensional portal opens up and a monster grabs Felix and whisks him away.  Realizing he had done something wrong, Max leaps into the portal to save his brother and winds up in a whole new world.  Armed with only his wits and a special magic marker, Max must explore this new land and rescue his sibling.  Max – The Curse of Brotherhood is a sequel to Max and the Magic Marker and is available to download on PC and Microsoft game consoles (reviewed on 360 here).

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Luminux (iPad)

LUMINUX_BOXLuminux is a simple puzzle game for iOS devices and Google Play (reviewed on iPad here).  In the game, you must slide squares around to line up three of the same color horizontally or vertically to make them disappear and earn points.  You can slide squares around anywhere you like, just as long as you have room to move them.  New squares will constantly appear, so you must be quick.  If the screen fills with squares and you can’t move anymore, it’s Game Over.

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