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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Unplugged: The Castles of Burgundy (Boardgame)

As with all entertainment, some things just seem to settle into the role of a classic. The Castles of Burgundy, a boardgame released in 2011, is one such game. Released in 2011, it remains high on many boardgame favorite lists and is currently ranked 14th overall at the popular web site, Boardgamegeek.com. The game centers around a set of dice and each player’s personal game board, displaying a hexagonal grid. Players roll dice and then use them to place tiles on their board. Each type of tile grants special abilities and players must make the best use of these special abilities to score points over the course of the game. Turns are quick and, once grasped, the rules are straightforward making this a richly rewarding game to play. The game has also spawned other versions, such as a simpler, fully dice based roll & write style game called The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game.

The Castles of Burgundy (& The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game)
Publisher: Alea
Ages: 12+ (10+)
Players: 2-4 (1-5)
Time: 30-90 mins (15-30 min)
(Review copy provided by Alea)

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The Games of the Namco Museum Archives Vols. 1 & 2

Namco has just opened up a new wing in their museum, with two volumes of archives including a bunch of 8-bit NES and Famicom games!  These two new downloadable collections contain almost a dozen games each.  I’ll be your tour guide as we go through the games on these collections.  So let’s go!

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Pokémon Café Mix (Switch, Mobile)

You’re about to open up a café that serves food especially for Pokémon!  And the waiters and cooks are Pokémon as well!  Help prepare delicious dishes for your Poke-pals in this free-to-start puzzle game for Switch and mobile devices (reviewed on Switch here).  Stir around Pokémon head icons to match them and make them disappear.  It kind of reminds me of other action puzzle games on mobile like Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble or the Disney Tsum Tsum game.

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Pokémon Smile (Mobile)

Pokémon has delighted and entertained kids for generations, and now the little pocket monsters are helping make brushing teeth a little more fun.  Pokémon Smile is a brushing app for mobile devices (reviewed on iPhone here) geared towards very young children.  Best of all, it’s completely free with no in-game ads or purchases.  Not sure how it makes money, but good for them!  But will it make kids excited to brush their teeth?  You’ll just have to read on to find out!

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Jump Rope Challenge (Switch)

It’s Free-To-Play week here at GamerDad.com, with three free-to-play, or at least free-to-start, games you can download.  Oddly enough, all of these free-to-play games are published by Nintendo!  Or at least related to Nintendo in some way, which is unusual.  The first one we’ll look at is Jump Rope Challenge.  It’s a little fitness style game that simulates jumping rope, and you can download it on Nintendo Switch.

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Darius Cozmic Collection: Console (Switch, PS4)

I’m a huge fan of the Darius 2-D shooter series from Taito.  But what is Darius?  While it may look like a generic classic space shooter at first, it has some elements that helped split it apart from others in the arcade.  One, a lot of the spaceships you battle are designed to look like robot fish.  I don’t know why that is, but it gives the game a weirder tinge to it that I like.  Two, the original arcade game was three screens long!  This was advantageous because you could see far ahead of you and could plan accordingly.  It also gave you a bit of elbow room since the game was also two player simultaneous.  And three, the music was really good!  The stage one theme, “Captain NEO” is one of my all time favorite pieces of video game music.  Taito has an in-house band named Zuntata that does most of their game music, which is cool.  Anyway, I was super excited to find out that now there are two collection of Darius titles for Switch and PS4.  There’s an arcade collection and a console collection, and I’m reviewing the console collection for Switch.

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Ultracore (Switch, PS4, Vita)

If Ultracore feels like a long lost 16-bit Genesis title, that’s because it kind of is!  There’s a bit of interesting history behind it.  Originally, it was called “Hardcore” and set to release on the SEGA Genesis and Amiga in 1995.  It was developed by a company called Digital Illusions, also known as DICE, and the game was pretty much completed.  Unfortunately, at this time the PlayStation just came out and everyone was interested in 3-D gaming, so this one got lost in the shuffle.  A short time later DICE went under and the game was all but lost.  But recently it was found again and Strictly Limited finished it up and made it available to download under the name “Ultracore” for Switch, PS4, and even the Vita (reviewed on Switch here).  It’s a run and gun game with bits of exploration mixed in as well.

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Outbuddies DX (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

You’re an archeologist at sea, but a shipwreck lands you in the ancient underwater fortress of Behlam.  Now equipped with a robot ‘Buddy’ you must explore the maze like corridors of caves and underwater lakes in this 2-D platforming adventure similar to titles like Metroid.  It’s available on all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classic Wrap Up (Switch)

This past week I’ve run through all 51 games in the new Clubhouse Games for Nintendo Switch.  So today I’m going to do a wrap up with links to all the articles I’ve written as well as my overall general impressions.  So let’s begin!

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Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics Part 3: Misc. Games

The last batch of activities in Clubhouse Games on the Switch are neither board games nor card games.  Some are parlor games, some are toy-like sports games.  Just a hodgepodge of sorts.  All right let’s finish this off.

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