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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Cary Wrecks Winter Movies!

At the end of summer, I usually see enough movies that season that I can write a blog about them.  And sometimes during the winter, I see enough movies to do that, too!  And this is one of those times!  So here are my impressions of new movies I’ve seen in the past few months.  I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but in case a small one seeps out here and there, you’ve been warned!  OK let’s begin!

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JackQuest: The Tale of the Sword (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

One day, Jack and his girlfriend are sitting under a tree when all of a sudden, a giant green hand comes out from the earth, grabs Jack’s lady, and takes her underground.  Jack hops into the hole to rescue her and discovers a maze of caves and monsters.  But luckily he also finds a giant sword that can talk, so now he must explore the caverns and dispatch monsters to save his sweetheart.  JackQuest: The Tale of the Sword is a 2-D 16-bit style platformer with exploration elements similar to Metroid.  It’s available for nearly all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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A Coin-Op Arcade on My Desk

No office desk is complete without a desk toy to help you through the slow times of the day. For anyone raised in the heyday of video game arcades, the folks at My Arcade are there for you. They offer a line of nostalgic classic videogames in realistic arcade cabinets that are small enough to fit on one’s desk. Some of the biggest names in early arcade history are available in a handheld portable Pocket Player, as a 7” tall arcade-shaped Micro Player, or the top-of-the-line 10” tall Data East Mini Player. Sure, they’re fun to play, but I get a smile simply seeing it there on my desk.

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Pikuniku (Switch, PC)

In this game you are a little red dot with eyes and wiggly legs.  Kind of like an unevolved 7up Spot.  After emerging from a cave, you enter a colorful world full of other cute little critters.  But these folks are being tricked by an evil pink cloud who wants to take over their land, and it’s up to you to save the day.  Pikuniku is an indie 2-D puzzle platformer downloadable on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Worbital (PC)

The folks that brought you Worms have entered the space race. Load your planet with offense and defense and attack your opponents in a real-time battle of planetary destruction in a evolving planetary system. Worbital is an interesting take on the old fixed artillery battle mold, increasing the intensity through real-time control and gravity wells from the central sun and orbiting planets. It is a great multiplayer game, but has a bit of a UI learning curve.

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GRIS (Switch, PC)

You know, I’m not sure I’ll be able to describe the story of GRIS very well.  Heck, I don’t even know why it has that title.  GRIS is a very artistic game and probably has lots of deeper meanings, but I guess I don’t catch onto those very well.  I mean, when I played Journey, I just thought it was a game about a ketchup bottle walking in the desert.  GRIS is a bit like Journey except that it’s a LOT better, as it has more actual gameplay behind it.  Anyway, in the game you are a young woman who wakes up on a broken statue of a hand, and apparently you have lost your voice.  So now you must explore beautiful hand drawn ruins, deep forests, and underwater caves because…well it beats just standing there.  GRIS is a 2-D platformer with light puzzle elements and is available to download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Bombfest (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Bombfest is a couch multiplayer game for up to four players.  You play as little Fisher-Price looking block figures and throw bombs at each other to try and knock them off the arena.  But since you are little block people, the 3-D isometric arenas are locations around a house.  So you’ll fight on a dinner table, tree stump, kitchen sink, bedroom nightstand, and more!  It’s available to download on nearly all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Coffee Crisis (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Aliens are invading Earth and stealing heavy metal music, coffee, and WiFi!  It’s up to two coffee baristas, Nick and Ashley, to stop them in this 2-D classic styled side-scrolling beat ‘em up.  It’s available to download on nearly all current game consoles, but reviewed on Switch here.

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YIIK: A Postmodern RPG (Switch, PS4, Vita, PC)

The late 90’s was a pretty memorable time for me.  I had just graduated college and was at the peak of my game writing for The Dallas Morning News.  So playing YIIK: A Postmodern RPG really hit home for me.  It’s an RPG set in the late 90’s, and the main character even just finished graduating college, too!  Heck, even the title feels like the 90’s, as ‘postmodernism’ was a big buzz word when I was in college.  This game always caught my eye at trade shows I’ve been to in the past, mainly because of its bright and color N64/PSOne era graphics, and the return to classic style RPG battles.  So I’m glad I got to review it on the Switch!

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The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

In the WAY distant future, a spaceship leaves Earth and enters a wormhole, only to return centuries upon centuries later.  Your spaceship crashes on Earth, which is now an ice and water covered planet.  There are no humans around anymore, just water everywhere.  Luckily your spaceship can double as a submarine, so it’s up to you to explore this watery landscape, figure out what happened to all the humans, and just try to survive amongst the hostile sea creatures.  This game with the ridiculously long title is a 2-D action adventure game with exploration elements similar to Metroid.  It’s available to download on most current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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