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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The Games of the Famicom Classic Edition

As much as I like Nintendo, they have made quite a few mistakes as a game company.  Some are big, like the Virtual Boy and using cartridges on the N64.  And some are not quite so big.  One of those ‘not quite so big’ mistakes I feel is how they released the NES Classic Edition last year.  For those who don’t know, the NES Classic Edition was a smaller console that looked like the 8-bit NES and had 30 games on it.  But Nintendo didn’t make enough and it’s very hard to find.  Even I don’t have one!  I know Nintendo recently said they would make more and release them next summer, but we’ll just have to see about that.  So when I saw where I could order the Famicom Classic Edition online for nearly retail price, I decided to import that instead.  The Famicom was the Japanese version of the NES.  Their Classic Edition has most of the same games as the NES one, but with a few changes here and there.  So in this blog, I’m going go over the Famicom Classic console, the games on it, and at the end I’ll share some good news related to this topic!

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Fluxx, the edumacational versions (Boardgame)

The somewhat silly, chaotic game of Fluxx comes in a huge variety of themes. Math Fluxx and Chemistry Fluxx are now options that make a fun little game that combines learning with quick (chaotic) gameplay.

Chemistry Fluxx or Math Fluxx
Publisher: Looney Labs
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-6
Time: 5-30 minutes
(Review copy provided by Looney Labs)

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Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase (Switch)

Soldam is a colorful puzzle game that’s like a cross between Tetris and Othello.  It’s reminiscent of puzzle games from the 90’s (because it actually was), and it’s available to download on Nintendo Switch.

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Universal Classics Pinball (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Three of Universal Studios’ most popular movies: Jaws, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, and the Back to the Future trilogy are now available as video pinball tables from Zen Studios, makers of the Pinball FX and Zen Pinball platforms.  But these three tables are the first new ones for Zen Studios’ upgraded Pinball FX3.  It’s available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Pokémon Playhouse (iOS, Android)

Kids love Pokémon.  And they have for more than two decades now.  But surprisingly, with all the kid-focused Pokémon games out there now, there is very little for the younger crowd.  Sure there have been a few games like Pokémon Channel on GameCube and the PokePark games on Wii.  But not really much for the preschool set.  Until now.  Introducing Pokémon Playhouse, a game designed for the smallest of Pokémon fans.  It’s available to download on iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here).  Best of all, it’s a free to play game with NO in game purchases or ads!

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Codenames Duet (Boardgame)

In the cooperative game Codenames Duet, two players alternate giving one word clues to each other hoping the other player will select specific words out of a 5×5 grid. Clues must be flexible as the players have a limited number of clues available to suss out the needed 15 words, but they can’t be too general as several words on the grid result in an immediate loss when chosen. Codenames was a great party game (played between two teams with a clue giver for each) and Codenames Duet brings that fun gameplay to a cooperative, two person game.

 

 

Codenames Duet
Publisher: Czech Games Edition
Ages: 11+
Players: 2
Time: 15 minutes
(Review copy provided by Czech Games)

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The Amazing World of Gumball: Wrecker’s Revenge (iOS, Android)

The Amazing World of Gumball is one of Cartoon Network’s most popular shows right now.  It’s about a cat named Gumball who goes to middle school and lives with his blended family of cats and rabbits and his best friend/brother goldfish.  I’ve never been a big fan of the show, but I do like the mixed media art style.  Now you can play as Gumball in Wrecker’s Revenge, a free-to-play downloadable game on iOS and Android (reviewed on iPad here).

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Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate (Boardgame)

Part story, part game, Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate is never the same game twice. Players start the game exploring the city of Baldur’s Gate. About halfway through the game changes into an entirely new experience when one player becomes the traitor and begins to work at cross purposes to the rest of the players. Neither side knows the other’s winning conditions until the contest is over. Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate takes the gameplay of the popular Betrayal at House on the Hill (released in 2004) and blends it together with a strong Dungeons and Dragons theme. The result is a fun, narrative rich, slightly horror-esque delve into the Forgotten Realms.

 

Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate
Publisher: Avalon Hill / Wizards of the Coast
Ages: 12+
Players: 3-6
Time: 60 minutes
(Review copy provided by Wizards of the Coast)

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King’s Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon (iOS, Android)

It’s “Free-to-Play Week” at GamerDad, where we’ll look at free mobile titles all week!  In Final Fantasy XV, some of the characters enjoy talking about and playing a video game in their world called King’s Knight.  And now you can play that game for free on mobile devices (reviewed on iPad here).  But King’s Knight has a bigger history than that.  Read on to find out more!

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Culdcept Revolt (3DS)

Culdcept Revolt brings the “Monopoly meets trading card game” back for another round. Roll to move, but fight monsters instead of purchase properties, and upgrade terrain rather than place houses or hotels. The game does not end end with elimination, it ends when one player collects enough magical power. An enjoyable game if one is willing to look past the somewhat random nature of the dice.

The story of Culdcept Revolt centers around the main character (who has amnesia – surprise!) in a town strictly controlled by a nasty dictator. Your character makes a few friends who band together to try to overthrow the government or at least distract them enough to escape the city to the freedom beyond. Challenge the enemy characters in a Culdcept “duel” as you try to recover your memories and take down “the man.”

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