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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LEGO Dimensions Sonic the Hedgehog Level Pack

LEGOSONIC1Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most influential and popular video game characters of all time.  Now he’s making his mark in LEGO Dimensions with the Sonic the Hedgehog Level Pack.  And his special LEGO level is almost better than some of the recent Sonic games released lately.  Well, maybe.  You’ll just have to read on to find out!  LEGO Dimensions is available for nearly all the current game consoles, but reviewed on Wii U here.

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New Zelda Amiibo

AMIIBO_LOGOI just got a new batch of amiibo figures, this time they are Legend of Zelda based.  I guess to correspond with the 30th Anniversary of the Zelda franchise, at least according to the boxes.  So let’s take a look at them!

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Steamworld Collection (Wii U, PS4)

STEAM_BOXThis is a collection of two very different games, but with similar characters.  The games are Steamworld Dig and Steamworld Heist, two indie titles previously only available via download, but now are together in a single physical copy disc.  It’s available for Wii U and PS4, but reviewed on Wii U here.  We’ll take a look at each game separately.

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LEGO Dimensions Gremlins Team Pack

LEGOGREMLINS1When I was a kid, I loved the Gremlins movie.  Way more than other popular movies at the time like E.T.  I don’t know if that made me a messed-up kid or not, but I do find it strange since Gremlins really isn’t THAT great of a movie (but I still like it).  But as a kid I was pretty into it for a while.  I had a couple of Gremlins action figures, a coloring book, t-shirt, and a Gizmo plush.  So I was thrilled when LEGO Dimensions added Gremlins characters to their lineup, and even more excited to have the opportunity to review them!  LEGO Dimensions is available for nearly all current game consoles, but reviewed on Wii U here.

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LEGO Dimensions E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Fun Pack

LEGOET1When I was young, E.T. was a super popular movie.  Every kid in my first-grade class HAD to wear E.T. sweatshirts to school, and “Turn on your Heartlight” blared on the radio nonstop.  But you know what’s strange is that I really didn’t like the movie that much.  I preferred flicks like Gremlins and Ghostbusters, so I don’t know if that makes me a messed up kid or not.  I just felt the E.T. movie was too long and slow-paced, and E.T. himself was so ugly.  He looked like a Rotisserie chicken.  And the movie played up Reese’s Pieces way too much.  Once I FINALLY got to try them, I was severely disappointed.  But even I can’t deny that E.T. is an iconic and influential movie and the E.T. ride at Universal Studios is pretty fun.  So it’s no surprise that E.T. would show up in LEGO Dimensions.  The game is available for nearly all current game consoles, but reviewed on Wii U here. I have to say that the makers of the game were pretty brave to put E.T. in here, as the last time E.T. was in a game was on the Atari 2600, and that particular title helped start the video game crash in the early 80’s!  But I don’t think that’ll happen here!

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Cartoon Network Battle Crashers (3DS, PS4, Xbox One)

CN_BOXUncle Grandpa accidentally shifts his RV into Dimension Break gear and ends up crashing through all sorts of Cartoon Network worlds.  Now it’s up to him, Steven Universe, Finn and Jake from Adventure Time, Gumball, Clarence, and Mordecai and Rigby from Regular Show to fight enemies across all their universes in this arcade style action sidescrolling beat ‘em up.  It’s available for 3DS, PS4, and Xbox One, but reviewed on 3DS here.

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Flick em Up or Cool Penguins – Dexterity Games

flick em up photoAs you look through your holiday lists, don’t forget to include a good boardgame or two. Aside from eating together (also highly encouraged,) there are very few activities requiring people to interact face to face. Not everyone is all that interested in a heavy thinking game, and there are a whole line of simple dexterity games that are great fun for all ages. The following is a list of what I call ‘flicking games,’ games that involve players flicking wooden (plastic in some cases) pieces around a playing area as the main objective. Some are straightforward while others require a bit more than just manual dexterity.

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Cary’s VR Game Wishlist

PACMANVRVirtual Reality is nothing new.  Back in the 90’s, when 3-D graphics were getting a little more commonplace in games, we got to see its infancy in the form of special arcade games and failed consoles like the Virtual Boy.  It even entered the realm of movies and TV with films like The Lawnmower Man and kids shows such as VR Troopers.  Fast forward to the present, where technology has advanced exponentially, and VR has made a bit of a comeback, with games on PC and even consoles like the PlayStation.  So I started thinking about games that I would like to play in VR.  Here’s my list:

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Ninja Usagimaru: The Mysterious Karakuri Castle (3DS)

NINJA_BOXA rabbit-eared ninja named Usagimaru sets out to save villagers who have been captured by evil Oni in this puzzle platform adventure.  It has a mythical Japanese look and feel, and plays similar to other classic platform puzzlers like Solomon’s Key.  It’s available to download on the Nintendo 3DS.

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Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky (PS4, Vita)

EXIST_BOXA group of high schoolers from Tokyo get involved in a serious accident (a huge hole appears in a road).  But instead of winding up dead, the bunch of teenagers ends up in a strange world full of floating islands, monstrous creatures, and a huge tower.  Now they must fight to uncover the truth as to why they’re there, and stop evil forces along the way in this anime styled RPG.  It’s available for Sony’s PS4 and Vita, but reviewed on the Vita here.

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