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.
Hire GamerDad / Media Guide

Kukoos: Lost Pets (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

On a distant planet covered in water, one solitary island exists, and it has magical doors that can whisk you away to different worlds.  Also on this island live the Kukoos.  They’re square shaped, monkey…critter…people…things.  I don’t know what they are, but they live happily with each other and their beloved yet weird pets.  In fact, every year they have a Pet Day competition, and this year a mysterious company is selling special collars that’ll make the pets obey your every command and enhance their powers.  But when a giant robot frog takes control of all the pets, it’s up to you to save them in this fixed camera 3-D platformer.  It’s available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

more…

New Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Data East is no longer around, but back in the day, they were a pretty major player in the arcade and game console scene.  Some of their games include Burgertime, Karnov, Bad Dudes, and many more.  Another one of their more popular titles was Joe and Mac: Caveman Ninja.  It was a pretty standard 2-D platformer, but the bright colors, huge dino bosses, and cartoony animated sprites really stood out at the time.  The arcade game got ported to many of the 8- and 16-bit consoles at the time, each one a different take on the series.  Later they would make a spinoff on the SNES called Congo’s Caper, and then a true sequel with Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics, which had more adventure elements.  After that there was another arcade game called Joe & Mac Returns, but I never saw it.  It was a single screen action game like Bubble Bobble, and played like Tumble Pop, another Data East game.  And now there’s New Joe & Mac: Cavemen Ninja, a remake of the original classic arcade game with hand drawn visuals and other extras.  Those nasty Neanderthals have kidnapped all the cavewomen in the village, and it’s up to Joe & Mac to save them!  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

more…

Bot Gaiden (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

A clan of ninja robots gets their strength from Power Skulls, but when evil robots steal them, it’s up to two ninja robots to take them back!  Bot Gaiden is 2-D action platformer that’s like a cross between NES Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man X.  But you must beat the stages as quickly as possible because the longer you take, the stronger the boss gets while holding the Power Skull!  Bot Gaiden is available for all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

more…

Smurfs Kart (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, X/S)

In the distant past, long before streaming services and 24-hour cartoon channels, there was a thing called Saturday Morning Cartoons.  Kids back then, me included, looked forward to this time because it was one of the only times TV was made just for kids.  And as a child of the 80s, one of the most popular of these cartoons I remember was The Smurfs.  Originally a European comic strip, The Smurfs gained popularity in the US from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon.  I was never a super big fan of it, but I watched it anyway because, one, kids will watch pretty much anything.  And two, it came on right before the Pac-Man cartoon.  In recent years, The Smurfs have had a bit of a resurgence with a handful of computer animated movies and specials, and a new series on Nickelodeon.  Last year we even got a Smurfs 3-D platformer which I reviewed.  And this year we get a kart racer.  I actually remember playing a Smurfs kart racer on the original PlayStation and it was one of the worst games I ever played.  Let’s hope this one is better.  Smurfs Kart is available for all current consoles but reviewed on Switch here.

more…

Garfield Lasagna Party (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Many of you regular readers may know I was a child of the 80s and enjoyed many things as a kid from that time.  You probably know I was really into Pac-Man (still am), as well as other franchises like Star Wars, Transformers, Ghostbusters, etc.  One other thing I was really into back then was Garfield.  Back then, most people read newspapers and the comics strips therein were very popular with kids and adults.  I think those comic strips are one of the things I miss most about print newspapers (that and me getting paid to write for them).  I read the comics, bought all the books, watched the Garfield TV specials and Saturday morning cartoons, and even ate the fruit snacks and Garfield ravioli.  Yes, Garfield was very popular back then.  So I was really excited to review Garfield Lasagna Party, a board game title with mini-games similar to Mario Party.  It’s available on all current systems and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

more…

Until the Last Plane (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

There are plenty of classic 2-D shooters set in World War II, like 1942, 1943, and the Strikers series.  But they all focus on the action and heroics of the pilots.  But what about the people behind the scenes?  Mechanics who repair the planes, the folks who order more ammo and supplies, etc.?  Well now you can see their side of things with Until the Last Plane.  Manage your own air field and send out pilots on missions, repair downed planes, and order more parts, fuel, and ammo in this simulation game.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

more…

The Pinball Wizard (Switch, PC, iOS)

A magical orb sits on a pedestal at the top of a tower, and as long as it stays there, the land is at peace.  But when the orb falls off, you as an apprentice wizard must climb the tower and set the orb back in place to bring balance to the world.  But each level in the tower is a pinball table, so you’ll use flippers to launch the apprentice wizard around as you smack enemies, collect treasure and experience points, and nab keys to unlock the next floor.  The Pinball Wizard is available on Switch, PC, and iOS devices, but reviewed on Switch here.

more…

Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Miraculous is a cartoon show that I’ve never heard of before until now.  Apparently you can watch it on Disney+.  The show stars a high school girl named Marianette, who lives in Paris.  But she can also turn into the superhero Ladybug and fights super villains with her partner Cat Noir.  With her polka-dot outfit, acrobatic martial arts skills and weird yo-yo thing, Ladybug will also save the day in this new video game based on the cartoon.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

more…

Intrepid Izzy (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Help Izzy explore exotic places and gather treasure in Intrepid Izzy, a retro styled 2-D platform adventure game with “Metroidvania” elements where you must re-explore places with items you’ve acquired along the way to progress.  The game is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.  I also read the game is available on the Dreamcast (can’t believe they’re still making games for that), and the press release even says it’s like something you would play on the Dreamcast. Although me personally, I think it’s more like something you’d play on the Game Boy Advance, or even now.  Gameplay is a LOT like Shantae, and Izzy could even be Shantae’s cousin as they both have purple ponytails!

more…

The Preschoolers (Switch)

The Preschoolers is an interactive coloring book on Switch where youngsters can watch cartoon episodes about kids at a preschool day care, and then color scenes from the episodes they just watched.  The initial game comes with two cartoon episodes, but you can purchase two more in Season 1 plus more coloring pages at the Nintendo eShop.

more…