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

Unplugged: Strike (Boardgame)

Strike – a simple, quick game of dice-chucking goodness. Players take turns rolling (or throwing) their dice into an arena inlay in the box. Remove any matching dice and leave the rest for the next player. The last player with dice is crowned the winner of the game. The idea is simple and the execution is spot on, making Strike a fine game for the start of a gaming evening or quick break with the kids.

 

 

Strike
Publisher: Ravensburger
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-5
Time: 15 mins
(Review copy provided by Ravensburger)

more…

Smashing Zoo (Mobile)

Here’s a weird freebie mobile game.  Slingshot cartoon animals into pixel sculptures of objects until they disappear.  And that’s all you do!  Use the touch screen to simulate pulling back and aiming your critter, and then let go to send it flying.  If you can shoot off a big chunk of pixels, they’ll disappear and you get extra points in the form of coins.  After you clear one pixel sculpture, which could be anything from a screwdriver, magnet, or a rainbow, you start the process over again.

more…

Blowie (Mobile)

It’s free-to-play week here at GamerDad.  In Blowie, play as a little Q*bert style critter as he shoots bullets from his nose in this simple vertically scrolling shooter for mobile devices (reviewed on iPad here).  Use the touch screen to move your character around, and he’ll automatically fire.  Shoot all the enemies within the time limit and you can move onto the next level.  When you get hit, you must start the stage over again, and when you get hit three times, it’s Game Over.  You can continue where you left off if you watch an ad, though.

more…

Calico (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Open up and run your very own cat café in a magical land in Calico.  But what is a cat café?  Well, apparently they exist in real life and are just restaurants where they let cats roam freely in it for you to watch and pet.  Sounds fun, but I can’t imagine how they keep from getting cat hair in your food!  Anyway, Calico is a laid back, relaxing kind of game that has aspects from other titles like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing.  It’s available on nearly all current game consoles, but reviewed on Switch here.

more…

Unrailed (Switch, PS4, PC, Xbox One, Mac, Linux)

Unrailed is a simple co-op game of cooperation where there are a limited number of tasks to be done, but the players have to juggle them all to keep the game going. Players try to manage a self-propelled train that manufactures its own rails as it moves across a retro-pixelated landscape. The game becomes a balance of clearing a path, feeding the train raw materials, while keeping an eye out for in-game bonuses. While not particularly complicated, its casual play style can be fun with the right crowd.

more…

PHOGS! (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Stadia, PC)

Does anyone remember the Nickelodeon cartoon CatDog?  I was a little too old for it myself when it was on TV, but my brothers liked it.  Anyway, it was a show about a creature with a talking cat head on one end and a talking dog on the other, and how they got along together despite being attached to each other inseparably.  It was pretty weird.  Well if they were ever to make a video game version of that show, PHOGS! would be about the closest thing to it!  In PHOGS!, you play as a weenie dog with two dog heads on each end.  So instead of a CatDog, it’s a DogDog.  One or two players control each head separately as you wriggle around obstacle filled 3-D worlds, solving puzzles in areas based on three things dogs like to do most: sleep, eat, and play!  The game is available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

more…

Turrican Flashback (Switch, PS4)

I love playing and writing about classic game collections and compilations.  Usually I’m pretty knowledgeable about the games on collections because I love classic games, plus I’m old.   But the games on this particular collection, I’m not as familiar with.  Mainly because these games were more popular in Europe, and originated on computers that were more prevalent over there, like the Amiga.  The Turrican series are run and gun 2-D platformer games and they were programmed by the same guy who did The Great Giana Sisters, which has an interesting history in its own right.  Anyway, Turrican Flashback includes four games: Turrican, Turrican 2: The Final Fight, Mega Turrican and Super Turrican.  The collection is available on Switch and PS4, but reviewed on Switch here.

more…

Animal Crossing Valentines!

Nintendo’s Animal Crossing game franchise got a big boost in popularity this past year thanks to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons right in the beginning of the COVID pandemic.  It was just what a lot of people needed, including myself.  But I’ve always been a big fan of the series.  Anyway, the recent popularity of the game is probably why they now have Animal Crossing Valentines!  You know, they’re like the ones you used to give out to classmates in elementary school, or maybe you have kids who do that now.  Anyway, I found these at a Kroger grocery store, so let’s take a look at them!

more…

Body of Evidence (Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Boy they’ll make a game out of anything these days!  Body of Evidence is a 3-D first person game where you are tasked with hiding and getting rid of dead bodies in creative ways.  Blech!  It uses light puzzle solving and lots of rag doll physics, and is available on a couple of consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

more…

Unplugged: Machi Koro (Boardgame)

One of my teenage son’s favorite games is Machi Koro. (Very) briefly, it is kind of like Monopoly with no board, but people can collect income for properties even when it is not their turn. The game is fast and fun, and I highly recommend it for family gaming and it is just now returning to store shelves over at Target (it’s continued to be available in game stores for some time.) Someone looking for a lighter-weight game to play during the pandemic should find Machi Koro an excellent choice.

 

 

more…