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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Zumba: Burn it Up (Switch)

Now that Christmas is over, many people are starting to think about their New Year resolutions.  If yours is to stay active and get in shape, you may want check out Zumba: Burn it Up.  It’s the latest in a long running dance game series based on the Zumba fitness craze.  Move your body to dozens of Latin songs in this Switch exclusive.

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Tap Pop Balloon (Mobile)

I love it when a game’s title explains to you perfectly what you’ll be doing in the game.  In Tap Pop Balloon, you’ll tap the screen to pop floating balloons for points.  Don’t let any float away to the top of the screen or you’ll lose a heart!  Lose all three of your hearts and it’s Game Over.  Also watch out for balloon with pictures of skulls on them.  If you tap one of those, you’ll immediately lose the game, no matter how many hearts you have!  It’s available as a free-to-play download on mobile devices, but reviewed on iPad here.

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Magic Brick Wars (Mobile)

Halfbrick has made some of the most well known games for mobile devices and consoles (but mostly mobile).  There’s Raskulls, which is what a sequel to Mr. Driller probably should’ve been.  And the continuous runner/flyer Jetpack Joyride.  And who could forget Fruit Ninja from the early days of mobile gaming?  And now the characters from those titles have come together for a player vs. player action strategy game called Magic Brick Wars.  It kind of reminds me of the classic arcade game Rampart.  It’s available as a free-to-play download on mobile devices, but reviewed on iPad here.

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The Fighters of SkullGirls: 2nd Encore

Recently I reviewed SkullGirls: 2nd Encore.  It’s a 2-D one-on-one fighter with cartoony graphics and I’ve been wanting to review it since 2012 when it came out, but for whatever reasons I wasn’t able to.  But I got my chance when it came out on the Switch!  For what’s considered an indie game, this one is very good.  Almost on par with fighters like BlazBlue and Guilty Gear!  I was very impressed with the creativity of the characters and even the storylines in the Story Mode were pretty interesting.  And usually they aren’t in fighting games.  So when that happens, I usually like to write a blog about the characters, and so we’ll do that here.  Some slight story spoilers here and there, just to warn you, but the game HAS been out since 2012.

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Woven (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

In a world made of wool and stiches lives a tattered plush animal named Stuffy.  He’s all alone and doesn’t know how he got there, as he’s not too bright.  But one day he meets a robotic firefly named Glitch.  Glitch has also lost its memory and the two decide to venture together to find out why Stuffy is all tattered and why there are other machines and robotic bugs in the fabric world. Woven is a 3-D puzzle platformer with point and click adventure elements, and it’s available for all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Ghost Parade (PS4, Switch, PC)

Suri is an ordinary schoolgirl who misses the bus one day and must walk home.  She decides to take a shortcut through a forest so she can make it home before dark.  Unfortunately, mysterious beasts are acting aggressive in the forest, and Suri gets lost!  But luckily she befriends a bunch of ghosts along the way that can help her make it out of the forest and save it from danger.  Play as Suri and a following parade of ghosts in this 2-D platforming jumping “Metroidvania” adventure, meaning you’ll explore sprawling mazes and must come back to areas later with new abilities to progress further.  One interesting thing about Ghost Parade is that it’s based on Indonesian folklore, which you don’t see too much in video games.  It’s available for most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Unplugged: Holiday Guide 2019

Happy Holidays! Boardgaming continues to make inroads to wider audiences, and there’s no better time to get (or get your friends and family) into the hobby than an extended holiday break. As we at GamerDad have done for the past 15+ years, it’s time for an annual rundown of recent boardgames well worth your time. Nothing beats the social aspect of in-person gaming with friends. Unlike many digital games, boardgames are timeless, just as good today as they will be years in the future. In that vein, feel free to delve into some past year’s guides like those for 2018, 2017, or 2016. You might not find all these titles at your local mega-mart but many can be found online or in a friendly local game store. Some may argue $50+ boardgames are expensive, but compare that to videogaming (and where multiple copies are required for multiplayer play) or heading out to the movies ($30+ for four people) and the economics of boardgaming shows their true value. For each game I’ve provided the number of players, an approximate MSRP (you might find it lower), and expected time for one game.

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Three Manly amiibo

My latest batch of amiibo figures are of three manly dudes from Smash Ultimate.  We’ve got Incineroar from Pokémon, Simon Belmont from Castlevania, and Chrom from Fire Emblem.  Let’s check them out!

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Bee Simulator (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

To bee or not to bee?  Well now you can be a bee in Bee Simulator.  It’s a flying action game where you play a part of a honey bee in a hive, and must fly around a vast park to collect pollen, battle rival bugs, and ultimately save your hive from construction workers who want to chop the tree down where your hive is located.  It’s available on all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Bloo Kid 2 (Switch, PC, Mobile)

Even though Bloo Kid 2 is about as vanilla as a 2-D platformer could be, I still enjoyed it for what it was.  And it reminded me of the games I used to rent back in the day on my Super Nintendo.  As the blue-clad Bloo Kid, you must rescue a baby in a basket from a flying demon.  You’ll travel through five worlds as you hop and bop your way through enemies and secrets.  It’s available on Switch, PC, and mobile devices, but reviewed on Switch here.

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