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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Unplugged: Euthia: Torment of Resurrection (Boardgame)

If there are any Holy Grails in the boardgaming world, it is to find the perfect civilization-building boardgame and the perfect dungeon-crawl/RPG boardgame. Euthia has nothing to do with civilization-building but is a worthy attempt at an RPG style adventure boardgame. Players take on the role of one of several possible heroes and explore a world created by revealing modular map tiles. Over the course of the game heroes will search (or mine) for treasure, go on minor quests, enlist the help of elementals, and (of course) fight monsters. Unlike many games in the genre, each game of Euthia is a one-and-done experience with no need to pack away bits and bobs in order to preserve a specific character for the next exploration. It is nice to have a nice, epic arc of character progression in a single sitting but that does mean a single game can take a good amount of time. There are several scenarios included with the game varying in length from 30 to 100+ minutes PER PLAYER. Thankfully, a 2 player game is quite do-able. For those willing to put in the time, Euthia provides a great, complete RPG/exploration experience in a single sitting, unlike the modern trend of stringing out a good bit of hero/character development over the course of a half-dozen (or more) individual, but linked, plays of a game. An expansion/continuation of the game is currently on Kickstarter until May 16th.

Euthia: Torment of Resurrection
Publisher: Steamforged Games
Players: 1-4
Ages: 14+
Time: 60-480 min
(review copy provided by publisher)

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nBlocks (Switch)

Make your own pixel art style pictures with blocks that resemble LEGO pieces in nBlocks for Nintendo Switch.  And that’s it, really.

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

There is a genre of game called “Sokoban” in Japan and you’ve probably played a game like this, or at least as a puzzle in a dungeon or whatnot.  Any game where you push blocks to certain spaces to solve puzzles can be called “Sokoban.”  So here’s one called SokoFrog where you control a frog pushing around blocks.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Bluey: The Video Game (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

I freaking love the Bluey TV show!  It’s a kids show but has so much to offer for adults, too.  The show is set (and animated) in Australia, and stars a family of four cartoon Australian Cattle Dogs, or Blue Heelers for short.  The family consists of Bluey, the titular playful and curious six year old, her younger sister Bingo, and their parents: Bandit and Chilli.  They all learn lessons through play and imagination, and some of the topics are more serious things that only adults would truly understand.  These can range from moving away, infertility, dealing with ADHD, and even death.  The show strikes a balance between making things easy for kids to understand, but deep enough to keep adults interested.  So when I heard last year they were making a Bluey video game, I tried to get a review copy of it.  I wasn’t able to unfortunately.  You win some, you lose some.  But when I saw the game on sale recently, I decided to get it and review it.  Bluey: The Videogame is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Flightpath: Adventures in Venaris (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S)

What happens when you combine a 2-D vertically scrolling shooter with a choose your own adventure book?  You get Flightpath: Adventures in Venaris, that’s what.  Choose from three different characters, a detective, a mechanic, and a racer (who also happens to be a rabbit) each with their own spaceship and shooting styles.  Each character has his or her own story, and depending on which choices you make in the levels, you can alter the story’s outcome.  It’s available on all current consoles but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Manic Mechanics (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Repair cars as quickly as possible in this madcap multiplayer game.  Manic Mechanics takes a lot of inspiration from other games of this ilk, especially Overcooked.  But instead of being in a kitchen cooking food, you’re in a garage fixing vehicles.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Welcome to the Princess Peach Showtime Fashion Show!

Princess Peach Showtime is out and in the game, Peach gets a starring role as she dons new outfits in stage plays.  So I thought it might be neat to go through all the outfits she has and what they are like.  But keep in mind there may be some spoilers here and there, so watch out for that.  OK, let’s pull back the curtain and start the show!

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Unplugged: Mystery Detective: The Crime Solving Party Game

Before there were these funny electronic devices that seem to be everywhere, I remember road trips where we had to make our own entertainment. One “20 questions”-style game that we played focused on solving a mystery. Players would be given a somewhat obtuse prompt of a situation and must then figure out what happened and why by asking a series of yes/no questions. Mystery Detective collects many of those mystery puzzles, printing a title and subtle picture/clue on one side with the explanation on the back. It currently comes in two flavors: a collection of 100 “classic” riddles (many of which I remember from my childhood) and one based on “Funny Deaths” – a mix of made-up and real-life cases where things went terribly wrong.

 

Mystery Detective (Vol 1 & 2)
Publisher: Add-A-Game
Players: 2-20
Ages: 14+
Time: 15 min
(review copy provided by publisher)

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Pepper Grinder (Switch, PC)

Pepper is an adventurous girl who gets shipwrecked, and pirates steal her treasure!  Luckily she finds a drill that she can use to bypass obstacles and defeat enemies.  Anyone remember a Game Boy Advance game called Drill Dozer?  It was made by GameFreak, who also made a game series you might know of called Pokémon.  Anyway, Pepper Grinder kind of reminds me of that game mixed with some Dig Dug style fast action.  It’s also a 2D platformer for Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Unplugged: Monkey Business (Boardgame)

Monkey Business is a bit of a mash-up of the classic games of charades (where you pantomime something) and werewolf (where you’re trying to discover the odd person out in the mix. All but one player (or all but two, if there’s more than 6 players) are given the same activity to perform while the odd ones out, the “scammers” have to just play it by ear to cover up the fact that they don’t know what they should be doing. After a few moments of acting, players then all must accuse a player to be the “scammer” – the one who was just copying everyone else. Players who are correct keep their card, scammers win half of the remaining cards. After six rounds of play the game ends and the player with the most cards is the winner. Monkey Business is a fun little party game that gets people moving. It won’t carry an entire evening of gaming but is good for a short distraction, perhaps to loosen up a group of people who may be taking themselves too seriously.

 

Monkey Business
Publisher: Add-A-Game
Players: 4-12
Ages: 8+
Time: 15 min
(review copy provided by publisher)

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