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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Me and You Love the Wii U

When a brand-new game console comes out, I like to write a blog about the console that came before it, and talk about my favorite games on it.  So now that the Nintendo Switch has been released, I’d like to honor the Wii U and go over my favorite games for that system (not in any particular order).

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I am Setsuna (Switch, PS4, PC)

During the 16-bit days when I was in high school, I was big into RPGs like Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger.  But nowadays, not so much.  Today’s RPGs are missing what I liked about the older ones, but luckily Square-Enix can still sometimes pump something out today that I enjoy.  Such is the case with I am Setsuna.  It may have modern visuals and sound, but it plays like an old school RPG.  In the game you play as Endir, a masked assassin whose mission is to kill Setsuna, a sacrificial offering to keep down monster attacks for another year.  But once you meet your target, you soon end up in a series of events that takes you on a quest with Setsuna and a host of comrades as you discover the history behind this practice and maybe even how to stop it for good.  I am Setsuna was a downloadable launch game for the new Nintendo Switch (that version is what’s reviewed here), but you can also get it for PS4 and PC.

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PSVR Bonus Level: Moto Racer 4

In addition to several racing modes on dirt and asphalt tracks, Moto Racer 4 also includes a small bonus, the ability to race (solo) using the PSVR system in either a Time Attack or Hot Lap mode. As with other bonus VR features, the PSVR experience isn’t going to be the main selling point of a game. However, they are a nice way for PSVR owners to experience a small part of their game in a virtual reality mode. Unfortunately, I found the PSVR racing mode of Moto Racer 4 was not a good fit for my gaming style.

 

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Barbie Sparkle Blast (iOS, Google Play)

So now the world’s most popular doll toy line is getting in on the free-to-play match-three puzzle game bandwagon.  But surprisingly, this one’s actually pretty decent.  Barbie Sparkle Blast is available to download on iOS and Google Play, but reviewed on iPad here.

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PSVR Bonus Level: Rise of the Tomb Raider – Blood Moon

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a sequel to the Tomb Raider reboot released in 2013. In Fall 2016, it arrived on the PS4 complete with a new DLC, Blood Ties, where Lara explores her old mansion searching for clues about her father and mother. While the expansion is playable on every platform, the PS4 version also includes support for the PSVR. As with other PSVR bonus levels, these experiences aren’t going to be the main selling point of a game. However, they are a nice way for PSVR owners to experience a small part of their game in a virtual reality mode. The Blood Ties expansion can be played in 2D or 3D, with the 3D version providing a short, immersive experience in the world of Lara Croft.

 

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Pokémon Easter Egg Decorating Kit

Pokémon has always been popular, but in the past year or so, it’s had a resurgence in popularity thanks to the mobile game Pokémon GO, and successful new titles in the franchise like Pokémon Sun and Moon.  So because of that, here I present to you, the Pokémon Easter Egg Decorating Kit!  I saw it at the store and just had to write about it.  I could’ve sworn I wrote about the same thing a long time ago, but I couldn’t find an article about it so I either must’ve imagined it or it was such a long time ago that it’s not on the Internet anymore.

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PSVR Bonus Level: Rogue One X-Wing mission

Star Wars Battlefront offers up a special Rogue One X-Wing mission using the PSVR system. It is one of several titles that offer up a special VR level in addition to their core 2D gameplay. As bonus levels, these PSVR experiences aren’t going to be the main selling point of a game. However, they are a nice way for PSVR owners to experience a small part of their game in a virtual reality mode. The Rogue One X-Wing VR mission is a great little showcase of what a VR game can do.

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Care For Our World (iPad)

Last year I reviewed a game called Buddy & Me, a downloadable 2-D continuous runner for Wii U and mobile devices.  The charming hand-drawn visuals in the game made it look like a children’s picture book come to life.  Ironically, the next game the makers of Buddy & Me have made really is a children’s book!  Care For Our World was originally an award-winning children’s book, and just in time for Earth Day, now it’s an app you can download and read on the iPad!

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A local GameCon for charity (Boardgames)

I attended a local charity game convention Saturday, I thought I’d make a brief post as it may inspire others to do the same. In brief, I had a good time teaching beginner games to a host of new gamers. The star of my day was a 5 player game of the AEG rerelease of The Captain is Dead. A close second place was repeated plays of Escape: The Curse of the Temple with some brand-new to gaming sophomores.

The local game shop, The Sage’s Shoppe  (complete with extra letters) paired with a couple gamer high school teachers to host an all-day gameathon in order to raise money for the school’s summer backpack program. Low income kids often have their only decent meal of the day at school, so they are given backpacks full of food for the weekends so they can have a good meal on Saturday and Sunday, too. The summer program attempts to help with this over the summer months when school is not in session.

 

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88 Heroes (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

An evil supervillain has 88 missiles aimed at Earth ready to fire, and it’s up to 88 of the goofiest, most useless heroes to stop him!  88 Heroes is a silly 2-D platformer challenge available to download on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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