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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Reader Review: Electronic Super Joy: Groove City (PC)

GROOVE_BOXMy good friend Leroy is back to review an add-on to a game he wrote about last year called Electronic Super Joy.  The add-on is called Groove City.  Click to find out if it’s worthy of your time:

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Photos With Mario (3DS)

PHOTOMARIO1The last thing we’ll look at in our “Free-to-Play” Week is an application for 3DS that you can download on the eShop for free.  It’ll let you take photos of Mario characters using cards, similar to how the AR Games functions on your 3DS.  But while the Photos With Mario app is free, the way you get the cards isn’t.  You have to buy special Nintendo Points cards that have the Mario cards included, and you can only buy them at Target stores.

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Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (3DS)

RUSTY_BOXThe next game in our “Free-to-Play” feature week is a strange one, for many reasons.  It’s a baseball game, but quite different than other ones you may have played.  And second, it’s from Nintendo, which is unusual because they generally don’t dabble in this kind of game.  They have this and a free-to-play version of Steel Diver for download, a submarine game on 3DS.  The baseball one piqued my curiosity though, so since it was free to download, I figured, why not?

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Unplugged: A Bit of Summer Archery

air_huntress_zcurve_product_copyAs I looked out at the summer rain today, I pondered what to do with my young grade school boys.  Looks like it’s time to break out the bow and arrow and do a bit of indoor archery practice! No, I’m not crazy, but I recently got a hold of some of the kid-friendly bow and arrow toys made by Zing Toys.

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Moshling Rescue (iPad)

MOSHLING_BOXIt’s “Free-to-Play” week here at GamerDad.com, where we’ll look at three games that won’t cost you anything to play (well, sort of).  Anyway, Moshi Monsters is a popular online virtual pet simulator where players take care of various cute monsters and their Moshling pets, as well as play games and have adventures.  And now the Moshlings are starring in their own match-three puzzle game, which plays similar to other titles like Bejeweled and Candy Crush.  It’s free to play and available on Facebook and iOS devices (reviewed on iPad here).

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Mario Kart 8 Toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals

One of Nintendo’s hottest games right now is Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U.  And now you can get toys based on the game in McDonald’s Happy Meals.  Click to take a closer look:

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Pac-Man Monsters (iPad)

PACMON_BOXThe last thing we’ll look at in our “Nutty Namco Week” is a free-to-play game for mobile devices (reviewed on iPad here), starring Namco’s most popular icon: Pac-Man.  But this time he’s being featured in a pretty unusual game.  One popular genre of tablet games that have really taken off are RPG puzzle battle games.  Most use the similar match-three Bejeweled format to select your attacks, and then you can view the outcome on the top part of the screen.  Probably the most well-known of these is Puzzle and Dragons, and I reviewed a similar one a while back called Monster Match.  Now Pac-Man is getting into the fray with his own spin on the puzzle battle RPG craze.

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Wonder Momo: Battle Idol Volume 1 (Book)

MOMO1The next entry in our “Nutty Namco Week” is another hardcover book collection of web comics, and this one is called “Wonder Momo: Battle Idol.”  Wonder Momo was an arcade game in Japan made by Namco (creators of Pac-Man) in the late 80’s.  In the game, you played as young girl Momo and kicked bad guys on a theater stage (there’s an audience and curtains and everything).  If Momo ran into a tornado and spun really fast, she would turn into Wonder Momo, a stronger super-hero version of herself who could throw a hula hoop at bad guys.  The game was meant to be a parody of “Magical Girl” anime cartoons like Sailor Moon, and spoofs of ‘sentai’ super hero shows like Power Rangers.  It was never released in the US, probably due to its slightly suggestive themes.  You had to avoid a photographer in the audience, for instance, who would try and take upskirt pictures of Momo from below.  The flash from the camera would stun Momo for a moment.  Anyhow, Wonder Momo has remained fairly popular in Japan and Namco has had cameo appearances of her in various other games.  Shifty Look, an online web comics site, makes comic strips featuring classic Namco characters, and Wonder Momo is one of their most popular ones.  It spawned a web anime series and now you can get a collection of the first 100 strips in a quality, hardcover book format!  Let’s take a quick look at what’s inside.

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Bravoman Volume 1 (Book)

BRAVO1It’s “Nutty Namco Week” here at GamerDad, where we’ll take a look at new books and games featuring odd Namco characters!  First up is Bravoman!  Bravoman is a classic arcade game by Namco, makers of Pac-Man.  The Bravoman arcade game was released in Japan only, but it did get ported to the US by way of the TurboGrafix-16 game console (and Wii Virtual Console).  It’s a 2-D platformer beat ‘em up featuring a super hero who can stretch his arms and limbs to punch and kick bad guys.  The game is meant to be a silly parody of super heroes and video games.  While Bravoman has made cameo appearances in other Namco titles, he would’ve faded into obscurity had it not been for Shifty Look.  Shifty Look is an online web comics site who has recently published strips featuring obscure Namco game characters.  Bravoman is probably their most successful and long-running series, and has spawned into a high quality web cartoon (featuring prolific cartoon voice actors like Rob Paulsen), and even a tablet game (that one’s not so good).  And now you can buy a hardcover book with the first 100 or so strips from the Bravoman web comic!  Click here to take a closer look!

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Cary’s Best Video Games of 2014 SO FAR Awards Show!

KIRBYAWARDCan you believe this year is already half over?  What I like to do this time of year is write about the best games of the year 2014 so far.  Most of the really good titles come out during the Christmas season at the tail end of the year, and the games that come out earlier tend to be forgotten.  So this is where those games get their due.

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