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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Clockwork Aquario (PS4, Switch)

There once was a video game company called Westone that made a lot of popular titles, such as the Wonder Boy and Monster World series, and was even responsible for some of the Adventure Island games, too.  But did you know their last arcade game was never released?  It was called Clockwork Aquario and was supposed to be out in the early 1990s.  But because of the popularity of one-on-one fighters and a low score in test markets, this 2-D action platformer never came out.  Until now.  Join a heroic boy, girl, or robot as they venture to an underwater city to stop a fish-man from taking over the world with his robotic sea creatures.  Clockwork Aquario is available to download on PS4 and Switch, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Angry Alligator (Switch, PS4)

Play as an alligator as you eat prey and grow bigger to eat even larger prey in this endless cycle of a 3-D game.  There’s a story about an organization doing experiments on alligators in the swamp and you have to stop them, but it doesn’t seem to matter much in the minute to minute gameplay.  Angry Alligator is available on Switch and PS4, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Unplugged: GamerDad Holiday Guide 2021

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. It is yet another “unusual” year so there may not be as much mixing in your neck of the woods but there are boardgames out there to meet up with almost any taste. If you only have access to online gaming buddies, check out BoardGameArena.com or TableTopia.com. Boardgames are timeless, just as good today as they will be years in the future, so a purchase today will still be serving you well after the lockdowns go away. As we at GamerDad have done for the past 18+ years, it’s time for an annual rundown of recent boardgames well worth your time. Feel free to delve into some past year’s guides for 2020, 2019, 2018, or older as they’re still great candidates for your consideration. 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 $60+ boardgames are expensive, but compare that to video gaming (and where multiple copies are required for multiplayer play) and the economics of boardgaming shows their true value. For each game I’ve provided the publisher (to help you find it), an approximate MSRP (you might find it lower), the number of players, the expected time for one game, and the manufacturer’s recommended ages (and I would say most of these could easily be skewed lower for experienced younger gamers.

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The Jackbox Party Pack 8 (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

If you have a bunch of people over to play games during the holidays, but not enough controllers to play with everyone, then Jackbox has you covered!  Their latest batch of party games is out, and all you need are cell phones or tablets to play them!  Just connect to Jackbox.tv on any mobile device and enter in the room code and you’re in!  It’s pretty simple and works well, and in some games, even people who don’t have cell phones can be part of the audience and participate, too.  The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is available on most anything that can play games, but reviewed on PS4 here.  Let’s take a quick look at the five games on this collection.

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

In a fantasy world full of talking dogs, cats, goats, bears, and others animals, trouble is brewing.  An ancient calamity has returned, making monsters more aggressive and endangering the lives of the people.  You play as a young cat imperial soldier, sent to a small town to help defend the village.  There you’ll discover that to keep the calamity at bay, you must collect several relics from dungeon caves.  And so your adventure begins!  Kitaria Fables is a top down action adventure game, similar to titles like Zelda or more obscure ones like Brave Fencer Musashi.  There’s a heavy emphasis on crafting materials and items, too, so you’ll do a lot of mining for ores and farming crops.  So the game has a lot in common with titles like Rune Factory as well.  It’s available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Pretty Girls Panic! PLUS (PS4, PS5, Switch, PC)

Play a classic styled arcade game to reveal pictures of anime ladies in Pretty Gals Panic! PLUS.  It’s very similar to Pretty Girls Panic, which I reviewed recently, but adds new graphics, characters, and gameplay mechanics.  It’s available on PlayStation consoles, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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D&D Plushies: Cuddly & Deadly

I recently received a box of miniature figurines from Wizkids, and hiding among the packing material was a surprise bonus of four little Dungeons and Dragons plushies. The line of stuffed “animals’ ‘ is officially called Dungeons & Dragons: Phunny Plush by Kid Robot. They are cute and are an excellent representation of some of the most unique, entertaining, and possibly deadly inhabitants of the D&D universe. The four of them are currently guarding my desk for me at school. With the holiday season approaching, I thought I’d pass on a brief rundown on them in case there’s someone in your life who needs something soft to protect their stocking or bed.

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Pizza Pixel Podcast Episode 5: The Disney One

When I do one of my podcasts with my brothers, I try to think of a topic that we can both talk about enthusiastically.  I’ve noticed my brother Nathan really likes to talk about Disney parks and stuff, so that’s what we did in this one!  We talked about our top five favorite Disney characters and our top five favorite rides at the Disney World theme parks!

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KeyWe (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, PC)

Jeff and Debra are two kiwi birds who have just applied for a post office job in a Podunk town in the middle of the Australian Outback.  Unfortunately the mail room isn’t designed for two pint-sized kiwis, so they’ll really have to work together and use their beaks and butts to type out telegrams, mail letters, and sort inbound and outbound packages!  KeyWe is a co-op action game available for most current consoles, but reviewed on Switch here.

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

Teacup is a frog who loves tea, but on the day before her big tea party, she runs out of ingredients!  Oh no!  Help her explore her town full of animals, talking with her friends and playing mini-games to gather everything she needs to have the best tea party ever.  Teacup is available on nearly every current game console, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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