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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The Fighters of Pokken Tournament

PIKACHUNintendo and Namco have worked together a lot in the past. Namco’s good at making arcade baseball games, so Nintendo had them do some Mario baseball titles.  Namco’s Taiko drum music games were a hit in Japan, so Nintendo had them do Donkey Konga.  And Namco also is known for racing and fighting games, so they helped Nintendo with the arcade Mario Karts and recent Smash Bros. games.  So when Nintendo wanted to make a Pokémon fighting game, Namco was up to the task again, since they are known for fighters like Tekken.  In fact, that’s why the Pokémon fighter is called Pokken, as a combination of Pokémon and Tekken.  So I thought in this blog we’d take a quick look at the game and check out which Pokémon you can play as!

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Unplugged: New York 1901 (Boardgame)

ny1901Become a real estate magnate by constructing the best and the most skyscrapers in New York. Players take turns claiming lots and placing buildings almost-Tetris style onto the game board. Larger buildings are harder to squeeze onto open spaces and are worth more points. At game end, bonus points are awarded for having the most buildings along specific streets as well as a special scoring that is different each game. New York 1901 is a solid entry in the family gaming category. Fun for the older folks, but still playable by the younger (early grade school) set.

 

New York 1901
Publisher: Blue Orange Games
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-4
Time: 45 mins
(Review copy provided by Blue Orange Games)

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Free Skylanders Battlecast Card in Kid Cuisine Meals

TVDINNER1Skylanders is a super-popular toys-to-life video game that features real figurines that you can scan into a game and play as those characters. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to review all the main Skylanders games here at GamerDad.  Now there is also a collectable card game as well called Skylanders Battlecast, which you can also play on mobile devices.  And for a limited time, you can get a free Skylanders Battlecast card in boxes of Kid Cuisine TV dinners (do they even call them TV dinners anymore?).

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Star Ghost (Wii U)

STAR_BOXStar Ghost hearkens back to the good ol’ days of arcade 2-D side-scrolling shooters. Pilot your ship through 12 different star systems with various levels in each, blasting spacecraft and gathering power-ups.  But what makes this downloadable Wii U game unique is how you control your ship.

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The National Videogame Museum Opens in Frisco, TX: Part 2

FRONTYesterday we went over the exhibits in the newly-opened National Videogame Museum in Frisco, TX. If you haven’t read that article, I encourage you to go back and read it, too.  But the museum is more than just exhibits; it’s just as much of a video game art museum as it is a history museum.  So today we’re going to look at the artwork in the museum, all of which was hand-painted by super talented local artists.  We’ll also look at the museum’s awesome arcade and some opening day fun and shenanigans, too!

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The National Videogame Museum Opens in Frisco, TX: Part 1

NVM_LOGOThere are all kinds of museums in the US, but none so far dedicated to the history of video games. Until now!  On Saturday, April 2, the National Videogame Museum opened its doors in Frisco, TX.  Which is cool because that’s only about 15 minutes driving distance from where I live!  So for the next couple of days here at GamerDad.com, I’m going to take you all on a virtual tour of the museum.  But I won’t show you everything!  You’ll just have to come out and see it all for yourself.  And I hope you do, too!  It’s not some rinky-dink operation either.  It’s like something you’d see at E3 or even Disney World!

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The Mini-Games of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz (Vita)

MONKEYBABYI got a PS Vita for Christmas this past year. There are enough games on it that interest me now, but I guess it’s a little late since nobody is making new games for the Vita hardly anymore.  But one of the games I wanted for the Vita was Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz.  Luckily since it’s been out for so long, I was able to get it from Amazon for only 12 bucks!  Which is good considering it’s not much different from past Monkey Ball titles, and they’ve been declining in quality anyway.  But the first two Monkey Ball titles on the GameCube were great, so I always like to give the series a chance anyway, if the price is right.  While the main game has you rolling around a monkey in a ball through mazes and obstacles, many of the Monkey Ball titles have fun mini-games, too.  Banana Splitz included.  So since I like to write about mini-games, here are all the mini-games you can find in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz for Vita.

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Free Play Barcade

ARCADE9One thing I miss about being a kid in the 80’s is going to arcades. You just don’t see them anymore, and if you do, a lot of times they have more modern arcade machines, which I don’t like as much.  But one cool trend I’ve noticed in the past couple of years is the rise of ‘Barcades.’  These are bars that have a bunch of arcade machines in them, and since they try to cater to an older crowd, a lot of times they have old arcade cabinets from the 80’s (and early 90’s are OK, too, I guess).  A couple of months ago, my brother Jeff and I went to one of these barcades close to where we live (well, 30 minutes away anyway, it was in Richardson, TX).  It’s a little late, but I just got around to showing off some of the pictures I took there.

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LEGO Dimensions Midway Arcade Level Pack

MIDWAY1I swear when LEGO Dimensions first came out, the makers did everything they could to get me to want to buy it! LEGO Dimensions plays like other LEGO titles, but incorporates the ‘toys to life’ gaming concepts brought about by Skylanders and Disney Infinity by giving you LEGO characters, vehicles, and items you can use in the game by building them and placing them on a special pedestal.  I wrote a big article about it that you can read here.  Anyway, like I said, they did everything they could to tempt me to get LEGO Dimensions.  They must’ve read my mind and knew I liked Portal, so they put that in the game.  I also like 80’s movies like Back to the Future and Ghostbusters, as well as TV shows like The Simpsons, and those are in here, too.  But the icing on the cake was the recently released Midway Arcade Level Pack.  I’m a huge fan of classic arcade games, so you know I had to get this.  But it’s not what I first expected!

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Replay: VHS is Not Dead (Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

REPLAY_BOXMeet Harvey, the star of a new downloadable game called Replay: VHS is Not Dead. Harvey is just an unassuming average guy who must live in the 80’s or early 90’s, as his favorite thing to do after work is go to the movie rental place and rent lots of tapes to pop into his VCR at home.  Of course, he may also go to that store to see that cute blue-haired girl behind the counter that he likes.  Anyway, one day while renting movies, the lady clerk gives him a remote control along with his rented tapes for some reason.  And on the way home, he gets struck by some weird lightning and manages to survive.  At home, with his VCR tapes still glowing with energy, he still puts them in the VCR and uses the remote control, but then gets sucked into his TV and is stuck in the movies he rented!  Now you must help him and the stars of the movies reach the end so he can escape in this retro-styled 2-D puzzle platformer.  It’s available to download for most of the current gen consoles and PCs, but reviewed on Wii U here.

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