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 Games of the Turbo Grafx-16 Mini: Part 2

For the next two parts of the games on the TG-16 Mini, we’re going to look at (mostly) the US releases.  Some of the same games are also on the PC Engine Japanese side, but I’ll let you know which ones are like that when we get to them.  OK let’s begin!

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Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

What if WarioWare style games were popular back in the NES days?  Then Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio is what you’d get!  You play as Tcheco, a man…boy…not sure…who must venture inside the Castle of Lucio which isn’t much like a castle at all.  You must travel through single screen rooms quickly figuring out platforming challenges to nab keys and make it to the exit of each area.  But each room is weirder than the last!  The game has been available on PC for some time now.  In fact, five years ago my friend reviewed it for me on Steam!  But now you can play it on consoles as well (reviewed on Switch here).

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Superliminal (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

You are participating in the SomnaSculpt Dream Therapy Program.  It involves lucid dreams where you can control what happens and perception can become reality.  But something feels like it’s gone wrong and you’re stuck in the dream and can’t seem to wake up.  Solve first person perspective puzzles where anything can happen and rules are made to be broken.  Anything goes in this downloadable game for all current consoles and PC (reviewed on PS4 here).

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The Games of the Turbo Grafx-16 Mini: Part 1

Miniature versions of classic game consoles with pre-loaded games has become very popular in the past few years.  First we got mini versions of the NES and SNES, and then SEGA came out with one for the Genesis.  And now we have the Turbo Grafx-16 Mini!  It was supposed to come out last year, but got delayed.  Because of the Corona virus, I didn’t think it would ever come out.  But a couple of months ago, I got mine in the mail!  I just now got a chance to play it, so we’ll take a look at all the games on it.  Because there are so many games (almost 60), I’ll have to split this up into several parts over the next few weeks.

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Cross Code (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

In the future, people transfer their minds and thoughts into an empty shell avatar on another planet so they can play an online game called CrossWorlds, except it’s actually on a real planet in a distant galaxy!  But there’s trouble brewing on this planet.  You play as Lea, an avatar who has lost her memory and wakes up on a ship heading towards the island where the game is played.  Could her memory loss have something to do with what’s been going on?  You’ll find out in Cross Code, a 2-D top down viewed action RPG game for nearly all current game systems and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.  It kind of reminds me of a cross between the Avatar movie and the .hack anime.

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Unplugged: Tales from the Loop (RPG)

Imagine a game set in the 80s where kids on bikes explore their local town. While dealing with every-day problems of parents, bullying, and homework they simultaneously need to sort out strange, otherworldly happenings that somehow just don’t seem to grasp the attention of the adults. One’s first thought may be to think of the Netflix series, Stranger Things but I’m actually referring to the role playing game, Tales from the Loop. The Tales from the Loop role playing game (tagline: Roleplaying in the ‘80s That Never Was) was actually conceived as a stretch goal of a Kickstarter project over a year before the Netflix series ever aired. The Kickstarter project actually set out to compile the hauntingly nostalgic art of Simon Stålenhag of Sweden. His images contrast the everyday life of living in a small town in the 80s, juxtapositioned with what-if images of robots and alien technology. The two art books were easily funded, and a stretch goal was set out (and met) to create a role-playing game based on the art. In a serendipitous moment, the role playing book was released just a few short months after the Stranger Things series and the hype from the Netflix series helped to push the role playing game into the limelight. Jump forward a few years, and publishers have now released a Starter Edition of the game, containing premade characters, the basic rules, dice, and a short playable scenario. Combined with Simon Stålenhag’s surreal art, the box serves as an excellent introduction to the core mechanics and standard backstory for the game.  (One final aside, we’ve now come full circle for both Tales from the Loop and Stranger Things.  You can watch Tales from the Loop on Amazon Prime and there’s a version of the D&D RPG based on the Stranger Things series on Netflix.)

Tales from the Loop (Roleplaying in the ‘80s That Never Was)
Publisher: Free League Publishing
(Review copy provided by Free League Publishing)

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Sisters Royale (Switch, PS4, Xbox One)

Five sisters with magical powers are prophesied to work together to defeat an evil being.  Only problem is, the sisters hate one another.  And instead of working together, they’re fighting each other over the love of a man!  Sounds like a pretty crazy story for a ‘bullet hell’ 2-D shooter, but that’s what this is!  It was available earlier this year on Switch and PS4, but is now on Xbox One as well.  But I’m reviewing it on Switch.

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Cary’s Best Games of 2020 SO FAR Awards Show!

WORST.  YEAR.   EVER.  I think we can all agree that 2020 has been one of the worst years in our lifetime, what with the Coronavirus, quarantines, riots and looting, and much more.  Some days I wonder if we’ll EVER get through this.  But there is one good thing about this year so far.  We’ve had quite a lot of really good games come out the first half of this year!  Normally I like to write a blog this time of year with my favorite games of the year so far, because the holiday titles and E3 announcements usually take precedence by the end of the year.  Of course, because of the Coronavirus there was no E3 this year, and as of this writing we still don’t know what big games will be out for Christmas.  Just another reason why this year sucks.  So I don’t know how much different my list will be by the end of the year.  But keep in mind that this is my list and my picks only, no outside opinions and whatnot.  And if a game isn’t on my list, it either just didn’t appeal to me or I haven’t played it yet.  Can’t play ‘em all, you know!  But with that out of the way, let’s take a look at my picks.

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Unplugged: A Trio of Cat Boardgames

In the past few decades we’ve seen the power of cats. Take a popular item and stick a cat on it, and its popularity grows. Examples include Garfield (whose creator took a look and decided a cat-comic would sell well) and an extremely popular cat-based card game. (A cat game who must not be named – I fail to see the attraction of its randomness.) Today I want to take a look at a few cat-themed games that I’ve encountered in the past year or so. Cat Lady has players drafting cards off of a 3×3 grid to score points at the end of the game. Kibble Scuffle has players playing cats around feeding bowls in order to trigger a feeding phase. The Lady and the Tiger is a slight outlier, as only half of its richly illustrated cards show a tiger. It is also more than one game in a box as it contains five different games that can be played using the cards and glass tokens in the box. The three games span a wide variety of play styles, so there is sure to be one (or more) fit for your gaming needs.

 

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Welcome to Drill Land!

Hurry, hurry, hurry!  Step right up for the latest theme park attraction!  It’s a theme park based around Mr. Driller, and it’s all underground!  Sounds safe enough, right?  Anyway, Mr. Driller Drill Land was an awesome GameCube title, but it only stayed in Japan.  But now you can download it on Nintendo Switch in the US!  Finally!  Each attraction represents a game mode in this theme park, and I’m going to take you on a tour of all of them!  So let’s begin!

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