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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Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ (PS4, Switch)

One of my all time favorite 2-D shooter series is Darius.  I have a lot of memories playing the games, and the first arcade title was three screens long!  It also has one of my favorite video game tunes of all time: the first stage’s Captain NEO.  There’s nothing really special about the series except the bosses are all giant robot fish.  But it just has a style about it that I like for some reason.  The latest in the series is Dariusburst, which believe it or not, actually started out as a mobile game!  Later it got ported to consoles and arcades, each time adding something to the name, which is why the title is so ridiculous now.  And now you can play the arcade version on your PS4 or Switch (reviewed on PS4 here).

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Reader Review: Metroid Zero Mission: Playing My Way to Metroid Dread

Out of the blue my younger brother Nathan send me a review of Metroid Zero Mission for GBA, telling me that he is going to try to play all the Metroid games before Metroid Dread comes out.  So here it is!  Do be sure to read it!  –Cary

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Fly TOGETHER! (Switch)

A couple of years ago I downloaded a game temporarily on sale for the Switch for mere pennies called Conduct TOGETHER!  It was basically a virtual train set where you had to dispatch trains to stations and made sure they didn’t run into each other.  But you were limited to the tracks on the ground.  But now in the sequel, the sky’s the limit with Fly TOGETHER!, where you basically do the same thing, but with airplanes!

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Pretty Girls Klondike Solitaire (PS4, PS5, Switch, PC)

Play solitaire while unlocking outfits for a host of busty anime ladies in Pretty Girls Klondike Solitaire.  It’s available for current PlayStation consoles, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

We all know Sonic the Hedgehog as SEGA’s beloved mascot.  But did you know that before Sonic came along, SEGA had a roster of other mascots?  One was Opa-Opa, a winged spaceship with feet who starred in the Fantasy Zone series.  Another popular one was Alex Kidd, who starred in a bunch of games for the 8-bit SEGA Master System.  His very first game was Alex Kidd in Miracle World, which was definitely made in response to compete with the more popular NES title Super Mario Bros.  In the game, Alex Kidd uses his giant fist and martial arts skills to save the Radaxian kingdom from the evil Janken in this 2-D platformer.  And now the game has been given a new lease on life with a DX remake featuring enhanced graphics and sound.  It’s available on most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.  So does Alex make good on his second chance?  You’ll just have to read on to find out.

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Mondoku (Mobile)

So what happens when you mix Sudoku puzzles with modern art?  You get Mondoku, that’s what!  You know how in Sudoku, you must place numbers on a grid so that no two of the same numbers appear on a row or column of squares?  Well what if those squares were different sizes?  That’s what you have to deal with in Mondoku, and when you finish a puzzle, the squares will be colored in and look like those famous modern art paintings by Piet Mondrian (yeah I had to look that up, I’m not THAT cultured).  Anyway, Mondoku is a free-to-play mobile game, but reviewed on iPad here.

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Beasts of Maravilla Island (Switch, PC)

Boy do I love me some New Pokémon Snap!  I even named it my Game of the Year SO FAR recently.  It’s just so much fun taking pictures of Pokémon.  But what if I told you there was another game where you get to take pictures of mythical creatures, but instead of being on-rails, you’re free to move around in 3-D space!  Well that’s exactly what you get to do in Beasts of Maravilla Island.  In the game you play as Marina, a young woman who was told fantastical stories of a magical island with one of a kind creatures by her grandfather.  When her grandfather passes away, she inherits his camera and journal, with his dying wish for her to photograph the creatures on this island to prove to the world that it exists.  So now she’s off on an expedition in this 3-D photography game that takes elements from titles like Pokémon Snap and the photo mini-games in Beyond Good and Evil.  It’s available to play on Nintendo Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Summer of SNK: Part 2

Last time we looked at the arcade cabinet shaped NEO GEO Mini, which has a total of 40 games!  That’s enough to split this blog series into two parts, so here’s the second part with the rest of the games on this mini console.

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

One of my favorite sports video games of all time is Super Dodge Ball on the NES.  In fact, it was my number one favorite sports game until Wii Sports came along.  So when I heard about Knockout City, a 3-D online dodgeball game that’s free to start on the Switch, I was willing to give it a try!

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Retrograde Arena (Switch, PC)

Retrograde Arena is a multiplayer twin stick shooter, with a retro vector visual style.  It’s free for Nintendo Switch Online users, so I figured, ‘what the heck, I’ll give it a go.’  Like most twin stick shooters, you move with the left JoyCon and aim with the right.  Fire your lasers with the Z trigger button.  But from what I could tell, most weapons won’t kill you, but push you back farther.  Firing your own weapon does that, too, so you can use that to your advantage to move faster.  What you really have to watch out for are dangerous walls that you can bump into, that can ether bounce you around or outright kill you!

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