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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PS Vita, We Hardly Knew Ya!

TEARAWAYFor the longest time, I didn’t own Sony’s newest handheld, the PS Vita.  Which may seem strange at first, because I loved the PSP, Sony prior handheld.  In fact, other than the Neo Geo Pocket Color, the PSP was the only other handheld I bought that wasn’t made by Nintendo!  There were lots of PSP games I loved to play: Loco Roco and its sequel, Ys Seven, Half-Minute Hero, Gurumin, Mega Man Powered Up, and many more.  But the Vita just didn’t have as many games that I wanted to play, or at least not enough to warrant purchasing one.  But after a few years they’ve built up enough games that interest me, and since I couldn’t think of anything to ask my family to get me for Christmas, I just threw a Vita on my list and to my surprise I got one late last year as a present!  So here’s my impressions on the Vita and some games I got for it (probably a little too late, but hey, better later than never).

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Unplugged: TANKS – a beginner’s miniatures wargame

TANKS box coverTANKS: Panther vs Sherman Starter Box
Designers: Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates
Publisher: Gale Force Nine, LLC
Players: 2
Ages: 8ish
Time: 30 minutes

TANKS is a new, lightweight system of miniatures from Gale Force Nine, focusing on (surprise) the tank battles of World War II. The idea is to have a fast-playing miniatures wargame to serve as an introduction to the hobby. This is the first wargame by Gale Force Nine, who produce a prodigious amount of pre-painted battle terrain, presumably usable in TANKS games as well as the more complex Flames of War game owned by GF9’s parent company, Battlefront Miniatures.

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Grand Kingdom (PS4, Vita)

GRAND_BOXFour opposing countries have turned their island continent into a war-torn battlefield, and hired mercenaries protect the land rather than chivalrous knights.  You lead a squad of these mercenaries as you take quests from a guild on this continent.  Grand Kingdom is a game that mixes strategy, RPG, and action, and it’s available for the PS4 and Vita (reviewed on Vita here).

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Unplugged: Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters (Boardgame)

ghost fightin boxIn the past decade, the idea of cooperative boardgames, where everyone wins or loses as a team, has blossomed. As dad of young boys, I enjoy playing games together where we can all be on the same side. In Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters!, players move through a haunted mansion to collect all the Treasure Jewels and escape the house before it is overtaken with ghosts. It is that rarely-seen gem of a game that can be enjoyed by kids or adults.

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Kingdom Hearts: Unchained x (iOS, Android)

KINGDOM_BOXKingdom Hearts is one of the most popular game series for developer Square-Enix, and now the latest game in the lineup is a free-to-play title on iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here).  The games successfully merge Disney stars and worlds with famous Final Fantasy game characters in a fun and colorful action RPG.  This new game is supposed to take place in the storyline before any of the others, although I really couldn’t tell.  You’ll first design and create your very own Keyblade warrior’s look and outfit, and then send them off on a touchscreen adventure!

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Cary’s Best Games of 2016 SO FAR Awards Show!

KIRBYROBOTCan 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 so far.  Everyone is all excited over recent E3 announcements, and 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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Kirby Amiibo!

AMIIBO_LOGOI’ve got another batch of amiibo figures to show off, and these are based on the Kirby series!  I like Kirby games even better than Mario ones, so I was pretty excited for these.  Let’s check them out!

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Skylanders: Battlecast (iOS, Google Play, Amazon Appstore)

BATTLECAST_BOXThe Skylanders video games started the whole toys-to-life games phenomenon, where you scan actual toys to play as them in the games.  They’ve become extremely popular over the years and I’ve been lucky enough to review all of the main games here at GamerDad!  And now Skylanders is gearing to take over collectable card games, too!  Now you can buy Skylanders: Battlecast cards and booster packs in stores, and play a new card battle game for free on iOS, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore (reviewed on iPad here).

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Rhythm Heaven Megamix (3DS)

RHYTHM_BOXThere is a little-known series of music games by Nintendo called Rhythm Heaven, yet they have a cult following.  The series first appeared on the Game Boy Advance in Japan only, but also globally on the DS and Wii.  A couple of weeks ago during E3, Nintendo surprised everyone by releasing the newest game in the lineup: Rhythm Heaven Megamix, as a downloadable title on the 3DS eShop in the US! 

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Pocket Card Jockey (3DS)

JOCKEY_BOXGet ready for one of the weirdest game combos this year!  Pocket Card Jockey is a cross between a fast-paced Solitaire game and…horse racing?!?  Yup, and not only is it one of the weirdest games this year, it’s also one of the most addicting.  So much so that after I downloaded the free demo on the 3DS eShop, I forked over the seven bucks it costs for the whole game!  And I enjoyed it so much that I decided to review it, too!

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