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

Arrange blocks to fill a playfield in Settris.  It kind of reminds me of the pentomino board game, which Tetris was based on, as well as those tanogram puzzles.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Lily in Puzzle World (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Help Lily, a pill-shaped happy face, get through 50 single screen puzzle platform stages in Lily’s Puzzle World.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Nacon Colorlight Wired Gamepad

I was recently offered a Nacon Colorlight gamepad to try out, and so I did. It is a somewhat high-end wired controller for use with an Xbox or PC. It’s most noticeable feature is its clear shell containing six programmable LED lights. As a wired controller, it is also catering to the hard-core gamer in order to minimize lag found in wireless controllers. I found the controller comfortable, easy to set up and more than enough for my casual gaming needs.

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DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Your favorite DreamWorks computer animated movie characters have come together to race each other in this kart game!  Compete with characters and race on tracks based on all sorts of DreamWorks franchises like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Bad Guys, Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon, Boss Baby, Trolls, and Megamind!  The game is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Head Bangers: Rhythm Royale (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Battle Royale games, where you compete online against a bunch of others for the number one spot, are becoming very popular lately.  Most of these are shooters, but some are a bit more creative, like Tetris 99 or the more recent racer F-Zero 99.  And now there’s a music/rhythm battle royale game with Head Bangers: Rhythm Royale!  Play as your very own head bobbing silly pigeon as you play music mini games (kind of reminds me of Rhythm Heaven), as you compete for the highest score.  And on a personal record, it’s the first Battle Royale style game I’ve gotten first place on!  Head Bangers is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Astrosmash (Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

I never had an Intellivision game console as a kid, but my cousins did and I remember playing it over at their house when I’d visit them in Alabama.  While I mostly remember playing Frog Bog with my cousin, I also remember Astrosmash.  I could’ve sworn it was the pack-in game for the system, but it wasn’t.  But it sure was popular and I recall seeing it everywhere.  They even used it in one of my local TV station’s TV Pow segments as a kid, which was a thing back then (look it up).  At any rate, Astrosmash is a like a cross between Space Invaders and Asteroids, and it was one of the Intellivision’s top sellers.  And now you can play a remake of it on some game consoles and PC, but it’s reviewed on Switch here.

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Unplugged: GamerDad Holiday Guide 2023

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. There are boardgames out there to meet up with almost any taste.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 20-odd 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 2022, 2020, 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 (or more) 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 can probably find it lower), the number of players, the expected time for one game, and the manufacturer’s recommended ages. These age listings are often set for legal reasons and I would say most could easily be skewed lower for experienced younger gamers.

On with the show!

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Dreamworks Trolls Remix Rescue (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

With a couple of musical movies, holiday specials, and a TV series, Trolls is one of DreamWorks most successful franchises.  And now there’s a new video game!  An evil troll has hypnotized everyone by playing smooth jazz from his magical clarinet, and now it’s up to Poppy, Branch, and others to stop him in this 3D platformer.  You can even create your own troll character to play as!  The game is available on current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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

Play as a mean alien as you drive around your buzzsaw equipped UFO and mow down cows in Excessive Trim.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Alive Paint (PS4, PS5, Switch)

Alive Paint is a virtual coloring book program where when you finish a picture, it starts a little animation.  It’s available on PlayStation consoles and Switch, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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