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

“Cotton” is a series of 2-D horizontally scrolling shooters that were very popular in the 90’s during the 16- and 32-bit eras.  They star a candy-obsessed witch girl named Cotton who flies on her broom as she shoots down foes in spooky yet silly settings.  It’s an example of the “Cute ‘Em Up” subgenre of shooters similar to titles like Twinbee, Parodius, Fantasy Zone, or Ordyne.  In the past few years, many of these classic Cotton games have been re-released on newer platforms and I’ve been able to review them.  But one game in the series hasn’t been released yet, until now.  Rainbow Cotton was 3D on-rails shooter similar to Star Fox and it was on the Dreamcast.  And now you can play it on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Bomb Cat (Switch)

Whenever a game gets popular, there are almost always imitators soon after.  Such is the case with Suika Game.  This was a fruit matching puzzle game that came out last year and gained a bit of notoriety on the Internet.  Heck, even I reviewed it when it was free for a short while on the Nintendo Switch Online Service.  And now here comes Bomb Cat, which is pretty much the exact same game on Switch, but with an explosive twist!

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

A couple of mice are separated by a big cat’s paw, and now it’s up to one to reach the other in this 2-D precision platformer.  It features retro black and white graphics that remind me of the games I used to play on my old Apple ][+ computer when I was a kid.  Ratyrinth is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Freedom Planet 2 (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

When I first started playing Freedom Planet 2 for this review, the first thing I thought of was how much things have changed since then, as it’s been nearly ten years since!  Gaming-wise, I reviewed the first game on a totally different console generation.  Also, Freedom Planet was meant to play like a classic 2-D Sonic style game, at a time when there wasn’t a whole lot of good 2-D Sonic titles around.  But since then we’ve got Sonic Mania and Sonic Superstars, both of which are fairly decent (although I still like Freedom Planet 2 more).  My life has also changed a lot since then, as I have a different job and live in a different place than I did back then.  Even the world has changed, thanks to the COVID pandemic and whatnot.  And now we finally have a sequel to Freedom Planet, and it’s vastly improved over the original game.  Also I’d like to add that I’m so thankful for XSEED, the publishers of this game, as they’ve always been supportive of me and this site since they’ve been around.  Anyway, Freedom Planet 2 is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Mimi the Cat: Mimi’s Scratcher (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Help a cat reach her scratching post in Mimi the Cat: Mimi’s Scratcher.  It’s a “Sokoban” style block pushing puzzle game with a few twists.  Mimi’s scratching post is usually too high for her to reach, so you can push blocks and climb up them.  You can even push two blocks together to make a higher block, but you can’t push it around then.  Climbing on top of a box also lets you jump down over a gap.  Finish a level by reaching the scratching post.  The game is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Pretty Girls Escape PLUS (PS4, PS5, Switch, PC)

Play a color matching block puzzle game while being accompanied by cute anime ladies in Pretty Girls Escape PLUS.  I’ve reviewed this game before, but I’m not sure what the PLUS adds to it as it feels like just more of the same. It’s available on PlayStation consoles, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Let’s Rate the Paper Mario Games!

With the Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door remake coming out on Switch this month, I thought it would be fun to go back and rate all the games in the Paper Mario series.  We’ll do this from worst to best, and only games in the Paper series are going to be on this list.  Well, with one exception.  OK, let’s begin!

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Unplugged: Euthia: Torment of Resurrection (Boardgame)

If there are any Holy Grails in the boardgaming world, it is to find the perfect civilization-building boardgame and the perfect dungeon-crawl/RPG boardgame. Euthia has nothing to do with civilization-building but is a worthy attempt at an RPG style adventure boardgame. Players take on the role of one of several possible heroes and explore a world created by revealing modular map tiles. Over the course of the game heroes will search (or mine) for treasure, go on minor quests, enlist the help of elementals, and (of course) fight monsters. Unlike many games in the genre, each game of Euthia is a one-and-done experience with no need to pack away bits and bobs in order to preserve a specific character for the next exploration. It is nice to have a nice, epic arc of character progression in a single sitting but that does mean a single game can take a good amount of time. There are several scenarios included with the game varying in length from 30 to 100+ minutes PER PLAYER. Thankfully, a 2 player game is quite do-able. For those willing to put in the time, Euthia provides a great, complete RPG/exploration experience in a single sitting, unlike the modern trend of stringing out a good bit of hero/character development over the course of a half-dozen (or more) individual, but linked, plays of a game. An expansion/continuation of the game is currently on Kickstarter until May 16th.

Euthia: Torment of Resurrection
Publisher: Steamforged Games
Players: 1-4
Ages: 14+
Time: 60-480 min
(review copy provided by publisher)

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nBlocks (Switch)

Make your own pixel art style pictures with blocks that resemble LEGO pieces in nBlocks for Nintendo Switch.  And that’s it, really.

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

There is a genre of game called “Sokoban” in Japan and you’ve probably played a game like this, or at least as a puzzle in a dungeon or whatnot.  Any game where you push blocks to certain spaces to solve puzzles can be called “Sokoban.”  So here’s one called SokoFrog where you control a frog pushing around blocks.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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