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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River City Melee Mach!! (PS4, Switch, PC)

In Japan there is a popular series of video games that has gone back since the 80s starring a character named Kunio-kun.  Kunio is a hot-blooded high school student who sometimes gets into fights and trouble, but always stands up for his friends and against bullies.  Kunio also likes to play sports and when he’s not beating up baddies, he’s competing in events like soccer or dodgeball.  Some of Kunio’s games have made it to the US under name or graphical changes.  If you’ve ever played a game like Renegade, River City Ransom, Crash N the Boyz Street Challenge, or Super Dodge Ball, then you’ve played a Kunio game!  Now all the characters in the Kunio series are gearing up for a four-player free-for-all martial arts tournament with River City Melee Mach!!  It’s available to download on PS4, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Untitled Goose Game (Switch, PC)

Thanksgiving is this month, but instead of turkey, you may want to eat goose instead after playing this game.  Untitled Goose Game is a unique and original comical stealth action game where you play as a goose out to cause mischief and mayhem to humans in a small town setting.  It’s available to download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Pig Eat Ball (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The King of Cake rules the space station kingdom and has a pig daughter named Princess Bow.  One day he has a contest to decide who will marry her, but she wants none of that so she dons a disguise and competes in the contests herself.  Along the way she’ll discover a threat to her kingdom and must save the day in the process. So what are these contests?  Well, you must run around mazes and eat these tennis ball-like things to win.  But when you eat a lot of them, you get fatter and can’t fit through narrow corridors.  So what do you do?  You press a button to barf up the balls so you can be thin enough to fit in the mazes again.  So yeah, it’s Pac-Man with gross bodily functions.  Yay?  Pig Eat Ball is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Day and Night (Switch)

Day and Night is a Tetris-like puzzler exclusively on Nintendo Switch.  I was really surprised how good this game was.  It’s very polished and feels like a complete game, unlike a lot of the other indie titles I’ve played.  It’s also pretty original, too.  Most of these puzzlers play exactly like another game, such as Crystal Crisis pretty much copying Puzzle Fighter.  But Day and Night is kind of its own thing.  If you like playing Switch puzzlers like Tetris 99, you’ll definitely want to read this review!

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Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

The Gunvolt game series is made by Inti Creates, who specializes in mostly 2-D action games.  In fact, they helped make some of Capcom’s Mega Man titles and spinoffs, including the Mega Man Zero series.  Gameplay-wise, the Gunvolt games play a lot like Mega Man X, just a bit more anime-ish.  And now the newest in the Gunvolt saga is out, and stars a side character named Copen and his adorable android helper Lola.  But it’s still the same kind of 2-D action that Gunvolt and Mega Man X fans love.  Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avengers iX is available to download on all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Kine (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Three personified musical instruments aspire to play together on the main stage, but in order to get there, they must solve puzzles along the way.  Help Roo the piano-turned-accordion, Quat the drummer, and Euler the trombone solve 3-D puzzles in this downloadable game for all current game consoles (reviewed on Switch here).

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Family Tree (Switch)

A family of fruits lives peacefully in an orchard, but late one night Pedro the Day of the Dead-looking skull swoops down and fruit-naps all the babies!  Now it’s up to the Daddy (?) Fruit to get them all back in this action platform game that mixes pinball and Breakout elements.  Family Tree is available to download exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

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Mario Kart Tour (Mobile)

When the first Super Mario Kart game came out on the SNES, I knew it would be big the first time I saw it.  That first game even ended up being one of my top five favorite games of all time.  But I don’t know if I realized just HOW big it would end up being, with eight games in the main series, three arcade titles, a VR attraction, an upcoming ride at Universal Studios, and tons of toys and products like slot car tracks and Hot Wheels sets!  Wow!  So naturally when Nintendo was thinking about what games to bring to mobile devices, Mario Kart would eventually be one of them.  So here comes the free-to-play Mario Kart Tour (reviewed on iPad here).  So is it any good?  You’ll just have to read on to find out!

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Cloudspire (Boardgame)

Cloudspire is a boardgame based around the extremely popular MOBA and tower defense genres of videogames. MOBAs have players working as a team of individual characters trying to destroy an enemy base, while fighting the other team and its stream of AI controlled “minions” streaming out of the opponent’s base. In Cloudspire, players send out heroes (which they control) and minions (which are sent out and just march along) against the other player (or players) in an attempt to wear down and destroy the opponent’s home base. Cloudspire provides plenty of gameplay in one package, with diverse starting factions (each with unique play styles) and many options of play (such as both solo, cooperative, and competitive modes.)

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The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors (PS4, Switch)

Taito Corporation has had a very important part in the history of video games.  They made such greats as Bubble Bobble, Arkanoid, and a phenomenon you might remember called Space Invaders.  They’ve always tried to innovate in the arcade scene, and one thing they did in the mid to late 80s was make a couple of arcade cabinets that were three screens long!  The first one was a 2-D shooter called Darius, which I loved.  The second one I wasn’t into as much, but it was certainly more popular and lasted longer in arcades (from what I noticed), and that was The Ninja Warriors.  It was a 2-D side scrolling beat ‘em up starring a male and female ninja team who were actually robots (this was the 80s after all).  Anyway, after this hit, other companies followed suit with multi screen games of their own, like the arcade version of Tecmo Bowl and later, Konami’s X-Men arcade game.  So, back to The Ninja Warriors.  Years later, they made a sequel on the Super Nintendo called The Ninja Warriors Again.  They had to ditch the three screen format, but they added new characters, enemies, and better graphics.  And now they’re back once again with The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors.  It’s a port of the SNES game featuring more enhanced graphics, sounds, and added unlockable characters.  It kind of makes me think of if the game were on more advanced 16-bit hardware, like the NEO GEO.  Why the name change, though?  I think it may have to do with the popular American Ninja Warrior game show, which probably has more clout.  Anyway, The Ninja Saviors is available to download on PS4 and Switch, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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