The Dad Crew Is Gaming For Good And We Need Your Help!

What could possibly better than spending the day playing video games? What about a day spent gaming that benefits children in need?

Well that’s the name of the game here at The Dad as we join gamers around the world to give back this weekend.

In partnership with Extra Life, an organization that works with gamers to turn their gaming into donations from friends and fans, The Dad Gaming will be hosting a 24-hour marathon of gaming, all to benefit children’s hospitals across the United States. Anyone can participate and compete for prizes, watch from home on Twitch, or donate to the cause.

Executive Editor of The Dad, Joel Willis, says it’s been a dream of his and the team’s to leverage their love of gaming for a good cause. “Since The Dad started in November 2017, gaming has been a favorite topic of our team and our audience. So creating a gaming group with virtual gaming events was an exciting and natural fit.”

Like many parents who came of age in the 90s, video games were a major part of growing up for Willis. However as real life sets in, parents often have little time for what was once a huge influence in their younger years. “Until I bought my kids a Nintendo Switch last Christmas, I hadn’t had a gaming system of my own since Nintendo 64,” Willis admits. However thanks to new gaming systems and revamped classics, the entire family can now game together in ways never before possible.

So Willis and his crew set out to form a team of dads and moms who can game together. “We created The Dad Gaming group on Facebook a couple of months ago. We’re now closing in on 10,000 group members. We have regular events/leagues in 7 games: Fortnite, Call of Duty, Mario Kart, PUBG, Madden, Rocket League, and Destiny, with more to come.”

To celebrate the group’s success, The Dad Team will be gaming for good in a 24-hour mega marathon beginning Saturday, November 2nd. “At The Dad, we love giving back and spotlighting those in need, so Extra Life is a perfect fit,” Willis says, adding “I see it as a walkathon for charity, except with video games.” That’s right. You can raise money form your couch. 2019 baby!

An initial schedule of events has been released, but like your kid making up their mind on a halloween costume, it’s subject to change.

(The Dad Gaming | Extra Life)

The team has set an ambitious goal of raising $10,000 in just one day so we need your help! We’re still looking for gamers, so anyone interested in joining our team or donating before the event can visit the team’s official fundraising page here.

Reuben Qualls, Team Captain here at The Dad, will be raising money for UC Davis Children’s Miracle Network, but there are children’s charities across the nation who need your support. Qualls says no matter who you’re playing for, it’s all about spreading the word on game day. “On the Extra Life event page on Facebook, we’ve linked all kinds of helpful information from Extra Life itself, including articles on best practices for fundraising, a Media Kit with things like flyers and avatars you can use to help in your fundraising efforts, as well as a Broadcaster Kit, with all kinds of stuff any participating streamers can use to add some Extra Life flair to their streams.”

So this weekend you can put away the mower and hunker in for some flatscreen fury and join us as we play for a purpose and have a few laughs too. We’ll be sharing updates throughout the weekend, so stay tuned for even more info heading your way!

10+ Drinking Games That Aren’t Just Beer Pong (But Yeah, That Too)

Adult Drinking Games
(Getty/Moussa81)

Who says drinking games are just for college kids and frat parties? Admittedly, now that we’re adults, we’ve let the art of imbibing get a little boring. Drinking now might be tossing back a few cocktails during dinner or whiskey on the rocks while working from home after hours. Why, though? Why aren’t we playing Kings with our friends on a Friday night? And there’s no reason we shouldn’t “Ride the Bus” or play Flip Cup with our partner.

Besides, now seems like the best time to bring drinking games back. After all, it’s not like we can go out and chase down fun in all the usual ways (thanks again, COVID-19). While the drinking games with cards we’ve included here might only work well in person with people in your pod or “core four,” that doesn’t mean all social drinking is out. You could easily fire up a Zoom meeting with your pals and play a game of Truth or Drink.

So, the next time you order groceries, order up some Blue Ribbon or Fireball. Then set out on an endeavor to bring drinking games back to your life as a grown-up.

Adult Drinking Games With Cards

1. Pyramid or Beeramid

Pyramid is the ultimate BSing card game. First, you set up a “pyramid” by placing cards face down: six cards on the bottom row, five on the next, then four, three, two, and one card on the top row. Afterward, the dealer deals each player three cards. From there, you try to get your friends to drink based on what cards they think you have.

2. Horse Race

Like betting but don’t want to waste alcohol money on a horse race? In this drinking game, you bet using drinks instead of money and each ace card is a “horse.” The best part: Literally no skill is required. It’s all left to chance.

3. Ride The Bus/Around The World

The best way to describe Ride the Bus? It’s kinda like drunken Uno. The object of the game is to get rid of your cards.

4. Kings

In this game of chance, how much you drink depends entirely on the cards you draw. Many cards (especially face cards) have rules unique to each friend group, family, or gaming establishment. We love it because it’s your chance to personalize it based on your friends and setting.

Drinking Games For 2+ Adults

5. Beer Pong

Beer Pong is probably the drinking game that requires the most skill and coordination. It’s also absolutely the most popular game played at frat and sorority parties. But, who says you can’t play it on your wife’s farmhouse dining room table?!

6. Flip Cup

The only game as popular as beer pong at frat parties is Flip Cup. Setup is cheap: Some disposable cups and whatever you want to drink, even Natty Lite. And the object of the game is simply to flip cups and get drunk.

7. Quarters

You may have played quarters at a college party back in the day, too. But you don’t have to have a big group in order to play. As a matter of fact, sitting at a table and bouncing quarters with just your best bro or lady is equally chill and fun.

8. Drunk Jenga

Drunk Jenga is another game that’s easy to play as a pair. And it only gets more fun the more you drink.

Drinking Games For 3+ Adults

9. Fingers/Finger Spoof

If we’re being real, Fingers is a little iffy as far as sanitation goes. After all, the game is played by everyone putting their fingers on the rim of the glass and betting how many people will drink. That’s a lot of fingers where your mouth will go. You do you, though. After all, drinking games and questionable behavior sort of go hand-in-hand (or, in this case, fingers-in-beer).

10. Wizard Staff

Wizard Staff is kinda like Edward Forty-Hands. But in this case, instead of taping your drinks to your hands, you tape them to each other. Each time you crack open a new beer, you tape it to the top of your empty can. The more you drink, the more cans you stack, thus creating a wizard staff. Whose will be the biggest?

11. Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever can be played in a pair or in a larger group, but it’s definitely best played with people you know well. The concept is simple. You take turns saying, “Never have I ever…” and following up with something fun or scandalous. (“Never have I ever gotten so drunk that I puked” or “Never have I ever cheated on someone.”) Anyone who has done that thing takes a drink.

12. Truth or Drink

Truth or Drink is very similar to Never Have I Ever. In this game, though, one person poses a question and players either answer or — you guessed it — drink. There’s an actual game you can buy, but you can easily DIY it by writing questions on index cards or simply pulling them from thin air.

Selfless 12-Yr-Old Has Touching Reaction When Neighbors Buy Him a Lawn Mower

Neighbors buy 12-year-old a new lawn mower
(YouTube/RightThisMinute)

Sometimes we just don’t give kids enough credit for setting amazing examples for the rest of us. While many of us are already overwhelmed with everything we have to get done in a single day, kids take their time exploring and learning about the world around them. While we may encounter certain things so often that we don’t fully process them anymore, kids notice problems and set out to fix them.

Since he was old enough to lift a helping hand, 12-year-old Ethan Reynolds from Columbus, Indiana has gone out of his way to do so. He volunteers at nursing homes, animal shelters, and makes it a priority to give to those in need. In fact, last Christmas, Ethan forewent a typical kid’s wish list. While his friends were asking for toys and video games, Ethan asked for something that ultimately wasn’t even for him. Ethan asked for a lawnmower, hoping to use it to help neighbors in need.

When this big-hearted 12-year-old noticed members of his community asking for money and food on the street when COVID began impacting jobs, he set out to help. Starting with whatever money he had available, Ethan bought non-perishable food and personal hygiene products that his community desperately needed. He set out a table on his front lawn, wrote “Free Food” on a sign out front, and Ethan’s Table was born.

Ethan’s compassion awakened something in his community, and before he knew it, neighbors began adding their own donations to his table. Being 12 doesn’t pay all that well, so Ethan began doing lawn work for his neighbors to raise money. With the money he made, he bought more food to keep Ethan’s Table stocked.

Unfortunately, the lawnmower this determined 12-year-old had been using was every dad’s worst nightmare. It was old, rusty, and would frequently break down mid-job. Ethan had unshakable determination, but he was held back by his less-than-ideal equipment.

Filled with gratitude for Ethan’s constant support, his community stepped up, thrilled to give something back to the little boy who constantly gives so much himself. Ethan’s community got together and bought the most important item on his Christmas list – a new lawnmower.

Ethan was overwhelmed when he realized the brand new lawnmower sitting in front of his house actually belonged to him – Ethan fell to the ground, bubbling over with excitement about all the people this lawnmower would allow him to help.

“We try to have $75-$100 worth of food on the table every day,” Ethan’s website explains.

Though he frequently receives donations, Ethan puts in the work to make sure that nobody in his community goes hungry. Every community needs an Ethan, and every Ethan needs a lawnmower. Fortunately for everyone, this generous boy’s Christmas wish came true.

UK Mom of Two Makes Inclusive Dolls So All Kids Can Feel Represented

Mom makes inclusive dolls
(Facebook/BrightEarsUK)

Seeing your child feel left out is always challenging. But while being left out at school can be fairly easily remedied with a few phone calls, being left out in other ways are far more difficult to address.

When kids are born with disabilities or medical conditions that change their appearance, over time they may begin to feel isolated because they look different from their friends. As if that isn’t difficult enough, kids who look different from their peers rarely see themselves represented anywhere. Not in their favorite movies or TV shows, not in their favorite bedtime stories, and not in the toy aisle at their local Target.

After her daughter was fitted for hearing aids, one UK mom named Clare Tawell set out to address the glaring gap in representation created by toy companies. Kids with altered appearances were previously unable to find dolls that looked like them, which was heartbreaking for parents and kids alike. But by modifying dolls, Tawell did much more than creating unique toys – she helped kids feel included.

Posted by Bright Ears UK on Friday, June 12, 2020

Tawell started an Etsy shop in 2017 to sell her inclusive dolls and went on to found a nonprofit called Bright Ears UK. Through her nonprofit, Tawell aims to create dolls that empower kids by helping them feel represented.

“I’m not doing it to make money,” she told BBC. “This is just fulfilling the need that isn’t being met.”

After seeing how great of an impact a doll with a hearing aid had on her own daughter, Tawell wanted to give as many kids as possible the same sense of belonging. Though Tawell is a one-woman operation at the moment, she expresses hope that major toy companies will follow her lead and create lines of inclusive dolls. Feedback from parents who have purchased Tawell’s incredible dolls have expressed a similar sense of awe – in just three years, Bright Ears has helped kids around the world feel seen.

“I know first-hand how special and empowering these dolls can be to children,” she said.

Marvel and Mark Ruffalo Honor Chadwick Boseman on His 44th Birthday

MCU honors chadwick on birthday
(Twitter/Kevfeige)

It’s only been a few months since the world was stunned by Chadwick Boseman’s sudden passing. Sudden to us, at least, as we were unaware of his four-year battle with cancer.

On November 29th, Boseman would have celebrated his 44th birthday. Instead, the world mourned him anew, as he was the subject of several tributes.

Marvel announced that they had changed the design of their opening credits to pay tribute to the fallen Black Panther star. The new opening, which typically shows pages of comics turning, now ends with images of Black Panther concept art, followed by shots of Boseman in Civil War, Infinity War, and Endgame.

We also hear one of T’Challa’s quotes – “In times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers.” – before the credits wrap up with the star giving the Wakanda salute.

Marvel Studios head honcho, Kevin Feige, shared the studio’s new opening, adding “miss you” to his tweet:

Feige wasn’t the only colleague of Chadwick’s who chimed in. Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo, posted a video of
a previous birthday celebration that was held on-set.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo)

In the months since his passing, it’s clear that Boseman not only meant a lot to the on-screen marvel universe but to the off-screen one as well. And not just Marvel. Boseman’s final performance, in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which hits Netflix this December, is garnering major Oscar buzz, signaling that the actor may receive a posthumous award next spring.

It’s a tragedy that someone so beloved and so talented had his career cut short by cancer, but judging by the birthday tributes and award buzz, it’s clear the star won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

Chadwick forever!

The Star Wars Universe Pays Tribute to David Prowse, the Man Behind Darth Vader

David Prowse
(Twitter/Hamillhimself)

The Star Wars universe lost one of the true originals recently when the man behind Darth Vader passed away. Vader was famously voiced by James Earl Jones, but the man behind the mask and in the iconic suit was David Prowse, who recently passed away at the age of 85 from COVID-19.

The Star Wars world owes a lot to the menacing Prowse, who greatly contributed to one of the greatest movie villains in history. And also, one of the best dad characters, depending on how you view Vader’s grand arc in the story.

His management company released a statement announcing the news.

“It’s with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and millions of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85,” Bowington Management said on Twitter Sunday.

His former agent released a statement to the BBC, saying “May the force be with him, always! Though famous for playing many monsters, for myself and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives.”

In addition to playing Vader, he also played Frankenstein’s monster in three different movies, but the role he repeatedly said his favorite was in a series of road safety campaigns in the U.K.

Social media was flooded with praise for the man behind the mask, as Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself, took to Twitter to say a few words about his movie dad.

“So sad to hear David Prowse has passed. He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader. Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the Order of the British Empire-3 time British Weightlifting Champion & Safety Icon the Green Cross Code Man. He loved his fans as much as they loved him. #RIP”

George Lucas released a statement to StarWars.com and said he made “Vader leap off the page and onto the big screen” and contributed to the success of a memorable, tragic figure.

Prowse was originally given the choice between being Chewbacca or Vader, and once said he chose Vader because “you always remember the baddie.” Peter Mayhew was given the role of Chewbacca, and the late actor’s foundation also paid tribute to Prowse.

William Shattner also paid tribute to his friend, and his role as a movie dad, which is true, from a certain point of view.

Even Rosario Dawson, the latest to play a pivotal character in the Star Wars universe, paid tribute to Prowse after the news broke.

“The force is with you and your loved ones,” she wrote. “Always has been, always will be.”

Snoop Dogg Was the MVP of Mike Tyson’s Comeback Match

Snoop Dogg Boxing Commentary
(Getty/Joe Scarnici)

We finally got the much-awaited return to the boxing ring of Mike Tyson, who had his anticipated bout with Roy Jones Jr. over the weekend. And it was fun! The fight? Oh, no, not that. The rules took a lot of the heat out of the bout, and it ended as a draw (the worst possible outcome for a fight). Tyson definitely looked better and probably won, but the reason it was a fun show? Snoop Dogg, who KILLED IT on the commentary.

Snoop did color commentary the way it should be done for ALL sports broadcasts, but he did it in a way only he can. One of the most publicized fights on the undercard, and the one that riveted social media, was YouTube guy Jake Paul knocking out tiny former NBA player Nate Robinson (former dunk contest champion!). After Robinson was put to sleep, Snoop yelled “Oh my God, lord have mercy! Oh Jesus!” and then hilariously broke out into a gospel hymn.

Truly one of the best sports moments of the year. But that’s not all he brought to the table, he was hilarious all night. During the main event between Tyson and Jones Jr., he joked that it was like “two of my uncles fighting at the family BBQ”

“My uncles is getting it in! Hey grandma! They fightin’ again!”

Social media crowned him the clear winner of the night.

Lebron summed it up better than anyone, calling Snoop a ‘swiss army knife’ who is simply the greatest at whatever he does.

He’s sat in for a bit of an NHL broadcast and it’s clearer than ever that what the sports world needs is more Snoop behind the mic for every big game. Super Bowl, World Series, all of it. Put it on an alternate channel if you have to, like they do for different language broadcasts, and have the Snoop Cast of the big games, and it will be a guaranteed hit.

The Monolith Disappeared From Utah – and Reappears in Romania

Monolith in Romania
(YouTube/UFO GOD)

Last week, a strange silver structure appeared in the Utah desert. It was spotted by some state workers who were doing a patrol in their helicopter, and it immediately brought to mind the nefarious black monolith that features in Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction classic 2001.

The monolith is a 12-feet tall slab of stainless steel standing out of the ground somewhere south of Moab. At least, it was. Almost before we were able to fire off a few jokes about apes and bones and Hal and star babies, the monolith disappeared!

Upon realizing it was gone – when the pilot that found it was flying by to show it to a friend – the agency that discovered the monolith quickly released a statement.

“We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the ‘monolith’ has been removed from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands by an unknown party,” the agency said in a statement. “The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property.”

All that’s left in the spot where the monolith stood is a pile of rocks and… a tiny metal pyramid

The monolith’s sudden appearance and disappearance are definitely strange, but it’s nowhere near as strange as the fact that it seems to have suddenly reappeared. In Romania!

According to LADbible a very similar monolith to the one in Utah has emerged on a hillside in Romania, near the Petrodava Dacian Fortress.

Neamt Culture and Heritage official Rocsana Josanu said: “We have started looking into the strange appearance of the monolith. It is on private property, but we still don’t know who the monolith’s owner is yet. It is in a protected area on an archaeological site. Before installing something there, they needed permission from our institution, one that must then be approved by the Ministry of Culture.”

Not sure the aliens got the memo. Stay tuned for more on the mysterious monolith as it comes, or goes?

7 Years Ago We Lost Actor, Humanitarian, and Dad, Paul Walker

Paul Walker
(Paramount / Getty Images / courtesy of Meadow Walker)

Today marks 7 years without Paul Walker: actor, humanitarian, Vin Diesel’s other half — but most importantly, dad. 

Paul and Meadow Walker
(courtesy of Meadow Walker)

Paul died Nov. 30, 2013 at age 40 in a fatal car crash and he’s been missed him every day since. Family and friends said goodbye in a private ceremony Dec. 14 that year, and later, at a public memorial, fans and friends revved their engines in honor of Paul.

a helmet with signatures to remember Paul Walker
(Getty Images)

He left behind daughter Meadow Rain Walker, though in good hands: Vin Diesel, her godfather, and other Fast & Furious franchise stars remain close with Meadow today. 

Since then, Meadow, 21, has grown into a successful young woman, modeling professionally just like her paternal grandmother, Cheryl Crabtree Walker. She also regularly engages in social work and charity. 

On what would have been Paul’s 42nd birthday — when she was just 16 — Meadow expressed her wish to “share a piece of my father with the world” by establishing The Paul Walker Foundation, which aims to “serve as an enduring light of Paul’s unique spirit, far reaching goals, and spontaneous goodwill.”

The foundation awards grants and scholarships to students and researchers of marine biology, a field close to Paul’s heart. Paul took community college courses in marine biology as a young twenty-something and had been hooked on studying marine life ever since. 

In a role that combined his love for the big screen and marine biology, he starred in National Geographic Channel series Expedition Great White, later retitled Shark Men, in which he spent 11 days off the coast of Mexico tagging great white sharks. As part of the expedition, Paul got to contribute to taking measurements, gathering DNA samples, and fastening satellite tags to sharks for further study. We are also hoping he got to high-five a shark at some point, but this is just a dream of ours. We just hope the sharks appreciated Paul as much as we do. 

Paul Walker as a crew member on Shark Men
(National Geographic)

But if we go allllll the way back, we’ll learn that our favorite speedster heartthrob (yes, dads are allowed to call other dads “heartthrobs”) had been acting when he was still in diapers. That’s right, this guy had more success at age two as a toddler than I’ve had in my whole life — by starring in a Pampers commercial. 

Between then and the explosive success of the Fast & Furious franchise, Paul starred in favorites like Varsity Blues (1999), She’s All That (1999), and The Skulls (2000).

The cast of Varsity Blues
(Paramount Pictures)

And then the magic happened: the first installment of the franchise that would catapult him to superstardom, The Fast and the Furious, emerged in 2001. With it, his friendships and lasting impact on costars Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson (who appeared in 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003), and Michelle Rodriguez. 

The cast of The Fast & The Furious.
(Universal Pictures)

Paul would go on to star in 6 more films in the franchise. Paul died before the completion of filming for Furious 7 (2015), but amazingly, producers made it work. Along with some rewrites, their solution was to call Paul’s brothers, Cody and Caleb, to stand in for Paul in uncompleted scenes. I know what you’re thinking, at first this sounds batshit — but LOOK: 

Paul Walker's brothers, Cody and Caleb
(Getty Images)

They are their mothers’ sons. I haven’t watched Furious 7 yet but maybe tonight’s the night to do it and pour one out for Paul.

The end of Furious 7 featured Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s song “See You Again,” commissioned especially for the film’s soundtrack as a tribute to Paul. 

There will be at least 3 more installments to the franchise, and thankfully Caleb and Cody said they’re open to helping out again, but things won’t be quite the same without Paul. 

Paul Walker
(Giphy)

In 2015, Vin Diesel named his fourth child Pauline to honor Paul, because if making 7 movies together doesn’t make you brothers for life, then what will? “There’s no other person that I was thinking about as I was cutting this umbilical cord,” said Vin. “I just thought, I knew he was there. I thought it was a way to keep his memory a part of my family, a part of my world.” Meadow maintains a close relationship with Pauline and the rest of the Diesel family, which Vin considers her a part of.

Our favorite thing about Paul walker? His brotherhood with fellow dad Vin Diesel. (Runners-up for favorite things: that he owned a collection of 30 cool as hell cars and that he earned a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, plus a black belt posthumously.) 

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker
(Universal Pictures)

“Part of Paul’s legacy lives through every frame that we shoot,” said Vin, after explaining he promised Paul there would be an eight chapter of the series. “You are reminded of this angel that was so integral to this concept of brotherhood for our millennium,” he said. “There’s something beautiful about that. There’s something celebratory about that.”

And angel he was, truly. Outside of his inspiring, action-packed film career, it was clear that Paul gave a damn: about marine life, about family, about people in general. In 2010 he founded Reach Out Worldwide, a nonprofit charity that provided humanitarian aid to victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He regularly visited and aided disaster-stricken areas until his death. 

“If there’s one good thing to come from any of this, it’s that we can raise the charity’s profile –that’s what Paul would have wanted,” Paul Walker Sr. said about Paul’s death.

Paul on Walker a humanitarian mission
(Daily Mail)

Paul’s family and costars can be seen remembering him as a humanitarian, actor, brother, dad, and all-around exceptional human being in I Am Paul Walker, a 2018 documentary that honors his storied life. 

Paul’s legacy lives on through his Fast & Furious family, through his nonprofit charity, and through Meadow. Each year on his birthday and Father’s Day, she celebrates her dad by sharing old videos and photos on Instagram. In one post, she shared an old home video of her surprising her dad and then wishing him a happy birthday. (Warning! Onion cutting ninjas have been spotted in your area.)

If you want to honor a Real One, why not watch your favorite Fast & Furious installment with us today. Or perhaps you’ll spend extra time admiring the marine life in your neighborhood pond when you go for a walk. Or you might simply tell your daughter you’re proud of her. Just a few ideas for remembering, as Meadow calls him, “the most beautiful soul.”

5 PlayStation Games To Play With Your Kids (and 5 To Play Once They’re Asleep)

5 PlayStation Games to play with kids
(Sony)

With the days getting colder, sometimes it’s nice (who am I kidding, it’s always nice) to just hunker down indoors and play some good ol’ video games with the family. It is the perfect way to get through this holiday season in which you’ll likely be spending a lot more time at home than usual. And thanks to science, we know it’s good for their health.

Here are five single and multiplayer PlayStation games you can enjoy playing and experiencing with your kids, and five you’ll probably want to wait to play once they’re asleep… if sleep is a thing your kids do.

Kid-Friendly Games

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

(Insomniac Games)

For his first outing, Miles’ debut game is fantastic. Themes like believing in yourself and just genuinely being good to those around you are at the forefront of this action-packed adventure throughout New York. You’ll spend time protecting citizens, beating up plenty of bad guys and becoming “Harlem’s Spider-Man”. If your children are anything like my eight-year-old son though, you’ll probably just find them web-swinging around the environment for hours and hours on end.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is now available on PS4 and PS5. Rated T for Teen.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

(Sony)

Little Big Planet’s main character Sackboy gets his own 3D platforming adventure on the PS4 and PS5. If you’ve played Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U you’ll feel right at home with this one. With the jump from 2D to 3D, the levels are full of imagination and wonder, with spectacle to spare. With couch co-op, you and up to three others can tackle each challenge together. Sackboy is just a fun, wholesome experience for the family.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure is now available on PS4 and PS5. Rated E for Everyone.

Gang Beasts

(Double Fine Presents)

Gang Beasts is an absolute riot.  It’s an arena fighter where up to four players duke it out on anything from moving transport trucks to blimps floating above a city.  The objective is to throw the others out of the ring (or off the side of the blimp).  The physics are so ridiculously hilarious, you’ll find yourself hanging on for dear life from the side of a skyscraper or flopping around like a rag –doll trying to knock your opponents out so you can pick them up and toss them.  This one will have you laughing out loud.

Gang Beasts is now available on PS4 and PC.  Rated E for Everyone.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled

(Activision)

If you’ve had your fill of leaving your children in the dust in Mario Kart, Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled is a worthy contender for your time.  A full remake of the PS1 original, this one contains fifty-six racers to unlock, an Adventure mode (think Diddy Kong Racing), Battle Arena to take out your frustrations on each other, and a Ring Rally mode that requires players to drive through rings in order to extend their timer as they race around the track.  There’s local and online multiplayer too, so you can do your embarrassing victory dance in front of your kids.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled is now available on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.  Rated E for Everyone.

Minecraft Dungeons

(Xbox Game Studios)

Minecraft Dungeons ditches the house building and survival elements fans are used to for pure action-adventure. If you enjoy top-down action RPGs like Diablo, Minecraft Dungeons is another great co-op game to play together. It really is “Diablo-Lite”. The character builds and item management are pretty basic, so it’s not overwhelming for new players to dive into. My kids don’t usually enjoy these kinds of games, but we ended up making it right through to the final boss which my son and daughter thought was pretty awesome.

Minecraft Dungeons is now available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Rated E for Everyone.

Adult Only Games

Alright, so now that the kids are in bed, it’s time to indulge in some more mature games…

Or you could just play more Sackboy, that’s cool too.

Cyberpunk 2077

(CD Projekt Red)

One of the most anticipated titles since the teaser trailer was released way back in 2015 is now arriving this December. CD Projekt Red (the developer of the Witcher game series) is going all out with this gritty first-person journey into the dark and twisted heart of Night City. You can cybernetically enhance your character with different combat upgrades and visual customizations. You can also expect to experience a large and expansive story with plenty of different choices and endings to unlock. This is definitely the must-have game of the year.

Cyberpunk 2077 releases on December 10th, 2020 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC. Rated M for Mature.

Demon’s Souls

(Bluepoint)

If the stress of being a parent wasn’t enough for you, the PS5 remake of Demon’s Souls will gladly push you to the brink of insanity. Unforgiving and brutal, Demon’s Souls was the game that started the whole “Souls” genre when it originally released on the PS3.  The risk/reward gameplay and extreme difficulty is highly addictive and can give you a real power trip once you’ve overcome a challenging boss. Approach this one with an open mind, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Demon’s Souls is now available on PS5. Rated M for Mature.

Ghost of Tsushima

(Sony)

Ghost of Tsushima is a beautiful Samurai journey and a class act in open-world game design. The combat is satisfying whether you’re engaging in samurai duels or performing assassinations on unsuspecting enemies. Fast travelling between areas is extremely quick, even on the PS4, so you’ll spend more time gaming and less time waiting to play. This is extremely crucial during naptime.

Ghost of Tsushima is now available on PS4. Rated M for Mature.

The Last of Us Part II

(Naughty Dog)

Seven years later, we finally got our hands on the sequel to one of the best PS3 games.  While it didn’t live up to the hype for some, Ellie’s quest for revenge was an emotional roller-coaster that left my jaw on the floor.  The graphics and gameplay are second to none and you’ll be engaged right up to the gut-wrenching climax.  Absolutely worth playing, but not for the faint of heart.

The Last of Us Part II is now available on PS4.  Rated M for Mature.

Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War

(Activision)

While everyone is still enjoying Modern Warfare’s Battle Royale mode Warzone, it’s nice to see the franchise getting another standalone entry. You have access to the campaign that includes multiple endings depending on your choices throughout, the classic Call of Duty multiplayer experience, and of course, the beloved Zombies Mode. You could say you get a lot of “bang” for your buck with this one.

Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War is now available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC. Rated M for Mature.

So with that said, this is only a handful of the games we play in our household.  What games are you playing?