The lights are on
The end of the year is rolling around, which means it’s time to start thinking about gifts. For the generous gamers, that means coming up with the perfect presents for your friends and family. For opportunistic gamers, that means scribbling out a list of gifts for others to buy you. We’re not here to judge; we just want to highlight the hottest gadgets, newest gizmos, and best games that 2012 has to offer. What you do with that information is up to you. Text by Ben Reeves & Jeff Marchiafava
Nav: Under $30-$75 | $80-$200 | $200+ | Media Shelf
Under $30 — Happy Holidays, here’s a thing
Smart Art, $10.00-25.00 • monkeyminion.storenvy.com • Monkey Minion Press is a one-stop-shop for decorating your home in geeky style. The husband and wife team from Portland offer everything from Star Wars-themed Empire propaganda posters to Ninja Turtle crochet dolls. With most items coming in under $25.00, you’re sure to find something for the nerds on your list.
Assassin’s Creed Army of Trolls T-shirt, $19.99 • store.ubiworkshop.com • If you thought Ezio was a lothario, just wait until the ladies see this 16-bit rendition of Ubisoft’s coldhearted assassin on your shirt. Actually, they’re probably not going to care – but fellow gamers are sure to appreciate your retro sensibilities.
Mega Man Bobble Budds, $10.99 • bobblebudds.com • Mega Man has never looked more adorable. These 3.5-inch recreations pay homage to the Blue Bomber and three of his nemeses: Proto Man, Guts Man, and Elec Man. These figurines -contain detachable pieces that may be choking hazards to little kids, but let’s be honest – we wouldn’t let the little ones get their grubby hands on them anyway.
Cards Against Humanity, $25.00 • cardsagainsthumanity.com • Not sure what to get that friend with a dirty sense of humor? We’ve got the perfect gift recommendation. Dubbed “A party game for horrible people,” Cards Against Humanity challenges you and your friends to respond to questions with the most humorous and inappropriate answers possible. The base game won’t break the bank, but if you’re really cheap (or just don’t like your friend that much), you can download it for free from the company’s website and print it yourself. The best things in life really are free!
$30 to $75— I hope you like it, but I kept the receipt just in case
Rock-It 3.0, $34.99 • origaudio.com • Give your friends the gift of music – and we’re not talking about your stupid mix tape. With Rock-It 3.0, you can turn any surface into a speaker. The handy little gadget connects to your favorite music player via a standard headphone jack, and then pumps out vibrations that get transformed into sound waves by whatever object you stick it to. Just don’t stick a Rock-It to another Rock-It, or the universe will implode.
X-Wing Star Wars Miniatures Game, $39.99 • fantasyflightgames.com • Forget X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter. Now you can pit Star Wars’ -classic forces against one another in a two-player tabletop game from Fantasy Flight. The game includes painted X-Wing and TIE fighter miniatures, and allows players to pick their crews and plan their attacks to accomplish their missions.
Dungeon Command, $39.99 • wizards.com • D&D fans looking for a quicker, more straightforward experience may be interested in Dungeon Command, a head-to-head miniatures game for 2 to 4 players. Each game takes roughly an hour, and tasks you with wiping your opponent’s warband from the battlefield. Each faction set comes with 12 painted miniatures, plus the cards, tiles, and rules needed to play the game. You can play against your opponent’s factions, or split up one set for a faster 2-player game.
Kingdom Hearts Heartless Inspired Apron/Pinafore, $70.00 • etsy.com/shop/darlingarmy • This Kingdom Hearts-inspired gift from Darling Army doubles as both an apron and pinafore. That means you can wear it to protect your clothes while baking your video game-themed cupcakes, or pinafore your wardrobe whenever -pinaforing is necessary. We’ll be honest: we have no idea what the heck a pinafore is.
Gears of War Erector Construction Sets, $24.99-$59.99 • erector.us • Tired of the peaceful dioramas that Lego sets offer? Maybe it’s time to upgrade to these Gears of War-themed Erector sets. Choose between the Armadillo APC, Centaur Tank, King Raven helicopter, and Locusts vs. Delta Squad Battle sets. Each pack comes with at least two figurines and 80-300 pieces. Erector jokes, however, are sold separately.
Retro Series Hard & Sugar-Free Cotton Candy Maker, $39.99 • nostalgiaelectrics.com • Do you love cotton candy, but hate having to deal with creepy carnies just to get your hands on some? Maybe it’s time to invest in your own cotton candy maker. This $40 appliance from Nostalgia Electrics spins both sugar and hard candies into fluffy candy floss. You can even use sugar-free candy, though that kind of defeats the -purpose.
Star Trek Door Chime, $29.99 • thinkgeek.com • If you’re like us, you’ve spent hundreds of hours wondering how you can class up your office door in a way that would make sci-fi fans jealous. What, you’re not like us? Then you probably wouldn’t be interested in this Star Trek Door Chime modeled after the wall communicator panels from the original series. Not only does it chirp out a variety of classic sound effects, but it’s motion activated to ward off intruders. Don’t blame us when Klingons steal all of your office supplies.
Email the author Ben Reeves, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.