Another day, another edition of “Games with Coffee,” and what a great edition it will be! As of today, Christmas is a little less than a week away: are you ready for it? Or have you run right out of ideas for what to get for your favourite gamer? Or perhaps you’ve put Christmas shopping to the very last minute and don’t know where to start?
Well, God rest thee merry gentlepeople, because I got you covered! Below are a few ideas that you can either quickly run to the store and pick up, if you’re up north here in good ‘ole Canada, or order online: chances are, you’ll be able to get all of the below by Christmas (barring a few additional charges for expedited shipping). I’ll have plenty of links available to access, so no worries. So, keep that itchy trigger finger ready on your mouse and let’s make some magic happen!
Well besides the obvious items on a gamer’s Christmas list (new systems, latest popular games, everything Nintendo, etc.), here’s an idea for you: how about trying something a little outside of the norm?
Stardew Valley, Axiom Verge, Cave Story+ and Shovel Knight are excellent choices to buy: all four are great games with retro-inspired graphics, poignant storylines, excellent controls and are available on all current generation systems, with the exception of Cave Story+. Check below on where you can find these games:
Gaming Apparel and Accessories
Graphic T-shirts: for the individual who loves to show off what they love.
Who among us used to hate getting clothes for Christmas? Well, with these selection of men’s, women’s and kid’s game culture T-shirts, your favourite person will hate you a little less this year.*
*Results may vary.
Ugly Sweaters: for the gamer who wants to rock this year’s Christmas party.
Ugly Sweaters are all the rage these days! Why not get something that reflects your favourite person’s gaming passion? Whether it’s Mario, Sonic or any of gaming’s famous faces, you’ll definitely have some heads turning at your next Christmas gathering! Here’s a few examples:
Satchels, Bags, Cardigans and Scarves: for the lady with a love for fashion and a passion for gaming.
If you’re looking for a great gift for an even greater gal in your life that enjoys gaming, check out these choice selections from EB Games (Canada) and ThinkGeek (everywhere else):
These aren’t limited to just gift-giving alone; ladies, in the words of an almighty master: Treat yo’ selves!
Toys and Games
Nerf Rival Guns: for the individuals who dreams of LARPing a Call of Duty scenario with their good friends.
With a variety of guns available, free-for-alls have never been so much fun! There are plenty of guns available, bit my personal favourite is the Artemis – a shotgun. Check em out!
Funko Pop’s, Nendoroids and Amiibo figures: for the consummate collector.
It figures that figures would be a great gift to give! From the highly collectible Funko Pop’s, to the picture perfect and adorable Nendoroids, to Amiibos that combine collectibility with function, there are plenty of options available! Now, there are too many for me to link, but check the stores; there’s bound to be plenty available!
Board Games: for those looking to game offscreen.
Want to bring the family together without resorting to playing Mario Kart? How about a few board games? Some of gaming’s biggest names have been associated with board game classics, like “The Legend of Zelda” Monopoly and Clue. Others, like Mega Man, have their own board games and there are even some video game inspired tabletop and card games, like Boss Monster. Finally, games like Settlers of Catan are a perfect gift for those who enjoy games like Civilization.
MegaConstrux Pokemon: for the kid or kid at heart.
If you’re kid’s like any other kid, they have vivid imaginations, a desire to build anything their minds can conjure up and a love for all things Pokemon. How do you combine the three? Easy: get them a Pokemon they can build themselves! MegaConstrux has several Pokemon related figures kids will go nuts over, especially Charizard and Gyarados! Heck, I’m a grown man and I want those for myself!
A Raspberry Pi, a Pi Case and the SNES30 Bluetooth Controller: for those who enjoy retro gaming as much as they love building things from scratch.
Ah, the good ol’ Raspberry Pi, giving you the ability to access all the games you used to play as a kid in a device the side of a credit card. If you got a tinkerer on your list who also loves dropping rounds of Super Street Fighter II Turbo on the SNES, then this one’s for you!
For gift ideas, I would go with the CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 kit, available on Amazon; it has everything one would need to get started. Alternatively, if you have time and resources to spare, you can buy the board, a case and an SD card and really personalize it for the recipient. I highly recommend the Smraza case, again from Amazon: it’s a case divided into seven layers that comes with two heat sinks, a fan to plug into the GPIO on the Pi and a power supply with an on/off button! It’s a great little package!
But you can’t just the Pi and not get controllers? PS4 and Xbox One controllers work with Retropie, but if you want to give that real old-school feel, I recommend the 8bitdo SNES30 Bluetooth Controller. Easy to set up and use, this is the controller of choice to delve into old-school gaming! Here’s where you can find it:
Stocking Stuffers and Other Small Gifts
Books: for those who appreciate a great story on and off screen.
This might sound odd, but books are an awesome gift to give. I say this because some of the best presents I got, besides video games, were books. I’ve gushed many times about the Mistborn series, it’s perfect for those who are obsessed with RPG’s, magic systems and a deep, immersive world full of lore and legend.
Another book I recommend is Red Rising, a science fiction/fantasy set on a colonized Mars. This might sound a bit spoilerish, but I feel that the story is somewhat analogous to God of War, with Kratos’ struggles for revenge, mixed in with undertones of power and politics a la Games of Thrones. My description doesn’t really do it justice, but fans of the God of War series may enjoy it.
Finally, Ready Player One is the perfect book to give a gamer, either young or old. The younger generation will appreciate the plucky protagonist’s journey from rags to riches, while the older ones from the late 80’s and below will fall in love with the heavy retro gaming and pop culture influences that are scattered throughout the book.
Gaming Ornaments: for those who want to combine Christmas with Gaming.
Ornaments make for great stocking stuffers! Check out a few here:
Journals and Notebooks: for those who want to write the story to the next big blockbuster game.
I got this Legend of Zelda journal as a present from my wife and I’ve yet to stop writing in it. In fact, I picked up a second one for my birthday this year. There are plenty of others available, check out below:
Gift Cards: for when you’re truly stuck on what to buy this year.
If all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with giving a PSN, Xbox Live or Nintendo e-Shop gift card. Unlike most other gift cards, the receiver will definitely appreciate it. Bonus if you get them a year-long subscription to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold: you’ll be appreciated all year round!
If they’re a mobile game lover, an iTunes or Google Play gift card will also go a long way!
Coffee Mugs: for those who literally want to have their Games with Coffee.*
Didja see what I did there? Didja? Eh, I digress, coffee mugs make for excellent stocking stuffers: they’re statement pieces tailored to that person’s particularly favourite game or series and they can drink coffee out of it! Win-win. Here’s some examples:
And that’s that! Hope this helps with your last minute shopping. Today (at least up here in Canada) is the last day you can order online for it to reach before Christmas! (Additional shipping charges will be required…). So get cracking!
As for the next edition, I’ll catch up with you all near the end of the year, where I’ll talk about my Quest status in “The Year In Review.” Of course, I’ll be working on a few Espresso Shot Reviews, which will come in the new year, along with something else. What that is, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and hoping you’re spending equal time with loved ones and cherished games this holiday season, this is Ryan from “Games with Coffee”, reminding you to Keep Gaming and Keep Brewing.