Monday, December 11, 2017

#HGG2017: Gifts for Gamers

Video Games

We've checked out a few new games this season, or maybe I should say the Michael has. He is my resident video game tester. Here are four of our/his favourites.

RiME is a single-player puzzle-adventure game. You play as a young boy, ship-wrecked on a mysterious island. With the help of a local fox, you explore, solve puzzles, unearth secrets, and more, all at your own pace. The graphic in this game are really well done, and the gameplay is engaging. It reminded us of a couple different titles in the Zelda series of games. Rated Everyone 10+, and available on XboxOne, Nintendo Switch, and PS4.

Minecraft Story Mode, Season 2 brings more Minecraft adventures to your favourite console. We reviewed season one back in holiday 2015, so were happy to try out this latest edition, which picks up a few years after the last one ended. Minecraft Story Mode is a choice-based adventure, so each choice you make determines where the story will go next. You could replay with different choices for an alternate outcome. The disc you purchase includes the first episode of the season, and includes a license allowing you to download the remaining 4 episodes as they become available. This is a great gift for the Minecraft fan. Rated Everyone 10+ and available on XBox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, XBox 360, and PC.

Super Lucky's Tale is an XBox One title, and is a great addition to this console for younger gamers, while providing fun play value for older fans as well. Lucky is an optimistic and adorable little fox trying to help his sister rescue the Book of Ages from Jinx, a scheming and mysterious villain trying to reshape the world. This game has wonderful graphics, straightforward game play, mini-games, secret levels, and adventurous fun. If you like Sonic-type games, you'll love this one. Rated E for Everyone.

Super Mario Odyssey is available on the Nintendo Switch, and is top of list for both my 11yo and 22yo. Michael and I had a chance to play a bit at a Nintendo event, and he confirmed it's actual game play, not just a desire for the latest Mario that has gotten this to the top of his Christmas list. In this adventure, Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach, and apparently intends to marry her. Mario, and his new friend, "Cappy," must rescue her before it's too late.

The game is filled with huge, 3D kingdoms, and Mario can explore them and battle enemies with new moves, courtesy of Cappy, including cap throw, cap jump and capture. With capture, Mario can take control of all sorts of things, including objects and enemies! Along with the release of the game, Nintendo released 3 new amiibo characters - Mario, Peach, and Bowser in wedding gear. Earlier amiibo will also work with this title. Rated Everyone 10+.

Gamer-Themed Games

Sometimes even the most serious gamers need to get away from their screens. Keep their interest with a board game that speaks to their favourite hobby.  One of the newest versions of the classic favourite, Monopoly, is the Mario-themed Monopoly Gamer. Play as Mario, Princess Peach, Yoshi, or Donkey Kong to round the board, collect properties and coins, and battle bosses. Just like in the Mario games, players drop and pick up coins as they move around, and each has special abilities and power-ups. Recommended for ages 8 and up, and tons of screen-free gaming fun!

Gamer Merchandise

This is of course a broad category, but you can get a lot of great ideas from a store like Collectibles like PopVinyls and plush toys depict many video game characters. Or you can choose a jigsaw puzzle, wallet, or T-shirt. Just be sure you know which games they love before you choose a theme.

Video Game Consoles

And of course, don't forget the new console out for the holidays this year - the XBox One S/X is at the very top of gamers' wish lists. High performance, backwards compatibility, I can't wait to see my boys' faces when they unwrap theirs!!

Disclosure: I received complimentary review products to check out. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own or those of my family. This post contains affiliate links, and should you make a purchase after clicking through, I will receive a small commission from

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