Note from Writer JC: Look, we get it. Maybe you’re shopping on a budget. Maybe you’re just looking for a stocking stuffer. Maybe you just have to work within a certain limit for an office secret santa. Or maybe, honestly, you’re just a cheap old scrooge. Either way, this is a holiday gift guide for games that won’t exactly make your wallet cry without making you look like you don’t care to whoever’s on the receiving end of this deal train.
Organ Trail, Recommended By Yami
This throwback with a twist by the indie devs The Men Who Wear Many Hats, Organ Trail, will surely put a smile on any retro gamer’s face. Basically, it’s Oregon Trail, with a zombie apocalypse as the setting. How awesome is that? Very, I know, and it’s cheap, too!
Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous, Recommended By Terrence
The original Tilt to Live, developed by One Man Left Studios, was one of the first iOS games that I really got into. It had everything I like about a solid mobile game: great music, vibrant visuals, interesting gameplay, and tight controls. The sequel, Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulus takes all of those things and amps them up. It’s a high score game, almost like a dual stick shooter, except you don’t shoot per se. Instead, you maneuver around the screen, grabbing power-up orbs that have various effects, such as granting your little flying arrow the power of DUAL LIGHT SABERS, or the Laser Mace. Need I say more? The game looks even better this time, each power-up looks really cool. I typically don’t like games with only tilt controls, but they are extremely precise in this game. This would be a great (and cheap) gift for those high-score fanatics. You can gift it through the app store here.
Cook, Serve, Delicious!, Recommended By Yami
Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a perfect blend for fans of typing games and tycoons. As the owner of a start-up restaurant, you’re choosing your active menus and upgrading your equipment to better serve more and more customers. The ultimate goal is to have a five star restaurant, making you type out (in correct order) anything your customers ask of you. Certain foods are upgradeable, leading to harder combinations to memorize, and every single one will have you frantic through the rush hours to get as many profits as possible.
Saga, Vol. 1 Paperback, Recommended by Muaz
I randomly stumbled onto Saga one day while trying to get my weekly stash of comics and it very quickly became a must-read issue after issue. The story is slightly reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, with Marko and Alana, the two protagonists, coming from warring planets and escaping to form a life together with their baby daughter Hazel. There’s no way I can do justice to this book in one paragraph but get this collected Volume 1 for the comic-reader on your list, all they’ll love you forever*.
(*Disclaimer: not really but they’ll dig the shit outta Saga)
Year Walk, Recommended By Emily
Is it really the most wonderful time of the year? While we certainly look forward to our holiday traditions, beneath the warm glow of the candles and/or Christmas tree, behind all that brightly-colored wrapping paper, lies a sinister truth: winter fucking sucks. Everything’s dead, it’s freezing outside, and the night seems to last forever. The holidays are the only thing that break the monotony of the long dark cold, and if we didn’t have these winter celebrations, let’s face it, we’d all probably fucking kill ourselves. Anyway, I have quite a treat for the Grinch on the go. Year Walk is set in the bleak, snowy woods of Sweden. You play as a man about to embark on the titular “year walk,” a sort of vision quest performed on New Year’s Eve. He’s hoping to see the future, but what he learns is more than he bargained for. Without giving anything away, this unique first-person adventure game is simultaneously scary and sad, and completely unlike anything I’ve ever played. Year Walk is available on iOS devices for $3.99, and it is worth every penny.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, Recommended By Chris
When Microsoft fled the Amazon marketplace, it meant that gifting digital content had to once again fall fully on Steam. Then Sony decided to try their hand partially at it this year and it has somewhat set a precedent. This is the first time in 13 years that you have had the opportunity to gift somebody a copy of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment for less than $10. Don’t question that. You know its true. Now go forth and spread Shin Megami Tensei to the masses like a virus.
Note from Writer JC: These games are sure to make any gamer happy with the penny-pinchers with no one being none the wiser. Of course, you could also be a bit more generous and go on a bargain bin shopping spree. Hopefully this choice helped to make that lite shopping a little bit easier without making you break the piggy bank over the whole ordeal. Hop on back to our Holiday Gift Guide intro post to see more of our categories!