They’re Like Games, But Different
Welcome to the Hey Poor Player Holiday Gift Guide. From Monday, November 8th through Friday, November 19th, we’ll be bringing you a guide to all the games, accessories, systems, and other hot items players will be looking for this holiday season. With Black Friday and other Holiday sales set to start in the coming weeks, we thought now was the perfect time to help draw attention to just what you players should be looking for in the coming weeks. So whether you’re looking for a gift for someone else, or maybe something for yourself, we’ve got you covered.
It may surprise some of us to remember that there are things other than games to buy during the holiday season. No, we’re not recommending decorative throw pillows or rugs (though a gaming-themed rug could really tie the right room together). We’re talking gaming-related items that will hit the spot while giving you a little variety on your holiday lists. Let’s check out the recommendations below.
Free Guy Blu-Ray or DVD
Video game fans are used to the movies based on our hobby not being very good. There have been exceptions, of course, but far too often, they’re poorly acted, poorly adapted, and just looking to make a quick buck.
Free Guy, on the other hand, is refreshingly funny. Where did the producers go, right? Probably in not directly adapting any specific game. While it cribs from properties like Grand Theft Auto Online and Fortnite, the game at the center of this one doesn’t actually exist. It’s adapting the culture of gaming more than any specific game. It doesn’t get it all right, but it consistently entertains, and the talented cast, including Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds, Emmy winner Jodie Comer, my favorite vampire from New Zealand, Taika Waititi, and more, do a great job keeping things moving.
It isn’t going to win any Oscars, but after several delays due to the pandemic, this one ended up being worth the wait.
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Board Game
Many players were hoping to be playing the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn this holiday season, but after the delay of Horizon Forbidden West until early next year, they may be wondering what to do while they wait.
There’s another way they can play a new Horizon game this year, assuming they haven’t yet checked out this board game from Steamforged, the same team who brought you the Dark Souls board game. This one sets a group of hunters out to track down and destroy machines. The interesting part is that it’s semi-cooperative in that you’ll need to work together to track down your prey, but you’re still competing to win in the end.
If the price is a worry, this one can be found online at a discount pretty regularly, and that’s likely to continue through the holiday season. If you already have the core game, there’s also a series of expansions available to add more to your sessions.
The Legend of Argus: The Complete History of Rygar by Brian Riggsbee
We see a lot of books come out about games which are just overall histories of a system or an era. They’re great. We have a set of books like that on this very list, and they’re well worth your time. Usually, though, the only games which see a book of their own are for the largest franchises—the Marios and Zeldas of the world.
Rygar isn’t that, but it is a stone-cold classic game that has seen several attempts at reboots over the years, with varying degrees of success. This unofficial history of the series dives into all of those different games and provides context from when the games first released. If you’re a Rygar fan or even if you’re just interested in that era, this one could be a great holiday gift.
The book is available directly from Riggsbee’s website in a collection that comes with a few bonus goodies for fans as well.
Vinyl From iam8bit
Look, you can listen to your gaming soundtracks on a CD or use streaming, like an average player, if you want. It definitely works, and I’m not going to judge you for it. If you’d like to take things up a notch, though, considering some of the vinyl from iam8bit is well worth your time.
Just considering all the killer soundtracks they’ve carried which are out of stock is enough to make me want to cry. Thankfully, they still have a number of outstanding records in stock and are ready to order for games like Manifold Garden, Sonic Colors, Spiritfarer, The Pathless, and many more. Not only do these come with excellent albums, but they’re also absolutely beautiful with stunning cover design and colored records themselves which are designed to match the game in question. If you know someone with a record player who loves game music, these are a no-brainer.
Visual Compendiums By Bitmap Books
If you’re looking for just the right way to show off your love for your favorite retro system, you could do a lot worse than the visual compendiums from Bitmap Books. These beautiful hardcover books feature stunning art and hundreds of pages of interviews and product information about all of your favorite systems.
There’s a lot of variety available to please a wide variety of players. These compendiums are available for the Atari 2600/7800, Sega Master System, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore Amiga, and Commodore 64. Preorders for their latest reprint of their SNES guide just opened, with it expected to ship later this month. A reprint of their NES compendium is set for next year.