Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022

“Games Playmanship” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Sklathill

As the holiday season seems to march upon us unceasingly, students such as myself may be scrambling to find gifts. While the hottest item may be a Playstation 5, the likelihood of anyone finding one, let alone affording it, are slim. Keeping student funds in mind, this list aims to satisfy the gaming-minded people on your gift list, cover a spectrum of interests, and sit outside the obvious, more pricey options.

1 | “Hades” (Video Game: PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Price: $20-30

While technically a 2020 release, “Hades” was released this year on all modern consoles. Playing as Hades’ son Zagreus, players will battle through hordes of creatures in the Underworld and attempt to escape. “Hades” is a challenging, addictive action game with a cast of Greek mythological figures, wonderfully charming dialogue, and fantastic art. Though sporting a lower price point than most video games, “Hades” boasts dozens of hours of content and was named game of the year by numerous video game outlets.

2 | “Blood, Sweat, and Pixels” (Book)

Price: $15

Author Jason Schreier dives deep into the world of video game development. Covering the making of games such as “Destiny” and “Stardew Valley,” Schreier examines the overwhelming workload, hectic schedules and technical mishaps that developers deal with on a daily basis. “Blood, Sweat, and Pixels” aims to document the unseen side of how video games are made and the workers who rarely receive the credit they deserve. Schreier’s book will leave the reader wondering how any game ever gets finished at all.

3 | “Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit” (Tabletop Game)

Price: $15

While seemingly intimidating, the latest edition of “Dungeons & Dragons” is more beginner friendly than ever before. Requiring little else but some dice and one’s imagination, “Dungeons & Dragons” is the perfect gift for anyone on a tighter budget, but still hoping to give something that can be played for days or even weeks. This kit will give players everything they need to get their foot in the door of the “DnD” world, including a rulebook, a beginner adventure, and a map. You can even pick one up locally at The Games Keep on East Gay Street!

4 | “The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia” (Artbook)

Price: $25

A must have for any Nintendo or “Legend of Zelda” fan. “Hyrule Historia” is an extensive collection of both Zelda artwork and lore stretching decades back to its inception. The book contains everything from concept art and comics to a history of the game’s world. This book can also be paired with other Zelda artbooks, including the latest release solely focused on the incredibly popular “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” Lovingly documented and well crafted, any book in the series will be a safe bet.

5 | “Disco Elysium: The Final Cut” (Video Game: PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Price: $40

A bit of an oddball entry in this list, but not included without reason. “Disco Elysium: The Final Cut,” will appeal to both video game fans and bookworms, as the game requires as much reading as it does playing. Fortunately, the writing is some of the best to ever grace video games. Playing as an amnesiac cop, players attempt to solve a grisly murder while piecing together the cop’s mess of a life. While that may sound bleak, the “Disco Elysium” utilizes incredible humor to balance its more dour subject matter. The result is a one of a kind video game that is at once beautiful, suspenseful, hilarious and intelligent. This one would be a gift for someone who likes their video games to have more substance and thought.

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