First: A word about gamers
They’re an impatient lot. When faced with dwindling funds and a mountain of hot new releases, they will often take advantage of trade-in programs to get credit toward the latest video game. As such, they can be hard to buy for — you’re never sure whether they have a given title. That’s why I’ve been a little slow to add any video games to this ongoing list of gift suggestions for the nerds in your life.
|Many loved ones resort to gift cards for gamers — and that’s a fine idea. You can find out where they prefer to shop for games and voila! You’re set.
Just make sure your beloved gamer is connected for such activity — if not, there’s your gift idea!
Here are some more suggestions for Nintendo’s Wii console and DS handheld system (gift ideas for other platforms are coming soon):
Game Crazy, in a recent press release, lists these as the hot games for kids this season: Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band II, Mario Kart Wii and Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party II. They also suggest accessories like battery packs, musical instrument controllers and racing wheels.
Hold off on the DS carrying cases and screen protectors — they’re getting old. But here’s a recently released accessory that is both practical and cool: Nintendo DS Lite Nerf Armor. For $15 you get a soft Nerf shell that keeps your DS safe even when dropped on a hard surface … repeatedly. Trust me, this is great for homes with young children who are drawn to their siblings’ (and parents’) favorite gaming gadget. And this protective peripheral is available in many different colors.
Do you know someone who is obsessed with puzzles and mysteries? Then why not give them a whole village of companions? Professor Layton and the Curious Village ($30) is essentially a collection of minigames and puzzles — brain teasers, if you will, like you’d find in Brain Age or a dozen of its imitators — but they are linked by an overarching mystery right out of an Agatha Christie plot. And, like so many of Christie’s whodunits, Curious Village is nearly impossible to put down.
Guitar Hero: On Tour captures the fun of the console games and lets you rock out with the “Guitar Grip”, a four-fret controller that fits into the Game Boy Advance slot on the DS. ($50) A sequel, Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades, is also available.
Buyer beware! If you’re thinking of giving a Nintendo DS Lite system itself as a gift ($130 without a game), you should know that popular handheld is about to be rendered obsolete. Don’t expect to see the Nintendo DSi in the U.S. until sometime before fall of 2009 — but it’s coming. It includes a camera and memory card slot, but drops the Game Boy Advance slot that has endeared the DS to so many aging gamers with vast Game Boy collections.
Now, this system sucks … down batteries like they’re going out of style. So why not get with the program and kick them to the curb? There are many choices on the market when it comes to rechargeable battery packs, like Nyko’s Wii Charge Station ($30), which juices up 2 Wii Remotes at a time, and CTA’s 6 in 1 Wii Fit Kit ($55) for the Wii Balance Board, which includes not only a battery pack but also a Yoga mat and other accessories for the exercise peripheral that came packed with Wii Fit. Finally, a simple battery charger with an ample supply of rechargeable AAs is always a good idea.
As for games, new releases include Wii Music, which lets players rock out with 50 instruments and record and edit their own music videos. It also incorporates the Wii Balance Board for use in percussion, for example. Animal Crossing: City Folk brings back the popular shared world that has already been on Nintendo’s GameCube and DS systems. ($50 each)
If you’re looking to get a Wii system for someone, they aren’t in as short supply as they have been in the recent past. But you’ll still pay $250 for the hardware and the Wii Sports game (the only game some owners say they need.
STAY TUNED TO NERDVANA FOR MORE SUGGESTIONS!