Dec 5, 2011

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Holiday Gift Guide: The Casual Gamer

Holiday Gift Guide: The Casual Gamer

Having a hard time satisfying your inner gamer this holiday season? Need a quick run through of some great games and accessories to put in your holiday gift bag? Well, Vivid Gamer is here to help. This list, compiled just for those who love to game on a casual level, will hopefully meet your holiday needs and spread some holiday cheer.


Tired of strapping on your plastic guitar and pretending to rock out? Rocksmith solves that problem and does it in an intuitive way. Instead of shredding some tunes on a guitar controller, Rocksmith gives you control of any real guitar.  The game, which can be bought in a bundle if you don’t own a guitar, teaches and builds on basic principles of guitar playing. With that and a great list of songs to ensure some good times, RockSmith puts you one step closer to becoming a rock god or goddess. Jimi Hendrix anyone?

Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3


 Dance Central 2

It’s time to bring the funk back to the dance floor and the best way to do that this holiday season is with Dance Central 2. With over 40 tracks, engaging multiplayer, and detailed feedback using Microsoft Kinect, Dance Central 2 is the perfect gift for anyone wanting to get a little footloose. This is an undeniable buy for lovers of dance and those who just like to get down. You can find it at Amazon for under $50 and at a few other places for a little lower.

Platforms: Xbox 360(Requires Kinect)


 Super Mario 3D Land

The iconic portly plumber is back in an all-new adventure, and in glorious 3D. Mario returns for more shell stomping and platforming, bringing back classic gameplay with a new-age feel. 3D Land is able to capture the essence of Mario in both its visual art style and in its tight, precise controls. And for fans of Super Mario 3, the tanooki suit returns, along with some other classic power ups and enemies (i.e., fire flower, hammer bros.). So, if you’re a fan of the mustached hero and looking for a challenging, fun game, then your princess is definitely in this castle.

Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

  Angry Birds Rio

Flinging birds has never felt this good. Rovio returns with another installment of their hit series and delivers. Though there are no pigs this time, Angry Birds Rio doesn’t falter but rather is able to build on the slingshot gameplay that made its predecessors so addicting. Along with that, the periodic updates are great and add hours of gameplay for free. For the price, Angry Birds Rio is an affordable, viable option for a holiday gift. You can slingshot your way into the game via itunes or the android market.

Platforms: iDevices, Android-Enabled Devices

 Plants vs Zombies

When the world is facing a zombie apocalypse, be sure to grow a pumpkin patch, ’cause, boy, they come in handy. Critically acclaimed and now available across most platforms, Plants vs. Zombies is an addicting tower defense game that puts you in control of dozens of different types of plants in your quest to stop a zombie invasion. This game tests your wit and strategical analysis while still maintaining a high level of fun, which is a difficult feat to accomplish. The best part about this great game is that it sits at a pretty penny, and what could compete with that?

Platforms: Nintendo DS, iDevices, Android-Enabled Devices, Mac, PC, XBLA, PSN


 LittleBigPlanet 2

LBP2 is a great sequel and a must own for anyone with a PS3. Known for its creation capabilities, LBP2 offers hundreds of hours of gameplay in terms of player-created levels. And if you’re not satisfied with that, the preloaded developer levels should tide you over for a while. And if content isn’t enough, the awesome visuals and precise controls (Move enabled, if you like) are sure to suck you in. So pull out your PS3 controller this holiday season to create your Mona Lisa, literally, and watch as hundreds enjoy your masterpiece. You can pick up the Special Edition (which includes $35 worth of extra content) here.

Platforms: PS3

 Portal 2

The cake may be a lie, but Portal 2 definitely isn’t. This fantastic sequel brings back humorous writing, complex but fun portal gunplay, smart puzzles, and a more diverse world that makes for one of the best gaming experiences this year. Valve outdid themselves yet again, delivering an experience that can not be found in any other game. This may be the year of the sequels, but who can complain when a game is executed to near perfection. And that’s not an overstatement. Pick it up here.

Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3


Portal 2 Book Ends

These bookends, found on ThinkGeek, is a great gift for lovers of the Portal series or for those in need of something to prop up their books. Sleek and stylish, this gift will be a much appreciated one by gamers and readers alike.

Donkey Kong Jenga

Jenga, the beloved building block game, makes its return to living rooms across the nation this holiday season and in an unexpected way. By teaming up with the most famous 8-bit ape to ever exist, ThinkGeek provides a new iteration of Jenga that is able to connect with both gamers and families like never before. At an affordable $19.99, this collectible edition of Jenga brings fun at a bargain. Just be sure to go easy on grandma when you play her.


Hope you enjoyed our first gift guide of the season! Stay tuned in a few days for our next guide: gifts for Family gamers!