Dec 14, 2011

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Holiday Gift Guide: The Gamer on the Go

Samsung Galaxy S II

If your gamer on the go is more inclined to use the Android operating system, the Samsung Galaxy S II is a smartphone that can solve all of their mobile gaming needs. Offered through select carriers, including Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile, the Samsung Galaxy S II is a beast of a phone. With a dual-core processor that supports ARM’S Mali-400 MP Graphic Processing Unit, this phone will handle just about any android game you throw at it, and they look great on the device’s vivid 800×400 screen. The microSD slot allows for expansion of storage if needed, which makes making space for those heavier game files no problem.

Kindle Fire

Amazon’s Kindle Fire has been subject to mixed reviews, but the fact remains that at $199, it is the best value for a tablet device this year. The biggest downside of the Kindle Fire is that you can only access content offered through Amazon. Even the device’s operating system, Amazon Silk, was developed in-house — meaning the Kindle Fire’s game library is considerably small compared to iOS and other Android devices. Despite this, the Kindle Fire hosts a handful of popular casual games and could see greater developer support in the future. The device’s portability makes it a great gift for casual gamers on the move, as well as those new to gaming. Who knows? Your mom might just want to load up Angry Birds on a whim after her run through Pride and Prejudice.


Plants vs. Zombies

A classic example of tower defense (or in this case, lawn defense), Plants vs. Zombies the player to defend themselves against an onslaught of zombies by placing sentient plants strategically on their lawn. A silly concept, but Plants vs. Zombies proves to be a fun time-waster. A single game is the perfect length for a bus ride or for a wait in the doctor’s office. Unfortunately, the Kindle Fire edition has limited features compared to iOS and PC versions of the game, but it’s been optimized for play on the Fire.

Platforms: Kindle Fire (also available on DS, iOS, and Android)

Symphony of Eternity

For those craving something a bit more in-depth than casual games available on the Fire, Symphony of Eternity is ready to offer you the full JRPG experience. With gameplay strongly resembling retro Final Fantasy titles, Symphony of Eternity hosts a handful of wacky characters and a simple, yet engaging story line. While the translations are slightly rough, the game is overall a polished example of a classic, old-school RPG. Symphony of Eternity is likely to appeal to those that have a soft spot for old RPGs on the SNES.

Platforms: Kindle Fire (also available on iOS and Android)

ASUS Zenbook

The  Zenbook from ASUS is, much like the MacBook Air, an ultra-portable laptop with size and mobility as its main features. Because the Zenbook relies on integrated Intel graphics, the Zenbook will not handle extremely demanding PC games, but it still has a lot of gaming potential. With the option of an i7 processor and a Solid State Drive, the Zenbook is surprisingly fast and powerful for a laptop of it’s size.  The Zenbook is sure to please PC gamers that need laptop on their person 24/7, as the its slim design makes it fit easily into bags and carrying cases. Unlike the MacBook Air, the Zenbook supports Microsoft Windows, allowing gamer’s a wider range of PC games than Apple’s competing ultra-portable laptop. And with services like OnLive, you can have access to PC games anywhere you have a WiFi connection.

USB Power Inverter with Auto Charger

“A Power Inverter? Isn’t that kind of a boring gift?” you might be asking me, and to you I’ll sagely say, “Trust me on this one.” Available through the internet retailers such as ThinkGeek and Amazon, a power inverter is a must have item for any true gamer on the go. There is no denying portable gaming hardware has become a lot more beefy over the past few years, and as a result the battery life has become not-so-beefy. With a power inverter, gamers can ensure their all their gaming devices will stay juiced up whether in a car or plane.  These little trinkets are especially handy for road trips.

With so many gaming options other than consoles or desktop computers, you’re sure to find the right gift for the on-the-go gamer on your list. Be sure to check out our Holiiday Gift Guides for Family Gamers , Casual Gamers, Gamers on a Budget, and stay tuned for our gift guides for Busy Gamers and the Gamer Who Has Everything.


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About Elaine Kellogg

Elaine is most certainly not an android from a distant planet.