If you are like me and you hate doing anything until the very last minute, ideas for readily available presents might be difficult to come up with. So with that in mind I present you:
Forbidden Island is a co-op game with a very simple premise. You work together with the other players to try and capture idols and escape the island before it sinks. While the rules may be simple the gameplay can become very frantic and group strategy is required. This is one of the few board games out there that can turn a non gamer into a diehard in one session. You can generally find Forbidden Island at Barnes & Nobles or your local game shop.
Munchkin is one of those games that can break up friendships. Each player is given 7 cards which include monsters, classes, items, weapons, player/monster enhancements, and various one-off boosts to players and monsters. The goal of the game is to reach level 10. You do this by fighting monsters to make sure you gain levels and screwing the other players to make sure they don’t. Cheating is frowned upon, but highly encouraged. You can find Munchkin at Barnes & Nobles and your local game shop.
Table Top Games:
I’m trying to keep this list with items that are fairly easy to find 2 days before Christmas, but I just had to add this one. Paranoia is a table top game where the experience of the single adventure is greater than the whole. Everyone is a resident of an underground society controlled by a power mad self-aware computer who sends his subjects off on suicide missions. This is a game where you will die. Throughout the game players are given a number of clones that can replace their character if/when they die out in the field. If you survive until the end of the adventure one of the other players may convince the computer that you are a traitor and you will die. You will probably only be able to find Paranoia at your local game store.
Now full disclosure here, I have never played a game of Shadowrun, but I have read a number of editions of the rules books and supplements, and have even started fleshing out a campaign that never got off the ground. Shadowrun is cyberpunk at it’s core. If the person you are buying for likes Neuromancer (“the archetypal cyberpunk work”) or Snow Crash (My favorite book of all time), this is the setting for them. Shadowrun is set in a dystopian fascist future where corporations rule the land and runners are the hired help that do anything from corporate espionage to straight assassination. Within the game, the character classes stretch the gamut from nature loving, technology hating shaman to “I live in the matrix” Decker (hacker). You might be able to find this in a book store, but honestly a local game shop is your best bet.
Of all the AAA games released within the past 3 months Assassin’s Creed Revelations seems like the one most likely lost in the mix just due to the other major franchises released the week before and week after it. Assassin’s Creed Revelations continues on in the same vein as Brotherhood where it is a continuation of the characters we already know and enjoy vs. an actual sequel like Assassin’s Creed 2 was. You should be able to pick up Assassin’s Creed Revelations at Denny’s at this point.
I know I’m going to get flak for this, but Skyrim is the biggest game of the year. At this point even if you get this for someone who already owns the game they will think well of you. Skyrim is an open world role playing game (RPG) where you can create a character tailored to your exact specifications, whether it being a dual-summoning mage with a conjured bow to a two-handed axe wielding barbarian that eats flowers to heal. This game is beautiful to look at and easy to lose hours to. If you do pick this up, I would suggest buying either the Xbox 360 or PC version of the game as the PS3 version has some issues when you start getting deep in to it. You can pick up Skyrim at any of the big box electronic retailers or smaller video game shops.