Posted December 3, 2015 by Amy in Books

Holiday Fiends: A Complete Gift Guide


From those hard to buy for family members to the fun to shop for techies, we have something for everyone on your list – young and old.

Ahhh, the holidays. They are a tremendously fun time of year, filled with holiday parties, joyous music, smiling children, and piles of presents. Of course, as fun as it can be, the whole present thing can also be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’ve run out of unique ideas for the special people on your list. Never fear, though – we’ve sifted through tons of items to find just the right special something for that special someone on your list. And because we wouldn’t suggest it for your loved ones without trying it out for ourselves first, each item on the list is linked to a full review. So forget the stressing this year, and let us do the work for you.

We wouldn’t be Games Fiends if we didn’t offer you some great choices for the gamers in your life. From some great game releases to the perfect hardware to up their game to the next level, we have some great choices for your gamer guys and girls.

Life is Strange

life-is-strange-episode-5-screenshot-01jpgLife is Strange has a unique story line that really plays around with the idea of in-game choices and their consequences. You play as Max, a photographer who discovers she is able to rewind time. It’s a cool concept, and since the game is played out in episodes, it’s a great choice for smaller gaming sessions. You can purchase the episodes separately for a small gift, or as a complete season – and it’s available on a variety of platforms.
Tales from the Borderlands

Vault of the Traveler header imageTales from the Borderlands is another episodic gem that offers a lot of bang for your buck. It’s the backstory you’ve always wanted for your Borderlands fantasies, set on Pandora just after the events of Borderlands 2. You can either purchase separate episodes, or buy the season pass. A digital game code makes a perfect gift for faraway loved ones – no need to stand in line at the post office, just click and give.
Dying Light

header“In Techland’s Dying Light, you play as Kyle Crane, a Global Relief Effort agent, on a mission to track down a wanted terrorist in a city overrun by the undead.” It’s a different take on the zombie apocalypse story line, and it’s certainly on a lot of top ten lists. Dying Light is a sure-to-please option for both your favorite gamer and your favorite zombie fanatic.

The Witcher 3

Hearts of Stone header picAn open world game providing countless hours of enjoyment exploring a fantastical new world? Sign me up! The Witcher 3 is an expansive game that is widely considered to be one of the top game releases of the year. Whether you’re looking for something that will keep them busy for more than a few nights, or you just want to make your role-playing fan’s day, it’s a sure hit for the holiday season.

Saitek Heavy Equipment Precision Control System

farm-sim-bundleOkay, I am the first to admit that this is not a product that suits everyone. That being said, if simulation is your gaming heaven, then this is definitely the product for you. Designed with Farming Simulator ’15 Gold Edition in mind, it is a complete system to make farming in-game as close to the real thing as possible. It’s a pricey controller system, but considering how well it also works with a number of other simulator games, your favorite sim fan is sure to get your money’s worth and then some out of the set.
Mad Catz R.A.T.TE

RATTE_matteBlack_topThe  Mad Catz R.A.T.TE is a great option for hardcore players looking to up their game. This featherlight mouse is lightning fast and dead accurate – a must for pro gamers. With unprecedented calibration options and a simple to use customization software, it’s a solid choice for competitive gamers, who have a different set of needs than the average player. Whether your listee is a pro gamer or just someone who wants to up their game, they are sure to fall in love with this gorgeous piece of gaming equipment.
HIDEit PS4 Mount


Electronics are oh, so much fun – but they aren’t exactly pretty. Consoles take up a ton of space, especially if you’re a multi-system household. The HIDEiT Mount is a simple yet genius product – it easily and securely mounts your console to the wall. You can hide it out of sight behind your tv, or display it proudly front and center. Either way, you’ll free up a lot of surface space (perhaps you’ll find enough room for a few new games).

We all know someone who’s happy as a clam when they’re buried in a book. But finding just the right book to get them smiling on Christmas morning isn’t always easy. Look below for some riveting choices for readers young and old.

The Night Before Christmas: A Brick Story

51iWaY2h6zLIt’s the Night Before Christmas poem as you know and love it – illustrated entirely with LEGO bricks. Do I really even need to say more? A great quirky gift for the family who has everything, a fun holiday treat for your LEGO-loving little ones, or even just a sweet source of building ideas, it’s a book they’ll all love finding under the tree this year.

The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

zombie_cover-frontIt’s the perfect gift for the prepper in your life – a literal how-to manual on how to survive once the undead have take over. Featuring a variety of projects from the simple to the complex, it’s great fun for all sorts of handy types. You don’t actually have to fear an eminent apocalypse to enjoy these projects…but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the worst.
Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat

51bDz6OKdHL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The holidays are joyous and beautiful – but they can also be extremely stressful. Family time doesn’t always translate to family fun when extended families are involved. Whether they’re dreading Aunt Bertha’s inevitable criticisms of their parenting, or their older sister’s insufferable comments about the food, give them something to laugh about with this book filled with humorous essays about suffering through the holidays with a smile.
Science of Parenthood

cover72809-mediumFinding the absolute perfect gift for the new parents in your life isn’t easy. Presenting the wrong sort of book could be construed as a criticism of their parenting, especially for sleep-deprived parents of newborns. Ease their minds and tickle their funny bones with this humorous look at parenting from a thoroughly unscientific point of view.
Once Upon a Zombie

51JcnFbZyAL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_A quirky fairy tale that you and your kids can enjoy? It’s a beautiful thing. The Once Upon a Zombie series takes the fairy tale princesses and characters you remember, and turns them into something way cooler – zombies. It’s a down-the-rabbit-hole story that’s equal parts exciting and inspiring, as the main character learns to conquer her fears in order to save those she loves. Did I mention the zombie princesses?

cover68377-mediumR.A. Salvatore is a powerhouse name when it comes to fantasy fiction. Drizzt, his signature dark elf character, is a favorite of fans around the world. Whether you’re searching for the perfect treat for a lover of all things fantasy, or just something new for your diehard Dungeons & Dragons fans, it’s a trip into the Forgotten Realms they won’t soon forget.

Family Fun
Hey, what are the holidays all about if not family time? Whether you want a fun board game to play together or a fun toy to bond with, we have some unique choices for your familia.


Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9

ATT00002Veggie Tales fans – rejoice! There’s a new series from creator Phil Vischer, and it’s just as entertaining as its veggie-filled counterpart, in it’s own way. Your kids are going to love Buck Denver, and you’ll giggle too at the corny jokes and joyous conclusion. It’s a faith based series, and a great choice for the church-going children on your list.
Dragonball Z: Resurrection f


Viewers are treated to one furious battle after another, from Goku and Vegeta’s not so impressive training to the epic battle between Goku and Frieza in some pretty impressive forms. And though there are a few mild curses within the film, for the most part it’s pretty safe for families to watch together – always a plus for fans of the parental variety. Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is a satisfying and entertaining watch, a great choice for Dragonball Z fans and newcomers to the series alike.
Cooking Mama: Bon Apetit! 3Ds

20140626023810!CookingMama5ratedrpboxartCooking Mama 5: Bon Appetit is great fun, providing frantic cooking action that is way more engaging than you’d think it would be. Whether you’re whipping up some cocktails or trying out homemade marshmallows, you’ll find game play that is just close enough to the real things to make it interesting, but not so close that it feels like work. It’s a fun gaming choice that family members of all ages can enjoy.
Bright Time Buddies

51c4iaJwceL._SX522_Sometimes it’s tough to find just the right stocking stuffer or little trinket for the little ones on your list. Bright Time Buddies are a small, durable friend that will literally light up their life. Small enough to easily to fit in little hands, they glow in a variety of colors – and turn themselves off to save batteries. It’s the perfect choice for little guys who are nervous in the dark, and small enough to fit perfectly in their stockings.
Sock Puppet Charades
getDynamicImage.aspxFamily game night can be a tough prospect. It’s hard to find a family friendly game that everyone can enjoy – especially if you have a wide range of ages who want to participate. Sock Puppet Charades offers a fun new twist on the classic game of charades. You act out different words and phrases using sock puppets and a variety of props – and it’s hilarious, regardless of your age.

Music is a constant favorite for friends and family members of all ages, so great headphones or a sweet new speaker will always bring a smile. We’ve tried out a wide variety of music deliverers in a variety of price ranges that will keep your giftees smiling…and jamming.


V-MODA Crossfade M-100 (Headset)

81kSEwsjpML._SL1500_If you’re a believer in the phrase “you get what you pay for”, you’re certainly going to find it true when it comes to the Crossfade M-100′s. These are just a quality headset all around. Yes, it’s a bit of a hefty price tag, but these offer a complete package including a sleek modern look, high quality construction, rich vibrant sound, and the ability to customize by adding different features.They can easily go from a conference call to a jam session to gaming nirvana – and they’ll look good every second of it.
Pocket Party

x-bassIt’s worth buying just for the ability to exploit the “party in your pocket” lame jokes alone. The Pocket Party is a bluetooth speaker and mobile light show, all in one tiny portable package. Shove it in your pocket, clip it on your backpack, or strap it to your bike – no matter where you go, you’ll have the ability to stream your music and light up the room, without breaking the bank.

Relays_Web_ProductPackaging_LemonLime_540x553SOL REPUBLIC’s Relays in-ear headphones offer the ultimate in comfort and style on the go – without sacrificing quality. They’re meant to go from work, to gym, and everything in between without skipping a beat. They’re the perfect choice for your health-obsessed sibling, your earbud addicted bff, and it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a little something for yourself while you’re at it.
Bluetooth Splash Speaker

1504_bthsplspk_1Bluetooth speakers are a hot accessory right now. The ability to seamlessly stream music on the go or at home allows you to enjoy (and share) your music in a whole new way. The Bluetooth Splash Speaker is both portable and able to stand up to whatever your teenager can dish out. It has a strap for convenient carrying – and it’s even splash proof. A perfect gift for the music fans in your life.

HUB IT Sync & Charge Station
31iOe8cVk8LThis one’s a bit of a practical gift, but I guarantee it’s going to be a favorite. Whether you’re streaming from your ipod, draining the battery on your phone, or wearing down your bluetooth speakers, all of those things are going to need charging. And that can be a whole mess of cords and a bit of a pain in the neck. The HUB IT is a customizable charging station that charges four different devices at a time – and it does it faster than the average cord too. Fully charged devices? That’s a gift I’d love to find under my tree.


U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)