5 Games Released Just in Time for Last-Minute Gifts

Did you forget to get a gift for a loved one? Need to surprise a special pal? Or do all your initial gifts suck and require returning? Then check out this list to ease your last-minute efforts to appease your friends and family, despite their lack of faith in you. Reward them with these games that will surely entertain them or at the very least grant you access to holiday dinners for pity of your trying. It’s important to always think ahead, but time is short and Christmas is nigh! Just buy something already! (If you’re really late, many of these can be purchased instantly online and downloaded.)

1. Aviary Attorney

Released: December 21
Platform: PC

If you know someone who’s of the literary type, perhaps some “punderful” legal battles during 19th century Paris will do as an adequate gift. In Aviary Attorney, as the game’s official site summarizes, you’ll play as Monsieur Jayjay Falcon accompanied by his witty apprentice Sparrowson, and quip your way through mystery and deceit. With authentic French detail, a fitting romantic-era score, and genuinely immersive caricature work by J.J. Grandville, the absurdity is almost validated as much as it is laughable. Surely any person who appreciates wordplay and linguistic inventiveness could enjoy themselves in this simple but distinct Sherlock Holmes-inspired game. Jayjay rages at the end of the trailer, “the evidence is indisputable,” and its true, buy this game!

And for you readers out there, there’s a book called An Exaltation of Larks by James Lipton — yes, the James Lipton of Inside the Actor’s Studio – that creates an entire catalog of collective nouns, many of which include similarly drawn groups of animals that also hold a certain comedic and poetic quality. Highlights include: “a kindle of kittens,” “a whiplash of potholes,” and “a flaccidity of clams,” just to name a few.

If you still need further help, there’s an additional list of recently released games that features yet another bird-themed and dialogue-heavy adventure called Hatoful Boyfriend

2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5

Released: December 18
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3

After suffering delays, the old-gen version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skateboard 5 has finally come, likely to no one’s excitement due to its near universally panned reviews. But no matter, you’ve got a little cousin who’s a skateboard phenom who won’t be stopped by underwhelming graphics, janky gameplay, and poor mechanics. As the video review describes, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 has “the jump, ok?” and “There is trick.” And of course, who can forget “the grine”? All the staples of a lukewarm skate game are present and function enough to occupy a child for a small collection of hours, which is all you’re hoping for anyway right?

3. Oh…Sir!

Released: December 21
Platform: PC

Yet another linguistic release, Oh…Sir! gets downright nonsensical with verbal combat, inserting peculiarity and oddness through the randomly generated words and phrases. The ladies and gents over at Kotaku gave Oh…Sir! a once over and deemed it fun but if only for a while. The premise is simple: Sit down with a pal you love to hate, insult each other like gentlemen over tea, repeat. Oh…Sir! might not be winning awards anytime soon, especially for its grating sound design, but it may function nicely as a quick board game-esque experience for the family during the holidays.

Luckily, the game is free, so insulting your loved ones won’t even cost you any cash, all under the guise of a “game.” “Your hamster never watched Star Wars and is getting fat.” Oooooooohhhhhhhh!!!

4. Snake Blocks

Released: December 21
Platform: PC, iPhone, iPad

Snake Blocks might satisfy gamers you know who enjoy a mental challenge, as it’s a fairly straightforward puzzle game, somewhat reminiscent of a Rubix’s Cube. It’s all about path finding with the blocky Minecraft-style graphics, as connecting each snake’s head to its butt is the ultimate goal, requiring some forward thinking to plan a solution. Snake Blocks may be simple, but it could definitely be a useful and fun tool for developing visualization and critical thinking for children, as well as provide an engaging tune up for adults overstimulated by our modern-age technology.

5. Moonshot

Released: December 21
Platform: PC

Sort of like a Worms game but in space, Moonshot is a simple yet effective strategy shooter which, like any good game of its type, is accessible to new players but provides a learning curve to allow more skilled players to perfect their attacks. You’ll be able to slip by death through your cunning and guile, returning deadly shots arcing across space toward your enemies. The explosive and kinetic gameplay will likely lend the game well as a gift for anyone who’s got no time for words and stuff, and only wants to shoot things and watch them go blam. So if you think literary and puzzle-focused games are too tame for your desired gift recipient, perhaps Moonshot is just what you need to make an impact.

Merry New Year!

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