We here at The Nerd Stash love the holidays, as it is a time for family, wonder, fun, and of course a lot of free time for nerdy activities! With the festivities right around the corner, time is running out to find the perfect gift for your loved ones (or even yourself) this holiday season. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Below is a list of a variety of recommendations we endorse, from board games to clothing to books, that will fit your Nerdy Needs!
Activision Games for All Ages
Recommended by Andrew McMahon
This holiday season, Activision has an array of games for all ages.
- For Kids (E – 10+): For young little Timmy, give him the gift of the iconic platform game from the 90s, in Crash Bandicoot: N Same Trilogy. Remastered in one pack for the PS4, the trilogy features the first three titles – Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped – and also allows players to play as Crash’s incredibly trendy little sister Coco in the fight for the first time, all in the hopes of defeating Doctor Neo Cortex. Available for $39.99 (Standard Edition); $39.99 (Digital Standard Edition).
- For Teens – Adults (T – Teen): Prepare yourself Guardian, as Bungie’s hit award-winning first-person shooter (FPS) game returns in Destiny 2. This sequel expands on the original and continues to offer a wide-variety of gameplay for teens and adults alike! Available for $59.99 (Standard Edition); $89.99 (Game + Expansion Pass Bundle); $99.99 (Digital Deluxe).
- For Adults (M – Mature, 17+): The Call of Duty franchise has a storied history when it comes to the World Wars and Call of Duty: WWII might be the most breathtaking one yet. Alongside its award-winning multiplayer, experience an iconic and brutally realistic single-player story, experiencing events and locations such as the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day), Liberation of Paris and Battle of the Bulge! Available for $39.99 (Standard Edition); $39.99 (Digital Standard Edition); $99.99 (Digital Deluxe); $99.99 (Pro Edition).
The Legend of Zelda Shadow Box
Recommended by Shelby Royal
As a nerd enthusiast, there is nothing I love more than memorabilia from my favorite gaming series, anime, television show, or movie. The only thing better than another nerdy knick-knack to hang on my wall is a cool piece of artwork from a local artist or creator. Etsy is a platform that allows creators to share their work with people all over the world. And it is a goldmine for awesome gift ideas!
The Legend of Zelda shadow box pictured above is from the shop, VideoGameShadowBox. The shop has shadow boxes from multiple Nintendo franchises like Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Chrono Trigger, and others, and they all run about $60. Any gamer in your life is sure to love such a unique and hand-crafted gift! Don’t see the game you like? Are the shadow boxes a bit out of your price range? No worries! Etsy has thousands of artists with different styles, interests, and price ranges. Some of my personal favorites include these Pokemon prints from LynsWatercolors, this Twilight Princess print from ZulayaWolf, or this awesome Sombra print from GamersArea. But the possibilities are endless when it comes to the artists showcased on Etsy’s platform; so, go wild!
B.J. Blazkowicz Faux Leather Jacket
Recommended by DJ Kinsley
The holiday season is always a good time to reflect and appreciate how we trounced the Third Reich in real life in 1945. In the Wolfenstein world the allies didn’t make out quite so good. Thanks to the efforts of BJ Blazkowicz and his crew in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus the Reich took a serious knock which can only be described as a Christmas miracle! To commemorate what many are calling the best story in gaming this year, Bethesda is selling a replica of BJ’s leather coat from the game for the holidays.
The faux leather, mustard yellow jacket will have you as warm as cup of hot apple cider on a snowy evening and as cool as the Fonz this holiday season. The recreation of BJ’s Nazi-stomping attire includes the same 2 Down 7 to Go patch on the back, black detail, four working pockets on the front and a fifth on the back for good measure. The jacket retails for $98 and is sure to make a statement at Christmas dinner when your Uncle Lou and Aunt Sally are wearing matching sweaters covered in elves and reindeer. You may complain though that faux leather just doesn’t have the same smell as real leather. Fear not, a jacket this awesome, from a game this great, smells better than leather. This gift smells of freedom……Blazkowicz style!
Recoil Lazertag Multiplayer Starter Pack
Recommended by Chris George
You’d be hard-pressed to find a kid or even grown ups that would turn down a game of laser tag. It’s such a process though to find a facility and get everyone there. Now, however, “Recoil” allows you to bring an Augmented Reality game of laser tag right to you. Keep in mind that to enjoy this augmented reality laser tag, you will need one smartphone per weapon.
The smartphone will mount to the side of your weapon and act as a HUD while you play. You’ll have a health bar, ammo count and radar available on your HUD. While you can buy weapons and accessories separately, the starter pack is a good place to start. It comes with two weapons which include phone mounts for each. A Wi-Fi base station extends the playing field up to 300 feet in all directions.
Currently, the “Recoil Multiplayer Starter Pack” is available at Best Buy for $114.99 and will also need AA batteries that are not included.
Cuphead 4xLP Deluxe Vinyl Soundtrack
Recommended by Joel Schanke
Are you one of those oddballs who like Jazz? How about retro, side-scrolling video games? Well, luckily for you, the Cuphead 4xLP Deluxe Vinyl Soundtrack combines both of these two elements into a feast for your ears. Cuphead, which was developed by Studio MDHR, was released on Xbox One and Microsoft Windows on September 29, 2017, and has received much critical acclaim since then. Studio MDHR has teamed up with Iam8bit to bring you the full soundtrack for the game, available to purchase on a vinyl record. What more can you ask for as a perfect Christmas gift for a loved one who has the quirky passion for Jazz and also enjoyed Cuphead? Nothing, I tell you. Nothing
The 4xLp Vinyl is a collection of almost 3 hours of music, all packed tight in a 1930’s looking album cover designed by Jango Snow. The Vinyl includes a Digital Soundtrack as well, for those of you who are keen on taking your music with you wherever the day takes you. Just holding the record makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the age when an orchestra provided just the right amount of touch in their dealings with the Jazz genre. Kristofer Maddigan, the writer of both the music and lyrics, pours his heart and soul into the soundtrack, so you know it’s worth the $100 price tag.
You can purchase the Cuphead 4xLP Deluxe Vinyl Soundtrack on Iam8bit’s website. The product is currently on back order due to popular demand, so it won’t ship until the first quarter of 2018. Just tell that special someone you have a gift worth waiting for; I’m almost positive that they’ll feel the same way once they unbox their jazzy, energetic record detailing the adventures of Cuphead and his trusty brother, Mugman.
Minecraft Color Changing Potion Bottle
Recommended by Ellen Ward
If you still have a little one that is still in love with the classic game Minecraft, then this item will be a great (big) stocking filler. It might
not be the fanciest of gadgets, but it does bring a smile to your face. This potion has eight different colors to choose from and is official Minecraft
merchandise. These colors are indigo, light blue, cyan, green, peach, yellow, red, and white. To change the color, you give it a tap on top of the bottle!
The device takes two AAA batteries which are currently not included. But do not worry about it taking up all your battery life, as the device lasts three minutes and just simply turn it back on to light it up again. It is easy to use and will not drain your electricity bill and it makes a cool mood-changer to the room. This plastic light will keep your kids or you, busy on Christmas day and will look great on your bedside table
as a nice decorative piece. Get the Minecraft Color Changing Potion Bottle as a gift for the price of $19.99
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels Written by Jason Schrier
Recommended by Jordan Baranowski
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is a collection of true stories all about game development. Kotaku news editor Jason Schreier pulls back the curtain of how our favorite games are made, with stories that humanize the minds behind the development and all the effort that goes into creating a perfect game. It focuses on a huge variety of games, from indie darlings like Shovel Knight to AAA experiences like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
It’s a perfect gift for any gamer on your list who wants to learn a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes. Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made is currently available on Amazon for purchase, with prices varying depending upon the edition.
Mountains of Madness Board Game
Recommended by Caleb Daniel
Mountains of Madness is a new board game from popular creator Rob Daviau. This Lovecraft-themed game expertly bridges the gap between the party game crowd and hardcore board game fans.
Based on the horror writing of H.P. Lovecraft, Mountains of Madness adds a silly twist to its survival co-op atmosphere. Players must help each other up a harrowing mountain without falling to the many eldritch horrors in the way. Quick communication is key, as players need to know what cards their friends have. However, the higher you ascend, you’ll start getting “madness” conditions, and that’s where the real fun comes in.
Each “madness” puts an entertaining restriction on how you can communicate with your friends. You might have to only answer in the affirmative, speak with your finger between your lips, or repeat one word over and over. The madness continues to escalate, allowing players to carefully strategize while also having a blast in a party-game sort of way.
If you’re a fan of strategy board games but most of your friends aren’t at that level, this game is for you. If you’re a fan of party games and you’re thinking about trying something more intense, Mountains of Madness is a great middle ground. It’s complex enough to entertain hardcore players, but it’s silly enough to keep the whole family laughing. Available on Amazon for $39.99 (discount for Prime users)
What do you think of our recommendations? Have any of your own? Be sure to leave feedback in the comments below! And no matter what you buy or celebrate this season, Happy Holidays from all of us here at The Nerd Stash! Stay Nerdy!
Andrew has been in love with video game ever since his brother was forced by their parents to let him watch him and his friends play games like Goldeneye and Super Mario 64.