The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Consumer

November 29, 2013

The Ultimate Holiday Video Game Gift Guide | Part IV

When it comes to gift shopping, the wide world of electronic gaming can be daunting if the only controller you’re used to just changes channels. This guide is a comprehensive list of can’t-miss gifts for the gamers on your holiday shopping list - made up of the year’s most highly acclaimed video game releases and Black Friday and online-only deals that will save you some scratch.

Part IV | Digital stocking stuffers (under $20)

The downloadable add-ons below can be purchased in several ways: By purchasing an Xbox Live gift card (for Xbox 360 games), Playstation Network gift card (for PS3 games) or Steam gift card (for PC games) at a local game retailer, or by buying a download code from the developer's website, which is also listed below.

Bioshock Infinite "Burial at Sea Episode 1" add-on | X360/PS3/PC

  • First-person shooter/Adventure
  • Rating: M 17+
  • MSRP: $14.99

The second downloadable add-on for Bioshock Infinite doesn't expand on the story so much as come at it sideways. Players will rejoin Infinite protagonists Booker and Elizabeth in a setting that fans of the series will recognize: the underwater dystopian metropolis known as Rapture. Those who played the original Bioshock may remember Rapture as a barren, leaking ruin stalked by its mutated, psychotic former inhabitants. But in Burial at Sea, players will get to experience Rapture before its fall. For any gamer who loved (and still owns) Infinite, this one is sure to please.

Mass Effect 3 "Citadel" add-on | X360/PS3/PC

  • Shooter/Role-playing
  • Rating: M 17+
  • MSRP: $14.99
  • Requires original Mass Effect 3 disc

Fez | X360/PS3/PS4/Vita/PC

  • 2-D/3-D platformer
  • Rating:
  • MSRP: $9.99
  • Perfect for: Anyone who would enjoy retro platformer style play like Super Mario, but with a modern twist
  • Buy it for PC here

Fez is a little independently developed title that kept a lot of gamers waiting a long time. Its repeated delays were actually a focus of the 2012 documentary Indie Game: The Movie, following eccentric creator Phil Fish during his development odyssey and the first public appearance of the game at a trade show. Gamers agree, however, that Fez was well worth the wait. Offering a fresh take on 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional perspective in the video game medium, players will have to learn to navigate a shifting, twisting world if they want to see this unique platformer to the end.

The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 - Faith | X360/PS3/PC

  • Action/Adventure
  • Rating: M 17+
  • MSRP: $24.99 (PC - Complete series)/$14.99 (X360/PS3 - Complete series)/$4.99 (X360/PS3 - Episode 1)
  • Perfect for: Fans of the Fables comic book series, which the game is based on, or gamers who likes choices and consequences in their video games
  • Buy it on PC here

Gemini Rue | iPhone/iPad/PC

  • Point-and-click/Adventure
  • Rating: N/A (Mild violence and language)
  • MSRP: $9.99 (PC)/$4.99 (iOS)
  • Perfect for: Any gamer who wants to feel like part of a thrilling futuristic story and put some thought into problem-solving
  • Buy it on PC here

Gemini Rue harkens back to the mid-90s point-and-click adventure heyday. In those titles, players would have navigate a hand-drawn and animated world, acquiring items to solve puzzles and advance the often well-written storylines. A worthy homage to that now-dead genre, Gemini Rue fuses that style of play with a serious, futuristic Blade Runner-esque world and weaves a story involving two separate protagonists, amnesia and intergalactic travel. Players will get sucked into Rue's gritty, despondent atmosphere and the plot will keep them guessing until the very end.

CONTINUE? 9... 8... 7...

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