CLOSE

11 Housewarming Gifts for the Dedicated Gamer

Since we brought you The Retro Fun and Games House, I've found a lot more products that will make serious gamers feel right at home in their own homes. Some are for sale; others are handcrafted, so you may have to plan ahead for a special occasion.

1. Space Invaders Bath Towels

These Space Invaders bath towels come in two colors and three designs to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the game (which was last year). Don't worry about whether it will match your bathroom's decor; the colors are black and white. The same outlet also has a Space Invaders Pillow.

2. Gamer Soap

445_soap

DigitalSoaps makes bars of soap in the shape of game controllers! Xbox, NES, and PlayStation contoller-shaped soaps are available, as well as soaps shaped like cell phones, calculators, and Space Invaders. They even have Mountain Dew shampoo for the diehard geek.

3. Iceblox

445iceblox

Iceblox is an ice cube tray that gives you ice in the shape of game pieces we all know and love. You can amplify the effect of serving drinks by using Koolade to make your ice in bright colors. Designed by Martin Zampach. If you prefer, another ice tray called Ice Invaders gives you the shape of yet more familiar game icons.

4. PacMan Oven Mitt

445_pac-manovenmitt

Every kitchen needs oven mitts and pot holders. Only a special kitchen has one shaped like Pac-Man!

5. Mario Table

445mariotable

This Mario tabletop is a one-of-a-kind, so you can't go buy one, but you could make your own. Aaron used ceramic tiles to cover a stained table with an 8-bit Mario design.

6. Tic Tac Toast

445toast

No need to stop playing games just because you're eating breakfast! Just $3.99 will get you a stamp that puts a tic-tac-toe grid on your toast. It can also be used on your lunch sandwich.

7. Rubik's Cube Salt and Pepper Mills

450saltpepper

These Rubik's cube salt and pepper mills are the exact size of a playable Rubik's cube, except that only one row rotates, and that row will grind salt or pepper. One cube of the set comes with a white turning row, the other with a red turning row. If that's too hard to keep straight, remember the pepper mill is the one that pepper comes out of. Add a real Rubik's cube to your table setting to further confuse your guests.

8. Rubik's Cube Clock

445clock

Like the salt and pepper mills, you can only turn the top row on this Rubik's cube clock. When you do, the display shifts from time to date to alarm, and even temperature! Also like the salt and pepper mills, it is the same size as a standard Rubik's cube.

9. Red Ring of Death Coasters

445coasters

With Red Ring of Death coasters, your gamer friends familiar with the Xbox 360 warning will laugh, while your other guests will think they are just nice coasters. I believe these were handmade, though I can see how a manufacturer could be inspired.

10. Mario Quilt

445_marioquilt

This Mario quilt was handcrafted by Brian's wife out of two-inch squares (or pixels, if you will) in 16 colors. See more pictures here. See more gamer quilts in a previous post.

11. Crocheted Nintendo Blanket

445_NintendoBlanket

Craftster member NerdyCrochetGal made this awesome Nintendo blanket out of crocheted squares featuring various Nintendo game icons. Even the border between the pictures is made of Tetris blocks!

See also: 8 Awesome Video Game Quilts and The Retro Fun and Games House.

arrow
entertainment
Nintendo Is Releasing a Special Gold Famicom Mini, Which Will Come Pre-Loaded With 20 Games

Nintendo’s renewed focus on retro gaming continues as the company is slated to release a manga-focused edition of the Famicom Mini in Japan on July 7. The Famicom—short for Nintendo Family Computer—is the Japanese version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, and this new device will come with 20 games pre-loaded onto it.

Back when the NES Classic hit U.S. stores in 2016, Japan got its own Famicom Mini, which featured a slightly different selection of games from its Western counterpart, including Mario Open Golf and Downtown Nekketsu Kōshinkyoku: Soreyuke Daiundōkai. This new edition of the Mini will be gold-plated and is being released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the manga magazine Weekly Jump, according to Kotaku.

To go with the theme, the games on the system will be ones based on the popular manga at the time like Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, and Fist of the North Star, as The Verge reports. These are games that most Western audiences would have never experienced for themselves in the late '80s and early '90s as the manga/anime culture had not yet spilled over into the States much, and companies would rarely waste the time and money on localizing them for an unfamiliar fanbase.

In the rare instances that these games did come stateside, they were usually altered to appeal to a different culture—the most famous example is Dragon Ball on the Famicom arriving in America as Dragon Power in 1988 with box art looking more like something from The Karate Kid than a manga series.

Now that American audiences have embraced manga, there might actually be a market for this tiny package of retro gaming in the States. Unfortunately, there's no word on a U.S. release, meaning you’ll likely have to head to eBay or your local boutique video game store in order to have a shot at landing one. If you want a consolation prize, the original NES Classic will be heading back to stores on June 29—though if history is any guide, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get your hands on that, either.

[h/t: The Verge]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Ice Water Games, YouTube
arrow
fun
5 Smartphone Games That Let You Tend Plants and Chill Out
Ice Water Games, YouTube
Ice Water Games, YouTube

Being in nature is naturally relaxing, but city-dwellers don’t always have an opportunity to get outside. Gardening can be therapeutic for mental health, but you may not have access to a garden—or even the space to tend a houseplant. You can still have a few moments of horticultural meditation every day. It will just have to be digital.

Over the last few years, video game developers have released a number of mobile games that revolve around the simple act of tending to plants. These games are, for the most part, slow-moving, meditative experiences that focus on beautiful graphics, calming soundtracks, and low-key challenges. They’re a great way to de-stress and pursue your gardening dreams, no watering can required.

Here are five relaxing, plant-centric phone games you can download now.

1. VIRIDI; FREE

Viridi is like Neopets for plants. The game is dedicated to nurturing a pot of succulents that grow almost in real time. You can plant a variety of succulent species in your virtual pot. Spritz your plants with water when they’re thirsty and wait for them to grow. Each week, a new seedling will be available for you to plant. The game moves slowly by design. You can let it run in the background, and your plants will do their thing, just like a real plant would. These ones are even harder to kill than real succulents, though.

Find it: iOS, Android

2. TOCA NATURE; $2.99

Toca Boca makes games for kids, but honestly, Toca Nature is pretty fun no matter what your age. You can create your own natural landscapes, adding trees, water features, and mountains. Different natural features attract different animals, and the type of landscape you make shapes whether you’ll get bears, beavers, or birds living there. You can collect berries, feed the animals, or just enjoy planting trees.

Find it: iOS, Android

3. BREATH OF LIGHT: RELAXING PUZZLER; $1.99

In Breath of Light, your job is to bring a garden to life by manipulating a stream of light. Move rocks and mirrors around your zen garden to harness and direct the life-giving light emanating from a single flower. When the light hits another flower, it causes that plant to grow. The very simple puzzles are designed to help you chill out, and the award-winning soundtrack by the audio designer Winterpark features binaural tones that are naturally relaxing. “As a unique, gamified version of guided meditation, Breath of Light helps you enter a state of calm serenity without you even noticing,” according to Killscreen. Sorry, Android users—the app seems to have disappeared from Google Play, but it’s still available for iPhone.

Find it: iOS

4. PRUNE; $3.99

Prune is a puzzle game with a horticultural twist. The object is to plant a tree, then as it grows up, guide it with careful pruning, helping the branches reach the light while staying away from the cold shadows or hot sun, both of which will kill the tree. As the levels rise, you’ll need to contort your trees into ever more complex shapes.

Find it: iOS, Android

5. EUFLORIA; $4.99

If you like your gardening to be a little more high-stakes, Eufloria is out of this world. Seriously, it’s about colonizing asteroids. Your mission is to grow trees on far-off asteroids, sending your seedlings out to turn gray space rocks into thriving landscapes. Your seeds hop from asteroid to asteroid at your behest, creating a chain of fertile life. Sometimes, alien enemies will attack your flourishing asteroid colonies, but don’t worry; you can beat them back with the power of more seeds. The game can be fast-paced and competitive, but there’s a “relaxed” play option that’s more meditative.

Find it: iOS, Android

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios