Two in five gamers say they have been playing more video games since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While other industries have suffered, video gaming has thrived as more people ordered new games and purchased consoles to the point of selling them out and causing shortages.
As we adjust to a different type of shopping season this holiday, the video game industry still has new games up its sleeve just in time for the gifter who waited too long to buy something.
We’ve found just a few video games releasing before the holidays that you can quickly order to get shipped to your loved ones, send to their Steam account or sneak into their stocking.
December 3: El Hijo – A Wild West Tale
HandyGames brings us a family-friendly adventure game featuring a young boy on the search for his mother in the Old West with the help of his trusty slingshot.
The game features stealth mechanics that are both easy and hard to master, puzzles to solve and other types of toys that will be helpful in evading the enemies you meet on your adventure.
December 9: Woodsalt
We first told you about this debut JRPG in September, when it was slated for release on Oct. 13 and created by Team Woodsalt.
In this self-titled game, you help protagonist Emcy after he wakes up from being asleep for a thousand years. While he slept, the Earth was evacuated and he finds a city inside a bubble.
Also an adventure game, Woodsalt is a homage to the "golden age of the gaming era."
The gameplay is relationship and choice-driven and has the potential for multiple endings; be careful about the friends you make and your decisions.
The sci-fi psych thriller will be available for both Steam and the Nintendo Switch.
December 10: George Orwell’s Animal Farm
Based off George Orwell’s famous satire story about farm animals revolting against their human masters, this game actually has the endorsement of the Orwell Estate. It was developed by Nerial and published by The Dairymen.
The player can choose the animals they want to listen to and which animals they want to ignore. You help influence events on the farm that could be helpful in its success or have consequences to it's final fate.
On top of choice-making, players also have to make sure the farm resources are balanced, the animals are happy and defend the farm.
Orwell’s “Animal Farm” was first published 75 years ago as of August this year and is still a favorite among literature and political philosophy fans alike. It isn't required reading in order to play the game or even gift it to someone, but it could be helpful in shaping your gameplay as there's multiple endings.
The game will be available on Mobile devices and Steam.
December 11: Space Invaders Forever Collection
Undisputedly one of the most famous video game names since its debut in 1978, this collection has three different types of games you can choose to play from.
Space Invaders Extreme—a 2008 revamp of the original classic game—will have improved graphics and audio to give players an immersive experience. It has 16 levels and various boss battles. There will also be a Free Play mode to help with practicing and an Arcade Mode for those craving to beat and create high scores.
You can team up with three friends to shoot down the incoming Invaders as fast as you can with Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE, offering new stages to play and new music by Zuntata, house band for video game publisher and developer Taito.
The third game in Space Invaders Forever is actually a combination of two arcade industry kings: Arkanoid vs Space Invaders.
Arkanoid was a block-breaking arcade game that first appeared on the scene in 1986. Arkanoid vs Space Invaders first came on the scene in 2017, for iOS and Android.
In Arkanoid vs Space Invaders, the player is in control of the Arkanoid Vaus paddle ship and is to defeat the waves of invaders who come their way. This game has 150 stages to beat and as you beat the stages, you can unlock 40 different characters from throughout developer Taito’s legacy.
These three games together in one collection is perfect for the most beginning of gamers and the seasoned warriors of the days of arcades. It will be available through the PlayStation Store and Nintendo eShop.
Whether you’re looking for something nostalgic or something of the indie variety, there will be something for everyone this holiday season. We promise not to tell if you waited too long.