So, Christmas is over and we’re fast approaching the new year once more. Depressing, isn’t it? There’s a whole year to wait until Santa can muster the strength to climb back down the chimney again.
Still, on the plus side there’s no reason why we can’t just buy ourselves some nice little presents to make ourselves feel better.
So, to cheer everyone up, we’ve gathered a run-down of what we think some of the best post-Christmas games, gears and gizmos that you can guiltlessly buy yourself to take away those new year blues. We've started with the games too - one for PC, consoles and handhelds - but over the remaining pages you can check out some more ideas for post-Christmas treats in other areas.
Also, if you haven't already, don't hesitate to drop into the forums and let us know exactly how stressful your Christmas was and what colour socks you got given by your more estranged relatives.
There’s nothing to take your mind off writing a list of new year's resolutions like some massively difficult puzzles all set around twisting the rules of time and space. Developed by Jonathan Blow, Braid has become the critical darling of the games journalism industry and for a damn good reason. Not only is the game alternately perplexing and rewarding, it also manages to be strangely moving and powerful at the same time.
With a beautiful painted look to the graphics and a gentle but still baffling way of introducing the player to new mechanics and ideas, Braid is an impressive debut for this tiny indie developer. The way it tells the story of time-travelling Tim and his search for his Princess will have you re-thinking the way you look at games forever.
Braid will eventually be making its way from the Xbox 360 to the PC, but If you want to know more about the game in the meantime then you can check out our full Braid review of the Xbox 360 version.
Of course, not everything in life has to be deep and meaningful enough to make you cry. Sometime all you want is a slammin’ beat, some flashing lights and a thrilling guitar riff for you and a friend to rock out to. That’s where Audiosurf comes in.
There are music-based games and then there are music-based games. This is the latter, letting you upload your own music into the game and then ride it as a 3D rollercoaster, Audiosurf beats the snot out of the likes of Guitar Hero. The fact that it’s another indie-developed game only makes things better too.
Playing as a cross between Tetris and OutRun, the aim of the game is to collect as many similar bricks as possible and match them into lines in the grid behind your Audiosurfer. It isn’t as easy as it seems though, mainly because the bricks and the track you ride on are based on the music you’re listening to. Bat Out of Hell has never been so exciting. Check out our full review for more information.
OK, we get it; you’re a busy person. You don’t have time to actually sit down at a computer or console and play a game – you want something you can take with you. This should do the job, while still giving you a dose of addictive gameplay.
The plot for Ecclesia is the same as every other Castlevania game and once more it’s up to you to try and save the world from a rising evil in the land of Transylvania. This time casting the player as a young girl called Shanoa with an arsenal of magic glyphs, Castlevania offers dozens of hours of playtime and enjoyment with it’s mix of 2D platforming and RPG gaming.
Complete with a new Versus mode and the usual options for trading items with other players over WiFi, Konami has ensured that the latest Castlevania game is as fresh and fun as ever - and if you don't believe us then you can check out the full review for more details.