You've torn down the stairs, seen the remains of the mince pies and brandy and promptly shredded your way through your pile of Christmas presents, hopeful for tech toys and gaming goodies galore. Alas, all that awaited you were novelty ties, inedible mystery chocolates and a hilarious novelty phone in the shape of a chameleon.
Fear not, festive warrior, for we here at bit-tech have, using our vast knowledge of all that is cool and techy, amassed this helpful guide to help you salvage your festive break. After all, if your friends and family have failed so spectacularly to give you the presents you most desired, don't you owe it to yourself to give the gift of giving to yourself?
How to Spend Your Xmas Cash 2010 - Games
While some people are happy just to spend Christmas with their loved ones, there's only so many times we can hear Uncle Tom's story about the time he fell in the cesspit. Add that to the inevitably rubbish Christmas specials served up on TV and you're left with two options. Top Gear repeats on Dave, or playing a shiny new PC game. We urge you to do the latter.
Chime is the bastard son of Audiosurf and Tetris; a grid-based puzzler where you create music by making shapes out of randomly delivered blocks. Unlike Tetris, your aim in Chime is to make ‘quads’ rather than lines, meaning any whole shape bigger than 3x3 squares on the grid that overlays each level. Make a quad and it will flash for a few seconds before disappearing, giving you just enough time to bolt more shapes on to your quad, making it bigger and scoring more points.
Don't worry, Chime isn't anywhere near as complicated as it sounds. Bordering on frighteningly hypnotic on occasion, Chime is simply brilliant, and it's super cheap too. Buy it you fools!
While Chime is a brief, concentrated hit of puzzling nirvana, the latest Fallout is aimed at those who value longevity in their games. While little has changed on the gameplay side from 2008's Fallout 3, there's a whole new world full of deviants, mutants, robots and deathclaws to discover. Destined to appeal to those who want to get away from it all this Christmas, New Vegas has just as many charms as the Capital Wasteland. It might not be the most original or polished game, but it can still be a whole lot of fun.
New Vegas: lots to see and do, even if it's not particularly original
Zombies will surely be the vampires of 2011. In no time, teenage girls will be deciding whether they're in Team Fast Zombie or Team Slow Zombie. Meanwhile, wooden actors will portray the living dead making difficult choices about love, chastity and who to eat first in the big screen remakes of poorly written trashy zombie novels. When this happens, zombies will no longer be cool.
Until then, though, zombies are definitely cool. Aside from the fast-paced horrors of Left 4 Dead 2, Dead Rising 2 does the living dead the most justice. Not only does it feature huge waves of slow-moving flesh eaters, but it also has a sandbox style of gameplay where almost anything can be used as a weapon. Add this to the ability to ride children's bikes through the horde, and this game is a zombie-load of unadulterated fun.