This week on the Geeky Parent Guide, we’re going to recap some of the GPG’s picks, while also adding a couple of extra items to officially extend the Holiday Gift Guide into its second week. Now, let’s talk about presents.
by Fantasy Flight Games
“Inspired by the horror stories of H.P. Lovecraft, Elder Sign pits players against the terror posed by one of eight possible Ancient Ones.” This cooperative game has you and your friends face terrible monsters that go bump in the night, where the goal is to earn tokens, also known as Elder Signs, that can block openings into our world from a supernatural dimension – a place where if the evil creeps through, it will destroy the world.
Here’s a quick guide to its gameplay:
Ages: 12 and up
Players: 1 to 8
Play time: 1 to 2 hours
As Investigators in the game, players take turns traveling onto Adventure cards, roll multi-faced dice to match the card’s requirements, and reap the rewards or consequences for failing. There are plenty of possible Adventure cards that can turn up on the board, as well as useful Item cards designed to help throughout the course of the game. There are plenty of available characters in this game, and each Investigator card is given its own unique ability and health.
Elder Sign does not only have intense gameplay, but also requires some preparation to get acquainted with all of the different cards, tokens, and rules associated with playing this game. This game is meant for you and your friends to work together and survive the challenges from one turn to the next. It can lead to heart-pounding moments with your friends as you get ever so close to earning enough Elder Signs.
Available for purchase (when in stock) at Amazon and CoolStuffInc for around $30 to $35:
This game is also available in a digital form at Google Play and Steam.
Note: Both digital versions are a separate edition called Elder Sign: Omens.
by Looney Labs
“It all begins with one basic rule: Draw one card, play one card.” It’s a simple, easy-to-remember rule, until it all changes instantly by playing one card, and then another.
Here’s a quick guide to its gameplay:
Ages: 8 and up
Players: 2 to 5
Play time: 5 to 30 minutes
You might notice the odd discrepancy with the span of playing time. This makes Fluxx very interesting to play with fairly decent replay value. The difference is quite simple – winning the game can happen in a flash, and early. The goal is to place Keeper cards down in front of you, in the hopes of matching whatever Goal card has been played. Keeper cards will have a picture on it and the word describing it, such as “Frigate,” “Gold Doubloons,” “Parrot,” or “Tropical Island.” Each Goal card will mention two Keeper cards that need to be paired together on the board to win.
Sounds simple enough, and yet, simple enough to change the rules. One player can have one Keeper in front of them, but someone else plays an Action or different Goal card that completely makes your Keeper irrelevant. This game keeps you on your toes, which makes the Fluxx series quite entertaining. But, for a reason to choose Pirate Fluxx from the others in the series, who doesn’t want to play a game where a new rule can be added to the “Draw one, play one,” and have everyone “Talk Like a Pirate?” If you think it’s too silly, let your competitive side kick in when you realize you earn extra cards by speaking pirate(y), matey.
It's available for purchase (when in stock) at Amazon and CoolStuffInc for around $12.
MOVIES AND TV
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4
The cast playing agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have shown a consistent, believable chemistry that further impacts each character’s growth, as they’re all “a part of something bigger” – a family. The team of writers divided the season into three story arcs, including Ghost Rider, LMDs (Life Model Decoys), and the Framework.
Ghost Rider brings a completely different dimension to the show, quite literally, as this vengeance-seeking entity looks to exact its own justice – in the form of a flaming skull, deadly chains, and a very fast car that burns rubber like no other. The LMDs present the problem, “Who can we trust?” They look identical to humans, unless you can crack beneath the surface to see their mechanical form. The last storyline traps the team into an artificial world where they’re rewired with different lives, and most without any memory of the real world.
In addition to an exciting season, the show incorporated a digital series aimed at taking place right before the timeline of Season 4. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot emphasizes super speedster, Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez, and all of her appearances in the show have earned a permanent slot for Season 5.
Season 4 is available to binge-watch on Amazon ($27.99) and Netflix.
Despicable Me 3
by Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
The third installment in the Despicable Me franchise does not deter from its silliness and lovable characters. Released in theaters this past summer 2017, Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, discovers he’s not an only child. He finds out he has a brother and whether or not a life of crime is still his true passion.
Despicable Me 3 introduces new characters, including a vindictive and funny supervillain. Whether or not he’s funny, funny to laugh at, or both, we’ll leave that up to you. This is a perfectly acceptable movie for young ones, but there are plenty of action sequences that you might want to watch ahead of time, just to make sure it’s appropriate for your children.
Despicable Me 3 is available on DVD and Blu-ray, or digital release on Amazon and iTunes, for around $18 to $20.
The Not-So Secret Society: Tale of the Gummy
by BOOM! Studios
Earlier this year, the GPG was able to get an advanced look of The Not-So Secret Society, an all-ages graphic novel from the combined efforts of Arlene and Matthew Daley, Trevor and Ellen Crafts, and Wook Jin Clark. This is a perfect gift for kids, showcasing diverse characters who “have their own quirks,” as the creators present age-appropriate themes, such as dealing with pompous students, learning to overcome obstacles, and continuing to move forward despite previous failures.
The story is created by former teachers, which explains the additional content current teachers and parents can find on the Team NS3 website. There are lesson plans for teachers that range in topics of “Green Earth,” “Sequential Storytelling,” “Introduction to Research,” and “Word Problems.” There are also activities for parents to use – a “Reading Guide” and a series of “How to” instructions for making caramel apples, slime, an “Adventure Hunt,” and “The Gummy Bear Experiment,” designed to show “how the different types of water affected the gummy bears.”
The Not-So Secret Society is available in print and digital form on Amazon and ComiXology.
Fire 7 Tablet
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, the Fire 7 is a fantastic way to keep a “book” by your bedside table. As a Prime member, you have access to plenty of free reading options through Kindle. There are numerous comic book selections to choose from – such as Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, Star Trek (2011-2016) Volume 1, and both first volumes of Skywalker Strikes and Darth Vader from Star Wars – and those aren’t even the ones I’ve downloaded so far. I’ve read Thor Volume 1: The Goddess of Thunder, Attack on Titan Volume 1, and already dived into Planet Hulk.
There are also such books as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Lord of the Rings, and an edition collecting both Animal Farm and 1984 from George Orwell. There are also plenty of reading selections from varying genres by simply searching “free books” or “free comic books,” whether you’re a Prime member or not. Along with being easy to use, the book selections alone make it an easy gift choice.
The Fire 7 also allows you to “Enjoy millions of movies, TV shows, songs, Kindle eBooks, apps and games – including Netflix, Facebook, HBO, Spotify, and more.”
The Fire 7 Tablet “with Alexa, 7” display, 8GB,” is currently listed on Amazon for $49.99.
What are your favorite picks from the Fanbase Press Holiday Gift Guide? What items would you recommend to us? Share your picks in the comments below or head over to the GPG on Facebook and Twitter and mention us with #geekyparent. If you have time and you liked this edition of the Geeky Parent Guide, please remember to like and rate this page (Facebook like and 5-star rating) and share with all of your friends that always enjoy some geeky goodness.
Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.