Sweet, just what we needed: A DIY toolkit that lets you turn your easy chair or couch into a thrill ride that vibrates with every thump and explosion echoing from your TV. Dubious as the idea of exposing one's precious cheeks to the coarse rumblings of a wireless subwoofer sounds, hey... It's the perfect gift to help take Left 4 Dead standoffs to the next level. (Or convince relatives you've gone stark raving bonkers, but who are we to judge?)
www.thebuttkicker.com / $299.99
2flashGo DJ! Or rather, now you can with a slick converter that's able to transfer vinyl LPs to USB thumb drive or SD memory card. No need for a Mac or PC, though a USB cable is included; the device lets you dump straight to portable storage media, making jetting off to the next house party a breeze. Tracking song and artist info is simple enough with the included software too, though you'll definitely miss the feel of digging in the crates.
www.ion-audio.com / $199.99
A female-friendly cell phone for that special someone in your life... a girlfriend, wife, Tiffani and Amber from Stroker's, etc. Offered in stylish black and purple, the clamshell model could pass for a makeup compact, save for its ability to make calls and send text/instant messages. Lifestyle quality is a priority too, as evidenced by its QWERTY keyboard, 2.4-inch color screen and 2MP camera, which--like microSD card expandability and wireless audio/video streaming--will also have her squealing with delight.
www.sprint.com / $149.99 with two-year contract
Pocket Album Deluxe
Party in your pants! OK, maybe not, but you can host literally thousands of snaps from your last lampshade-headed soiree with this 2.8-inch OLED screen-sporting, pocket-friendly picture album. Miniscule display aside, it's a surprisingly handy way to show off the missus' new silicon implants in sharp contrast and vibrant color, or capture every shade of your pal's post-Jagermeister-binge hurl. Enjoy automatic slideshows, integrated clock/calendar functions or rechargeable battery-powered reminders of that time you spied on the neighbor's wife.
www.digitalfoci.com / $99.00
Listening to catchy jingles via pint-sized earbuds is one thing; pumping bass-heavy tunes through these fashion-conscious, high-caliber cans... another matter entirely. Rocking crisp sound quality and capable of folding to stow away while on the move, the crimson-banded, 6.5 oz headphones make an immediate fit for the audiophile in your life. Just fire up your favorite album--e.g. Celine Dion's Greatest Hits--and relax as your lobes quiver with pleasure, even as your third leg shrivels at the hefty asking price.
www.phiaton.com / $249.00
Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People
Relive gonzo point-and-click adventures' glory days with an interactive, pop culture-skewering scavenger hunt inspired by Web phenomenon Homestar Runner. Channeling the online serial's offbeat yuks by way of a slow-moving, but goofy animated tale, the episodic outing's rudimentary action and quirky mini-games won't wow the average joystick jabber. But those who idolize Sierra Online classics and/or appreciate a good laugh can download individual, budget-priced installments or the full, five-episode set via TelltaleGames.com or WiiWare to put an instant smile on their face.
www.telltalegames.com / PC, Wii
50 Cent: Blood On The Sand
Setting aside the ridiculous plot (Fiddy's after a jeweled skull, stolen by an organ-harvesting drug baron) and shameless penchant for ultra-violence, this trigger-happy Gears of War wannabe nevertheless proves reasonably on-target. Roaming Middle Eastern environs, team with fellow MCs Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo to empty shotgun and SMG into hilariously-accented opponents, or savor the brutality of inventive insta-kill takedowns. Backed by dozens of bumpin' tunes (including 18 exclusives, yo), co-op play support and vehicular combat, it's ganster-iffic fun for everyone.
www.thq.com / PS3, Xbox 360
Rise Of The Argonauts
Mixing God of War's ketchup-drenched blend of Greek mythology-themed mayhem with Fable II's penchant for monstrous adversaries and massive backdrops, this epic role-player splits the difference between high fantasy and hack-n-slash. Repetitive combat, ample backtracking and immense time commitment aside, venture into forgotten forests or sail the ocean blue as Jason and allies like Hercules and Atalanta, hacking/wrenching enemies' limbs off all the way. If you've got time to kill, it's got the overblown storytelling and sword-swinging melees to match.
www.codemasters.com / PC, PS3, Xbox 360
You're In The Movies
Tired of unsuccessfully attempting to use the Xbox Live Vision Camera to tape amateur stag films? Recruit three friends, chug a few cold ones, then record yourselves physically interacting with on-screen objects in chintzy mini-games to chase those blues away. The more wildly you shake and wiggle, the goofier it looks when performances are transmuted into and played back in B-movie type film trailers. Deep, the experience isn't, but it still tops Charades as a fun way to break the ice nonetheless.
www.codemasters.com / Xbox 360
Dig the famed first-person shooter's styling, but can't blast your way out of a paper bag? Take a chill pill: Trading run-n-gun rampages for tactically-minded military engagements, the first real-time strategy game set in Microsoft's billion-dollar sci-fi universe lets even the reflex-retarded play armchair general. Controlling futuristic troops and tanks, order armies of attractively-rendered units to unleash hell on opponents, with tense showdowns par for the course. Methodical clip and lack of Master Chief notwithstanding, it still leaves most rivals sorely outmaneuvered.
www.xbox.com / Xbox 360