SPAM Yahtzee: Perfect For Playing With Your Food

I know what you’re thinking, and I couldn’t agree more – how has it taken so long for someone to make a SPAM-themed dice game? Well, in better late than never news, The OP has just released $17 Yahtzee SPAM, a spiced ham-inspired version of the classic dice-rolling game. And just when you thought playing Yahtzee couldn’t be more appetizing!

The game’s dice include images of popular SPAM cuisine, including SPAM musubi, SPAM sushi rolls, SPAM ramen, SPAM kabobs, SPAM fries, and a classic grilled cheese & SPAM, along with the classic numbers. Is anybody else’s mouth-watering? I think my dentist must have given me too much Novocaine because SPAM-themed Yahtzee just isn’t doing it for me.

So, yeah, it’s Yahtzee with pictures of SPAM dishes on the dice. I’m not sure what else to tell you, except if you aren’t shaking the dice around in your mouth before a roll, you aren’t trying hard enough to get kicked out of game night. “We’re in the middle of a pandemic! Good lord — and even if we weren’t!” I imagine my hosts yelling at me before asking me to leave and never come back.

[via Thrillist]

The best board games to gift this holiday season

Board games are a great gift for anyone who wants to spend time with friends and family without staring at the TV. They’re interactive, fun, and you get to tell everyone to put away their phones and tablets for a while. But instead of pulling out the same old classics like Monopoly and Scrabble, we recommend giving some new titles a try. Here, we’ve compiled a list of games that you might not have heard of, but will still make excellent gifts this holiday season. Some are perfect for fantasy and video game nerds, while others are likely to be a hit with the whole family.

Trails: A Parks Game

The Trails board game for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Keymaster Games

Trails is a great little board game for anyone who loves hiking or even just the idea of it. In Trails, players hike on picturesque nature paths while gathering resources, taking pictures and encountering wildlife, earning points along the way. Whoever gets the most points wins. The art in this game is beautiful, featuring 11 national park illustrations from the Fifty-Nine Park Print series. Trails makes an especially great game for nature lovers, as a portion of every game sale is donated to the National Park Service.

Buy Trails at Target - $20

Sleeping Gods

The Sleeping Gods board game for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget / Red Raven Games

If your loved one is a fan of open-world video games such as Skyrim or No Man’s Sky, Sleeping Gods could well be the perfect board game for them. In this cooperative game, you and up to three friends play the part of Captain Sofi Odessa and her crew, who find themselves lost in the Wandering Sea. With a game atlas of connecting maps and a thick choose-your-own-adventure style storybook, players will have to explore the land to uncover its secrets, fight beasts, complete quests and make game-changing decisions. It all adds up to an engrossing and immersive experience sure to please anyone who loves a good story.

Buy Sleeping Gods at Amazon - $85

Marvel United

The Marvel United board game for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget / CMON

MCU fans will definitely appreciate it if you give them Marvel United, a game where the player and their friends have to work together to defeat the forces of evil. They can take on the role of one of seven heroes such as Captain America, Iron Man and Black Widow, each with their own unique powers and abilities. To win, players must choose their cards carefully and also collaborate with their partners to combine each other’s actions whenever possible. They’ll have to fight off henchmen, rescue civilians and, of course, take down one of three super villains: Red Skull, Ultron or Taskmaster. If X-Men is more their style, you could get them the Marvel United: X-Men version instead, where they get to play as characters like Professor X, Cyclops and Storm.

Buy Marvel United at Amazon - $35


The Canvas board game for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget / Road to Infamy

Canvas is perhaps one of the prettiest board games we’ve ever seen — it’s so lovely that we almost want to hang the cover on a wall. It’s apropos because in Canvas, players are painters in an art competition. They collect art cards, layering them on top of one another to create their own unique “painting.” As they do so, certain icons will be revealed or hidden, which will determine the resulting score, depending on the objectives for that round. It might sound confusing, but Canvas is a beginner friendly game that should make a great gift for art lovers of all stripes.

Buy Canvas at Amazon - $45

Space Invaders

The  Space Invaders board game for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Buffalo Games

Space Invaders is an enjoyable dexterity game for the whole family, even for those who don’t remember playing the classic arcade title of the same name. In this game, players have to work together to defeat descending aliens plus the UFO mothership before their health runs out. But instead of smashing buttons, they’ll take turns launching battle tokens with a mini catapult, and each player has a special ability they can deploy as well. It all adds to a bunch of silly fun that anyone aged eight and up can partake in.

Buy Space Invaders at Target - $20

Summer Camp

The  Summer Camp board game for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Buffalo Games

Another excellent family game is Summer Camp, which will have your loved ones recalling fond memories of canoeing, making friendship bracelets and roasting marshmallows. In this game, players are racing against each other to earn merit badges in different categories such as adventure, arts and crafts, cooking, friendship, outdoors, games and water sports. They’ll want to buy the right cards, build the best combos and beat their opponents across the finish line to get the most points possible. It might not be as fun as actually being at summer camp, but hey, at least they won’t get eaten by mosquitos while playing.

Buy Summer Camp at Target - $25

Summoner Wars 2nd Edition

The Summoner Wars 2nd Edition board game for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Plaid Hat Games

If your loved one isn’t new to the world of tabletop gaming, then consider giving them Summoner Wars 2nd Edition, a tactical dueling card game that pits them against a rival to see which one will reign supreme. Players take on the role of powerful summoners that each control a large army of units in the form of cards, which are then placed in a head-to-head board. They also choose one of six different factions, each with unique attacks and moves. Some wield dark magic that can drain enemies, while others utilize brute strength to force their way through. If they’re really into combat games with a lot of tactics and strategy, Summoner Wars would make a thoughtful gift. The only downside is that you'll have to gift this a bit late as it comes out on January 12, 2022.

Buy Summoner Wars at Amazon - $49

Wrath of the Lich King: A Pandemic System Board Game

The World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Pandemic Game board game for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Z-Man Games

For those who are really into World of Warcraft but might not have a lot of board gaming experience, Wrath of the Lich King: A Pandemic System Board game is the perfect introduction to the pastime. Based on a WoW expansion of the same name, players will take on the roles of legendary characters such as Thrall, Varian Wrynn, Sylvanas Windrunner, Tirian Fordring and Jaina Proudmoore, all of which will be familiar to anyone who’s ever played WoW. They’ll travel around the frozen continent of Northrend, completing quests and setting up strongholds in order to defeat armies of the undead and, eventually, the Lich King himself.

Why the long name? Well, the game utilizes similar mechanics found in Pandemic, a much beloved board game about eradicating the world of diseases. Those who are already familiar with Pandemic should be able to learn the game quite easily as a result, though Wrath of the Lich King has enough differences that it won’t feel like the same thing.

Buy Wrath of the Lich King at Target - $60

Cuphead: Fast Rolling Dice Game

The Cuphead Fast Rolling Dice Game board game for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget / Cuphead

One of the most popular video games in 2017 was Cuphead, a run-and-gun style video game that features a hand-drawn 1930s art style. If you know someone who loved it when it came out, they might be interested in this card and dice version of the same game. Players play as Cuphead, Mugman, Elder Kettle or Ms. Chalice, and will attempt to defeat a gauntlet of bosses by rolling dice. Players can roll the dice as many times as they want per round, but there’s one problem: the time limit. It all adds up to a chaotic experience that really emulates the insane adrenaline rush of the original video game.

Buy Cuphead at The Op - $50

ShiZap!, A Jenga Game That Randomly Shocks Players

Jenga: just thinking about playing it makes me anxious. Same goes for Operation. And combining those two games comes ShiZap!, a Jenga-style game that randomly shocks players via the pair of tweezers that you use to remove and replace blocks, potentially causing a topple. I can already close my eyes and see myself refusing to play when somebody suggests it at a party.

The game, developed by Amped Gamez and available on Amazon (affiliate link), is powered by three AAA lithium batteries and features a lighted base that plays ‘panic-inducing’ music and makes the plastic stacking blocks glow when the lights are out. There are also three selectable levels of shock: Zip, Zap, and ShiZap. Will getting shocked while playing on the highest level make you pee your pants? If it doesn’t I’d demand my money back if I were you.

Whoever knocks the tower over has to hold the tweezers for a full three seconds of shock as punishment for losing. Alternatively, flip the table and tell the rest of the group you never wanted to play in the first place. Remember: good sportsmanship is only easy when you win.

[via DudeIWantThat]

‘LEGO Star Wars: Castaways’ arrives November 19th on Apple Arcade

Another LEGO Star Wars game is heading to Apple Arcade, and it's the first social, action-adventure title in the franchise. The upcoming game, entitled LEGO Star Wars: Castaways, will have you building and customizing your own in-game LEGO minifigure character. Once you're done designing your own blocky hero, you'll head to a new planet where you can team up with friends to battle enemies and solve puzzles. Along the way, you can unlock collectibles to solve a mystery and save your merry band of LEGO minifigures.

When you're not out on adventures — of if you really just want to hang out in a virtual world with friends — you can stay in the game's Social Hub or race Microfighters. LEGO Star Wars: Castaways is an Apple Arcade exclusive, just like LEGO Star Wars Battles. The latter is a real-time strategy game that will let you collect upgradable characters, troops and vehicles and then pit you against other players in one-on-one showdowns. In Star Wars Battles, you'll also have to build and defend your own LEGO towers, as well as attack your opponent's.

LEGO Star Wars: Castaways will be playable across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, so long as you have an Arcade subscription. You can now sign up to be notified when the game becomes available for download from the Mac Store and the iOS App Store, but the game won't be available to play until November 19th. 

Netflix Necon Pro gaming controller with its multi-directional control input could be a part of our reality soon!

A cool gaming controller for the most popular video streaming service will bring an unprecedented level of control to the in-game action for hours of fun on the go.

Netflix has redefined streaming content in more ways than one for more than a decade now. The platform has a whopping 207.64 million paid subscribers worldwide as of the first quarter of 2021 as reported by Statista. But according to internal reports, Netflix’s growth graph is on a flattening trajectory in the last couple of years, and the next big avenue to look forward to is gaming. The gaming service will be a part of the current Netflix portfolio and will be offered at no extra cost to the subscribers. This will give Netflix an edge over current competitors like Disney+, Amazon Prime Videos and Apple TV+.

The cloud gaming service is set to debut early next year and we could expect an announcement by the end of this year too. This gives the perfect opportunity to concept designers for coming up with Netflix branded gaming accessories that will ultimately brace the platform just like Google Stadia, Xbox Gaming pass, Nividia GeForce Now, and Amazon Luna. The gaming controller has a very distinct form factor – something akin to the Nintendo Joy-Con controllers but still very unique in its own rights.

Designers Seong Bin Yoon and Cheolhee Lee have envisioned the video streaming service to get a gaming controller that is good for casual gaming as well as AR and VR-assisted gaming fun. The vertical grip positioning with bumper buttons on the sides coincides with that vision for the freedom of movement in all directions. The front has the customary joystick, directional pad and buttons for in-game input. Interestingly the left and right sections of the controller can move independently for a more immersive game input and better control in the game for tactical advantage.

On both sides, there are volume dial buttons, so I’m assuming the controller can beam stereo audio through the speaker-like vents on the bottom front on both sides. This cool Netflix cloud gaming controller design gets a thumbs up from my side. For sure it is a refreshing take on the gaming controller accessories which have not evolved much in terms of design over these years. Moreover, it aptly matches the distinct image of Netflix as a video streaming platform!

Designer: Seong Bin Yoon and Cheolhee Lee

The post Netflix Necon Pro gaming controller with its multi-directional control input could be a part of our reality soon! first appeared on Yanko Design.

Apple Arcade is getting an exclusive Lego Star Wars game

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga won't arrive until next spring, but another game from the franchise is coming soon — and it's an Apple Arcade exclusive. Lego Star Wars Battles is a real-time strategy game that pits players against each other in one-on-one showdowns.

You'll amass a collection of upgradable characters, troops and vehicles from all eras of the Star Wars universe. You'll be able to pit porgs against Boba Fett, for instance. Don't expect to stick to one side of the Force — you'll have a deck of light side and dark side armies, with different play styles for each. You'll have a number of abilities at your disposal too, such as Darth Vader’s Force Slam and Luke Skywalker’s Force Push.

Lego Star Wars Battles
TT Games Brighton/Warner Bros. Games/Lucasfilm Games

Battlefields will feature Lego towers that you'll build, defend, attack and use to claim territory. The locations include some familiar environments, including Hoth, Naboo and Endor.

TT Games Brighton is developing Lego Star Wars Battles, while Warner Bros. Games is the publisher. It won't be the first Lego game to hit Apple Arcade, though. Lego Brawls and Lego Builder's Journey both landed on the service in 2019. The latter was ported to PC and Nintendo Switch in June.

BMW Rival Rig gaming chair comes with Adaptive Seating, Micro Climate Control and even massage functions!

Designworks, the design innovation studio for the BMW Group has unveiled their concept for an advanced gaming chair designed to bring an immersive physical experience for the gamers, at the first-ever BMW Esports Boost event. Called the Rival Rig gaming chair, it is the perfect bridge between the physical world and the virtual world – giving the users a functional sensory input while being utterly comfortable. A perfect proposition for streamers and Esports professionals indeed. The idea is to analyze the movements of the player, and with time adapt to their sitting position for a weightless feeling sans any physical stress during long hours of casual or professional gaming. This leads to sustained performance of the player not limited by physical or mental stress.

Rival Rig is embedded with sensors that detect the rise in body temperature and then beam cool air to the particular area. They call it the Microclimate Control System. Likewise, if there is too much pressure on the arms, the armrests lower automatically to eliminate any pressure points – a feature dubbed as the Adaptive Seating made possible with the embedded pneumatic air pads and electro-mechanical actuators. Designworks worked with gamers and athletes to understand body posture and the different actions and moods they are going through during gaming. This resulted in different modes like ease mode for relaxed posture or the boost mode which brings the chair forward and the table lowered and angled for immersive gameplay. The chair also has the massage function to release any stress build-up in the muscles with extended gaming stints. All this in conjunction with the AI-enabled algorithm brings automated control to the chair allowing players to concentrate on their gameplay.

According to Holger Hampf, President of Designworks, the team’s goal was to “create the most comfortable seating, hand posture, and head movement situation, that allow the gamer to fully immerse.” Inspiration for the project came from fields where split-second decisions have to be made – like in spacecraft and Formula 1. Holger Hampf added that they adapted learning from these fields to the microscopic level and it was all about millimeters rather than centimeters,” in design perfection. The led lighting of the chair adapts to the environment of the in-game action for the perfect immersive environment. How the rig is articulating also allows the audience (online and live) to be part of the action – for good bonding between the gaming athletes and spectators.

The gaming chair will be open source for adding new features and also allowing game studios to tailor the in-game experience. It will also aid in collaboration with the right partners to access the health and sports data to design ergonomic chairs of the future. Rival Rig is truly the onset of immersion via the power of design!

Designer: Designworks

The Razer Iskur X is a $399 ergonomic throne designed for worthy (and wealthy) gamers

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

If it sort of looks like an angry cobra with its hood flared, ready to strike, know that it’s completely intentional. The Razer Iskur X is yet another addition to the company’s reptile-inspired gaming gear. The ergonomic throne is calibrated for the most comfortable gaming experience, with a durable multi-layered synthetic leather-clad, high-density cushioning, 2D armrests, and fully adjustable recline, tilt, and height. It’s also $399, putting it slightly on the expensive side… although not as expensive as Logitech x Herman Miller’s $1,595 gaming chair.

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

The chair’s contoured design is pretty reminiscent of a hooded snake in its striking position. To reinforce the reptilian references, the chair even comes with a snake-inspired weave on the seat, along with Razer’s signature black + acid green colorway. Given that gaming can be a day-long endeavor and that ardent gamers can spend hours in their seats without so much as shifting, the Iskur X comes with padded high-density foam cushions that contour to the shape of your body, for maximum comfort. The synthetic leather used on the Iskur X comes with a coating of resin too, making it much more durable in the long run. The chair sports a steel-reinforced body for strength and can take up to 299 lbs (136 kilograms) of weight without breaking a sweat… and a neat 3-year warranty on the chair should serve well, considering how much time you’ll be spending in it.

Designer: Razer

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

The world’s tiniest functioning Game Boy Advance SP is the size of a stack of Post-Its, and it’s transparent too!

In its closed format, the FunKey S is about as small as a Tile tracker, or better still a Game Boy cartridge. Designed to emulate the Game Boy experience, the FunKey S comes pre-loaded with a whole bunch of favorite titles for endless hours of retro-entertainment. It’s tiny enough to fit on your keychain, lightweight enough to be carried everywhere, and satisfyingly just like the real deal, except smaller. Oh, and it comes in a transparent color-way too, taking you back to those good-old-days!

Click Here to Buy Now

Built right into the FunKey S are emulators of dozens of your favorite retro consoles, including the NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis (Megadrive), Sega Game Gear, Playstation 1, Atari Lynx, WonderSwan, and the Neo Geo Pocket. It’s just a testament to how far we’ve come, considering everything fits within a device that’s no larger than a Graham Cracker. The mini-console comes with an ARM chip, has an SD card slot that doesn’t just run but saves games too, and a MicroUSB for side-loading your own games to play.

The tiny device looks and functions just like a Game Boy Advance SP would. Flip to open it and you’ve got a miniaturized console that’s true to the GBA experience. It comes outfitted with all the buttons (including L1 and R1 shoulder buttons), a 1.54-inch 240×240 IPS LCD screen (with a 50Hz refresh rate too), and even built-in 0.5W speakers! The console boots up as soon as you flip open the lid, and will even save your progress before powering down when you close the lid!

The FunKey S is entirely open-source, which means it even invites developers to tinker with it, modding games, building games, and maximizing the FunKey’s experience. Especially for its size, the FunKey S is a highly entertaining little gadget. I’ll refrain from calling it a toy although it almost certainly is one (especially with those candy colors), because I see it as a marvel of technology too. The gadget supports up to 128Gb of storage, which means you could potentially put tens of thousands of games into your console and carry it around with you. It comes with a lanyard hole and can easily be strung to your keychain, and at €65 ($77.5), it’s honestly an absolute bargain! Although would it be too much if I asked for an HDMI output so I could connect this to a larger screen?!

Designer: Funkey Project

Click Here to Buy Now

These sleek gaming headphones go stalk-less to deliver crystal clear audio!

Gaming is a full sensory experience. Your seat has to pass the Goldilocks test, an HD screen brings everything into focus, and the audio needs to be crystal clear. That means that the right pair of headphones can change the whole game. Reconceptualizing gaming headphones to meet their personal requirements, design team Vasudevansr visualized a pair that moves past bulky hardware and poppy audio to instead deliver headphones that mean business.

Vasudevansr Design initially felt inspired to design its own pair of headphones to elevate the gaming experience. Frustrated by the jumps and general scratchiness that microphone stalks fail to equalize, Vasudevansr designed a pair of stalk-less headphones so that gamers don’t have to speak directly into the microphone to be heard. Confessing to this, Vasudevansr describes his initial inspiration, “I have a general dislike for stalks poking out of the units and for people who breathe into it,” they told Student Design Showcase on Instagram, “A slight protrusion from the main body, housing two microphones on each side is my idea of tackling the [microphone] stalk issue aesthetically.” Ditching the microphone stalk for an internal input and output system, Vasudevansr’s gaming headphones look sleeker and should deliver crisper, less shrill, and muffled audio.

Communicating with other gamers across servers is half the fun of playing video games, but not when all you’re listening to is someone’s breathing. To remedy this, Vasudevansr integrated an internal audio system that would be able to capture a full spectrum of frequencies without the bulkiness that accompanies protruding microphone stalks.

Designer: Vasudevansr Design

An internal audio system is contained in each earbud, equipped with dual microphones to pick up a full spectrum of frequencies.

A tough, metallic outer ear borders the headphones’ inner cushioning, which wraps the user’s ears.

Ditching the stalk microphone for an internal, slightly protruding microphone gives Vasudevansr’s headphones a cleaner look.

The pair of headphones have a slightly exposed look to them, offering view of its internal structure.