Best Fun For The Family
- Mario Kart Live Home Circuit
- ThinkGeek Colour Changing LED Potion Desk Lamp
Best Immersive Experience
- Feelbelt – Haptic feedback 2.0
Gamers can generally be relatively simple to get basic gifts for. A gift card can never go amiss as an easy win if you know what platform they prefer to play games on. But things get a bit more complicated if you want to get a bit more unique. The latest console or PC hardware is excellent. Still, it’s expensive and may not be ideal if all their friends are on a different platform they already own.
Peripherals are also excellent but risky if you’re not confident they’ll like the exact model you’re getting. There is a lot of variation, and people have wildly different aesthetics and usage tastes. If it’s a core peripheral, like a keyboard or controller, they will already have one.
So why not go a little further afield with some light-hearted novelty gifts. Purely aesthetic gifts are super cool, but try to ensure the recipient likes the aesthetic again. To be a genuine tech gift, however, it needs to be somewhat functional, with aesthetics being helpful, though not necessarily essential.
To help you find some fantastic gift ideas, we’ve created a list of the best novelty tech items for gamers in 2022.
- Can be set to Blue, Red, Green, or Yellow
- Can be set to cycle through other colours
- Cool potion bottle aesthetic
- 4-inches wide
- 7-inches high
- microUSB powered
The ThinkGeek Colour Changing LED Potion Desk Lamp is a small potion-flask-shaped ambient lighting lamp. It can be manually set to one of four colors or be set to cycle through an assortment of other colors. Unfortunately, you can’ pause the cycle on your favorite color if it’s not one of the four presets. It’s not exceptionally bright, enough to add an excellent ambient effect. The aesthetic will suit anyone that likes games in fantasy settings.
It’s powered by an included micro-USB cable. There is no battery or off switch, so it must be unplugged to turn it off. There are also no brightness settings or dimmable functionality, which would allow you to tune the brightness to the setting. The metal charm adds extra flavor to the aesthetic but is easily removable if you don’t like it.
- Classic arcade machine styling
- Integrated speaker
- Volume control
- 75-inches tall
- 5-inch screen
- 202 retro games
The My Arcade Retro Machine Playable Mini-Arcade is a mini handheld arcade machine. It can be played in the hands or on a desk for more stability. It has a selection of 202 games preinstalled. However, they’re generic unlicenced knockoffs rather than the actual arcade classics. This doesn’t mean they’re not fun in their own right, just slightly different.
It has a 2.5-inch full-color screen, an integrated speaker, and volume control. Being so small and light, it’s easy to transport and play with while traveling. There aren’t any guides for the games, so you have to figure out what to do yourself, which can be a little tricky. It’s powered by three AA batteries. However, rechargeable batteries work just fine. Best of all, unlike the actual arcade machines, you don’t need to put any quarters or arcade tokens to play.
- Kart features an integrated video camera
- Enables the augmented reality switch game
- Can race four at once (with multiple switches and karts)
- Four cardboard gates
- One remote control kart
- USB-C charged
The Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit game is a unique augmented reality version of the well-loved Mario Kart game series. The game is available on the Switch store for free. However, you need to purchase one of the karts to play it. The karts are designed to look like Mario and Luigi’s actual karts. They have an integrated camera to provide the switch’s live view.
You can set up up to four-player multiplayer races if you’ve got multiple Switches and karts. The pairing process is super simple and involves scanning a QR code on the switch screen with the kart camera when prompted. You need to build your own tracks to race, so the levels are limited only by your inventiveness. Unfortunately, the karts are only compatible with this game.
- Haptic feedback for any audio source
- 10 – 20000 Hz
- 2400 mAh battery
- Aux-in and out
- 10 distinct drivers
The Feelbelt – Haptic feedback 2.0 is a belt that goes around your waist with an array of ten speaker drivers. These drivers transfer audio directly to your body, giving you a complete sense of the audio. Directional audio from games works as you’d expect, allowing you to feel the vibrations of the footsteps of your enemies and bringing a fuller sense of immersion.
The device has a 6-hour battery life and can be charged in just 90 minutes via USB-C. It weighs just 500g and isn’t overly bulky. It can connect to any device via Bluetooth or 3.5mm aux. While there is clearly audio passthrough via 3.5mm aux, it’s not so clear how well Bluetooth connections would be handled with Bluetooth headphones. It is unclear if it could work with headsets that use USB dongles. Additionally, the website is exclusively in German, though modern browsers should be able to provide accurate translations.
That was our roundup of the best novelty tech items for gamers in 2022. Have you recently bought a novelty tech item for gamers? What sold you on it, and what has your experience been with it so far? Let us know down below.