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Christmas Gadget Gift Guide: App-Player & Top Gift Guide Countdown!

The Gadget Helpline is here to help you with the annual nightmare that comes when trying to find that ideal present for someone special this Christmas! We’ve taken a sneak peak into Santa’s workshop to deliver you with our top tips for great gadget gifts and terrific tech toys in time to bring a smile to someone’s face on the big day!

In this final part of our Gadget Gift Guide, with little over a week till Santa arrives, we’ll stuff one more treat in your stocking and give you a rundown of our favourites from the previous weeks. So, first of all we bring you the virtually versatile App-Player game.

The App-Player is made by the creators of Trivial Pursuit, the ironically named Cheatwell Games, and features a traditional board game playing surface with a selection of colourful pieces. Boring – you may think at the offset. Board games are pretty bland by today’s entertainment standards with family fun time dominated by Nintendo Wii and Kinect gaming gadgets. But the beauty of the App-Player is that is does bring simple good old fashioned gaming fun into the modern tech era by hooking up with a series of apps for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices.


The hardware (board) itself and the pieces are used as score markers and the game apps pretty much replace the peripherals such as question and cue cards, those bits that usually get lost from the box! The link with apps also means the games can become more interactive than ever with the addition of sound capture and updatable questions. No more of those stale 1980s pop questions!

The apps are based on Cheatwell’s line of traditional board games and include Great Big Trivia – a quiz game with 1000’s of questions to be answered. Festively titled Humm Bug has players humming along to a famous tune while fellow revellers guess that tune. Masquerade is essentially a version of popular party game Charades by another name – always a big hit. And Tension involves players shouting out related word to a given subject, with points awarded if the words are featured on the list. All games are multiplayer and some involves team-vs-team play.

There’s potential for more than the three starting apps in the future, so this one won’t end up under the stairs for years to come. It’s for sale through a number of UK retailers including our old fave FireBox, priced at around £19.99 – and once you’ve bought the boxed set, all apps are free through the App Store and Android Market respectively.

So, where does the App-Player fit into the countdown of our favourite Gadget Gifts? Read on for the full list!

#6 – Geek Speak Magic 8 Ball:

This modern tech twist on the classic spherical mystical toy answers your questions with a series of social net and geek inspired responses with the traditional “Yes”, “No” and “Don’t Count On It” replaced with “Lol”, “Meh” and “Error 404”. (Originally featured on November 23rd.)




#5 – B.I.G Power Hand:
Fits a child-sized mitt and makes it into a massive robotic fist. Fully mechanised with numerous points of articulation, it mimics the movements of the user’s hand. (Originally featured on December 12th.)




#4 – App-Player:

Modern spin on the classic board game. A range of apps compliment a traditional board game format, adding tech for more interactivity and sound based games. (Originally featured on December 15th.)



#3 – appBlaster:

Snap-on an iPhone and it becomes a targeting system for a sci-fi inspired augmented reality shooter, comes with a range of apps from tin can shooter to an alien invasion simulation. (Originally featured on November 30th.)




#2 – Crossbow Snow Launcher / Triple Snow Blaster:

This deadly duo adds some serious firepower to snow day warfare. Create a perfect snowball then choose your weapon. One is a crossbow firing a single long range shot of snow, the other packs a triple shot in rapid fire succession! (Originally featured on December 5th.)




#1 – Air Swimmers:
Absolutely magical and inspiring. These inflatable helium-filled fish use a remote control system to effortlessly float, as if swimming in air. Comes in two designs – a peaceful clown fish or menacing shark! (Originally featured on November 18th.) Air Swimmers are the Gadget Helpline’s top tip for this year’s Gadget Gift!



Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.