Gift Guide for the Gamer

Grand Rapids Brewing Co. game room.
Grand Rapids Brewing Co. game room.

Got a gamer in your life? There are plenty of places in town that will challenge your guy or gal. Whether it’s brawn or brains, get ready to crown your champion after a round with these great gifts.

An Evening Out @ Grand Rapids Brewing Company

If you’re looking to blow off some steam with your friends or significant other, invite them out for a holiday game night. Grand Rapids Brewing Company’s game room has gems like Tetris, Defender and Moon Patrol and other, more physically intensive activities, like Hoop Fever, ping pong and foosball. All of these games coalesce into a glorious adult arcade, complete with delicious beverages and food—all you need to provide is good company.

Solve an Interactive Puzzle @ Grand Rapids Escape Room

Have you ever imagined that you and a group of friends or family are the only ones that can find an antidote after a biological attack ravaging the city? Or you have 60 minutes to extract world-saving information from a top-secret government database? Bring your game fantasies to life by going to Grand Rapids Escape Room.

Solve puzzles, crack codes and find all of the clues before you run out of time. This could be an appropriate gift for friends, family or coworkers if you are willing to combine your brainpower and put your cooperation to the test.

Refresh Your Game Nights with Local Board Games

The Artemis Project by Grand Gamers Guild
The Artemis Project by Grand Gamers Guild

Are you looking for an exciting, innovative game to spice up your game nights? Your search ends here, with these Grand Rapids gems: Green Couch Games and the Grand Gamer’s Guild. Both companies have an astounding variety that could leave you in breathless laughter or thirsting for more adventure on the high seas. There are games with a variety of themes for many different age groups, ensuring fun for kids and their grandparents alike.

Partake in Murder Mystery Mind Games

If you’re itching to test your detective skills, you cannot go wrong with a show by the Murder Mystery Company, the local experts in mystery entertainment. Host a private show or enjoy a public one over a slice of chocolate cake. The Murder Mystery Co. provides tales of intrigue and deception spanning several themes, including but not limited to masquerade, Hollywood whodunnit and even a Christmas theme dubbed “The Most Wonderful Crime of the Year.”

Test Your Aim at the Fowling Warehouse

Fowling Warehouse
Fowling Warehouse

Home of the original football bowling pin game, the Fowling Warehouse allows you to test your aim while enjoying local brews and excellent company. The GR warehouse is 45,000 square feet, boasting 30 football bowling lanes, two bars and a beer garden. If you’re looking for a cheap night out with friends, family or a significant other, the Fowling Warehouse is a great change from the traditional night out gaming.

Prepare for Battle

Battle GR offers tactical laser tag experience.
Battle GR offers tactical laser tag experience.

Strap on your vest and grab a blaster—Battle GR will throw you into the action with its one-of-a-kind-course and innovative play. It offers seven objective-based missions, from the traditional free-for-all to the Golden Gun, a game where everyone is in sniper mode and the only takedowns that are allowed are one hit kills. So, grab your friends and family for some ‘90s nostalgia and enjoy the tactical challenge provided by Battle GR.

Play—or Purchase—First-Ever Limited-Edition Beatles-Themed Pinball Machine

Beatles pinball machines are available for purchase for the first time in history—and they’re being sold in Grand Rapids at Game Room Guys. Prices start at $8,000, with three models available: The Diamond Edition, the highest level and most difficult to attain, is limited to production of only 100 machines. The Platinum Edition is limited to 250, and there are 1,614 Gold machines.

The colorful retro-themed game by designer Joe Kaminkow, of Ka-Pow Pinball, celebrates the band’s early days. Players can unlock versions of nine hits of that Beatlemania era including “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Ticket to Ride” and “Drive My Car.”

The retro-themed playfield has four flippers, 11 drop targets, eight stand-up targets, multiple skill shots, two opto-spinners, a ball-catching magnet and a magnetic spinning record disc in the center of the playfield. There is also full-screen animation as well as simulated reel scoring on the game’s high-definition video screen.

If this is a bit out of your price range, you can always go to the Pyramid Scheme with a pocketful of quarters to enjoy any of their 24 machines.

*Main photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Brewing Co. All other photos courtesy of individual organizations.

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