1. Video Games: Pixel Art
When 3D started making headway into video games in the PlayStation/N64 era, I was dismayed to see gorgeous sprites being replaced by blocky monstrosities. Even today I consider some of the 16-bit era titles to be better-looking than some of what’s put out there.
That’s why I’m a huge fan of the resurgence of pixel art in video games, especially on mobile platforms. It seems like games that use the old-school blockiness get a +1 for coolness alone — and they keep on coming. Tiny Tower, Sword & Sorcery, Punch Quest, Pixel People, Knights of Pen & Paper, and even Realm of the Mad God are just wallowing in sprite goodness. More, please!
2. Music: Amazon’s $5 soundtrack sale
I just saw this last night — Amazon MP3 is selling a bunch of great soundtracks (perhaps for the Oscars) for just $5. There’s a ton of John Williams’ stuff on here, as well as Buffy and Angel’s soundtracks. And how can I resist getting the 80’s Transformers album? Ghostbusters? X-Men: First Class? Rocky II – IV? I AM ONLY A MAN OF FLESH AND BLOOD!
3. Book: The Red Wolf Conspiracy
Already this fantasy title is on my “best read of 2013” list, even though I’m only halfway through it. It’s about an ancient and massive ship that goes on a mysterious journey fraught with many implications. From animals that are “awakened” to assassins to 8-inch-high people to a semi-mad captain to a young boy who can magically interpret any language, there’s so much going on on this single ship that it’s never boring. Seriously, every chapter’s been captivating so far.
4. TV: New Girl
I know it’s probably incredibly uncool to like this show, but you know what? It makes me laugh, the guys in it are funnier than Zooey, and it’s one of the few sitcoms that my wife and I agree on and watch together. Since I’ve had a falling out with Big Bang Theory, I’ve been looking for a couple good comedy series to fill the gap. Guess this is one of them.
5. Toy: LEGO Millennium Falcon
My wife gave me the biggest LEGO kit I’ve ever gotten for Christmas, and putting together the Falcon took about four hours of work. Was fun though, and it makes for a great addition to my Star Wars LEGO shelf at work. There’s a lot of great little details in the ship, including smuggler’s compartments and the little chess table.