Last-minute (second) gift ideas for gamers

You’ve settled down with a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of egg nog, comfortable in the knowledge that all your gift purchases are done.

Suddenly, a wave of panic grips you as you remember the one person, a game player, for whom you were struggling to find a gift. Something will come along, you said, but the number of days between now and the holidays grows ever shorter.

Here are a few ideas that will leave any gamer pleased, and you can go back to your relaxing.

For anyone with an iPhone or iPad, “Super Mario Run” ($9.99) will provide lots of enjoyment while also injecting feelings of nostalgia. The mobile game contains a couple of different modes, replay-ability and lets you connect with friends for new gaming goals.

Either “borrow” their device and download it for them, or give them an Apple gift card and point them to the app store. Of course, if they happen to be getting a new device for Christmas, this is an easy add-on they’ll be sure to enjoy.

“Lara Croft Go” puts our heroine in a turn-based puzzle game as she traverses across ruins of an ancient civilization, looking for fame, fortune and glory. The game originally came out for mobile devices, but recently, it became available for the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita handheld console.

It is a relaxing romp through jungles, stone monuments and hidden dangers. But the challenges of making it past enemies and traps, while keeping an eye on the prize, provide an interesting game experience in a deliberate, slow-moving affair.

Looking for something with an emotional hook? “The Last Guardian” tells the tale of a young boy on a journey to get home. Along the way, he partners up with Trico, a dog/bird animal, and the two eventually build trust and a partnership to keep them both safe.

The game is an exclusive for the PlayStation 4 and tugs on the heartstrings of players. It does tend to get a little wonky with the controls, but the enjoyment of a boy and his dog/bird more than make up for the drawbacks.

If releasing their imagination is their idea of fun, why not add a bit of a thrill as well? “Planet Coaster” lets people create their idea of the greatest amusement park ever. Build amazing and exciting roller-coasters as guests scream their heads off, delighting the park designers.

But it is more than just a screamfest. Design other attractions, amenities and mascots as you create the Second Happiest Place on Earth. The simulation provides for as much or as little control as the player wants to command. What is your idea of fun?

A new book, “Beautiful Minecraft,” showcases some of the best designs discovered in the “Minecraft” game. Whether your gift is meant to inspire or just amaze, the pages are filled with designs, constructions and glimpses into an amazing, blocky world.

The amount of time, detail and planning for the creations will astound everyone, even those who might not play the game but appreciate good art in games. Always keep one thought in your head as you peruse the pages. They are just blocks.

If none of these feel like a good fit, keep in mind that PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Steam and so many others all have bargains and sales going on right now. Downloadable games don’t need to wait for a delivery man, so any truly last-second shopping (brave soul) can be done with a few clicks.

Whatever they want, hardware or software, there are plenty of choices and deals out there to satisfy the player on your gift list. A few things to keep in mind: Know what console or computer they play their games on and what kinds of experiences they enjoy.