Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Firebox, the ultimate unique and surprise presents – Part One!

Board games. Card games. Cat stacking. Stormtrooper Gin. Anime.

Firebox.com truly are beautiful angels of delight, spreading joy across the known universe* (*via invisible space couriers) like Unicorns with extra super-cool Unicorns hidden behind them, like an extra slice of pizza that everyone else missed, like otters that resemble Benedict Cumberbatch and like… you can think of your own before we completely digress… the point is: We’re absolutely huge fans of Firebox and everything they stand for!

Want to know more? You’re in the right place. Direct from the Critical Popcorn team to you, we have recommendations from the cult-favourites, to the geek-needs and must-have 2019 presents spectrum as we’ve literally been enjoying a selection of their finest original games, wonderfully unique film tie-in goodness, some tech fun and Stormtrooper-shaped gin because it wouldn’t be 2019 without gin, would it?

We’re sure you can find something great from this selection, here’s Part 1 of our 2-part guide…

Cinephile – £16.99

It’s rare to find a game that caters to the proper film geek, (hello) so the card game Cinephile is a breath of fresh air. Essentially 5 games in one, each one making use of a lovingly designed deck of 150 cards with depictions of actors in specific cult films, Cinephile is the ideal present for film lovers. There is an eclectic range of film choices depicted in the game, and it’s refreshing to see so many good cult films represented – from Blow Out and Something Wild to The Favourite and Her. Some of the drawings are excellent, others are a bit weaker, but as a whole it’s an awesome package, even if some of the choices are a bit out there; Willem Defoe in Streets Of Fire, or Sean Connery in Zardoz anyone?

I will say that while the rules say that novices can play this as well, that’s not necessarily true. The game is catered very specifically to film geeks (hello again) which is great, but if you don’t have that knowledge you are likely to find it more of a challenge. Cinephile is the perfect game for a group of like minded people, but actually finding those people might be a bit of a challenge! It’s an incredibly dorky game, and the whole set makes a very cool package. Nick Bartlett.

Blockbuster Party Game – £19.99

A fantastic board game that’s fun for all the family, even if your grandmother isn’t a film fan. For four or more players split into two teams, you go head-to-head to prove your knowledge – or not! Challenged with describing a film by quoting a line, using mime, or succinctly in just one word, this Blockbuster Party Game will bring everyone together around the table for some fun post-dinner competitive cheer.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not a film buff, either. With 200 titles to play with, you’re bound to know one or two of them. And if not? That’s where the fun starts! Thoroughly enjoyed by everyone involved, this got our blood pumping, especially during the frantic, 30-second miming.
Harking back to the days of old school video rentals (remember those?!), the game is housed in an actual cassette tape case, making it the perfect gift for anyone who loved browsing the stacks on a weekend afternoon. But remember – be kind, rewind. Jazmine Sky Bradley.

DIY Synth Kit – £24.99

Tech Will Save Us is known for its innovative, practical DIY kits, and the Synth Kit is a fine addition to their library. With a decent-sized breadboard and a selection of resistors, capacitors, jumpers and potentiometers, there is a number of projects available for users to get creative with those lovely retro synth sounds.
The instructions are clear, but the kit is well-pitched at children age 13+ as some of the components are small and fiddly. There is, of course, the option to disregard the instructions completely and go rogue, but I would absolutely encourage the novice user to try the examples first as it’s not an easy kit to explore unaided.
On the whole, it’s a fun kit, and a good introduction to the world of circuits. One proviso: the sounds it creates are very reminiscent of early 80s computer games, and while more mature users will doubtless get a kick out of it, younger users might find the noises quite unpalatable and tinny. John Bolton. 

Cat-Astrophe – £9.99

Put simply, if you love the design of Cat-Astrophe, then you’re going to love the game! Unsure of what to expect of a game about stacking cats? I can explain: You have to stack the cats. While, for some, you might think ‘how can this have any longevity?’, well, it’s all about your own personal aims and obsession, beating your friends or family and… it’s not an easy as it first appears. Perfect for the season!

Almost like a reverse Jenga, Cat-Astrophe doesn’t have a timer, enjoy the intense moments of focus you’re not expecting and whoever can stack those awesomely designed cats the highest will win. That’s the target!

Suitable for all ages, for people from anywhere and everywhere, you get these wonderfully ace-looking vinyl creations and it doesn’t matter whether you even like our feline friends or not, it’s one of the finest and unexpected games I’ve played in an age. Go stack! Dan Bullock. 

Fancy picking up any of the above? Just click the item name in our reviews above or head to their site to find out more: firebox.com


2 thoughts on “Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Firebox, the ultimate unique and surprise presents – Part One!

  1. Pingback: Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Firebox – The ultimate unique and surprise presents – Part Two! | critical popcorn

  2. Pingback: Christmas Gift Guide 2019: HBO’s True Detective Season 3 and It’s a Wonderful Life 4K UHD | critical popcorn

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