Top 5 Handheld Games To Help You Escape A Christmas Party


Need some helpful advice for getting stuck at a Christmas event? Our Logan Barnes’ solution has all of you gamers in mind.

Handheld Games

With Christmas being just a scant few days away, most families and friends are gearing up for Christmas parties. Gift exchanges, eating dinner, and, of course, the inevitable grilling about your past year are all bound to happen. But, not all of us are so keen on the social interaction or being without a gadget for so long.

If you’re one that doesn’t like to be bothered by incessant questions regarding your personal life or if you just can’t go without a good gaming session for too long, here are some handheld games you can bring with you to help alleviate those problems.


  1. Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire for Nintendo 3DS

The Pokémon games have always been great handheld titles. The latest entries don’t stray from the formula that’s made them great. They also happen to be really good for mindless button pushing.

If you just need something to do with your hands while everyone else is discussing sports-ball or the like, Pokémon is the perfect title.

For a majority of the game, you can leave a long delay between each action. Tell your Pokémon to attack, have a chat with uncle Billy. Ride your bike for egg hatching while talking with cousin Joe about your new job. Work on filling out that Pokédex while munching on a Christmas cookie.

Perfect Situation: That time right after dinner when everyone still wants to talk.

Worst Situation: When you’re dragged into a game of flag football.


  1. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions for PSP/PS VITA

            FF Tactics is another great game that doesn’t require a ton of focus to play. This updated version of the classic PS One title is chock full of intriguing gameplay.

While it requires more focus than Pokemon, it can distract you for a much longer time. Wandering around and doing random encounter battles while crafting your perfect party is great, especially in a situation where you don’t have time to focus on the story.

Certainly the game would serve you better provided you’re familiar with the story, but the in-between segments aren’t terribly long or involved, meaning you can probably manage to watch them during lulls in the conversation with family.

Of course, the gameplay is turn-based, which is highly desired in a situation where you could be distracted at any moment. It’s great for those that want a little more game with their distraction.

Perfect Situation: When everyone has broken off into their own little chat groups or they’re looking through the old family photos.

Worst Situation: When you’ve got someone over your shoulder asking you what’s happening every three seconds.


  1. Tetris on Gameboy

Nobody messes with someone playing Tetris. Nobody.

Perfect Situation: Every situation.

Worst Situation: See above.


  1. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd for PS VITA

            Project DIVA is a hardcore rhythm game. While something that distracts you for long bouts of time might seem misplaced on the list, it’s actually perfect.

With rhythm games, you have to not only time your button presses with the symbols, but you have to be able to hear the music to help your timing, too. In a crowded situation, this would require you to wear headphones.

Headphones are a universal sign of “please, do not bother me.” Chances are most would-be bothers will leave you alone at the first sign of the earbuds. Not to mention the game is fun.

The rhythm game mode is also boosted by a virtual pet type feature in which you can hang out with the various vocaloid singers in the game. There’s also a way you can just listen to the tracks if you don’t want to be bothered with hitting buttons.

This game is great for those who are seeking total isolation.

Perfect Situation: When everyone wants to talk to you and you don’t want to talk to them.

Worst Situation: When anyone else can see what you’re playing.


  1. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

Super Smash Brothers is probably one of the most perfect handheld games ever. It can even be used to distance yourself at a Christmas party!
The good thing about Smash is that each fight can be tailored to exactly how long you want it to be. Barring loading screens, you can set matches to last a minute each and get plenty of smashing done in small doses. If you’ve got time for more, you can easily set it for more, too.

Bite-sized modes like Smash Run can be played over and over with different characters to keep the game fresh for those parties that run from lunch until well-past dinner.

Also, seeing as you’re at a Christmas party and it’s a brand-spanking new game, chances are good that someone else might be opening it at the party. Provided they’ve got their 3DS, you can link up and do some versus battles.

It may not totally isolate you socially, but at least you’re interacting and can use that as an excuse to not play “go-fish” a hundred times.

Smash Bros. is by far the most perfect game for a party.

Perfect Situation: A family party with “cool” family members that also own the game.

Worst Situation: When no one else has it and they make you take turns with your system.


So, if you’re just looking to get away for a bit, be sure to check out the above titles. Good luck with your gaming and I hope you come out of the holidays relatively unscathed.

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About author

Logan Barnes

Logan Barnes has been gaming since he could use a DOS computer. In addition to his numerous PSN trophies, he holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism. He enjoys a good Piña Colada and Hawaiian shirts.


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