By January we’re familiar with the idea of winter as a noun, a season. But winter can also be a verb: to spend the season in a particular place. It suggests escape, hiding out until the storm blows over or just lying low until spring. When I’m wintering, I’m doing it on my couch in the cool glow of an LCD screen, watching aliens explode.
With the holiday release rush over, you’ve chosen your favourite and mapped out a hibernation strategy. Maybe you’re touring every planet in Mario Galaxy or finding that last hidden flag in Assassin’s Creed. Or you’re getting acquainted with some classics that you’ve been ignoring, like Half-Life 2. You’ve got time. Get methodical.
But this frosty season is not only about solitary confinement. There are plenty of games worth warming up to with others. Kick it at home on a console with SingStar or Karaoke Revolution. Or skip going solo and add the bass, guitar and drums with Rock Band and decide for yourself if it really does kick the jams out of Guitar Hero.
You’re going to need some more supplies. Luckily, a few emergency drops are on the way. Suckers for serial TV dramas will find Lost: Via Domus (PC, Xbox 360, PS3, out February 26) a suitably perplexing blend of puzzles and action. Long-time gamers will relish Super Smash Bros Brawl (Wii, out March 9) for crumbling the walls between gaming universes. In the mega-crossover for the Wii, characters like Sonic the Hedgehog, Pikachu and even Solid Snake from Metal Gear go head-to-head in cartoony conflict.
So keep wintering – there are more than enough games to last till spring. Which, keep in mind, is also a verb – to bound upward and forward – something to do once Grand Theft Auto IV hits shelves April 1 (Xbox 360, PS3).