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Looking for a white elephant gift, stocking stuffer or just trying to keep costs down? We have you covered. It can be tough sometimes to find a good gift under $20, but we feel we’ve found 20 of them that anyone would be happy to receive.100 Things To Do Bucket List Scratch Poster
Buy for $15Anker Nano 20W iPhone Charger
The perfect gift for anyone who just purchased a new iPhone, or a wireless charging pad, or basically anyone who plans to purchase a future smartphone or electronic. The Nano is small, powerful and works with most USB-C devices.
Buy for $17Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee and Tea Maker
Everyone should have a coffee press, even if they never use it. This one from Bodum looks sharp and according to reviews, makes coffee that tastes as good as presses 10x its price. Plus it also makes tea.
Buy for $18Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast Coffee Grounds
Even if you don’t get them the above press, consider getting them some Death Wish coffee. Billed as ‘the world’s strongest coffee,’ it makes for a fun gift, even it ends up just sitting on the self forever.
Buy for $20Wyze Cam 1080p Smart Security Camera
I honestly can’t believe this thing is $20. It streams in full HD, has 2-way audio and night vision, stores clips in the cloud for free, and it works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Buy for $20Stanley Classic Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Thermos
Yeti who? This Stanley thermos is capable of keeping your beverage or soup of choice, hot or cold for up to 24 hours. I also like that it’s super durable, leak proof, and the lid doubles as an 8-ounce cup.
Buy for $20POWERUP 2.0 Electric Motor for Paper Planes
Attach this DIY electric motor to your paper airplane and watch it fly. This is one of those gifts where you probably shouldn’t count on it working 100% on the first try, but hey if it does—fun!
Buy for $20Victorinox Swiss Army Recruit Pocket Knife
The thing about pocket knives as gifts is the receiver is either going to toss it in a drawer, never to be seen again, or they’re going to carry it every day and eventually pass it down to the next generation. I like those range of outcomes.
Buy for $17Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote
This is another one of those things that I can’t believe is under $20. Adds support for virtually every streaming service to any TV, including Apple TV+ and free services like Pluto TV and Tubi.
Buy for $18LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Can filter up to 1,000 gallons of contaminated water without iodine, chlorine or other chemicals and doesn’t require batteries. It’s 2023 ya’ll, everyone needs to be prepared for everything.
Buy for $13OXO Steel Single Wall Cocktail Shaker
Oh man, I really like this as a gift idea. OXO is known for its high-quality bar and kitchen utensils, and this leakproof shaker opens up a world of drink-making possibilities. And if nothing else, it makes a great display piece.
Buy for $20Godlinger Dublin Double Old Fashioned Glasses
These are the types of glasses you break out when an old friend visits, or a major life event occurs, or just when you want to feel like Don Draper from Mad Men. These are real crystal people, and make an incredible gift.
Buy for $19Kasa Smart Multicolored LED Wi-Fi Light Bulb
Pop this thing in your favorite lamp or light fixture, and all of a sudden you can control the mood of the entire room with a single tap or voice command. Works with Alexa and Google Home, and there’s no need for a separate hub.
Buy for $17GearLight High-Powered LED Flashlight
I’m of the belief that you can never have enough flashlights. And this one is a good one: it’s super bright at 1200 lumens, has multiple modes including zoom, and it’s weather-resistant.
Buy for $19LEGO Speed Champions 1974 Porsche 911 Kit
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, LEGO kits (sub 500-piece, much more than that gets too tedious) make surprisingly good gifts. They offer a little challenge, entertainment, and once completed they look great on a desk or shelf.
Buy for $15Ultimate Catch Phrase Party Game
I’ve never not had a good time playing this game.
Buy for $12Amazon Echo Flex Mini Smart Speaker
So this tiny little thing has the Alexa assistant built-in, and a USB port that you can use to charge your phone, or plug in accessories such as a night light.
Buy for $10Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker
We all know what a Tile is by now, right? And if not the image should give you some context clues.
Buy for $18Rubik’s Cube 3×3 Puzzle Game
I got one of these as a gift a few years back, and it has become a mainstay on my desk. I use it as more of a fidget spinner than a puzzle I’m actually trying to solve, but every once in a while I Google ‘how to solve a Rubik’s Cube’ and give it the old college try.
Buy for $8Carhartt Knit Cuffed Beanie
I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point Carhartt went from a symbol of rugged outer wear to a fashion icon. Anyway it says these are ‘mens’ beanies but pretty sure any one would dig one of these knit beanies.
Buy for $17Anker PowerWave QI Wireless Charging Stand
I really wanted to avoid the typical cliche ‘tech’ gift guide items, but let’s face it, no one is going to hate getting a wireless charging stand. Especially a highly-rated one like this one.
Buy for $14
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Are you struggling to find the perfect gift for the Apple fan in your life this holiday season? With so many iPhone and iPad accessories available on the market today, choosing the perfect something is not so easy. Rest assured, we can help. The best accessories and gift ideas on this list are sure to bring a smile to any iPhone or iPad user.1. Apple Pencil
Definitely one of the most popular iPad accessories around, the Apple Pencil is a must-own for millions of iPad users. Whether it is the original Apple Pencil (see compatibility options listed here) or Apple Pencil 2 for the iPad Pro, this is no ordinary stylus. Manufactured with Apple’s pinpoint responsiveness in mind, the Apple Pencil is the best tool for drawing on the iPad. No matter if the gift recipient is just learning to draw or the next Van Gogh, this is the most important accessory they will need. Staring at around $90 for the original Apple Pencil and around $130 for the second generation, the Apple Pencils are not inexpensive stocking stuffers.2. AirPods
The AirPods are a sure thing to show up on any list of ideas for iPhone or iPad owners and for good reason. All three generations of AirPods are must-own items and arguably the best wireless headphones available today. The built-in W1 chip enables AirPod to pair quickly with any iPhone or iPad. Battery life starts at around four to five hours of talk time. That number increases to around 24 hours when factoring in the extra juice with the charging case. Then consider their highly recognizable design, and AirPods are as much a fashion accessory as they are headphones. Prices begin at around $129 for the first generation and around $249 for the most recent AirPods Pro.3. SteelSeries Nimbus Gaming Controller
Is there an iOS gamer in your life? The SteelSeries Nimbus gaming controller is another fantastic stocking stuffer idea. Connecting over Bluetooth 4.1 technology, the $47 controller enables you to transform your iPad or iPhone into a portable gaming console. Play Fortnite on the go or right on your desk with this hugely popular gaming accessory. The Nimbus is compatible with nearly every iPhone or iPad produced over the last four years and works for both right- and left-handed gamers. With almost forty hours of rechargeable battery life, you can feel comfortable leaving the charger at home for an entire weekend. It can recharge with the same lightning cable as any recent iOS device, which is a terrific bonus.4. Ultimate Ears Boom 3
Keep the holiday music going well into the new year with the Ultimate Ears Boom 3. Already one of the most popular Bluetooth speakers on the market, this waterproof speaker is an outstanding gift. Delivering 360 degrees of sound, the $119 speaker can keep the party going for more than fifteen hours. If a house party quickly becomes a pool party, the Boom 3 is waterproof up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The cylindrical shape is sharp and eye-catching while feeling well-built and durable enough to withstand years of use.5. Anker PowerCore 10,000 Redux
Potentially the most important gift you can give any iPhone or iPad user is that of battery life. Few companies are better equipped to deliver both power and value more than Anker and its PowerCore 10,000 Redux. For around $25, it recharges the iPhone 11 almost three complete times before needing to be recharged. The iPhone 11 Pro Max will also see at least two charges from empty to full. iPad devices and their bigger battery sizes will still see the benefit of the Redux but for a more complete charge, look to the $40 Anker PowerCore 20,000 for just under two complete charges.6. Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Printer
One of the least considered but most necessary products for any iPhone owner is a portable printer. While most photos taken on smartphones end up as memories on social media, many of them deserve to be printed. Enter the $79 Polaroid ZIP wireless mobile photo printer capable of turning out individual photos in under sixty seconds. The 2×3 inch photos are not poster-sized by any stretch of the imagination. However, they can make a great photo collage to hang on a wall. All prints are water- and tear-resistant, making them durable for years of smiles every time you look at each print. The best part? The printer is small enough to be carried in a backpack or small bag.Conclusion
This is far from a complete list. There are almost too many last-minute gift ideas for iPhone and iPad owners. Everything from cases to watch bands makes for excellent last-minute ideas and perfect stocking stuffers. If you are hastily searching for a last-minute gift for the iOS lover in your family, you cannot go wrong with this list.
David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.
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Looking for games where both you and your friends can enjoy offline? If you are, split-screen games are one of the best choices for you. You don’t always need an internet connection to have the best of both worlds. And both of you can have fun without the other person being the spectator.
So, let’s talk about the best local multiplayer games you can play on your PlayStation.
DISCLOSURE: Our list features games with local multiplayer features. These may work via a split-screen or not. For example, local co-op platformers and sports games happen on a single screen.
Fortnite is no longer the most popular battle royale!
Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Epic Games
Release Date: July 2023
Platform: Windows PC, Android, iOS, macOS, Switch, PS4, PS5, XBOX One, XBOX Series X/S
Genre: Battle Royale, Survival, Sandbox
We’re kickstarting our list with Epic’s behemoth Battle-Royale, Fortnite. And yes, you can play with your friends on your console, just as long as your friends log in with a different account.
If you haven’t played Fornite for a while, you could re-check it. The developers keep adding new features to keep the game consistently fun, colorful, and light.
Also, we like that it allows local co-op gaming. You could even join an online match playing with a friend sitting next to you. It’s a feature Warzone doesn’t allow, for example.
Overcooked 2 is a surprisingly very popular game.
Developer: Team 17
Publisher: Team 17
Release Date: August 2023
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, Linux, Amazon Luna
Genre: Cooking Simulator
Overcooked 2 is a cooperative cooking simulator. Up to four players can work together in the kitchen of a surreal restaurant.
The team prepares the orders as fast as they can, without burning or running the food. Cooking includes gathering, chopping, cooking, serving, and washing dishes.
Because there’re so many tasks involved, each team member must take care of a different part of the kitchen. It enables quirky teamwork as all players move on clockwork.
Aside from teamwork, you’d require patience and the knowledge that the game will overwhelm you. Orders get insane, large, and unrealistic. Most of all, though, it’s nearly impossible not to burn the food.
Overall, Overcooked 2 is a humble family-friendly game. It’s one of the best party games out there.
Lego video games are consistently fun and funny.
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: 2023 (DC Supervillains)
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS (DC Supervillains)
Genre: Puzzle, Platformer
If you’re looking for fun, simple, couch multiplayer games, you should check the Lego games. You can choose the one that follows your favorite brand.
Its balance of problem-solving, chaos, and goofy humor is a great experience to play with your family members. Maybe with your son, your daughter, or a younger brother, who knows!
Sports games tend to offer local multiplayer modes.
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports
Release Date: September 2023
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Apple Arcade
Genre: Sports, Basketball
The game also introduces the team’s new rooster as well as some new features. However, it has the same flaws you’d expect from yearly sports titles like NBA and FIFA. One of these flaws is an offensive micro-transaction system.
As for the gameplay itself brings the classic staple modes of the series while adding older features. For example, it has MyCareer mode while bringing back NBA 2k16’s affiliations.
As for co-op, NBA 2K21 offers player vs. player matches. Each user can control a single athlete or a team of 5 players. If a co-op basketball game is what you’re looking for, you can easily enjoy NBA 2K21.
EA Sports handles the most popular soccer football video-game franchise.
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: EA Sports
Release Date: October 2023
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch
Genre: Sports, Soccer, Football
You probably know about this one, so putting a FIFA game on our split-screen games list feels like cheating.
Still, we have to shine a light on the ongoing and yearly -soccer- football series. As the 28th installment of the franchise, FIFA 21 offers the best visual and performance the series has seen.
One of its most popular features is the Ultimate Team mode. The feature allows you to build your online team through a series of “surprise mechanics” you unlock with either real money or in-game challenges.
The controversial, addictive, and gambling-oriented feature got co-op functionality. You can now play with friends to unlock rewards and objectives.
Aside from the Ultimate Team mode, FIFA 21 allows player vs. player local matches and co-op on various game modes.
Rayman Legends is a classic last-gen platformer.
Release Date: August 2013
Platform: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Genre: 2D Platformer
Legends offer an outstanding 2D platformer experience with a gorgeous OST, creative level design, and a great amount of content. It’s one of the best 2D platformers you can play, even if it’s almost a decades-old game.
The colorful game allows a local co-op of four players. Each can pick from a rooster of crazy characters to jump, run, and punch your way through the levels.
Overall, Rayman Legends is a joy. It’s fun, tough, and full of secrets. However, the game is too short, so the experience won’t last for long.
All in all, Rayman Legends is a must-play split-screen PS4 game.
Developer: Hazelight Studios
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: March 2023
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
Genre: Action-Adventure, Puzzle
A Way Out requires co-op play. You have to play with someone else, as there’s no single-player mode. Nevertheless, the co-op can be either locally or online.
You’ll play as Vincent and Leo. Both are prisoners with a single goal: escaping jail with an elaborate plan and then reaching the countryside.
Consider each character has its own perspective. Most of the time, they’ll be doing their own thing in different parts of the jail.
For example, one player may need to distract the guards while the other gets an important item. Then, both players should create a plan to move forward.
Escaping prison is not the end of the game, though. The scenarios get crazier and bigger in the countryside. For example, there’s a whole action set piece when one of the guys is driving away from cop cars while the other is shooting from the windows.
Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: November 2023
Platform: PS4, PS5
Sackboy is an awesome exclusive PlayStation platformer. Even though its campaign offers a top-tier single-player experience, it’s actually better as a co-op game.
It’s a beautiful game that presents itself as a LittleBigPlanet spin-off. The game thrives on a pretty yet dangerous set design that requires you to think fast and be clever to move forward.
Sackboy is also creative in such a way that shines on co-op. The levels are consistently fun and quick to present new mechanics. These levels can be tough, or they could be cute. Either way, the game takes you everywhere and anywhere, so every level is different in design and mechanics.
It’s not the best platformer ever. It can be frustrating, and it lacks the nuance precision the genre needs to shine. Even so, I recommend Sackboy as a charming couch co-op experience.
Star Wars Battlefront II adds new content consistently.
Developer: EA Dice
Release Date: 2023
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
Genre: Shooter, Multiplayer
Part of the reason Battlefront lost so many fan points is its lack of a proper single-player campaign. Battlefront I debuted with a stellar campaign, but the second one brings a glorified tutorial.
Setting that aside, the local split-screen aspect allows two users to play against the AI in various modes.
For example, you and a companion can jump into Arcade Mode and play through various multiplayer maps. Then, you can unlock credits via the game’s online store.
Overall, Battlefront II is the best co-op Star Wars title you can play, as most SW games are online or single-player.
Playing a racing game with friends is one of the best kinds of split-screen experiences.
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: October 2023
We need a racing title on our best split-screen games list. We could have included Need for Speed Heat, but there’s not a lot of love for that series anymore.
Instead, Gran Turismo Sports is a stunning and superb racing game. It recreates over 160 real-life cars and gives you over 17 racing courses to play.
Local co-op allows two players on a race. You can choose cars from real companies like BMW, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Porsche, and more. Tracks take you to Austria, France, Japan, Belgium, and much more.
Aside from its stunning looks and controls, the performance of the game is the best part. The controls are tight, and the physics are realistic.
The Xbox exclusive series Forza Horizon might be better but, for the PS4, Gran Turismo is the best option.
Many CoD games feature a Zombies mode.
Developer: Raven Software, Treyarch
Release Date: November 2023
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows
This feature allows either local or online multiplayer co-op. It allows you and a friend to play against zombie waves.
In fact, the mode is made for co-op play. It’s tough, punishing, and full of dangers. Playing as a team allows you to survive longer, cover the weak spots, and kill the zombies to survive.
Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War’s Zombies mode has three maps. They will evolve as Activision keeps publishing new updates, though.
Diablo is one of the most popular hack & slash / dungeon-crawler franchises-
Release Date: 2012
Platform: PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS
Genre: Hack & Slash, ARPG, Dungeon-crawler
Diablo III is not the most popular hack and slash game out there. Heck, Blizzard’s HQ is probably on fire right now.
Still, I must recommend the game’s console version as one of the best split-screen titles you can play on PlayStation.
The combat gameplay is fast, addictive, and easy to understand. It has enough complexity to work around “perfect builds,” but it’s also easy enough for anyone to understand.
For example, I used to play the game with my younger brother. He was 12 by the time, and he could perfectly understand the game’s systems.
The action RPG has remained relevant for nine years, and it’s currently transitioning to the newer consoles. I haven’t played it for a while, but I do remember it fondly. I might even give it a new try.
That said, Diablo 3 allows you to play the whole campaign and beyond with friends via a split-screen functionality. A four-people party can play on a single screen, on a single console.
Overall, the Diablo dungeon-crawler is better as a co-op title. Few games of the genre offer this simple feature.
It Takes Two is the definitive co-op experience for couples.
Developer: Hazelight Studios
Release Date: March 2023
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows
It Takes Two is the kind of game you’d want to play with your significant other. It’s a co-op only that revolves around a divorcing couple.
The plot starts when Rose learns her parents are divorcing. Soon, a weird magic spell turns the strange couple into the dolls she made of themselves.
Its plot introduces a crazy platformer where you play as ragdoll versions of the couple. Only by working together will they be able to return to their human bodies.
The premise is humorous and light-hearted but also deep and compelling. It explores the subject with a careful balance between charm, wits, and romance.
More importantly, the game works as a wonderful platformer that requires the teamwork and ingenuity of the divorcing couple.
Overall, It Takes Two is one of the best games I’ve seen in 2023. Don’t miss it!
Rocket League is a free-to-play game.
Release Date: 2023
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, Linux.
Genre: Sports, Racing, Soccer
Rocket League is all about cars playing soccer…with rockets. It’s a mindless, fun game where you drive a car and use the rocket booster to jump, flip, and accelerate. The goal is hitting a huge ball to take it towards the enemy’s goal.
Each team has up to 8 players. You can play with a local split-screen as long as your friend logs in with a different account. Up to four players can join in on a single console.
All of this means you can play local multiplayer against other players online. It’s as versatile as it’s fun.
Also, Rocket League is free-to-play. You don’t even need to pay for PlayStation Plus or otherwise to play it online.
The Divinity saga is at the top of the RPG genre.
Developer: Larian Studios
Publisher: Larian Studios
Release Date: 2014 (2023 for the sequel)
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows, macOS, Linux
Divinity: Original Sin represents an old-school, hardcore, and punishing sandbox RPG. As a couch co-op, it takes time and effort. Nevertheless, you can play the whole campaign with your friend on a single screen.
Local co-op RPG games are almost non-existent, so we had to include Original Sin. Also, this is one of the best games of its genre.
Creators of Baldur’s Gate know how to make a complex RPG. There’s an overwhelming amount of choices, consequences, and character builds. On top of that, you can approach combat in multiple ways. If you choose to fight, then its turn-based combat is equally deep.
In the first game, two players can create a Source Hunter. It’s a warrior that uses magic and conventional weapons to save the world from Sorcerers. The sequel is similar, but it improves its turn-based combat system and adds in an open world.
Both games are lengthy, as they can take over 50 hours. They are also not for everyone: even the amount of choice in the character creation screen is overwhelming. Thus, I can only recommend these to lifelong RPG fans.
Helldivers is one of the most popular couch multiplayer games.
Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: March 2023
Platform: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Windows
Genre: Shoot ’em-up
Helldivers is a shoot’em-up game. I would describe it as a “Halo” squad fighting against mean zombies with a birds-eye view.
The squad shooter allows local co-op, online co-op, and both. Notably, another player can join your PS4 party through a PS Vita as well.
Four people can play on a single console or a single party. Nonetheless, friendly fire is always on.
Players’ characters have a sidearm and the main weapon. Aside from that, it uses a twin-stick configuration to move the character.
The plot follows the elite Helldiver unit, a group of soldiers working together to protect dystopian earth from an intergalactic war. It’s a simple plot for simple mechanics.
Still, Helldrivers is 100% fun, more so if you play with someone else.
Streets of Rage 4 is one of the best games of 2023.
Developer: Dotemu, Lizard Cube, Guard Crush Games
Release Date: April 2023
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, Linux, Google Stadia
Genre: Arcade, Beat ’em-up
Streets of Rage 4 is a gorgeous beat ’em up game. It plays like a classic side-scrolling arcade game while moving across astonishing hand-painted sets. Moreover, it dances with gorgeous disco music.
Four players can join on a single console, and there’s a wide rooster of fighters to select. Each one features a particular fighting style, as well as a unique skill.
If you don’t like couch co-op, you can also play multiplayer online. Nonetheless, the online party can only support two players.
Combat includes throws, standard attacks, Blitz Moves, and special attacks. Characters spend health on their special attacks, and then they can regain health with combos (uninterrupted set of attacks).
Once you finish a level, you gain points according to your performance. Then, you can use the points to unlock “16-bit” characters we’ve seen on previous entries of the series.
Dragon Ball Fighter Z is regarded as the best fighting game for the PS4.
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: January 2023
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Coming from one of the most popular franchises in history, we couldn’t miss the best fighting game available for the PS4.
Dragon Ball FighterZ might not mean much for non-anime fans. However, if you like playing the Mortal Kombat game genre, you probably like the Saiyan shonen as well.
FighterZ is a 2D fighting game. You choose a team of three fighters and battle against the AI, online players, or someone sitting right next to you.
The game presents frenetic action, ki-based attacks, teleportation, and everything you can imagine from Akira Toriyama’s universe.
Its 2D system doesn’t simplify its mechanics. Instead, FighterZ is as complex as a fighter game can be. You can learn a new attack, a new defense, or a new combo every day.
Turn pro, and you could beat Ultra Instinct Goku with Yamcha. I know it’s a crazy suggestion, given the canon of the series. However, the game systems give every character a chance.
Overall, Dragon Ball FighterZ can offer hours of mindless fun for you and your friends. However, if you’re looking for a single-player Dragon Ball game, we recommend Kakarot.
Borderlands are the best shooter looter games you can play.
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date: March 2023
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Genre: FPS, RPG
Are you asking which Borderlands game to play? Well, all of them, any of them, at least one, please!
Borderlands is THE shooter looter saga. When most RPG games revolve around a gameplay loot loop, Borderlands made it fun.
Its sheer amount of weapons, which are not randomly generated, is part of its magic. They’re not two weapons alike, and most feel, look and behave uniquely. Also, weapons come from different manufacturers, and each manufacturer adds its unique taste.
Aside from that, the saga tells a cool story. Overall, its plot will grab your attention. It’s hilarious, over-the-top, and mostly satirical, and it works. Borderlands 3 falls behind on the storytelling, but it has an extra portion of guns and explosions.
The other part of the game is the RPG elements. Every game has various classes, and each class has a unique power plus talent trees.
Borderlands games are crazy fun looter shooters with good RPG mechanics and solid storytelling. Also, its cartoonish graphics and characters contribute to the overall feel of the game.
Four people can play on a single console. You could play the whole campaign together. All of the campaigns are long, and there’s a New Game + feature.
The saga has four games. If you haven’t tried any of these titles, I recommend the Handsome Collection. It includes the first two games, plus “Borderlands the Pre-Sequel.” Additionally, it comes with all of the DLC content plus enhanced HD textures.
Cuphead is one of the hardest games in recent memory. Just like old-school experiences!
Developer: Studio MDHR
Publisher: Studio MDHR
Release Date: 2023 (2023 for PS4)
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Genre: 2D platformer, Run and Gun
We’ve reached the hiatus of 2D platformers and couch co-op games. Cuphead is The 2023 Run and Gun video game, and it’s better with someone else.
It’s the meanest, angriest, and toughest video-game experience you’ll ever have. But, if you play with a friend…it will be even tougher.
Cuphead has received endless praise for its gameplay, art style, soundtrack, level design, and challenge. It has commercial and critical success, on top of many awards and over six million copies sold.
That’s an amazing achievement for an indie studio, so much so that Netflix is working on a Cuphead series.
The game takes its inspiration from ’50s American cartoons, such as the first works of Walt Disney or Fleischer Studios. The idea is emulating their style’s surreal, subversive qualities to deliver a world where everything could happen.
The plot features Cuphead and Mugman (or Cuphead, if you go single-player). They fight through several levels and take on dangerous boss fights to pay a debt to the Devil.
And, believe it or not, the gameplay is about a couple of mugs, with feet and hands, shooting blue beans out of their fingers. You run and shoot everything you see in a setting where even mushrooms can fight back.
You can move, jump, shoot, and dash. Also, characters unlock various Super Moves that radically change the gameplay. Additionally, you can discover secrets, for fun, or weapons, for the action.
So yes, we choose Cuphead as the ultimate PS4 co-op game (it’s not a split-screen, though). Are you up for the challenge?
We name Minecraft as a bonus addition to the list. It’s a great game to play with your cousins or siblings.
We have another honorable mention to Ark: Survival Evolved. It has its problems in terms of gameplay and performance, but it has remained a popular survival sim game since its 2023 debut.
That’s it for our list, and now we ask: what’s your favorite local multiplayer game?
Looking for Linux alternatives to Windows software? Here are twenty choice Linux apps you might want to consider.
1- LibreOffice: Some might point out that Oracle’s own Open Office is still very much an option, but the fact is that Linux distributions are or have already migrated to LibreOffice in its stead. Unlike the proprietary-friendly Microsoft Office, LibreOffice offers the end-user much of the same functionality without the added cost of proprietary licensing. However, the biggest downside to LibreOffice has to be the lack of proper formatting support when opening a Microsoft docx document. While the document may be supported, chances are fantastic that the previous formatting won’t hold.
2- GIMP: It’s been my experience that you either embrace GIMP software or run PhotoShop in WINE as an alternative. Speaking for myself, I’ve found that GIMP offers most of the functionality one looks for with an image manipulator. The only real issue I’ve ever found with GIMP is that PhotoShop users refuse to learn about its differences. I think most of the aversion to using GIMP is familiarity and laziness. Others will likely see this differently, though.
4- Open Shot: I’ve found that Open Shot is easily my favorite video editor for the Linux desktop. If someone is looking for a solid Windows Live Movie Maker type of software for Linux, Open Shot should be the first place to look.
5- Network-manager: Regardless of which desktop environment you happen to use, you’ll find that network-manager makes connecting to the Internet a straight forward process for Linux users. Even though the front-end applets and interfaces may differ from desktop to desktop, in the end you’ll find that the experience is universally comparable to that of managing wired/wireless connections on the Window desktop.
It has been said that, in some ways, the Linux options offer a greater degree of control. The biggest hurdle that I’ve come across is that Linux wireless support can be hit and miss.
6- Evolution: I may be going out on a limb by suggesting Evolution as a practical Microsoft Outlook alternative. Then again, if you’re seeking a reliable way to connect to Microsoft Exchange without relying on IMAP, Evolution is pretty much “it” for that goal.
The downside to Evolution is that compared to its KDE counterpart Kontact, Evolution looks like something from 15 years ago. Not only that, but Kontact offers a better layout to the features provided, as well. Sadly though, the last fifty or so times I’ve checked, Microsoft Exchange support for Kontact was only half done. Then again, it’s entirely possible that OpenChange is changing all that.
7- F-Spot: Despite Ubuntu’s choice to start including other, less useful options by default, it and other distributions continue to offer the Windows Live Photo Gallery alternative known as F-Spot within its repositories. The best of the included features offer a powerful yet simple interface that allows each person to edit and color correct their photos.
Albums, tagging and sorting – F-Spot can do it all. The biggest issue I have with it is the lack of photo stitching functionality that is offered by its Microsoft counterpart.
8- gtkpod: On the Windows platform, iPod users rely on iTunes for management of their iPod devices. But for Linux enthusiasts, this can be a bit more complex as there are different ways of handling music management or iPod formatting. While other software runs many of the same libraries, gtkpod has consistently provided a solid way of managing older iPod type devices.
The biggest downside to the software is the lack of updated iOS support. It’s an Apple problem: each time the libraries are updated on the Linux side, Apple releases another update putting things back to square one.
It’s no surprise that the professional world has seen one of the greatest reshuffles in history.
Not only are people switching companies, they’re switching career paths.
As these changes have exacerbated over the past few years, the necessary skills and criteria for jobs have shifted as well – and LinkedIn is taking notice.
LinkedIn’s Learning community noted over 7.3 million users have taken their most popular courses so far in 2023 – almost doubled from 2023.
Let’s take a look at what users are curious about, and how you can access one of the top 20 courses for free.The Most Popular Courses Aren’t Hard Skills
Believe it or not, the most popular courses focused on more objective categories, rather than technical skills.
Goal Setting: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) reached the top of the list. This isn’t surprising as many companies and people had to shift their focus throughout the pandemic.
Other popular courses that focused on “soft” skills included:
Communicating with Confidence
Speaking Confidently and EffectivelyTechnical Skills Are Still Key
While some people picked up a new leisurely hobby the past few years, others dove into exploring different skill sets. These hard skill courses appeared on LinkedIn’s top 20 list for the first time in 2023, concluding that people are digging deeper into their professions.
Learning the OWASP Top 10
Power BI Essential Training
Other top hard skill courses on the list include:
Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365)
SQL Essential TrainingWhy You Should Pay Attention
No matter what your professional goal is, LinkedIn Learning likely has a course for you.
You may not be searching for a new job right now. Maybe you feel stuck in your career path and unsure of what to do next.
While time may not be a concern to some, money may be a concern. That’s why LinkedIn is offering their top courses for free until August 31, 2023. Keep in mind that you are able to take one of these courses for free, not all of them. You can find the top 20 free courses here.
Featured Image: Postmodern Studio/Shutterstock
RPA has achieved phenomenal growth in the past years due to its significant capabilities in automating important business tasks, and its ease of implementation.
In this article, we explore the top 20 RPA benefits compiled from vendors and end users.What are the overall RPA benefits? 1. Improved business results
RPA both directly and indirectly improves business results:
Thanks to its efficiency, accuracy, and 24/7 availability, it improves the quality of processes.
By taking over tasks that were previously delegated to humans, it reduces their workload and allows them to focus on value-added activities which can boost the top or bottom line.2. Increased focus on higher value activities
Similarly, for instance in accounting, the staff need to spend time on report creation. After RPA automates financial reporting, the finance team can focus on analyzing reports and generating insights.
RPA bots giving people time for in-depth analysis is one catalysts behind RPA creating new jobs.3. Reduced wage costs
Deloitte estimates that, on average, 20% of FTE capacity could be replaced by bots. Those who have implemented RPA are more positive: They claim the capacity to be around 52%.
For example, a bank leveraged RPA to automate their foreign trade finance payment processes. This resulted in a reduction of full-time employees in trade finance department from 110 to 47, which cut the salary budget by over 50% in the process.What to do about job disspossession?
Leading AI experts like Andrew NG also predict that AI will lead to job loss of workers employed in “automatable jobs” who lack the skills to be successful at jobs that can not be automated.
Businesses can tackle such issues by:
Employing personnel in other functions: If relevant relevant opportunities exist in the company that fit these employees’ skills, they could be placed there.
Upskilling personnel: Staff can be retrained, upskilled, and be placed in new positions in the company.
If such opportunitie do not exist in the company, then staff who are at the risk of dispossesion should be provided with a generous severance package and the opportunity to upskill themselves and work in a different environment.
Note that even when the current headcount preserved, enabling automation will make your personnel aware of automation opportunities and keep departments lean.4. Improved ROI
Businesses that have correctly implemented RPA have reported significant improvements in ROI. McKinsey has estimated that automating business tasks via RPA offers a potential ROI of 30–200% within the first year alone.
Learn more about how to measure RPA’s implementation success.5. Reduced risk
System upgrades tend to go over budget and under deliver.
RPA projects are low-risk, non-invasive projects that can be implemented quickly in rules-based, repetitive, and structured processes without disturbing existing legacy systems. So there’s minimal infrastructure risk.
In addition, RPA bots reduce operational risks by reducing the risk of manual errors (e.g. duplicate or outdated data, unauthorized access to privileged data, undiscovered cyber threats).
For example, a financial services provider leveraged RPA to automate processes in:
They claim that a single RPA bot was able to:
Complete the tasks of one or more employees,
And that they were able to entirely eliminate quality-check and risk management effort across rule-based tasks.
The result was $8M of savings in annual risk management costs.6. On-time process execution
RPA bots can be scheduled to initiate a process on a certain day of every month and at a precise time.
Punctual process execution is especially important in activities which if done late, can jeopardize business continuity.
For instance, paying vendors on time (which comes under accounts payable) makes sure that theintermediate products of your BOM (bill of materials) are at your warehouse according to your production schedule. Or that you are collecting your receviables fully and timely to ensure liquidity in the short tun.
RPA bots can be programmed to:
Initiate outgoing payments according to rules-based criteria (for instance, one day after delivery has been confirmed, or 3 days before shipping is made, etc.)
And check company’s accounts for receivables and send follow-up emails to unpaying customers with a payment link.What are RPA benefits to customer satisfaction? 7. Increased customer engagement
RPA enables rule-based workflows for B2C engagements. If done manually, tending to some customer grievances might fall through the cracks.
Automating the process; however, increases the likelihood that a company hears its customer base, resolves their issues, and acts upon their suggestions.
For instance, in customer service, companies can create RPA-enabled chatbots that can conduct a conversation with a customer as a human rep would.
A 2023 survey revealed that error-reduction is the second most important benefit of RPA after automation of manual tasks.
This is because human errors and low-quality data are estimated to cost businesses billions of dollars each year. Leveraging RPA can provide better quality data, as bots do not miss or duplicate data, and generate event logs for further analysis and audit.
For example, a bank leveraged RPA to automate its:
However, this does not mean that RPA provides error-free operation. RPA is not suitable for all processes, and edge cases that were not part of test cases have the potential to cause RPA bots to malfunction. RPA operations should be checked from time to time to ensure that edge cases are also covered successfully by RPA bots.9. Faster service
Another example, in one of the process mining case studies, Piraeus Bank was able to reduce loan application processes from 35 minutes to 5 minutes by using RPA and process mining tools.What are RPA benefits to technology units? 10. Reduced IT workload
As business users are empowered to automate their processes, IT will get fewer small automation requests.
By leveraging worklod automation (WLA) and RPA together, businesses can reduce IT workload for scheduling, initiating, and monitoring workflows on several business platforms.
Specifically, workload automation use cases in IT include:
Data warehouse management
Workflow lifecycle management
Learn more about IT process automation.11. Improved focus on IT innovation
Leveraging RPA in IT services, such as:
Data and network management
Enables IT teams to focus on high-value tasks. For example, research has shown that employees who had more free time due to automation focused on innovation, accepting new challenges at work, and developing their skills.
While focus is key for any department, it’s especially critical for IT as it has the challenging task of serving all departments. Having less automation-related work allows IT to focus on more important technology problems, such as finding ways to better align technology with business goals.What are RPA benefits to analytics? 12. Improved data quality
Case studies reveal that RPA can improve data quality as it can extract and manipulate data at ~99% accuracy, compared to 62% when data was extracted manually.
Additionally, RPA can contribute to better analytics by providing metadata for analyzing RPA performance, as well as enabling analytics tools to access to data in legacy systems.13. Increased scope for data collection
For example, RPA can be used to collect web data in order to provide businesses with real-time competitors’ prices, help them protect their brand, and monitor consumer sentiments.
Learn more about web scraping applications to explore web data benefits and use cases.14. Reduced workload
Data science and analytics teams spend ~80% of their time on data collection and cleaning tasks.
Automating data collection via RPA, as well as automating the reporting of data can be especially valuable for the data science and analytics department, allowing them to focus on more sophisticated, custom analysis, and development of business models.Benefits to HR 15. Increased employee satisfaction
A 2023 survey by salesforce revealed that:
89% of employees are more satisfied with their job
And 84% are more satisfied with their company, as a result of using automation in the workplace.
Employees have also reported that automation has provided them with more time to:
Learn new skills
Take on new challenges and projects
Deepen relationships with customers and stakeholders16. Efficient change management
Change management refers to any change that’s made to a process. For instance, a purchasing manager might want to switch suppliers. He/she has to submit a request to their immediate superior, with the reason why, and alternative vendors.
Companies can leverage RPA bots to automate their change management. For instance, instead of the manual submission of the change request form, employees can fill digital documents and the OCR and NLP-driven RPA bots can read, evaluate, and provide a preliminary assessment of the urgency of the issue.
The benefit is that the end-to-end process of change management can be made more efficient and quicker.17. Reduced churn
A 2023 EY survey revealed that 20-30% of employees who do repetitive tasks leave their jobs annually, requiring businesses to hire a new workforce every year, which is more expensive.
Leveraging RPA to automate repetitive mundane tasks will reduce this rate as employees will be more satisfied while focusing on higher-value tasks.
As an example, a 2023 research study found that automation created autonomy and job-crafting opportunities. The study also indicated that employees who were allowed more time (thanks to RPA automating their mundane tasks):
Found more opportunities to engage in internal and external collaboration and working relationships,
Re-develop services, think about, and/or solve more complex work-related problems, which can result in value-adding solutions and innovations.
Over time, automation will reduce the speed at which you hire for growth. As a result of this efficiency increase, you will be managing a more lean and mean workforce.18. Reduced hiring costs
This is an indirect effect but reducing manual labor boosts satisfaction and makes a company more attractive, thus facilitating hiring.
For example, a UK-based company leveraging RPA for operations automation was able to cut down on the cost of recruitment and training of 22 staff members.Compliance benefits 19. Minimizing exposure to sensitive data
Automating sensitive data processes via RPA minimizes human contact with that data, reducing the probability of fraud and compliance issues.
For example, a US-based bank leveraged RPA for optimizing anti-money laundering processes for KYC automation, periodic client reviews, and suspicious activity monitoring.
The results were increased regulatory compliance 75% savings on due-diligence costs.20. Maintaining an audit trail
RPA bots generate event logs of the processes they automate, creating accurate audit trails in case issues arise.
For example, a telecommunication company leveraged RPA for automating maintenance processes. This resulted in a 78% reduction in maintenance efforts and improved IT audit quality due to detailed event log records.
See our article about compliance automation to explore use cases in detail.Moving on to RPA implementation
Companies essentially face 2 options to minimize effort for repetitive tasks that require little human judgment:
Upgrade existing legacy systems to modern ones which enable automation
Use bots to interface with legacy systems and automate these tasks
If you choose the second option because of the cost or schedule of system upgrades, you need to choose an RPA partner. You can download our whitepaper on how to picking an RPA technology partner:
We have an in-depth guide for comparing RPA vendors and a complete list of RPA products. If you are not clear about how to choose the right RPA product, we can also help you find the right RPA vendor for your business:
And don’t forget to download our RPA whitepaper to learn more about the topic:
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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