It’s the December holidays.
After putting in the hard work in your studies, it’s time to relax and unwind. Take your feet off the gas, and stop thinking about what grades you’re gonna’ get. You have a month, so make the best use of it.
Let’s talk about how you’ve been spending the holidays.
It’s your much-deserved break after all, you wouldn’t want any of it to go to waste!
What have you missed during your studies? From movies to games, here’s a quick guide to getting caught up with things you can enjoy over the month break!
NETFLIX SHOWS: What Should You Binge-Watch?
We’ll keep things visual, so you can pick things up if any catches your fancy! Spoiler alert, most of these will be tailored towards introverts, meaning they’re stay-home activities!
First on the list would be Netflix shows. It’s without a doubt that Netflx has become the largest if not one of the largest video-streaming platforms in the world. With episodic formats spanning hours long, it’s the perfect recreation for a couch potato!
Don’t worry, our recommendations are only for 2023 releases!
[One Piece] The Power of Friendship… and a Guy Made of Rubber!
Immerse yourself into the quirky, comedic and thrilling tales of One Piece! Adapted from a manga and anime series in Japan, this beloved story of pirates, friendship, and magical battles follows our protagonist, straw-hat Luffy and his gang.
While most live-action films usually flop because they do not live up to the fans’ expectations, One Piece actually doesn’t disappoint! With an audience score of 95% on RottenTomatoes, it has received similarly high ratings from critics online.
One Piece doubles down on its fantasy setting and delivers its story without feeling like a cheap adaptation of the original! Characters are well-casted and recognisable, and the story feels strong enough to capture the raw emotions of a Shōnen story.
If you’re looking for some light-hearted fun, take the show out for a spin! Spanning eight episodes, the show’s runtime is about 7.5 hours long. Hey, it’s just enough to get you through a lazy morning!
[The Good Bad Mother] A Tearjerker About Family
Amongst many other romance K-dramas that Korea is known for, The Good Bad Mother stands out from the crowd. Not following the stereotypical love story, this show leans on the storytelling themes of slice-of-life, and succeeds in it!
The story follows a single mother who raises her son harshly for a better future. He becomes a successful but cold-hearted prosecutor from her efforts. And through a homecoming accident, the two find a chance to mend their relationship.
Sounds relatable, right? There’s a reason why the show is highly-rated for a K-drama. Phenomenal acting, the emotions, and the relief of a conclusive happy ending made it enter the ranks of the top 25 cable series of all time in South Korea.
The show runs for fourteen total episodes, with a runtime of 69 hours. Be prepared to take a week (and tissues to cry on) to binge through the emotional rollercoaster!
[The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar] A Thoughtful Short Film
With a length of just under 40 minutes, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a brilliant retelling of the Roald Dahl classic. With reputable director Wes Anderson and the charismatic actor Benedict Cumberbatch helming the project, the short film is best consumed for its creative direction and incredible storytelling.
Taken from RottenTomatoes, the synopsis follows “A rich man learns about a guru who can see without using his eyes. He sets out to master the skill in order to cheat at gambling. Extremely faithfully adapted from Roald Dahl’s long short story.”
VIDEO GAMES: Immerse Yourself into Fantasy Worlds!
What about video games? What’s new on the block? Now that you don’t have someone nagging you to study at home, how about digging through some of these popular titles of 2023?
From casual mobile games to immersive console experiences, there’s something for every gaming enthusiast.
[Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon] Giant Robots, Fight!
Fly about skyscrapers and roads with humanoid mechs, as YOU the pilot unloads bullets and missiles onto the enemy robots in Armored Core VI! Turn off your brain, and watch as your stress levels drop as fast as the flies on your screen!
Embrace the adrenaline-packed catharsis of the fast-paced action and stylish manoeuvres, all with the creativity of a fully customisable kill-bot at your disposal! The game is available on Steam, PS4/5, and XBox, but we recommend Steam on PC for a more immersive experience!
For the younger audience out there, rest assured! The game is rated for 12 and above, so just be mindful of the inherent violence within mech combat, as well as some bad language within the title.
[Super Mario Bros. Wonder] A Classic Yet Pretty Platformer
Now you may have heard of this one making their rounds in your social circles! That’s right, another Mario game! A classic, now reimagined with pretty graphics, new enemies and mechanics, is rightfully titled Super Mario Bros. Wonder, as it brings that child-like awe back into old fans and new ones alike.
From turning Mario into an elephant, to unexpected instances within stages that just oozes weirdness compared to the traditional formula, this game does NOT shy away from making each stage you play feel unique and ALIVE!
Training your hand-eye coordination, this Mario title shakes up the mechanics of the game regularly, pushing you to experience the thrill of learning and adapting on the fly! The game is also multiplayer-compatible, allowing you to play with up to 3 other friends! You can also queue up online and play with randoms!
As with most other modern Nintendo titles, Super Mario Bros. Wonder is only available on Nintendo Switch.
[Terra Nil] A Relaxing Citybuilder About Reversing Pollution!
Released early this year in March, Terra Nil appears to be an atypical city-builder game on the surface.
As PCGamer puts it in their review, “this is an order-of-operations puzzle game about rolling with procedurally generated punches to try and clear the board with the fewest moves possible. Put everything down in the right order and move on—the kind of game that you play by yourself in quiet contemplation.”
Beneath its game mechanics, the game shares its message clearly. Systems are introduced through a beautifully illustrated notebook encouraging you to focus on the beauty of the natural world. There is something gratifying as you watch nature recover on its own.
Calming music plays, rivers flow, vivid colours replace dreary wasteland. It’s nice to watch everything come alive. You can buy the game and play it on PC Steam, or Netflix Mobile, and experience the satisfaction of completing the game before the holidays end!
Did you know? The developer also donates part of their sales to the Endangered Wildlife Trust, bringing real positive change to the world!
MOVIES: Upcoming Titles!
For movie-goers, we’ve gotchu’ too! Hanging out with friends for a popular film is also a good way to spend the holidays. Escape into the world of cinema!
[Migration] This Time, It’s An Animated Film About Ducks
Here’s a synopsis for you: A family of ducks try to convince their overprotective father to go on the vacation of a lifetime.
Sounds Disney enough? You’d think so too, as the studio behind this film has also worked on Minions, a similarly magical experience in the theatres! The film is out on local screens, on the 28th of December, which means it’s just in time for Christmas!
[Wonka] Yes, It’s the Sequel to the Oompa Loompas!
Adapted from the popular title Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wonka is a film set to release on the 6th of December in Singapore. A prequel to our childhood story of chocolate and unapologetic mischief? The early adventures of Willy Wonka? Now that’s a treat for sure!
Having Fun is Also a Student’s Responsibility
As the December holidays unfold, it’s time to reflect on how you’ve been spending your well-deserved break. Hopefully, you’ve been able to relax and unwind after putting in the hard work during your studies.
Let yourself be transported to incredible worlds, laugh, cry, and create lasting memories. Make the most of this break and remember, this is one of the few times in your life where you can let yourself loose and immerse yourself without stress. De-stress to the fullest, and return to the new school term, ready to take on your studies with a refreshed mind!