6 Game of Thrones- and Star Wars-Themed Games That Are 20 Percent Off for April

Game of Thrones Monopoly, Walmart
Game of Thrones Monopoly, Walmart

Tabletop gaming tends to be a pretty geek-friendly pastime, so it's no surprise that there is a bunch of games out there that cater to fantasy and sci-fi nerds. After all, if you're into the obsessive world-building of Settlers of Catan, you're probably also into the obsessive world-building of George R. R. Martin and George Lucas. And for the month of April, Game of Thrones and Star Wars fans who are also into games of strategy are in luck: Walmart is having a big sale on games, including some fantastic titles based around the iconic franchises. Below are some of the best deals, which will last until the end of the month.

1. Game of Thrones Monopoly; $23 (Regularly $30)

Forget Park Place—in this version of the classic real estate game, you’re playing for Winterfell, the Cave of the Three-Eyed Raven, and other key places within the Game of Thrones universe. You’ll accumulate Gold Dragons and Silver Stags to buy up holdfasts and castles, pledge your loyalty to one of the Great Houses, and try to outlast your fellow players.

Buy it: Walmart

2. A Game of Thrones Hand Of The King Strategy Game; $8 (Regularly $10)

Set in the courts of King's Landing, this game of strategy challenges players to navigate conspiracies and twists of fate while brokering deals and trying to gain influence over the Great Houses of Westeros. Players compete to become the power behind the Iron Throne—but only the most cutthroat will succeed.

Buy it: Walmart

3. Star Wars: Destiny Two-Player Card Game; $24 (Regularly $30)

This game gives you 23 cards and 16 dice with which to play out epic battles between the heroes and villains of the Star Wars universe. As the game description puts it: “Will you join the First Order and take control of Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma, or uphold the values of the resistance with Rey and Poe? If you ever wondered who would win a duel between two teams of heroes and villains from across the entirety of the Star Wars galaxy, there's no better way to find out than with Star Wars: Destiny.”

Buy it: Walmart

4. A Game of Thrones: The Board Game Second Edition; $48 (Regularly $60)

This three- to six-person board game challenges players to assemble military forces to battle for control of castles and strongholds across Westeros. But players will also need to build alliances and engage in diplomacy as they fight wildings in the far North. The player that can best navigate complicated alliances, inevitable betrayals, and acts of war will come out on top. The latest edition adds new Tides of Battle cards (to “convey the uncertainty of war”), streamlined rules, and updated art.

Buy it: Walmart

5. A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch; $64 (Regularly $80)

Combine your nerdiest passions with this standalone version of Catan that revolves around the task of improving the infrastructure of the Gift. In the process, players must also defend the Wall from wildings and fight to rise above the other brothers of the Night Watch to become Lord Commander.

Buy it: Walmart

6. Star Wars Destiny: Empire at War Display; $86 (Regularly $108)

You can expand your Star Wars: Destiny game with the Empire of War booster packs, which “focus on taking core concepts of Star Wars: Destiny and throwing them into disarray.” The 180 brand-new cards will give you light years of material to play with.

Buy it: Walmart

Ninja’s Hot & Cold Brewed System Is the Only Coffee Maker You’ll Ever Need

Amazon
Amazon

Update: The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System is on sale for $120 ($40 off) for Sam's Club members until May 19.

For people who just want a cup of joe to help them get out the door in the morning, the French presses, Chemexes, Aeropresses, Moka pots, and other specialized devices that coffee aficionados swear by probably seem more overwhelming than appealing. Ditto the fancy cappuccino machines at local cafes. That’s where Ninja’s new Hot & Cold Brewed System comes in: It was created to give coffee addicts a myriad of options with minimal fuss, not to mention minimal equipment. And it makes tea, too!

“Coffeehouses are known for having an endless selection, but current at-home brewers haven't given users the vast variety of choice we thought possible, and certainly not all in one product," Mark Rosenzweig, CEO of SharkNinja, said in a press release. "The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System changes the category entirely. This innovative system is more than just a machine you use in the morning; it's your all-day brewing partner.”

The Hot & Cold Brewed System comes with two baskets: one for coffee and one for tea. It knows what you're making to make based on the basket you insert, and the available options for that basket will light up. The machine allows the user to make six different sizes of coffee or tea, from a single cup all the way up to a full 50-ounce (10-cup) carafe.

And of course, as the name suggests, the system can make both hot and iced beverages. For coffee, it has five brew options: classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, and specialty (a concentrated brew for milky drinks like cappuccinos). If you’re making tea, you can choose between hot and cold brews optimized for herbal, black, oolong, white, or green tea.

When you select an over ice or cold brew, the machine automatically doubles the strength of your beverage so it doesn't get overly diluted by the ice cubes in the carafe. Even better, the Ninja can make cold brew in just 10 to 15 minutes, whereas other systems and methods typically take hours. (Hot coffee is brewed at 205°F, while the cold brew is made at 101°F.) And the system has a hot and cold frother that folds into the side so you can make barista-level lattes, too.

These bells and whistles sound impressive on paper, but how do they perform in real life? Ninja sent me Hot & Cold Brewed System to test for myself.

Ease of Use

Though it might look like something developed by NASA, the Hot & Cold Brewed System is designed to easily work with the twist of a dial and the push of a button, and it delivers. From loading in the correct amount of grounds with the system’s “smart scoop” to picking what type of brew you’d like, it’s simple enough to use even while bleary-eyed in the morning. It’s also easy to schedule a delayed brew so you can do the rest of your morning routine while your coffee brews. (Here’s the only drawback I can think of about this machine: When it starts brewing, it’s kind of noisy—loud enough to make my cats jump. It’s not a dealbreaker, but if you live in a small apartment and plan to brew coffee so that it’s ready right when you wake up, it might be something to consider.)

The system even tells you when it needs to be descaled. The “clean” button will light up, at which point you simply fill the water reservoir with descaling solution and water and press the clean button. A countdown lets you know how much longer the clean cycle will last.

Taste and Flavor

I swapped out an old, cheap coffee maker for the Hot & Cold Brewed System, and the difference was immediately noticeable. Whether hot or cold, the coffee made by the H&CBS was a better, smoother cup of joe. That’s due to what Ninja has dubbed Thermal Flavor Extraction automated brewing technology, which, according to a press release, “knows the precise temperatures, correct bloom times, and proper levels of saturation for every possible beverage combination to ensure a great taste every time.”

Whatever tech they use, it works. The coffee I make in this machine is consistently tasty. The rich brew setting works exactly as advertised, too, providing a richer, bolder flavor than the classic brew.

Features and Accessories

One of the best things about the H&CBS is the fact that it cuts down on waste significantly. Unlike other machines, it doesn't require any plastic pods or paper filters. Instead, it comes with two permanent filters, one for coffee and one for tea.

And the cold brew function is a game changer if you prefer iced coffee to hot. Not only does it brew quickly, but it eliminates the messy cleanup that comes with making cold brew yourself.

Typically priced at $230 for the thermal carafe version (or $200 for the glass carafe), the Hot & Cold Brewed System is significantly more expensive than a simpler drip coffee machine. But if you’re a cold brew addict looking to treat yourself, it’s worth it. Consider springing for the slightly more expensive thermal carafe model, which will keep your java hot or cold for hours. (I’ve left ice in it overnight and found cubes the next morning.)

You can get the Hot & Cold Brewed System on Amazon, Walmart, Macy's, Sam's Club, or directly on Ninja’s website starting at $160.

Attention Aspiring Astronauts: Arlo Skye Now Has Space-Themed Luggage

Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

While some travelers are preoccupied with getting their luggage through airport security, the designers at Arlo Skye are thinking bigger. As Condé Nast Traveler reports, the brand's new line of suitcases is inspired by space travel, with high tech features and a sleek, futuristic look.

Arlo Skye was founded in 2016 by alumni from Louis Vuitton and Tumi Inc. They set out to create luggage that emphasized design, with luxury polycarbonate suitcases available in trendy colors like rose gold and custom monogramming.

The company's Space Collection may be its most stylized line yet. It comes with a removable, 10,050-milliamp-hour charger with USB C and A ports for charging phones and other devices. The chrome-colored case is 22 inches tall, 9 inches deep, and 14 inches wide and weighs 8.5 pounds empty.

Space Collection suitcase from Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

Depending on what type of space traveler you are, you can get one of three designs laser-etched on the bottom of your luggage. There's Moon Shot, Team Human, and Occupy Mars; each engraving comes with a short ode to space and a small picture of its respective celestial body. Like other suitcases made by Arlo Skye, these bags are zipper-free and made from polycarbonate with an aluminum frame.

Whether you're a globetrotter or an aspiring astronaut, the Space Collection from Arlo Skye makes a great travel companion.

Buy it from Arlo Skye for $450.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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