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The Chanukah Digital Gift Guide

December 2, 2010 | by Mark Miller

It’s not too late to get your beloved one of these outstanding new Jewish video games.

There are hundreds of thousands of video games available, perhaps millions. But how does one narrow those down to the good ones, and after that – to the good Jewish ones? 

Worry not, my fellow Chosen People.  My mission on your planet, besides sharing coffee with nearly every female on JDate, is to research and seek out the very best in current Jewish video games for your portable Nintendo DS, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft XBox, or other console. How’s that for being a giver? Hey, they don’t call me the Male Jewish Mother Teresa of Video Game Research for nothing. In fact, they don’t call me that at all.  They call me something entirely different, which is not really appropriate for this prestigious media outlet. But I digress. Here, then, is a representative sampling of this season’s best Jewish video games.  

Tickle Me, Shlomo

Place your hands upon your console while you’re activating your Tickle Me, Shlomo game and it will immediately start vibrating, turning itself into your personal, portable tickler. Also has adjustments for Shiatsu and Swedish massage. While you’re being tickled or massaged, Tickle Me, Shlomo offers readings of the works of (your choice) Philip Roth, Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, or Isaac Bashevis Singer. Get tickled, massaged and cultcha at the same time. Such a deal! Reading and tickling will never be the same. 

Kosher Detective

Hold up any food item in front of Kosher Detective’s patented Scan Screen and it will immediately determine whether said item is kosher in accordance with the Jewish dietary laws. Worried that something’s been labeled as kosher even though it’s not? Kosher Detective will see through any false advertising – and report the offending business to the proper Jewish authorities. So, where does the game part come in? Its take on Pac Man involves trying to keep hungry blintzes from gobbling up tiny matzoh balls. Deluxe model will turn non-kosher foods kosher. How? Sorry, that’s copyrighted information, bubbele. 


Compete to have Bartender Mario fix you your choice from the world’s largest collection of popular Jewish drinks. Your favorite Hebraic beverages come to life in 3-D on the screen, whether it’s Egg Cream Dream, Seltzer Heaven, Liquid Kugel, Manishevitz Spritzer, Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry Soda with a Beer Chaser, or He-Brew Whiskey. Also contains an optional, removable alcohol level detector – breathe into it and if you’re past your legal limit, it will play “Hava Nagila” loudly as a warning to bartenders not to serve you anymore. 

Ask a Jew

Specifically intended for non-Jews, this helpful game allows goyim to connect via voice or text with an actual member of the tribe. Once connected, any question about Judaism can be asked and answered, be it “What is that strange-looking stuff on the Passover plate?”, “Is circumcision all it’s cracked up to be?”, or even “How do Jewish mothers get that way?” Whatever your question about Judaism, you are guaranteed to have it answered by a trained, knowledgeable Jew who won’t judge, or try to convert you – unless, of course, you select that option. 


Nothing to complain about? You’ll never be without a complaint again once you’ve incorporated Complainer into your video game repertoire. Complainer provides hundreds of thousands of complaints for any conceivable occasion and location. For example, say you’re waiting for your wife to get ready for a dinner at friends’ house. Complainer offers: “They’re probably halfway through dinner by now.” “You do this purposely to make me angry, don’t you?” “Why should I change clothes? You never like what I wear?” “Why are we even going? We don’t really like the Liebowitzes.”  And so many more. You create the on-screen characters of both the complainer and the recipient of the complaints. 

Daughter Date

Tired of your daughter spending year after year meeting losers, dating losers, dumping losers, being dumped by losers, spending nights alone? With Daughter Date, you simply aim the portable DateDetector attachment at any nice, polite, handsome, well-groomed Jewish gentleman and it will reveal his occupation, income, marital status, health, credit score, car, liens against his property and much more. Armed with this information, you’ll then be able to approach said gentleman with confidence and say, “Let me show you a picture of my beautiful daughter.” 

Turn your game console into a polygraph with the Jewish Lie Detector.

Jewish Lie Detector

Turn your game console into a polygraph with the Jewish Lie Detector. Simply touch the controller to any part of the speaker’s body as soon as he or she has spoken – and you’ll know the truth within seconds. The screen will show “TRUTH” or “LIE.” “Mother, you make the most delicious tzimmes I’ve ever had.” LIE. “Honey, you’re the only woman I’ve ever loved.” LIE. “Boss, I’m much too sick to come in to work today.” LIE. You’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. TRUTH. 

Jewish Dream Interpreter

You’re flying over the city on a giant matzoh. You’re in attendance at your cat’s bar mitzvah. Brad Pitt and George Clooney are arrested for fighting over you. President Obama calls you up and begs you to become the nation’s first Secretary of Jewish Affairs. You win an Oscar, the Indianapolis 500, and the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year. What do these dreams mean? Are you losing your grip on sanity? Should you be in therapy? Let Jewish Dream Interpretation life the cloud of confusion from your mind. 

Most Popular Jewish Sound Effects

You won’t find even one of these sounds on any other typical sound effects compilation. Highlights, brought to life by on-screen characters you create, include: a 47-year old father of three belching loudly after a particularly satisfying dinner of brisket and mashed potatoes, a woman’s shriek after discovering a store offering the identical dress she just bought – at 40% less than what she paid, two dogs lapping up the family’s leftover kreplach, a rabbi’s wife snoring as she falls asleep during the Rosh Hashanah service, a parakeet that’s been taught to say “Oy vey!” 

Jewish Mother Fireplace

There are video games that allow you to snuggle up to beautifully animated roaring fires to create that romantic mood. But the unique Jewish Mother Fireplace adds cautionary warnings throughout, in your choice of audio or text overlays. If your mother is no longer with you or not available when your fire is going, this is the perfect solution. There are 100 Jewish Mother Fireplace warnings, including, “You’re too close,” “Did you remember to leave the vent open?”, “Don’t forget to put it out before you go to bed,” “I better not find any ashes on the rug – I just vacuumed,” and “Why is the central heating still on if you have the fire going? What am I, made of money?” You choose the character’s voice, appearance, and the amount of therapy you’ll need afterwards.

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