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Winter’s glum days and dark nights are made for intensive gaming. And you don’t even need to wander out into the cold to get your hands on the latest games, you can play what you want, when you want by downloading it from PlayStation® Store.

GAME: The unfinished swan (PS3)

It’s not just mainstream fare you can enjoy on PlayStation® Store. Some of the coolest, leftfield titles are also available. Break from the norm with The Unfinished Swan, a visually stunning game that is quite unlike anything you’ve seen before. A runaway swan guides you through the enjoyably bizarre levels, each packed with their own innovative mechanics; one section sees you hurl black paint at the white screen in order to uncover your surroundings as you chase an errant king. Striking, innovative fun.

GAME: f1 race stars (PS3)

What if Formula One had power-ups? That’s the premise of the gleefully addictive F1 Race Stars, which caricatures F1 for one of the most delightful and enjoyable games of 2012. Featuring 24 drivers, 11 sumptuous tracks and countless weapons, this deserves to be the sleeper hit of the festive season.

GAME: New little king’s story (VITA)

Beautiful and addictive, this game sees you taking charge of a fallen kingdom, where you must rebuild your empire and rescue seven princesses by embarking on quests that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. For sheer inventiveness alone – you must beat one boss in a giant game of pinball – this demands your attention.

The Dark Knight Rises

The perfect end to the trilogy, Christopher Nolan’s final instalment of his Bat-franchise is a towering achievement. As Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) ponders hanging up the cape, Gotham comes under attack from the brutal Bane (Tom Hardy). Allow your spirit to soar, download and enjoy over and again.

FILM: Lars And The Real Girl

It’s not just the latest films you can download on PlayStation Store, but also quirky indie fare, such as 2007’s wonderful Lars And The Real Girl. Ryan Gosling is Lars Lindstrom, a well-liked but painfully shy young man in a small northern North American town who starts dating a life-sized sex doll he bought on the internet. Gosling is heart-breaking as awkward, anxious Lars, Emily Mortimer shines as caring, compassionate sister-in-law Karin, while Paul Schneider has some of the film’s best moments as Gus, Lars’s initially horrified brother. A memorably sweet-natured film to warm any heart over the colder months, Lars & The Real Girl could be the Harvey of the 21st century.

FILM: The Hunger Games

One for young women? Given it’s a cross between The Running Man and Battle Royale, you’d have to say not. Set in the future, “specially chosen” teenage members of the underclasses are made to pay for a previous uprising by partaking in the Hunger Games, a televised last-man-standing fight to the death. Gary Ross makes a welcome return to the director’s chair (it’s his first film since 2003’s Seabiscuit), while Jennifer Lawrence again shows what a special talent she is as the headstrong Katniss Everdeen. Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson are both memorable; the former as a cheesy TV host, the latter a seemingly washed-up former Hunger Games winner.

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