Games and Toys

These print-at-home escape room kits are the discounted distraction we need right now


These print-at-home escape room kits are great for quarantined families.

Lock Paper Scissors

Have you finished all the jigsaw puzzles? Played all the board games? If your family is desperately seeking a new, fun activity, I’ve got just the thing. For a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get two print-at-home escape room kits for $29 . That’s 50% off the regular price, or buy-one-get-one-free if you prefer. And it’s an exclusive deal, not available anywhere else!

You’re familiar with escape rooms, right? Similar idea here, except everything is condensed down to a tabletop experience. You’ll still need to work together to solve a variety of puzzles, all of them provided on colorful, professional-looking printables.

The bundle includes two games. The Lost Mummy is a teen-friendly adventure designed for teams of 2-4 players. (Here’s a thought: You could set up a Zoom meeting with friends, cousins, classmates or the like and have everyone compete to see which team finishes first.)

The second, Envy, is a 1920’s-themed murder mystery, again for teams of 2-4. For each game, you simply print out all the materials on plain paper. There may be a little cutting and/or folding as part of the setup, but nothing more involved than that.

Here’s what I find especially cool: Each game also includes a designer’s kit in the form of a PowerPoint version of the game, meaning you can edit and customize the clues, instructions and so on. 

Note that you can’t just add the two games to your cart separately; you won’t get the discount. Instead, use the link up top (or the buy button just below it).

These are genuinely fun games, a great alternative to yet another round of Monopoly and a very decent deal at this price.

Your thoughts?

Read more: Video games we’re playing during the coronavirus lockdown

This $10 Qi charging pad also has USB ports


This Qi charging pad is a steal at $10.


Here’s the problem with many Qi charging pads: They don’t come with wall plugs. Sure, you can use an extra one you’ve got lying around, but unless it’s a QuickCharge (QC) plug, you won’t get fast charging from the pad.

That’s one reason I’m seriously liking this Seenda pad: It has an AC plug built in. What’s more, it has a pair of Type-A USB ports right alongside, so you can use it to charge other devices while you’re charging your phone. Handy!

It originally sold for $20, which is pretty good, but right now it’s available for just $10.07 with promo code 7WFD6IR4. That’s an all-time low. Note that this code works only with seller ZYH Shop.

Mrs. Cheapskate has been using one of these on her nightstand the past couple months. Works great, zero complaints. At this price, it’s cheaper than most standard Qi charging pads — you know, the ones that don’t come with AC adapters and USB ports. Great, great buy.

This Apple Pencil alternative is just $20

Using a stylus with an iPad? Awesome, highly recommended. Paying $100 or more for Apple’s stylus? Um, no. Not when there are lots of less-expensive alternatives. Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the Meco Stylus Pen for iPad is $19.92 with promo code CNETMECO. Yep, another Cheapskate exclusive!

To be fair, this stylus doesn’t offer tilt or pressure sensitivity, so it’s not ideal for artists who would benefit from those features. However, if you just want to take notes, draw sketches and so on, it works like a charm. I say this having tested one myself. It’s a breeze to use: Press the power button, it pairs instantly and automatically. Press it again, it’s off.

Although the stylus supports palm rejection (meaning you can lay your hand on the screen while writing and it won’t interfere), Meco supplies one of those rather goofy half-gloves. I can live without that, but I definitely appreciate the included peel-and-stick pen case, which you could attach to the cover or backside or wherever.

Just be sure you have a compatible iPad; the stylus works only with newer ones, including the Pro lineup and iPad 10.5.

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CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest promo codes from Best BuyWalmartAmazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.

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