It’s Christmas Day, so Merry, Happy Christmas, Frohe, Fröhliche Weihnachten or whatever makes it into your language for the festive day! Instead of reviewing a particular game, this article will give you a short overview of Christmas-themed titles to purchase and play on that very special day.
With that whole common swapping-textures-sprites-of-a-game-to-make-it-more-Christmas-y procedure, let’s not forget that there are still games dealing with the time of the year and offering something original and new. One of these is Ice Station Santa, the first episode of Sam & Max – Season Two: Beyond Time and Space, a great adventure game from Telltale Games. It’s excellently written with lots of sarcastic humor, while it has enough mindbending puzzles to solve. Taking place in Santa’s workshop at the North Pole with the bearded man running havoc and his elves not knowing what to do, it deserves a place in this list.
If you like your games quirky, then the weird Japanese dating game with pigeons Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star might be up your alley. Yes, it’s really about these birds trying to hook up during the season. While the core gameplay of Mediatonic‘s Hatoful Boyfriend remains unchanged, there are new stories and everything is just that little bit more decorated. If this isn’t enough, one can also get the Collector’s Pack which features the digital soundtrack, a dossier digital booklet, The King’s Story Book, and a collection of wallpapers.
Writing of birds, these don’t have a chance of survival in InterAction Studios‘ arcade shooters Chicken Invaders 3: Revenge of the Yolk – Christmas Edition and Chicken Invaders 4: Ultimate Omelette Christmas Edition. While they sound even more ridiculous than the dating sim, they’re not really casual titles, more like bullet hell shooters requiring fast reflexes. They look fun and awesome at the same time, with stationary and moving levels, evoking both Christmas feelings with chickens dressed as Santa Clauses, but also with some very catchy tunes. Unfortunately, they also require the original Chicken Invaders 3 and Chicken Invaders 4 to run, being add-ons.
Finally, if you’re a little fed up with all the Christmas niceties, RuneStorm‘s Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa’s Rampage could be the best bet to get rid of all the presents, literally. Being an add-on (but playable without the original) of Viscera Cleanup Detail, this is all about cleaning the mess Santa Claus left behind, including presents to be thrown into the fire, in addition to the bloody corpses of elves who didn’t make it. It’s tasteless, and the first-person graphics might not be the most impressive, but maybe after having drunk a lot of mulled wine or eggnog, this is the most relaxing and less demanding game you can play on Christmas Day (or after).
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Of course there are many other Christmas-themed games. Some of these have been compiled with the help of fellow blogger friend bino32 of The Idiosyncracy of Life in Words. Being the first part of a two-part games feature, I have more in preparation, but if you know of any retail, digital or other priced games with the seasonal theme, let me know!
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Using the GOG links and buying the products also helps ;).