It is a week until Christmas Day and I am super excited! I hope you are too because from now until the big day (and beyond) it’s gonna be nothing but Christmas posts! What’s mega-exciting is this is my first post on the subject (MrJohnSherry has been holding down the Christmas fort and doing a sterling job too!) and it is sure to be a doosey.
Here we are then – it’s cold outside, it gets dark early and there is a distinctly Christmassy feeling all around – the humble Christmas setting is a powerfully evocative one! So what games really encapsulate that feeling? Or what games utilises the setting in a particularly good way?
Lets find out together…
James Pond 2: Codename Robocod (MegaDrive/Genesis)
Ah Robocod, the sequel to the oft-forgotten; and criminally underrated platformer, James Pond which has an insanely simple and brilliant premise – Dr Maybe has travelled to the North Pole, taken over Santa’s workshop and is transforming the Santa’s helpers (penguins in most versions, but elves in some) into evil-doers!
It is up to our fishy-hero and the ‘awesome power of McVities Penguin bars’ to save the; Christmas, day!
This game is great fun and it properly captures the joy of Christmas, each level has a glorious ‘Toyland’ setting and throughout the game you will liberate elves, defeat evil snowmen and collect penguins (Mcvities and the real varieties)! It’s sugar-coated graphics will fill you with joy while the difficulty level will ensure that it lasts the whole holiday period – forget Ruldolph – James Pond is the only holiday animal you’ll need!
Home Alone (MegaDrive/Genesis)
While this game is not among the best ever made; it is ‘Home Alone’ people and if that doesn’t make it Christmas I don’t know what does! The player assumes the role of Kevin McAllister as he attempts the thwart the ‘Wet Bandits’ in their attempts to liberate his street of their gifts for loved ones. Of course what they don’t know is this is Kevin’s house and he’s “got to defend it”.
Of course the game widens the scope somewhat from the movie – but it’s still pretty cool and, well, it’s ‘Home Alone’ dammit! ITS CHRISTMAS! Watch the clip and tell me it doesn’t give you a little more Christmas spirit.
This was actually a mini-series of games that appeared in 1992 and 1994 and encompassed two titles! And boy-oh-boy they were good (but short) it was the tried-and-tested ‘Lemmings’ you know and love only they are wearing Santa hats and they are still very suicidal! It seems even at Christmas there are things that are incredibly depressed and need you help – that’s the Christmas spirit guys – helping those who need it…
…and presents; these games were always given away for FREE!
Toy Commander: Christmas Surprise (Dreamcast)
Christmas presents have been scattered throughout the house on Christmas Eve! OH NO! CHRISTMAS IS RUINED!
Not if Santa can help it! With the help from a toy army jeep and a toy plane only Santa (and his nifty jet-pack) can save Guthy’s Christmas! The parent game was magical on its release and this FREE Christmas level was even more-so! It was simple and captured my imagination and millions of other people’s too! Controlling a toy Santa is always cool too and his jet-pack controlled like nothing else in the ‘Toy Commander’ universe and gave ‘Christmas Surprise’ a unique feel. Here’s a video highlighting the game in all its majesty.
Christmas NiGHTS (Saturn)
Christmas NiGHTS is; for me anyway, the synonymous Christmas game! AND IT WAS FREE!
Everything about it screams Christmas, from its gloriously festive intro scene to it’s Christmas themed backdrops this game has it all! Recently MrJohnSherry sang this game’s praises in another Christmas Article so here’s a link and here’s a video of its intro (replete with iffy voice over) and some game-play.
‘Die Hard Trilogy’ (Playstation/Saturn)
Some people will go to great lengths to argue that ‘Die Hard’ is a Christmas movie even though it was released in July of 1988. I’ll give them their dues, it is set during Christmas and thus it qualifies for this article, but I will NEVER call it a Christmas movie.
Batman Returns (SNES)
Another movie that was set at Christmas and thus qualifies it for this post – it does use the setting quite well, there are clowns dressed as Santa and you can punch their faces with Batman’s fist! That’ll teach him for never getting me that Buzz Lightyear toy when I was a kid!
Have I forgotten a great Christmas themed game?
Do you know of any obscure ones?
Is Die Hard really a Christmas movie?
Tell us in the comments below!