Well, here we are again. The doors on the advent calenders are gradually being opened, and the chocolate inside is making us all sick to our back teeth. Well, I am once again here to brighten up your Christmas season with even more festive offerings for the holiday-challenged.
For anyone who knows this game, it might seem like an odd choice for a Christmas-themed gaming list. It is in essence a zombie FPS for phones and tablets; what could possibly be Christmassy about that? Well, like a lot of mobile games, Dead Trigger is updated around December to include some holiday content.
The only Christmas-themed section of the game is the arena mode, which includes a Santa’s workshop area. You must simply survive for as long as you can, using the money you earn from killing zombies to open up more areas to survive in.
The game works pretty well with the on-screen controls, everything is within easy reach, and it’s all pretty responsive. The game really comes into its own, however, when you use a proper controller. It handles pretty much like a real console or PC FPS, albeit with the usual trappings of mobile gaming included.
It is pretty easy to while away hours murdering zombies who happen to have giant reindeer or Santa heads, and as long as you’re good enough you can build up a decent amount of cash to spend on other in-game items if you decide to keep playing beyond the holidays.
Viscera Cleanup Detail
Ahh, another nostalgic title that wormed its way onto our list from last year’s Christmas event. Viscera Cleanup Detail is a game all about the aftermath of other more action-packed titles. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, in Viscera Cleanup Detail you play as a member of a crew sent in to clean up after a bloody disaster of some kind.
The reason that this game is on the list is because of a little side offering to the main game called ‘Santa’s Rampage’. It’s Christmas Eve at the North Pole, and holiday stress has sent Santa into a violent rage. You arrive at his workshop to a scene of festive destruction: elf blood and reindeer guts strewn about the place, presents and whiskey bottles littering the tables and guns and ammo everywhere.
As with all levels in Viscera Cleanup Detail, you are armed with a mop, rubber gloves a dirt sniffer and several machines that spit out buckets of water and gore bins. You have to go around the stage, dumping everything you can find into the furnace (in this case replaced with a merrily burning fire) and mopping up all the blood that is left behind.
The sniffer you’re given is there to help you mop anything at the end. Because there are lots of small nooks and crannies, blood and guts can end up getting stuck in weird places. When you think you’ve cleared the entire level up, you simply bust out your sniffer to check things over.
The level design in Santa’s Rampage is pretty much perfect. Unlike lots of stages in the main game, the workshop isn’t huge, so it rarely feels like a trek lugging barrels full of body parts up and down to the furnace. There is also just enough content in the game to be properly enjoyed here. It doesn’t quite fall down into complete tedium, as you might have expected.
This game has a lot of good holiday themes, and if you like the idea of Viscera Cleanup Detail, there’s no reason you wouldn’t enjoy this. As long as you don’t mind a little elf blood on your hands.
Little Inferno is another game that I hold dear to my heart but for once isn’t a game which was one I played on the Christmas video series. In fact, it technically isn’t a Christmas video game at all. An argument could be made that it is, in fact, a winter video game, but it is just as much fun to play during the rest of the year as it is during the darkest season. The reason it feels wintry at all is because it is set in a cold world where it has been snowing non-stop for year and years, but no one can figure out why. Everyone keeps burning things to stay warm, and to aid that, the hottest toy (literally) is the Little Inferno playset.
The point of the game is to burn all of the objects that you can, collecting the coins that they drop, then purchasing new items to burn instead from a special catalogue. There is no score, no time limit and no real ‘goal’ as you would traditionally think of it. There are different ‘combos’ you can collect, which you get by burning a set of objects at the same time. These reward you with stamps you can use to ship your new purchases instantly, but other than that, you are free to burn what you like, as you like.
During the progress of the game, you are presented with letters from different people, as well as special items that you cannot get anywhere else. You also get given new catalogues of items to buy things from. The entertainment value of the game comes from trying to discover the new combos you can perform to complete the list and also from burning your way through all the items to see how they react. Some objects, usually ones made from wood, will just burn as you would normally expect them to, but some have interesting reactions like exploding, sucking flame in, spitting flame out or even freezing everything in the fireplace.
Surprisingly for such an odd game, Little Inferno actually does have an ending, and it’s really a pretty good one. I won’t spoil it for you as it is something that you need to experience for yourself, but it is quite a surprise for those who managed to burn their way through every item in the game. The game always reminds me of Christmas, possibly because I always play through it over Advent. Sitting in a warm home with the wind whistling outside as you burn items feels very cosy, and if you’re looking for something to keep you warm this year, Little Inferno might be the game for you.
Well, we’ve had a pretty high quality haul this time! All of the games discussed here have been 4 out of 5 or better. I wonder if that level of quality will keep up? Yeah, I sort of doubt it. Stay tuned!! Oh, and HO HO HO.