Cheerful christmas music
Progress isn\'t saved when you
Oh dear! Santa Claus is in trouble! And he needs your help! You see, Santa has lost his presents. He is supposed to be delivering them to children everywhere. But something has gone wrong... the presents are not in his sleigh. So now he has to work his way through 10 levels of winter mayhem, in order to find all the presents, and return them to the sleigh, so he can deliver them to children throughout the world. Quite straight forward, don't you think? Well, don't be deceived. Poor Santa has to navigate pathways, moving platforms, and slippy ice patches, as well as avoiding evil trolls, and fires. And if he slips up, he could fall to his death (it's a looooooong way down), or get eaten by the trolls. And he has to do all this before the night is out. So will you help him?
Santa Claus In Trouble is a platform\\arcade game, which is controlled by either the mouse & keyboard, or the keyboard alone. I found it much easier to use the keyboard alone to control Santa. Simply use the Arrow keys to move Santa around this crazy world, and use Space Bar to jump. Don't be deceived by the bright, cheerful music, and colourful graphics - this game is hard! Some of the jumps are incredibly tricky. But one thing I liked about it, was that you can change direction mid-jump. It's a nice feature, making landing on platforms slightly easier. There's handy checkpoints along the way, so when you die (and you will - a lot!), you can start again at the last checkpoint, rather than having to go all the way back to the beginning of the game. Having said that, the game doesn't permantly save your progress. So if you quit, then restart, you're back at the beginning again, which was quite frustrating.
As I said before, you need to help Santa find his presents. The more you find, the happier Santa will be. You start off with 3 lives, which are shown at top-left of the screen. But when you die (by falling of a ledge, eaten by trolls, or burnt by fire), you lose a life. The number of presents to find, as well as how many you've already found, is shown at top-right. A timer is shown at top-middle of the screen. Don't worry too much about that. You won't lose, if the timer reaches zero. It just means that if you complete the level before the time runs out, you get extra points. At the end of the level, your score is calculated, based on how many presents you found, and the time remaining. There are 10 levels altogether, but I couldn't make it past Level 3. Can you do any better?
One thing where this game really shines, is the graphics. Simply gorgeous! You see Santa from behind, with his sack over his shoulder. If you leave him alone for a few seconds, he looks around to see what is happening. And when he nods his head, his hat, with the white pompom flies up. I love how all the presents float mid-air, and spin around. Backgrounds are amazing, with trees far below, and little houses you see. Snow falling in the background is lovely to see. I love how some of the platforms are giant sticky buns, hehe! Trolls, with their hats, are appealing... just don't get in their way! They may look cute, but they're still dangerous! Blue arrows with gold stars point the way... but don't just follow the arrows automatically. or you'll be missing out on a lot. Take time to explore the level - many presents, and other goodies, can be found by travelling down other paths. A lot of care has been put into the graphics, and it shows.
SOUND AND MUSIC
Being a game about christmas, you NEED to have some christmas music here. Well, Santa Claus In Trouble doesn't disappoint. Christmas carols (4 of them) are played repeatedly throughout the game, and adds to the holiday atmosphere. However, hearing the same 4 (short) tracks over and over again can get a bit tedious after a while. The sound effects are fun and daft. There's a noise whenever you collect a present, as well as a gong when you reach a checkpoint. But my favourite has to be Santa's determined 'HUH!' when he jumps.
Santa Claus In Trouble is a fun arcade\\platform game, made by CDV Software, and Joymania Development. The idea is to help Santa find all his missing presents, and load them onto the sleigh, so he can deliver them to all the children. Of course, things are not that simple! Santa has many obstacles to get through, including evil trolls, high platforms, and slippery ice patches. He is controlled by either the mouse & keyboard, or keyboard alone, and this can be altered at the main menu. There are 10 levels altogether, but I found it got very tricky after a while. Graphics are beautiful. The whole world is a 3D winter wonderland, with us, the player, watching Santa from behind. There's a lot of lovely touches here, such as presents spinning round, Santa's hat jiggling when he nods, and the ice buns platforms. Scenery is also beautiful to look at, and the houses that pop up occasionaly are adorable. Music consists of 4 christmas carols, which are on a loop, and repeat endlessly. It's nice to have christmas music for a christmas game, but it can get a bit tedious after a while. Sound effects, on the other hand, are nice and daft. My favourite sound effect is Santa's 'Huh' as he jumps. All in all, a lovely game to have, not just at christmas, but at any time of year.
Review by: Frodo
Safe for all ages
Windows 98 or above.