Ah, the holidays. A time to relax, a time to be with friends and family, and to fill your heart with good cheer. And during Christmas time, nothing can be more relaxing than sitting back in your computer chair and playing a good looking, fun, addicting game. It's even better when this game spreads cheer to your heart from even a first glance. A game like Santa Clause in Trouble. I'm sure nothing warms the heart than the thought of Santa being in a dire situation, and to bring this lovable thought to life, CDV Software got out it's blueprints for greatest freeware Christmas game ever made. This is the result.
Oh ho! I mean...oh no! Evil sweater wearing orcs have stolen Santa's sack of presents and scattered them over many wintry levels of good cheer! This could stop Christmas forever! Luckily, Santa himself is on the case. Jumping and running over rooftops and chimneys, Santa must rescue his presents, while avoiding sweater-wearing orcs, top-hatted snowmen, falling, and chimney fires. Yeeouch! Don't let those fires burn Santa in his Christmas cookies!
The gameplay that this little present is blessed with is quite a treat, though for some it could seem a bit bare. You run and jump, while trying to stay on the floating platforms, moving blocks, and rooftops. Around each level are scattered many glittering presents, and some secret items as well. Collect as many presents as you can, snag a golden Santa for a life if you see one, and make it to the sleigh at the end of the game. Make sure to avoid the baddies that you see, though that shouldn't be too hard, as they each follow a set route throughout the level. The mainly difficult part is not falling. Dying is also bad, as there is no save feature in this game. I will admit, I had a blast while playing this game.
The graphics and sound are by far the greatest feature of the game. I won't lie, the graphics in this game are the best I have ever seen for a freeware platform game, possibly even equaling XBOX graphics. Everything you see is cheerful and the art style is very Christmas-y, adding to the cheerful mood the game delivers while being in contrast with the night-time scenery of each level. As for music, soft renditions of Jingles Bells and Holy Night keep the pace going while keeping you relaxed in this incredibly frantic game. Even though you will probably come close to falling many times, the soft music will keep the heart attacks at bay.
All in all, I enjoyed this game immensely. I enjoyed it enough to call it the greatest and most enjoyable 3D freeware platform game, if not my favorite freeware platform game. It is simply a crime to let this lovely game pass by, so go get it now.
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 colorful 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 permanently 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 traveling 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 favorite 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 occasionally 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 favorite 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.
People who downloaded Santa Claus in Trouble have also downloaded:
Santa Claus in Trouble ... again, Tarzan Action Game (a.k.a. Disney's Tarzan), Spider-Man, SouthPark Mario Brothers - Enhanced Edition, Garfield: Caught in The Act, Mario Forever, Microsoft Pinball Arcade, Santa's Xmas Caper
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