Yesterday we looked at a list of terrible games based on Christmas movies. But not every Christmas themed game was ho, ho, horrible. Some of them were actually pretty good fun. Here’s our list of 5 Christmas themed video games that don’t suck.
Christmas Lemmings (Psygnosis, 1994)
When Lemmings made its debut back in 1991 it was like a breath of fresh air. Sure, the premise was simple enough – lead your band of Lemmings from one side of the screen to the other without letting them plummet to their death – but the puzzle based layout made for a fun change to the usual side scrolling shooter that we were accustomed to at the time.
Fast forward a few years to 1994 and developer Psygnosis cashed in with a Christmas themed redux, in which players lead their band of Lemmings from one side of the screen to the other AT CHRISTMAS. Oh, and the Lemmings wore Santa hats. Genius.
Hitman: Blood Money – You Better Watch Out (IO Interactive, 2006)
Okay, so Hitman: Blood Money isn’t a Christmas themed video game per se, but there is a level specifically set at Christmas that allows you to dress Agent 47 in a Santa suit while you blow some poor schmuck’s brains out.
Frosty’s Busy Night (Commodore, 1990)
I’ll take my Santa hat off to anyone who played this Christmas classic, which featured solely as a free giveaway on the front of an issue of Commodore 64 magazine, “Your Commodore.”
The game is presented in a split screen format and the aim is to race the computer player as you traverse a range of obstacles, carefully trying to deliver as many parcels to Santa as possible. If you trip or fall you melt, and we can only surmise that for a snowman melting is a horrendous and painful way to die.
The game was so popular that a sequel was released in 2008! That’s right folks, a Commodore game had a sequel made in this millennium. Now that’s a Christmas miracle.
James Pond: Codename RoboCod (Vectordean Ltd, 1991)
This isn’t the first time I’ve discussed James Pond, the overlooked aquatic platform hero from the early 1990’s. This time James must travel to the North Pole where his arch nemesis, Dr. Maybe, has taken over Santa’s workshop, turning the elves into his own pawns of destruction! No wait, I need a fishy pun…turning the elves into his own PRAWNS of destruction!
Armed with his robotic suit, and calling himself RoboCod, James must free Santa’s helpers before saving the guy in the red suit himself, jolly ol’ St. Nick. This is one of the greatest Christmas themed video games.
Duke Nukem: Nuclear Winter (Simply Silly Software, 1997)
When you think of Christmas, what’s the first thing that springs to mind? Duke Nukem!
Released as an expansion pack for Duke Nukem 3D, this is one of the most violent Christmas themed video games you’ll play this side of Die Hard Trilogy, and sees the titular character going toe to toe with the Elven Militia who’ve brainwashed Santa into becoming a dangerous killer.
The game was poorly received by fans as it was largely considered a lazy rehash of the previous game, but for the rest of us it was a chance to stand around and look at half naked sprites pole dancing in Santa hats.
Man, I love Christmas.