Mission in Snowdriftland

larzini's picture

Any kid with an Advent calendar knows there's few days remaining before Christmas, Although I'm sure most really don't need that calendar to remind them, and there's enough of them that think the few are still to many (Patience, children, patience.) Nintendo has a nice twist on the Advent calendar. They call it Mission in Snowdriftland. Why not count down the days with a classic style 2D side-scrolling platformer? Quite fun. Not simple. And the teeth won't be rotted out from getting the candy behind each door. Here there's a new level to play each day as Christmas approaches. So since I'm a bit tardy in this posting, there's currently plenty of available levels for sinking your teeth into.

The game was apparently designed by extra toxic. I mention this because if you click through to their web site and then get all clicky with their navigation, the animated robotic fellow moving the mini-screen around is pretty unique. Nice job all around.

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Matt Barton
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Wow! This is quite a

Wow! This is quite a polished game. It reminds me a bit of Aunt Arctic Adventure.

I always like to think about my favorite Christmases, which usually amounted to getting lots of toys (and later games) from my folks. I'll never forget getting Bard's Tale and Pool of Radiance one year. Somehow, just getting a check or gift card just isn't the same.

I've been thinking for years that it would be fun to write a feature about the history of Christmas-themed games. I played a few growing up, such as Holiday Lemmings and some silly game about Rudolph that I can't quite remember. However, when I got all the NES and SNES games, I was surprised at the high number of Christmas titles. It'd definitely be interesting to write about these games, because they are clearly marketed for a particular time of year (as opposed to most games). The idea of "seasonal games" is just fascinating.

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Bill Loguidice
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I also noticed that the

I also noticed that the Amiga has quite a few Christmas games as well. Of course the C-64 had quite a few too. I bet there were a few Easter Bunny related titles perhaps, but I can't really recall any other holiday-themed games other than "winter" and "Christmas" titles.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
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larzini
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Never gave much thought to

Never gave much thought to the seasonal game idea, but there was something similar to this with a pig a few years back. I think the pig had to rescue Santa. I think it's great that these type of games can made to be enjoyed just by visiting a web site. And apparently, "casual games" have a big following these days, much of it brought on by cell phones and PDAs. It is nice to play something you don't need a book to figure out, and while some game makers design interesting initial levels to serve as a tutorial and set up the story, sometimes it's nice if they don't need to, and to be able to just sink your teeth into a game whole hog.

I'm going to guess that Christmas probably would have the most dedicated video games. The Easter Bunny does make sense as a character, actually the tooth fairy could make for an interesting game as well, even though it's not holiday related. There's probably some type of Halloween game out there.

Would a Die Hard video game qualify? Wasn't the first one set on Christmas Eve?

Bill Loguidice
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larzini wrote:I'm going to
larzini wrote:

I'm going to guess that Christmas probably would have the most dedicated video games. The Easter Bunny does make sense as a character, actually the tooth fairy could make for an interesting game as well, even though it's not holiday related. There's probably some type of Halloween game out there.

Good point about Halloween. There was "Halloween" on the Atari VCS 2600, which was a lot like "Adventure". (EDIT: Oops, I was thinking of "Haunted House", "Halloween" was the one based on the movie!)

Hmm, a tooth fairy game, huh? Perhaps it could be a stealth game like the recent "Sneak King" from Burger King for the Xbox/360.

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

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larzini
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Bill Loguidice wrote:Hmm, a
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Hmm, a tooth fairy game, huh? Perhaps it could be a stealth game like the recent "Sneak King" from Burger King for the Xbox/360.

Stealth. That's exactly what I was thinking when I typed that. Either the tooth fairy stays true to not being seen. Or maybe the tooth fairy is actually ill, and stealth missions are necessary by some other character (perhaps even the Easter Bunny can cover the tooth fairy's shift, that rabbit's got the stealth experience) to prevent exposure.

Matt Barton
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larzini wrote:Stealth.
larzini wrote:

Stealth. That's exactly what I was thinking when I typed that. Either the tooth fairy stays true to not being seen. Or maybe the tooth fairy is actually ill, and stealth missions are necessary by some other character (perhaps even the Easter Bunny can cover the tooth fairy's shift, that rabbit's got the stealth experience) to prevent exposure.

This is hilarious. The Easter Bunny game could definitely be made with one of the modified stealth/fps engines. I could see it now--hiding eggs, staying out of sight of children. If it were done right, it could even be fun.

I can also see a Santa-based stealth/RTS game. Imagine the logistics of getting all those packages to kids. Again, with the right mix of humor and gameplay, I think it'd be a fun game.

Halloween ought to be the easiest--either a kid-centered trick or treat game or a bloody, Jason-style FPS. Perhaps it could even be mixed in with some of the pagan traditions associated with that day to give it added zip.

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Bill Loguidice
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Matt Barton wrote:Halloween
Matt Barton wrote:

Halloween ought to be the easiest--either a kid-centered trick or treat game or a bloody, Jason-style FPS. Perhaps it could even be mixed in with some of the pagan traditions associated with that day to give it added zip.

What, the one for the Atari 2600 wasn't good enough for you? : http://www.atariage.com/box_page.html?SoftwareLabelID=229 ;-)
http://www.atariage.com/software_page.html?SoftwareLabelID=229

By the way, I do think a stealth-based Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy/Santa game is a total blast of an idea. If it had classic Warner Bros.-style visuals and slapstick, it would be a true winner. Heck, why not combine all three as playable characters?

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

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Bill Loguidice
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Here's an Amiga one,

Here's an Amiga one, starting at .99: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200060659701

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

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larzini
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It would be nice if it had

It would be nice if it had the John Carpenter theme music. I wonder.

Wait. Turns out it did. At least when the killer is on screen.

larzini
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larzini wrote:Never gave
larzini wrote:

Never gave much thought to the seasonal game idea, but there was something similar to this with a pig a few years back. I think the pig had to rescue Santa.

I found the game where the pig saves Santa Claus. New post on Armchair Arcade.

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