Night­mare of Santa CLAUS


■ pub­lisher: BIT Cor­po­ra­tion ■ Year: 1991

De­spite what the ex­cel­lent ti­tle might im­ply, Santa Claus doesn’t ac­tu­ally seem to ap­pear in this game be­yond the ti­tle screen. In­stead, you play as a hor­ri­ble-look­ing lit­tle bald­ing man, charged with the age-old task of col­lect­ing coins from small, en­closed plat­form stages while avoid­ing en­e­mies. The twist in the tale is that the shrunken Iain Dun­can Smith looka­like you con­trol can’t jump, and must in­stead rely on his abil­ity to zip through Mario-es­que pipes to get around.

This is ac­tu­ally a lot more fun than its sim­ple premise might im­ply. You walk around and go into pipes with the d-pad, and you can throw stones (we think) at en­e­mies to stun them, too. There’s other items to pick up be­sides the coins, though most of them don’t ac­tu­ally seem to do any­thing. Once you get all the coins in a stage, a key and door ap­pear. Get the key, go into the door, and go to the next stage. There’s also a weird bug that means that when you lose a life, you get a time bonus as you would for com­plet­ing a stage. Though you still lose a life and have to start the stage again.

The few small prob­lems it has aside, though, Night­mare Of Santa Claus is a pretty good game, that’s very rem­i­nis­cent of the ar­cade games of the early Eight­ies, and well worth look­ing at.

[Ga­mate] These spi­der things drop down from above, mak­ing them the big­gest threat in the game, since you can’t hit them with your stones.

[Ga­mate] The clock is the only power-up that seems to ac­tu­ally do any­thing, freez­ing all the en­e­mies for a while. The rest are a mys­tery.

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