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.