From the looks of things Mr.Claus has finally kicked his mince-pie habit and started putting in a few hours at the gym. Biceps bulging out of the trademark red and white attire, and armed with his trusty meat cleaver, Santa struts into the Appstore ready to get medieval on some asses and save Christmas.
This late entry for iPhone game with the most bonkers premise of the year award is Mad Finger Games’ follow up to the critically acclaimedSamurai: Way of the Warrior and is in a similar vein to that ultra-violent title. However swapping the Far East for the North Pole this time around allows for some hilarious twists on the already winning formula of stylised cell-shaded hack ‘n’ slashery and polished gameplay.
Combat has been simplified somewhat since Samurai, and the new tap (an enemy) to kill, as opposed to the complicated gymnastics required of your finger in that title, means dismembering your foes feels a lot more fluid and fun in BloodyXmas. The aim of the game is survival, with each of the 24 stages throwing a formidable amount of Tim Burton-esque nasties your way.
Thankfully Psycho Santa’s sack is bursting with all sorts of weapons to help carve your way through the naughty list. Crack skulls with the sledgehammer, slice enemies like xmas turkey with the chainsaw, or plough them into oblivion on the harvester. If you hadn’t already guessed as much- this game gets quite bloody, each level ending with Santa standing in a puddle of gore, surrounded by the butchered remains of his slain (or should that be sleigh-n?) attackers.
That said, the cartoony presentation and absurdist sense of humour means the emphasis is firmly on having fun. For example, racking up combos provokes some memorable Arnie style zingers from Santa: “Candy Caned!” and “Vixenated!,” while you’ll Ho Ho at the sight of your childhood hero causing carnage. In short, definately the best festive themed title to hit the Appstore thus far.
iFanzine Verdict:This Christmassacre combines a gory story with bloody brilliant gameplay and deserves a place under every gamers (virtual) xmas tree.