Games of Christmas Past 2 – Daze Before Christmas
Part 2 of our Games of Christmas Past. A short series of articles remembering the best festive games of yesteryear…
Megadrive (also on SNES)
Blue Santa, now there’s a movie!
Interesting Santa fact: Old white- beard suffers from a rare psychosis, triggered by caffeine, that manifests itself in dual personality schizophrenia. At least that’s what Funcom would have you believe (obviously explaining the ‘daze’ in the title). But we’ll come to that later.
Daze is a rare seasonal game in that it isn’t a demo, cut down mini-game or blatant advert for some other game or product. It is a full sized, full quality, commercially released game from a semi-respected developer. It follows the tale of Saint Nick, who is dismayed to find that an evil snowman has imprisoned all Santa’s elves in ribboned gift boxes and is holding his reindeer captive.
Your task is to guide Santa through 24 levels (each amusingly illustrated by an advent calendar window), freeing your vertically challenged friends. The game is pretty much standard platform fare, but everything it does is wrapped in such lovely Christmassy jingles and bright colourful graphics that the moment you load it up you get a warm glow that doesn’t leave you until your adventure is over. The game is incredibly easy though, so one play a year will suffice, but I defy anyone not to be charmed by the sleigh ride across the rooftops of London ( and other major cities).
So with all this cuddly cartoon fun, what’s all the schizo stuff? Well for reasons that I have been unable to fathom, if Santa collects a cup of coffee power up he immediately transforms in his alter ego ‘Anti Claus’. In his new horned and blue-suited form he loses all magical powers, but is able to whack the various enemies with his sack. This is so out of keeping with the rest of the game and is therefore only worth doing to hear the sinister music that plays whilst in his evil guise.
Strange it may be, but then it was made by Scandinavians so I suppose being closer to Lapland makes them a better judge of Santa’s eccentricities than I.by