Games of Christmas Past 1 – Special Delivery
The Games of Christmas Past is a short series of articles remembering the best festive games of yesteryear…
Special Delivery: Santa’s Christmas Chaos
Creative Sparks/Dalali Software
Commodore 64 (also on ZX Spectrum, 32k Atari)
Help Santa crush the Elf rebellion
Ah Christmas. The lights, the presents, the tree, the presents, the carol singers, the presents. Oh those joyous presents. It’s a time to revel in all that you have and sneer at the have-nots. But despite the corrupting influence that capitalism and materialism has fostered in our cynical view of the holy holiday, there was a time before the magic had been cruelly shattered, when Christmas meant something different. It was a time for putting aside our narcissistic dreams of world domination and thinking of those less fortunate than ourselves. Special Delivery is a game that takes that ethos and puts you in the big red pants, depositing packages of happiness down the chimneys of the world.
This is a game that Estate Agents would call charming (poor graphics) and compact (not many levels) but it is also a fun and very tough challenge. But hey, who said being Santa was easy. Set over 3 distinct levels you must help the big guy deliver presents to the kids on the nice list through a side scrolling sleigh flight, Kong-like chimney descent and a burglar-esque mad dash through the houses.
But this is a game of the 80’s, so it is no surprise to learn that the National Elf Service are striking again leaving Santa with a toy shortage. But fear not, the Angels are happy to break the picket line and are frantically making toys and dropping them from clouds for Santa to collect en-route. Of course you will need to watch out for the scab hating red elves that are dropping letter bombs disguised as presents to halt your progress*.
When enough presents have been collected you must then land your sleigh on the largest rooftop where the view then changes to inside the chimney. Here you have 3 parallel chimneys that must be navigated whilst avoiding the flames from the fire below. Make it into the house and you must then leg it through the rooms dropping your payload under the tree and escaping through the front door only to start again in anoither location.
It is a pity that we will probably never see the likes of these Christmas specials again because just as I never tire of watching It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve (with the volume turned up high so that I can ignore the carol singers knocking at the door), I will also never tire of Special Delivery’s gimmicky seasonal cash-in glory. Charming.
*back-story may not be exactly as per the cassette inlay.
We will have more classic Christmas games in the run up to Christmas. Let us know in the comments which Christmas themed games you are most fond of.by