LGR – Santa Claus in Trouble – PC Game Review

LGR – Santa Claus in Trouble – PC Game Review


[electronic version of “Little Drummer Boy”] [fizz, sip] Aahhh! [typing] The more I think about it, the less I’m
sure what it is about Christmas time that pressures game developers to make
more games about it than any other holiday. You’d just think they’d want to
cash in on the rampant consumerism and commercially manufactured holiday spirit, but if that were the only reason,
then games like THIS wouldn’t exist. Santa Claus in Trouble, developed by Joy Mania Development and published by CDV Software Entertainment in 2002. It’s a freeware game that was
released on CDV’s website as a Christmas thank you to the company’s fans. And, yes, this is the same company
known for games like Cultures, Knights and Merchants, and Divine Divinity. Oh, and Lula 3D, but you don’t wanna know about that, do you? Nah, let’s jump right into Santa Claus in Trouble. That’s way more interesting. As the title suggests, the game is all about the troubles of Santa Claus. And wouldn’t you know it, the jolly
old elf has lost all of his presents and they’re now being guarded
by a bunch of creatures that suck. Ugh! Seriously, what’s the deal with this guy? Why is he always losing his presents? I’ve lost track of the number of Christmas games that feature Santa recollecting his freaking loot. How can one dude be that clumsy every stinkin’ year?! Especially one with such responsibility! If such a simple task is that hard for him, maybe someone else should take over. I’m sure there are plenty of qualified
applicants that would make the cut, so let’s DO something about it already! Anyway, the game starts with the main menu, featuring some basic options
and an animated background, with Santa standing there, spazzing out. He’s obviously lost his mind and is probably senile. Seriously, someone just put
him out of his misery already. Just click “Start Game” to start the game and once you do, you’ll be greeted with, uh… Santa, are you okay? You’re, uh, you’re kinda making me sick. Yeesh! And moving around isn’t much better, either. And jumping feels freakin’ weird. And I can’t seem to collect all these presents. I just clip right through them. Augh! And why does he bounce
around like a maniac all the time? And what’s with this jumping? Why’s it so awful?! It’s like he only moves when he
wants to. It’s not smooth at all. It’s like I never reach the jump apex properly. AARGH! Seriously! You have to move WITH the moving platforms or they’ll just run out from under you?! Ugh, and I can’t believe this,
but when you die, you just fall forever into the snowy blackness. Seriously, I have more lives,
but it doesn’t reset me at all, and I’ve pressed every button to no avail. Is this Santa’s own personal hell or something? [echoing moaning] I guess I just have to restart it
through the main menu and… Oh, my holy crap. Yeah, I’m not pressing a thing.
It’s doing that all on its own. I guess Santa himself is so fed up with this, he’s not even giving me a chance to
awkwardly jump off a ledge for the millionth time. Yeah, okay, something’s not right. Well, turns out something wasn’t right. After finagling with some options, it turns out there was something wrong with compatibility. So if the game plays more like a test of your will to live, then, uh, you might wanna check that. Santa’s actually supposed to be pretty normal here. He’s no longer flailing around his left arm and having a seizure that
measures on the Richter scale. Nope, it’s just Santa jumping around, collecting presents through
ten levels of increasing difficulty. Now THIS is what I’m talkin’ about. Christmas gaming at its most acceptable. It’s got a clear Christmas theme, but it’s not too in your face with some contrived story about how you need to rebuild Santa’s meth empire or anything weird like that. Just you, some platforming, some presents, and some Christmas music. It’s really all you need, and you know what? I quite like it when it’s not tossing
you down bottomless hellholes or jerking you around like a kite in a tornado. For one thing, the platforming is incredibly solid. Santa’s nimble enough to make Ezio Auditore jealous, and he can not only jump but double jump to reach all sorts of tricky platforms. And it’s very forgiving, too, letting you control him in
midair in a very responsive way, as well as letting you jump off
the tiniest edges of platforms where you’d normally fall in similar games. That’s not to say the game is completely easy, as you’ll certainly be doing your share of dying and, wow, even respawning at the nearest checkpoint! What a great feature! I never knew how much I enjoyed NOT
having to go back to the main menu every time I died. And there are plenty of hazards and
critters out there ready to kill you, from trolls to fires, to icy slopes, to the ever-present pitfalls. And while it’s rather generous
with extra lives and checkpoints, you’re definitely going to have to
earn them by navigating some simple but challenging snow-covered platforms. And on top of this, the game just looks great, with its awesome snow and other particle effects, as well as the whole cartoony aesthetic which I think still looks quite appealing. It’s just a neat little game and is incredibly satisfying to play. And for a free game, well that is just awesome. Seriously, it puts to shame 90%
of the other Christmas games I’ve reviewed over the years, and many of those were paid-for products, which just makes that even more sad. Apparently, people noticed that
this freebie wasn’t made of suck, so much so that CDV Entertainment
developed a full sequel to the game and sold it at retail, called
Santa Claus in Trouble… Again! Now THAT is imagination in nomenclature. I only have the demo of the game here, but you definitely get the idea of what’s on offer. Just like the original, it compels you to
collect all of the presents and collectibles, but also makes it truly taxing to do so without dying. Now there’s even more stuff to collect and way more stuff out there trying to kill you. The variety in how each area looks, the hazards and the enemies is cranked way up, so it’s not nearly as repetitious as the first. And the levels themselves are
also far more vertical and complex, so it really does feel like a fully-fledged platformer now. Also, the double jumping has been slightly tweaked, so you now have to wait a tiny bit between jumps which makes it not quite as forgiving in tight spots, but still very playable. And I’d still say it’s an expanded and improved
game in every other way over the first one. It’s just a great Christmas-themed game and is quite possibly the best one I’ve played. Really. It’s really good. And I would have loved to have had this back then, as it’s simply a solid platformer. It doesn’t seem like CDV sells it exactly anymore – which I guess makes sense, it’s older – but you can grab a copy on
eBay’s UK and German websites for a pretty decent price, and of course the free ones are still free. So if you’d like a fun little
platform game that doesn’t suck, unless you somehow have awful compatibility issues that make it one of the worst things I’ve ever seen, Santa Claus in Trouble is actually worth a look at any time of the year. [electronic organ playing “Jingle Bells”] If you enjoyed this and want to see other videos on games that are enjoyable at any time of the year, or… not enjoyable at all, because– [chuckles] you know, sometimes you just gotta cover those, then take a look at these. I’ve got plenty of them and
more come out every week. And if you’d like to be notified when
they do, just hit the “Subscribe” thing. And as always, thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “LGR – Santa Claus in Trouble – PC Game Review

  1. Why does this game have so much soul? Honestly I never played the game in my life but it has a certain aura which makes me want to play it immediately,

  2. I remember downloading this from Caiman.us, back before the owner died. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find an awesome freeware site like that since.

  3. 1:37 well someone agrees with you at least http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/red-eye/blog/2013/12/12/should-santa-claus-be-penguin

  4. Was the compatibility issue related to V-sync?  It's incredible how many games are sink-or-swim based on that one setting.  Why can't people just throttle the frame rate based on the timer and be done with it?

  5. Couldn't myself; Just had to try it for myself. Shockingly, this game works with 3D Vision which makes things rather interesting.
     
    I didn't have the control issues oddly enough.

  6. Kind of reminds me of Christmas Nights for the Saturn crossed with Crash Bandicoot or something. 😛 Looks pretty nice!

  7. By the way, CDV Software also published "Sudden Strike" and "Cossacks", two really good real-time strategy games. Unfortuntaley they went bankrupt in 2010, afaik some employees work now for Gameforge, another German developer and publisher, who are responsible for MMORPGs like Aion, TERA, Metin 2 or Runes of Magic.

  8. I remember playing this when it came with a Swedish PC magazine, i think it was a cooperation between CDV and the magazine cuz i got the full version

  9. I had this game around 6 yrs of age and I never played it because the fact that it is extremely dark and creepy with that loud music in the background. Not exactly that creepy now cause I am older. But still, good childhood memories. Not that good. The second one is creepy as shiyyyyyyyt.

  10. Hah! I felt like the first game felt familiar, but then the sequel came and suddenly I remember the time I wasted on that game! Ah, childhood.

  11. I used to play the fuck out of this game when I was a child. btw, anyone remembers an Easter game that was 100% the same as this one, but had bunny and eggs instead of santa and presents? 

  12. Oh, I loved this game when I was younger. Very solid platformer, it was very playable even with a mouse for all controls.

  13. I played the game except that it was the easter version with a bunny instead of santa and eggs and vegetables instead of presents

  14. Unfortunately CDV isn't around anymore, it seems like they went under as a result of the crash in '08 so retail copies of the paid version will probably be a lot harder to find as time goes by

  15. Hmm… This thing came out a month after GTA Vice City. I think it's pretty obvious which year had the best games…. I only say this game is the best because of those issues n the beginning. All I could think was Santa don't eat strangers cookies they probably put something illegal in it….. possibly that sugar wasn't sugar….

  16. There were indeed two versions of this game, the other being easter-themed. I played both of them when I was younger, and I remember them as really solid and satisfying (even challenging) platformers. I don't remember Santa's spasms at all as they are shown in this video – perhaps you've got yourself some bugged-up beta version?

  17. Running older software on newer computers/operating systems is always a crapshoot (unless the devs are still updating the game years later). I need a Windows XP VM just to run my old copy of The Sims on my Windows 7 Laptop.

  18. This game is freeware now. Just in case some people don't know. So you have no excuse to not play it………….unless it's not December I suppose. :O

    Also……should try it quick before FUCKING ORIGIN BUYS THE RIGHTS TO IT & sticks a £14.99 PRICE TAG ON IT! LIKE EVERY FUCKING OTHER DECENT FREEWARE GAME OUT THERE!!!! AAAARRGGGHHHH FUUUUCCCK YOOOOOOUUU ORIGIN!!!!

    Phew………..well that's my rant over. 🙂

  19. Lol when i first saw this game we ware at school and i was in computer class and when u finished ur thing u could play this lol and all of us loved it XD

  20. In Brazil, in the 2000s, some cereal brands packed this game in their boxes to boost sales around Christmas. I had a lot of fun playing it back then and I'm glad you got a chance to review it

  21. This game is so awesome. Besides a game called Bombic (a great Bomberman game), that I I cant find anywhere in the Internet, it was one of my very first video games I played.

  22. ⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻ says:

    Childhood bruh

  23. Clint, you're great! Been a fan for years man! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Thanks for everything man, you're a great person. And I'm a really good musician. If you ever need anything like that, it'd be an honor. I'm not playing, look at my channel!

  24. holy heck i think i played this long ago!! finally i know what its called after just vaguely recalling a 3d santa platformer.

  25. And Here i go again,grabbing the free game and grabbing the second one,thanks to your nostalgia video here,all the way to Europe-Romania,Keep it up Dude!!!

  26. Oh, man. I played this for hours and hours when it came out…an embarrassing amount, considering what was still available to me…

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