back to article Santa's Xmas Caper

So let’s just get one thing straight: 99.99 per cent of Christmas-themed games suck. I might make an exception for Christmas Nights on Sega depending on my mood, but, hey, it’s that time of year again and between the overwhelming urge to take a machete to every brightly tinseled tree I see, there must be time to reminisce …


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  1. Thomas 4


    Nuts to Doom, move over Rainbow Islands, throw thyself off a cliff, Lemmings...

    All I want for Christmas is Santa's Xmas Caper.

  2. John 110

    I think...

    Your screenshots are from the Amiga version. Is this the high standard of reporting we've come to expect from the Register? I think not!

    1. Richard Wharram


      Was just about to post the same thing. C64 indeed :/

  3. jake Silver badge

    Wasn't good then.

    Isn't good now. Not even nostalgic.

    By way of reference, read some of your own email from 1992 ;-)

  4. Z80

    Seeing these gaudy, barmy graphics makes me want to fire up an emulator...

    ...and play James Pond from the Mega Drive.

  5. DZ-Jay

    Not all Xmas games are equal

    Most Christmas-themed games are crap, but not all. For the last year I've been working on one myself--a retro, classic-style, 8-bit action gem implemented for the Intellivision console from the 80s (remember those?).

    It was supposed to be finished for Christmas 2011, but alas, that won't happen. However, it will definitely *not* be crap, and the feedback I've received so far from the community is very good indeed.

    I'm now aiming for April, 2012. If anybody is interested, watch the Intellivision boards at

    The story and brief description can be found here:

    Screen shots of the newer levels and progress updates can be found here:

    (Sorry for the plug, but I thought it would be interesting to other retro-gaming fans. Besides, our Intellivision Homebrew community could use some more people :)

    Happy Christmas!


    1. Geoff Campbell

      A christmas game, delivered 18 months late and in Spring?

      Dude, you have a great career awaiting you in Government IT.


      1. DZ-Jay

        Such is the nature of hobbies and projects done as a labor of love, not following any schedule.

        For what it's worth, I did release the game last Christmas. Feedback was positive and I was even asked by the community to extend what was essentially a single-screen demo into a full-fledged, multi-level game.

        Writing games for ancient, arcane devices--in Assembly Language--is not an easy task.


        1. Geoff Campbell

          Not easy, indeed, but great fun.

          That's how I earned my first pay cheques in this great industry of ours.


  6. tsdadam

    Christmas bits in games...

    The one that jumps out at me first is Crude Buster (Two Crude Dudes). One of the bosses was - if memory serves - a small maniac throwing petrol bombs dressed in a Santa outfit. What sticks with me is him shouting "Ho, Ho, Ho. Psycho Santa!" :)

  7. louis_helpits

    Proper christmas game

    If you were going to do a good christmas game, should have gone for Monty Mole in Moley Christmas (it was only a Your Sinclair cover tape but still - feel the quality).

    1. Thomas 4

      Is that...

      .....the same Monty Mole from Auf Wiedersehn Monty, Monty on the Run and Impossimole?

      1. louis_helpits


        very same

  8. teebie

    Christmas games

    I seem to remember really enjoying icicle works

    1. csir-live

      Yes teebie

      I 2nd that! Lost years of my youth playing Icicle Works.. On the C16+4 .. Killing Polar Bears & Penguins .. Lots of snow . . Lovely music :)

  9. Jim 59


    Goot article, even if the game was more tat than "antique". There was at least one Lemmings Christmas edition IIRC.

    1. cosymart

      Xmas Lemmings

      I seem to recall that there was a Christmas patch for the Acorn Lemmings that replaced their green hair with a santa hat. Could be mistaken about that though, too much tipple between then and now :-)

      1. LuMan
        Thumb Up

        Not only that...

        ...but Amiga Format provided a coverdisk with Cannon Soccer - basically Cannon Fodder with the little fellas from Sensible Soccer as well as soldiers. In order to make it Christmassy the scene was a snowy football pitch and the nasties would through snowballs at you. There was also a couple of snowmen and presents and stuff.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > "moons with Me Gusta faces" ...

    First I LOL'd, then I lost the game.

  11. Peter Kay

    Hyper Princess Pitch is what you want

    From here : - it runs under Windows/WINE, is definitely xmas oriented with an annoyingly addictive soundtrack and old school operation : carnage gameplay. Worth a look - free!

  12. Al 4


    Does anyone remember the version of Lemmings called Christmas Lemmings? Everything was done in a winter/Christmas theme. To me a lot of those older games were more fun because the games were challenging thinking games instead of the newer ones that seem to concentrate more on the graphics.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    C64 or Amiga?

    If you are reviewing the C64 version why have you used Amiga screenshots? Confused over your Commodore machines?

    All versions were uniformly crap, the Spectrum and CPC versions being savaged by Your Sinclair and Amstrad Action respectively.

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