There’s an indescribable comfort in playing Christmas video games this time of year. Just imagine…. You’ve got the heat on, a cup of hot chocolate in hand, and you’re wrapped up in your favorite cozy sweater, and you use some leisure time to escape into a Christmas-themed virtual world.
Much like Christmas films, there’s often only one time a year when these games pop up, or when Christmas themes take over ordinary games. But with the holiday season upon us, we thought now would be the perfect time to list some of the best festive games available.
1. James Pond 2: Codename: RoboCod
We’ll start with a throwback. A forgotten gem on the SNES, James Pond takes players to Santa’s Workshop in the North Pole. Facing a monster who’s keeping Santa’s worker’s hostage, it’s hard to miss the clear Christmas theme that runs throughout the game. The soundtrack is also enthusiastically festive, sporting lots of upbeat synth sounds that fit the game’s overall theme.
2. The Division
Set against the backdrop of a chemical-weapons attack during Black Friday, this game gives you the one-of-a-kind experience of exploring New York City during Christmas. Every square foot of The Division oozes atmosphere, particularly given that it’s snowing, and it’s the Christmas season. While, granted, it’s not the most uplifting Christmas game, it is one of the most unique –– in a sad, this-is-the-apocalypse kind of way.
3. A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build
The first mobile game on our list, A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build is a puzzle game that tasks players with –– you guessed it –– building a Snowman. Although it rarely snows on Christmas for most of the world, there is undeniably something very Christmas-y about building a snowman (even if only virtually).
4. Jingle Ways
When you’re looking for games with specific themes, online casinos will usually answer the call. This specific title is one that recently popped up as one of the new “Festive Specials” on Foxy Games, and it lives up to the label. Jingle Bells is an arcade slot reel that tasks you with matching letters, symbols, and Christmas-themed items together. The holiday theme is palpable, and Santa even presides (occasionally doling out a gift).
5. Dead Rising 4
Hear us out, okay? Dead Rising 4 might be a game about zombies, but it is set at Christmas and takes place in a shopping mall. And what’s more Christmas-y than being stuck in a shopping mall surrounded by brainless consumers? Delightfully, you can even dress up as Santa thanks to a festive DLC pack.
6. Christmas Cookie
Cookies are an important part of the Christmas experience. Many of us left out cookies for Santa as children, which is why Christmas Cookie now makes for such a great seasonal mobile game. Players need to match cookies in groups of three or more, progressing through a number of levels that increase in difficulty. If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas Eve game, then look no further.
7. Parasite Eve
Easily one of the best horror games on the original PlayStation 1, Parasite Eve plays like a mix between Resident Evil and Final Fantasy. It’s also set on Christmas Eve, which of course makes for a fun holiday twist. We should mention though, for those who seek it out, that this game also has some of the scariest FMV sequences of its time as well. As Polygon’s review of Parasite Eve stated, aspects of the game “remain pretty disturbing” despite the graphics being dated.
8. Secrets of Christmas
This is another online slot game that gets in on the holiday fun in a pretty satisfying way. Like the aforementioned Jingle Ways, this game features a reel packed with Christmas items, including teddy bears, candy canes, and toys.
9. Christmas Stories: The Gift of the Magi
What better way to get in the mood for Christmas than to set off on an adventure to save your virtual sister from the dreaded “naughty list.” Christmas Stories: The Gift of the Magi takes you on a journey filled with puzzles to solve and clues to find, with the Christmas spirit prevailing throughout.
10. Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Last but not least is Spider-Man: Miles Morales –– one of the best video games in recent memory. It’s an action-packed romp through a stunningly rendered New York City, and aspects of the holiday season are threaded throughout much of the story. As The Verge’s review notes, there’s even a scene in which the titular Morales is setting a table for Christmas dinner!
We hope that’s got you in the mood for some Chrirstmas-themed video games. If you are looking for more popular culture and gaming coverage, be sure to visit visit Kulture Vulturez again!