Trigger Happy Christmas Review: Santa with a Shotgun? Nice.

It seems that every holiday season Santa has to kill something on the App Store before kids can receive their presents. Is this because he’s frustrated? Tired? Angry? Nobody knows, but Trigger Happy Christmas by Games Faction will give him another outlet to channel his feelings, as in this game he’ll be blasting, pulverizing, and burning elves all day.

In this game, the reason Santa’s so pissed off is that the elves decided to sabotage his sleigh, and the sleigh is going crazy and the presents are being scattered willy-nilly around the map. Santa has to collect all the presents, so he pulls out his trusty shotgun and begins blasting all elves he sees, collecting presents and putting them on the teleporter along the way. Once in a while, good old Rudolph will help out by dropping an SMG, flamethrower, grenade launcher, score multiplier, or damage multiplier for Santa to use on his journey of justice. Helping Santa out in this game is fun, but there are some missing elements that could make the game better.


Gameplay: The gameplay is simple and attractive. You walk back and forth blasting elves, and you tap on presents to pick them up. Elves can steal the presents from your teleporter if you’re not guarding it, and bigger elves take more shots to die. Shoot. Kill. Pick up. Rinse and Repeat. There’s really no point to the game other than getting the highest score possible, and it’s basically just mindless shooting the entire time. Surprisingly, this game doesn’t get old at all; on the contrary, it’s actually a very enjoyable experience.

Christmas Card Function: You can email pre-made greetings cards to your friends and family via an in-game card sending function. These cards are all pretty hilarious and fun to look at, and they easily spread the holiday cheer through families. This card function is nice to have, and makes my annual holiday card sending much easier.

“One More Try” Feel: Every time I’ve played this game I’ve always played it for more than ten minutes at a time, because almost every time you die you’ll see what you could have done to avoid that. Therefore, I always feel I have to try again – and this time I won’t make the mistake that I made last time. The replayability factor for this game is greatly enhanced by this feel, and this is one of the only casual games that I think truly has that “one more try” attribute.


Weapon Variety: I’m kind of disappointed that there were only three weapons in the game. I wouldn’t have really minded I could actually do something with the weapons, but in this game you can’t upgrade or beef up any of the weapons you get. I’d love it if the game had a shop of some sort where I could improve the firing rate, damage, etc. of my shotgun and tweak the frequency of the special weapon drops. So far, it hasn’t been a really big problem for me, but I think that the game may become a little repetitive in the future if something new isn’t introduced.

Save Function: No save function? If spend half an hour playing the game and racking up a high score, and then I have to go make myself some lunch, I’d appreciate it if there was a save function that let you resume the game where you left off, like Minigore. So far I can only pause the game, and I don’t really want to leave the game paused for ten or twenty minutes wasting battery while I’m doing something else. A way to keep your progress would be very much appreciated.

Trigger Happy Christmas is a great game for getting into the holiday spirit, but there are a couple of things that I’d like to see implemented. However, this game has made the holidays just that much better; who doesn’t want to be Santa and blast tons of elves to death? It’s a great way to pass some of the time while waiting for family and friends to come over, and all in all, Trigger Happy Christmas is a fun holiday-themed side-scrolling shooter that is definitely a worthy purchase.


Trigger Happy Christmas was developed by Games Faction, and I played through version 1.0 of the game on my iPod Touch 2G (OS 3.1.2).  The current price point of the game is $0.99.




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