Xmas Planet Review: How Santa Travels In One Night

It’s all about reactions.  How quick you can swipe, how fast you can tap, it’s all on you.  You must swipe and find the color of the house before Santa falls behind his schedule and tap the color to drop off the present.  Failure to speed up and produce will result in an inevitable game over, and your reactions must be in quite a shape to keep your record going.

Volcano Planet is a game I quite enjoyed, and now it’s back in a more enjoyable version along with the integration of AGON Online.  While it isn’t as frantic or hectic as Volcano Planet, this interesting twist should have fans running to buy this one.  Xmas Planet, as described above, is a casual game that should appeal to both hardcore and casual, and with the integration of AGON achievements and leaderboards, the good just got better.

Likes

Graphics: Volcano Planet looked good, Xmas Planet looks even better.  The 3D, Star Defense-like graphics were solid and looked great, and the planet modeling was well done.  There was a lot more detail put into the game versus Volcano, and the design was simple and worked well.  If you can’t tell from the screenshots, all I can say is that the game looks good.

Casual Done Right: Some developers tend to hit the casual market right on the money, while others fail to do so with over-simplistic gameplay.  While Xmas Planet is quite a simple pick-up-and-play game, it was enough to keep the player interested throughout.  Online highscores just put the icing on the cake, making competition even thicker.  I wouldn’t place myself in either hardcore or casual markets, but I would find myself competing against my brother for the higher score.  Me: 166.  Brother: 33.

Different: What most developers find themselves doing is replacing their game with a Christmas skin, then selling it as a new game.  While I don’t object to this style of selling, it’s always nice to see some twists and turns from the actual gameplay.  That’s what the developer Jelly Biscuits did to this game, and instead of just orange and green smoke, it’s all about following the colors.  There are around 4 or so different colors: blue, green, red, and orange, and it all depends on how well you follow the directions.  I found the twist quite welcoming, and it definitely feels like a wholly different game.

Dislikes

Limited: There’s only one map and one gameplay mode, and as with everyone reading this, they’ll agree that it’s lacking.  It would have been nice to atleast see one or two more maps, and maybe even another gameplay mode; a mini-game would have been fine also.  While the casual part was done right, it still would have been nice to add a bit of variety.

Easy: Volcano Planet was frantic, maniacal, fun.  Xmas Planet, on the other hand, is considerably less frantic with little to no resistance to your swipes.  While I would find myself sitting at 33 in the beginning, as time progressed, I received 166 on my second try; placing me at number 4 on the worldwide leaderboards.  While it may not be as simple for some, I personally found the game to be quite laid back; straying away from the franticness of Volcano Planet.

Xmas Planet is a solid casual game, and for those looking for the next big thing, I think you’ll find it right here.  Some may not like the lack of variety or the inclusion of only one map, but I personally enjoyed this title a lot.  The game looks good, feels good, and most important of all, plays good (or for those English perfectionists out there, “plays well”).  Jelly Biscuits did a good job of delivering the biscuits in this title, and those looking for Christmas games should look here first.

Xmas Planet was developed by Jelly Biscuits, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $0.99.

About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

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