Christmas games are a wonderful novelty and The Legend of Santa is a NES styled 2D platformer that’s been made for all the family. It is a simple and easy game to pick up and play and can be played with up to 4 players as you platform your way to save Mrs Clauss.
Everything about The Legend of Santa is like a Super Mario Bros 8 bit adventure. You headbutt blocks to get powerups, jump on enemies to get rid of them or if you have a powerup you can toss candy cane or coal at enemies to bump them off the screen. Jumping is interesting as the longer you press the higher the jump but there is also a post landing step forward which you barely notice for the first half the game. However, there are platform areas that look like teeth and if you step forward here, often you just step off into the gap between the teeth. Its one of only two really tricky parts of what is an extremely easy game to pick up and play. The second is a cool level where the moon in the sky keeps sweeping down to hit you and you have to avoid it.
The distinct lack of difficulty can be viewed two ways. The solo dev has openly said the game is designed to be easy to help young gamers get used to platforming and allow for family Christmas gaming. The flipside is that you are rarely challenged. Boss move sets are very easily telegraphed. Enemies do reappear if you don’t move on from an area but rarely come in large numbers. Once you get used to those teeth platforms they become less of an issue. The game is also succinct, covering two worlds and 12 levels, but there are plans to add more worlds and levels over time. My ask would be to make later worlds of the same difficulty of world 2 at least in the future expansions because the first world was a little too sedate, even for entry level gamers. That said, The Legend of Santa does offer variety. There’s a couple of underwater levels involving sneaking passed fish, an endless scrolling level to stay on screen with and a few gimmicky levels of lava and totally vertical climb levels.
Short, sweet and totally inoffensive, The Legend of Santa is a little morsel of festive fun. It is not going to change your life but its more than good enough to be a family gaming treat for those with younger children to enjoy.
Review copy provided by the developer. Out on Steam.
The Legend of Santa
Easy to play as a family but may not provide a satisfying challenge because its a very simple retro throwback.
Charming NES vibe with a festive carol cihiptune soundtrack
4 player platforming works nicely.
Promises of future content will be welcome.
Hitboxes on small platforms mean you can be standing on a platform and die from a nearby lava bomb.
The after step when landing from jumping feels a little tricky.
Lack of challenge means standard gamers will find this extremely easy.
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