As it is the festive season, it is to be expected that Devs start churning out the Christmas themed games. And given that the iPhone is the chosen platform for some of the most bizarre games around, one would assume that there would be a fair few Christmas titles that could comfortably sit on the weird side of the Christmas dinner table. Sitting comfortably on that side and enjoying a nice glass of eggnog, we find Kung Fu Santa from Big Bad Brush.
Kung Fu Santa is the second game from Big Bad Brush, with the first being Big Bad Flower, a game revolving around controlling an evil flower that grows to epic proportions and tries to take over the world. I would like to say that Kung Fu Santa makes more sense, but then I would be lying.
The story, for what it’s worth, revolves around the simple fact that evil Elves have stolen all of the Christmas presents and plan to sell them for cold, hard cash. In an attempt to save Christmas, or at least the present receiving part, Santa channels his inner martial arts master and vows to get the gifts back, whilst also kicking the butt of the evil Elves. A truly festive tale.
With one game mode, the player is challenged simply to try and achieve a high score and then to continue to better that. This is done by collecting the gifts as they fall from the sky, whilst nimbly jumping between the three moving candy canes on the screen. The player can move up and down these canes and can leap between them by tapping on the cane. The gameplay is not dissimilar to a few other games out there and the basic aim is to just stay on the poles as long as possible whilst collecting points.
Occasionally the evil Elves will come sliding down the poles, at which point our heroic Santa can give them a damn good slap. The player must avoid being hit by these Elves whilst also avoiding the hazards of gaps in the poles and a green slime that can coat the poles in places. Each pole actually has two different positions, hanging to the left or the right, which is the most difficult thing to remember, as the player will need to tap twice to jump to the left pole if they are hanging to the right side of their pole. Generally this over complicates the action, but I can understand why the developers did it this way, to provide more playing area.
Kung Fu Santa can be quite a frustrating game at times. The action can get quite fast and furious and it is at this point that everything gets a little confusing, with Santa not always doing what you think you are telling him to do. It is most likely due to my inability to follow everything that is going on, but I am not sure.
But hey, it’s a Christmas game and who wouldn’t want to play a game where they control a kick-ass Santa trying to save the festive season? Both the visual and audio work is a lot of fun, with nice colourful sprites and some suitably martial artsy style noises.
Kung Fu Santa is a largely pointless game with about as much depth as a Christmas stocking for ants. it can be frustrating and annoying. But that doesn’t stop the player from wanting one more go and then trying to beat their previous score. It is a bit of fun for the festive season, and surely it is worth 59p to save Christmas?
Kung Fu Santa, by Big Bad Brush, is available on the App Store for just 59p.