Developers, take note: GOTY winning idea, right here.


Yes, that’s right. I’m about to pitch to you all a game that will surely go on to win many awards and accolades and ribbons, to the point where you won’t be able to see the cover art for the game because it’ll be covered in stickers. You probably won’t even be able to read the title, but that’s alright because everyone will just look for the game plastered with stickers.

Ok, here goes: take one part open world sandbox (I’m talking huge here, a Just Cause 2 size behemoth) and one part Batman: Arkham Asylum (because it’s brilliant). Add in the secret ingredient, one that pops around at this time of year: the Christmas spirit. Mix it all up and what do you get? A game where Santa Claus gets to run around beating the stuffing out of naughty individuals.

For those that feel that this is a little outside of Santa’s supposedly jolly appearance, do not fret as there’ll be a detailed moral system in the game. You have the option of handing out gifts to the nice folks of the world… or you can beat them senseless. For the naughty people, you can choose to hand out a stern gift of coal, to remind them of the follies of a year spent in poor behaviour… or you can beat them senseless. The choice really is yours.

Santa will be armed to the teeth, of course. On the off chance that the people decide to retaliate against you, you’ll need to be prepared to fight them tooth and nail. In fact, one of the weapons in the game will be a bat sprinkled liberally with teeth and nails, harvested from the people you introduce to your form of yuletide justice. Harvesting will be a BioShock-esque affair, with Rudolph performing the duties of the Little Sisters. Let’s face it, Rudolph can easily be replaced with a halogen lamp anyway, so at least it gives him a reason to be in the game.

It wouldn’t be an open world game without vehicles, and this game will not disappoint. Santa’s vehicles range from the traditional sleigh to a coal powered turbine, created from the collective bones of your foes. Of course, you’ll need to go collect those bones first (or you can purchase the DLC), creating quite a challenge if you decide to go down the nice route and simply hand out gifts. Finding people who’ll part with their bones for presents is a key feature of the moral system.

Now, I don’t want to do all the work. This is just a simple outline. However, when the game inevitably goes into production, I will be expecting a sizeable portion of compensation from the initial deal, plus a percentage on every copy sold (along the lines of 80%, I’m not too fussed). This is chump change compared to the revolution in gaming that will be experienced when people get their hands on it.

On that ridiculous (and poorly written) note, have yourselves a great holiday! This is our last post for the year, and I’ve enjoyed my time here immensely. We’ll be back next week for another year of invert-x!

Ten points if you can guess why Adam West's Batman is in this article's image.

By Logic & Trick

…because I have no idea. Maybe because Christmas-themed things are always cheesy? Anyway, I’m going to talk about games that involve Christmas in some way. I’ll try to avoid being cheesy.

Initially, when I was thinking about what games to use, I was stumped. I mean, honestly, how many can you think of? But after a bit of thinking, I remembered not just one, but three excellent games that I can use! Unfortunately they’re all on the Nintendo DS, so if you don’t have one, you’ll need to go and buy one now before continuing.

…Back already? Great! Let’s get started. I must note that all these games are only tangentially related to Christmas. I’m really stretching it here.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Ah, Ace Attorney. There are not enough words allowed in this article for me to express my fondness for the series. Let’s just say that I like it very much and leave it at that.

For people unfamiliar with the series, the gameplay is basically split into two parts: a point-and-click adventure ("investigation" phase), and a graphical novel ("courtroom" phase). The general plot is that you’re a defense attorney, and your goal is to prove your client innocent by collecting and presenting evidence and pointing out flaws and contradictions in witnesses’ testimonies. Trust me when I say that it is far more compelling than it sounds.

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Ace Attorney recurring character Larry Butz dressed up as Santa. Anybody want a Samurai Dog?

So what does it have to do with Christmas? The Phoenix Wright trilogy spans two or three years, and Christmas pops up a few times. But in the first game, one of the characters dresses up as Santa! We have a winner!

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Ghost Trick is a game from the same designer as the Ace Attorney series, but the gameplay is rather different. While it still has a feel of a graphical novel, gameplay is more heavily featured than in the Ace Attorney games. You play the role of, well, a dead person – with the ability to possess and manipulate objects in the physical world. The engaging plot and excellent graphical style and sprite animations make you wish the game never ended.

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I’ve kinda assembled this screenshot from two others, which is why Missile (the dog) appears twice.

Christmas isn’t mentioned at all in the game, but one of the areas of the game is the apartment of one of the game’s main characters, Lynne (who just so happens to be my avatar image). The apartment is covered with Christmas decorations! Either she’s really lazy and didn’t take the decorations down, or it actually is Christmas. Either way, it makes it valid for my Christmas post!

Hotel Dusk: Room 215

…And the sequel, Last Window: The Secret of Cape West. These two are the best of a range of similar games made by Cing. You play as former detective Kyle Hyde, who is chasing leads on a particular person from his past. The DS is held vertically, like a book, as you guide Kyle through a point-and-click adventure style graphical novel. The brilliantly-written, natural-sounding text dialogue, combined with the excellent mystery plot and glorious hand-drawn character sprites put these two games quite high in my list of favourites.

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Kyle Hyde and his newly-decorated Christmas tree.

These games are both set over the Christmas period, and it’s mentioned quite heavily in both games. The first game, Hotel Dusk, even has a mini-game where you decorate a Christmas tree! I’m very certain that alone qualifies these games more than the other two in this post.

Cing are no more, unfortunately – but the Hotel Dusk series has been picked up by Level-5, developers of the Professor Layton series. Hopefully they do the series justice!

Well, that’s my Christmas post done. Hopefully this can encourage some people to take a look at these three games, which they may not otherwise have checked out. If not…oh well! Can’t say I didn’t try!

Merry Christmas, and see you in the New Year!