Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4
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The holiday season is a time of joy, giving and happiness. Well, that's what big box retailers, jewelers, and luxury car manufacturers want us to think. It's also a time of chaos, of dealing with travel plans in the middle of inclement weather, and of awkward moments with family that drives us crazy. Thus, a game called Holiday Havoc seems appropriate for the season. This arcade-style game has players controlling Santa Claus, trying to protect the presents from the endless horde of toys that come to life, by shooting snowballs from a handheld cannon at them. An allegory for the holiday season in general, perhaps? As well, friendly elves bearing gifts run about the madness, bearing presents for extra points. Of course, shooting them means that an extra life is lost, so be careful.
Part of what attracted me to Holiday Havoc was its pixel art and chiptune soundtrack. The art is more detailed than most pixel art games, while still feeling suitably retro. The chiptunes provide some jaunty tunes for listening to while trying to protect Christmas from the unending masses. It just feels appropriate in a way; many gamers have fond memories of getting games as presents, and chiptunes are the sounds that probably best define gaming in general.
Holiday Havoc is a bit on the simple side; there's only the one survival game mode with nothing else. Some more game modes to offer more variety would be welcomed. The elves are a particular annoyance, as they tend to be easy to kill even in a crowd of enemies. It just leads to frantic firing away at enemies that weren't attacked because of fear of killing the elf, then it's pray and spray on the remaining enemies.
Holiday Havoc is a good way to enjoy the holiday season and let off a little steam during this often-stressful time of year. It is a bit on the shallow side, but it only needs to last through Christmas.