Review: Santa’s Sleigh Ride

November 25, 2011, Author: James Joell-Ireland

Christmas is nearly upon us, believe us or not. The year has flown by, hasn’t it? It certainly has. Soon we will be reflecting on the year that has been, a year of great video-games and the Arab uprising.

To get yourself into the festive mood, TIMJ will be doing an array of coverage of Christmas-themed games, and it all starts here with Sleigh Ride. Will the game get you in the mood for the holidays, or will it be like the sprouts you leave at the dinner table?

A bit of a Grinch, really
Sleigh Ride is a twitch game; there is only one single element to it, which means that this will end up being one of the quickest games I have ever reviewed. No harm; sometimes you just want something on your iPhone that will kill a couple of minutes, and that is what Sleigh Ride does.

It's the thought that counts, eh?

The busiest time of the year for Saint Nick
The basis of the game is very much like ‘The Impossible Game’, or the Flash-based game ‘Helicopter’. You play Santa, and your job is to jump over objects and avoid crashing your sleigh. In our playtime we noticed that the course itself switched in variations, so it is not a case of learning the set route, as it can change up from time to time. You have two different controls; Jump and Double Jump, both executed by the touchscreen of the iPhone. It is ridiculously simple to play, and links up with Game Centre to ensure that your best scores are displayed to the whole world.

Objects in your way will be snowmen, elves and all manner of other Christmas-themed objects preventing you from delivering the presents.

A winter wonderland
Visually the game does exactly what you expect it to do, bringing the spirit of Christmas to the player, and that is achieved by snowy peaks and themed landscaping. Everything is set out in a winter wonderland theme and it definitely succeeds in getting you excited for December 25th.

Sleigh bells ring; are you listening?

Jingle all the way
One of the strongest points of the game is the soundtrack; it is appropriately themed and does service to bringing the Christmas vibe to the player. Considering you will die a lot, the developers have done well in producing a musical score that doesn’t grate.

A lump of coal?
Sleigh Ride isn’t exactly pushing the value for money mantra. For its price there are hundreds, if not thousands of games, that provide more entertainment value for the price point of £0.69. Sure, it entertains for a brief amount of time and the theming does a good job of putting your in the Xmas mood, but the game is very much short-lived. If you are a sucker for buying seasonal games then this may be worth a punt, but as soon as the holiday season is over, the game will do nothing more than clog up your phone’s precious memory.


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