Santa ditches the reindeer behind for a motorcycle in Santa Rider, a physics based game for Android.
On Dasher, on Dancer, on Santa!
The purpose of Santa Rider is to drive the famous gift-giver over icy hills and collect presents along the way. Presents add points to you score, but the real goal of the game is to reach the finish line of each level. There is very little variety in Santa Rider: there are two bikes to choose from that don't appear to make much of a difference in regards to performance, the music never changes, and there is no multiplayer. Despite all of that, there's something subtly addictive about the game: maybe it's the simplicity and holiday spirit.
How to play
The controls for Santa Rider are straight-foward and easy to pick up. Two buttons on the right side make Santa's bike accelerate forward or go in reverse. The button on the left side of the screen controls Santa's balance; you can either tilt forwards or backwards. Most of the time you will have one finger on the acceleration while keeping an eye on Santa's balance.
How it looks
Graphically Santa Rider looks acceptably cartoonish, but it doesn't offer much variety in terms of levels, objects, or character models. After a few levels you'll notice that the game is mostly just icy hills and Christmas presents set to a cozy polar backdrop. As well as that, the animations for the jolly man are clunky and awkward with only his bike wheels showing any damage.
The sound is one of the oddest and most noticeable aspects to the game. Instead of traditional Christmas jingles, Santa Rider's soundtrack consists of a haunting piano melody. This music is only punctuated by the echoing of jingling bells and an ominous "ho ho ho" when Santa collects (not gives) more presents. The music combined with the sound effects is so eery that it wouldn't be far out of place in a Tim Burton film.
Santa Rider is fairly mediocre arcade game in a genre with much better alternatives, however fans of Christmas will likely enjoy the game despite the spooky vibes.