The Holidays are Now for Everyone
Much like the fact that Starbucks is recognizing that the holiday season should not longer just encompass a single set of celebrants, so should Christmas Wonderland 5. While we will not go as far as to suggest a name change (it is not necessary after all), it is time for Santa to start venturing out beyond the familiar trappings of the North Pole and the stereotypical Amercian holiday fare that he has been to in previous games in the series.
In CW5 his first stop should be: the other holiday icons. The Easter Bunny, the Halloween Jack-o-Lantern, the Fourth of July Eagle -they may only pop up once a year, but it does not mean they live the rest of their lives in hibernation. Just as we wonder what Santa does in the summer time, it would be nice if old Saint Nick would be able to visit his other holiday icon brethren and given them the gift of cheer. Can you imagine it? The different holiday mascots all gathered around a fireplace as Santa drops in for a Christmas surprise. Mistletoe and Easter Eggs appearing in a single hidden object list is bound to bring a smile to players.
Of course, the entire world is not covered in snow either. Having Santa visit some tropical countries would be an interesting thing -especially since the old red outfit will have to be changed for something more practical. Or maybe not, the outfit is as much a part of the character anyway. But it is rare to see Santa flying above the skies where there is no snow -but it is something a lot of people in many other countries can certainly relate to.
And let’s us not forget all our nice and definitely not-naughty friends in the animal kingdom as well. From the dogs at home to the giraffes in the zoo, there is no reason for Santa to no drop by and give them a treat as well. It would be quite challenging to look for items ina zoo environment while you are wondering what kind of gift Santa would have brought for the elephant.
Keep the Minigames Alive
It does get tiring playing the whole search for items everywhere game with HOG titles So having minigames in between is a big thing. There is no shortage of possible Christmas themed stuff to base on as well. You can play as Santa and try to steer the sleigh around houses. Or a chimney drop minigame where Santa will have to shimmy down the chutes as fast as he can. You can also have a game where Santa will have to quickly insert gifts into stockings without attracting the attention of the children -like a massive game of Green Light, Red Light. Then there’s making and prepping the gifts, or doing routes across a world map where you determine the most optimum route for Santa to deliver toys, pick up new ones at the North Pole, then continue distributing them to kid all over the planet.
Naturally, time based challenges will keep players on their toes and their reflexes sharp for quickly finding hidden objects in the main course of the game. So the minigames should be made to both complement that and at times, to provide the players with a healthy distraction to the flow.
It Will Get Busier
One of the most common complaints about HOG titles is that the presence of clutter in the games. There should be a balance between adding a lot of stuff to hide the objective items and also in being able to design a busy, visually-confusing image, without breaking too much of the game’s narrative. The key is to have a lot of objects, but they should all look like they truly belong there. Previous Christmas Wonderland titles had a little bit too much stuff -some even completely out of place, and that means that the next one could use a little more moderation and focus on the overall composition.