Tag Archives: Die Hard Trilogy

Die Hard Games Retrospective

Yes I’m still celebrating the 30th anniversary of Die Hard as I’ve been doing throughout this year with numerous articles and I still have a few more to come including offering my own opinion on the biggest topic of every festive season. But before then, I want to take a look at the games based on and inspired by the movie series.

When I first started to think about this topic – only a few Die Hard games initially came to mind, that NES one, the trilogy thing on the PlayStation, oh and that arcade game. At first I thought this was going to be a relatively short article. But then other Die Hard games began to creep into my noodle, games I had played and long forgotten about. Plus a little digging around on the interwebs brought a whole slew of other Die Hard games to my attention. Turns out that John McClane has had quite a long career in video games over the years.

So let’s not dally around any longer, time to take on some terrorists, look at some Die Hard games and ask how can the same shit happen to the same guy twelve times?

Die Hard

Die Hard DOS

The first game was released in 1989 for DOS and developed by Dynamix, Inc. This game was a third person action shooter with some survival mechanics thrown in. With you playing as John McClane following the same plot as the film with you having to take on Hans Gruber and his men while trying to save hostages.

Featuring early 3D graphics and some EGA renditions of stills from the movie to forward the story. Strangely though Bruce Willis’ likeness is not used and McClane’s appearance is altered from the movie, he’s not even wearing the right coloured top – but Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber is shown in all it’s early DOS graphical glory.

Gans Gruber DOS

You would have to go from floor to floor taking on terrorists as you scoured Nakatomi Plaza in search of items and weapons to help you survive. Take out a bad guys and you could search them too for ammo. Many of the films iconic action sequences are represented in the game including the throwing C-4 down the lift shaft, jumping from the roof as it explodes and of course facing off against Hans himself. The game features multiple possible endings from saving the day just like in the movie to Hans getting away with the money and killing Holly too.

Die Hard DOS Action

For the time, Die Hard was a very advanced game using not just action but also survival ideas to make a highly unique game… tough as nails hard though but if you persevered and learned all the game had to offer, then you would be rewarded with a great title.

Die Hard

Die Hard C64

This one was released for the Commodore 64 in 1990 and developed by Silent Software. It’s basically a port of the previous DOS game only a lighter version and changed to a side scroller due to the limitations of the Commodore 64. So gone are those fancy 3D environments. But don’t worry, Hans still shows up in glorious C-64, pixel vision.

Die Hard C64 Action

No real point in going into details with this one as it’s pretty much the same game as the previous one. Some of the survival elements were toned down to make the game more action-centric but still essentially the same thing as before. But hey, they got the colour of McClane’s shirt right in this one. This one is okay, it lacks the depth of it’s DOS bigger brother but certainly playable though.

Die Hard

Die Hard TurboGrafx 16.jpg

Also released in 1990 was this exclusive to Japan for the TurboGrafx-16 game developed by Pack-In-Video Co., Ltd. Very different from the previous two games we have seen so far with it being a top-down/arcade action title. While it followed the plot of the movie, it still used some creative licence along the way.

You start the game in a forest… just not like in the movie. The game features various weapons, like a lazer… just not like in the movie and the final boss fight is with an attack helicopter… just not like in the movie. As I said, the game uses some creative license. I suppose one could compare this to the arcade classic Commando. It has the same top-down viewpoint and its one of those run and gun type games with you shooting your way through dozens and dozens of bad guys.

Die Hard TurboGrafx 16 action

After you get out of the forest that is not in the film, the game does take place in Nakatomi Plaza and it begins to look a lot more like the flick. But the whole building is like a huge maze with branching paths and various doors to go through, you’ll find yourself getting lost pretty quickly. Still, it’s a decent game overall if a little frustrating, full of action and yeah it feels very Die Hard once out of the opening couple of stages and if you put those lazers at the back of your mind.

Die Hard

Die Hard NES.jpg

Perhaps the most (in)famous of the early Die Hard games. Released for the NES in 1991, developed by Pack-In-Video Co., Ltd. Another top-down shooter but very different from the previous game… but at least you don’t start out in a forest.

The game follows the same plot as the movie with McClane stuck in Nakatomi Plaza having to fend of terrorists and stop them breaking into the vault to steal the cash (bearer bonds in the movie). You start out with nothing, not even a gun, but if you manage to punch the crap out of the first bad guy, you’ll soon find yourself armed with a gun. Basically all you have to do is clear each floor of terrorists, find Hans and stop him. The main problem with this game is the time limit as there are about 3-4 minutes between each lock on the vault being opened and when all locks are opened, it’s game over. The time limit is way to strict and gives you little room to explore which is a shame because the game pretty much requires you to be a little stealthy/slow.

Die Hard NES Action.jpg

There are a couple of interesting aspects that include a foot meter. This is really a heath bar for your feet and the more damage your feet get (like walking on broken glass), the slower you move… yes like in the movie. Plus you can listen in on Hans talking to his henchmen via a C.B. radio… yes like in the movie. The story is played out with still cut-scenes taken from the movie, still no Bruce Willis though, but Alan Rickman is here.

It’s actually an interesting game with some great features, but that damn time limit really ruins this one as it forces you to run around like a headless chicken when you really need to take your time and explore the levels. The game features multiple endings once more including Hans escaping with Holly.

Die Hard 2: Die Harder

Die Hard 2 Amiga

Developed by Tiertex Ltd. and released for Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64 and DOS. This one hit the shop shelves in 1992 and is based on the movie of the same name. Going for a first person view point, this was one of those light-gun games… without the light-gun.

Set over five stages based on scenes from the film and each stage split into three screens, kill the bad guys on each screen to advance to the next one, clear all three screens to move onto the next stage. You know these type of games, bad guys keep popping up, you shoot them and they drop power-ups, weapons and ammo. Occasionally a civilian will run in the line of fire instead of staying in cover (because they’re stupid), rinse and repeat. It’s a shooting gallery and not a good one.

Die Hard 2 Amiga Action

This one’s not very good at all, it’s just so damn dull and there are better games of it’s ilk around, even in 92 it felt 10 years out of date and that feeling is much worse now. The screens don’t scroll or anything, they are completely static. If you can stomach the game until the end you’ll get one of the worst game endings ever with a blue screen displaying “You completed your mission” and that’s it. Best to avoid this one.

Die Hard Trilogy

Die HArd Trilogy.jpg

This could be the most famous game based on the movies. Released for PlayStation, Sega Saturn and Windows in 1996. Developed by Probe Entertainment Ltd., this one takes the films of the then trilogy and melds them into one huge game. I think I’ll need to split this up into three sub-sections to cover as each game is different.

Die Hard: A third person action shooter based on the first film. Playing as McClane you fight your way up Nakatomi Plaza shooting terrorists, picking up ammo and weapons. Clear each floor of bad guys and move onto the next. I guess its pretty similar to the previous NES game I’ve covered… only without that annoying timer allowing you to enjoy the game at your own pace. Explore each floor, kill bad guys, save hostages, take in the badly dubbed lines from the movie. It’s very faithful to the film too and you’ll recognise some of the locales within Nakatomi Plaza. Yup this one is a stone cold classic that plays well and despite a little clunkyness, it’s still very playable today too. A truly great Die Hard game that does the film justice and it’s only the first third too.

Die HArd Trilogy Die Hard

Die Hard 2: Die Harder: Going for a first person view point, much like the previous Die Hard 2: Die Harder game I just covered, it’s one of those light-gun games… but with the light-gun if you had one or controller if you didn’t. Only this one is far, far superior to that other mess of a game. Taking place though numerous scenes from the film, it’s standard stuff, shoot bad guys, they drop ammo and weapons, civilians will run in the line of fire instead of staying in cover (because they’re stupid), rinse and repeat. The gameplay in this one is much more refined, it plays more like Sega’s Virtua Cop and less like the bland shooting gallery of the other one. There’s some impressive destructible scenery too. Not as good as the first part of this trilogy, but still damn good fun.

Die HArd Trilogy Die Hard 2

Die Hard With A Vengeance: Things are changed up again for the final third and now it’s a driving game. You race around New York in various vehicles such as taxis, ambulances, sports cars and the like. The aim it to find the many bombs Simon Gruber has placed around New York and ram them with your vehicle to defuse them… cos that’s how the bomb squad do it right? There are several power-ups that can be collected including turbo boosts, jumps and extra time. Oh yes, this game has a timer and I hate timers. Of course if you are chasing bombs, it makes sense that there’s a timer but I just do not like them. For me, this is the lesser of the three games in this trilogy but that being said, it’s fast paced and still fun – just not as fun as the other two.

Die HArd Trilogy Die Hard 3

Overall, this game is perhaps the best Die Hard game so far or most probably ever will be. It can be a little frustrating as the controls are very dated now and for me that third game is the weakest. Still as a collection you get three good games all in one that are both faithful to the films they are based on and yet also do their own thing to make for an exciting and entertaining trilogy of games. Oh and all three are overtly violent and bloody too.

Die Hard Arcade

Die Hard Arcade.jpg

Developed by Sega’s AM1 R&D Division and released (unsurprisingly) for the arcade in 1996 with a Sega Saturn port soon following. This one is based on the first movie, in fact, make that “inspired by” not “based on”. The game does take some liberties with the movie as I’ll cover next. It’s a scrolling beat em’ up kind of like Double Dragon or Final Fight only with fancy 3D graphics and environments.

So the story of the game does not follow the movie at all. You can play as either John McClane or Kris Thompsen (or both in two-player) who is an FBI agent I think (never played as her, why would I?) and you are tasked with saving President’s daughter from a skyscraper that I think is supposed to be Nakatomi Plaza from the first movie, the Nakatomi logo is everywhere. So it’s a very different plot. It’s standard scrolling beat em’ up fare, punch and kick bad guys, pick up weapons (one being a grandfather clock), take out more bad guys, get to the boss and kick the shit out of him.

Die Hard Arcade Action.jpg

There are a few QTE sections in the game that split up the levels and all in all, this one is pretty good fun to play. There’s no real depth and it’s very clear it had little to do with Die Hard. Makes me wonder if this was originally developed as an original game and the Die Hard license was slapped on at the last minute. I mean, the Japanese version has nothing to do with Die Hard at all and is called Dynamite Deka – which had a sequel called Dynamite Deka 2… and when that sequel was released outside of Japan it was called Dynamite Cop. So this Die Hard game has a sequel that’s not really a sequel at all.

But anyway, this is a good, all action game with both feet firmly in the arcade. Well worth a play even if it really has very little to do with Die Hard other than it’s name and lead character. It’s a short game and offers no replay value, but its a fun quick blast regardless.

Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas

Die HArd Trilogy 2

Yes the best Die Hard game got a sequel not based on any of the movies. Developed by n-Space, Inc. and released in 2000 for both PlayStation and Windows. This one is a whole new McClane story but still using that three different game concept from the other trilogy game.

Telling a story set after the events of Die Hard With A Vengeance with McClane going to Vegas where he finds himself cleaning up the mess after a prison riot where terrorist Klaus Von Haug attempts to take over Las Vegas with the help of some friends.

Die Hard Trilogy 2 Action.jpg

Okay so I’m not going to split this one up into three different sections as I did with the first game because you don’t play them separately. The three different game modes are here, the third person, the first person and the vehicle section – however they are all intertwined into one game instead of three individual games. So for instance, the first level would be a third person one then the next one would be a first person and the one after that would be a driving level and the game continues like that. Still that is if you play it in Movie Mode to follow the plot. You can also play Arcade Mode where you can choose which of the three gameplay styles you want, so you can play just the third person, first person or driving sections if you like.

This one is pretty bad. It’s a different developer from the first game and it really, really shows too. None of the three different gameplay styles work here and they all seem several steps backward since the first game. A very disappointing sequel to a great Die Hard game.

Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza

Released in 2002 for Windows and developed by Piranha Games, Inc., this game is a sort of remake of the movie. It follows the plot of the film to the letter, but still uses a little creative license to add some new ideas and even shows what McClane was up to when we do not see him in the film.

This one is a first person shooter and originally started out as a mod for Duke Nukem 3D. The development team even went to Fox Plaza (the real Nakatomi Plaza in L.A.) to ensure the game was as faithful as it could be. It uses music and sound effects from the game, even some of the cast provide voices… no Bruce Willis though. It really does follow the film well but still does it’s own thing along the way to expand the gameplay. It keeps things as close to the movie as possible to the point where the only weapons in the game are the only ones used in the film – so no lazers here.

Die Hard Nakatomi Plaza

It’s a pretty good shooter that does the film justice. Bearing in mind this was low budget and as I said, it started out life as a mod for another game too. Still with the limed funds and small development team, they made a solid Die Hard game that any fan of the flick will enjoy.

Die Hard: Vendetta

Die Hard Vendetta.jpg

Developed by Bits Studios Ltd. and released in 2002 for GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Once more, another first person shooter, only this one tells a whole new story. Set several years after the events of the third film and McClane is now working for the Century City Police Department in Los Angeles along with his now adult daughter Lucy. Enter Piet Gruber, Hans’ son who kidnaps Lucy and you have to save her.

The main problem with this game is that first person shooters were everywhere back in the early 2000s and to stand out, they needed to be something special. Die Hard: Vendetta isn’t very special. It does a couple of interesting things like being able to take hostages/human shields and the enemies react depending on who you take. There a slo-mo thing called Hero Time where everything slows down but McClane moves at normal speed, so you can dodge bullets and take out bad guys easier. Plus the game has a stealth mechanic and the gameplay is pretty decent. But that’s all it is, decent.

Die Hard Vendetta Action.jpg

The story is trite and playing as McClane is not as fun as it should be despite some interesting mechanics. The game feels very unpolished but what is there is okay at best. Worth a look at least. This was the last “proper” Die Hard game too. All that is left are the final two Die Hard based “games” and they only need a quick look at too…

Die Hard

This one came out in 2013 and was developed by Goroid Games released for Android and iOS. Yes it’s one of those free to play games. Despite it only being called Die Hard it’s actually based on the most recent movie, A Good Day to Die Hard. It’s one of those endless runner type games with some shooting thrown in.

Die Hard Andriod.jpg

If you have played games like Temple Run on your phone, then you know what to expect. This is pretty standard fare and really offers little gameplay other than slide you finger left, right, up, down, etc. Nowt special here, but what is confusing is the next game…

A Good Day to Die Hard

Yes another game based on the most recent film. This one also came out in 2013 and also released for Android. Developed by Gameloft Software Ltd. So yeah, two games based off the same film but where as the previous one was an endless runner game, this one is a side scrolling shooter.

A Good Day to Die Hard Andriod

Playing as John or Jack McClane you find yourself in the midst of the action based on the movie. There’s some light platforming action along side the shooting. Take out the bad guys and continue through the level. Much more fun than the precious game but still a pretty shallow experience overall.


 

And that’s yer lot for Die Hard games. There are some great games with the highlight being Die Hard Trilogy from 98 – still good fun to play today. Some pretty good games such as 2002’s Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza. Then there have been some truly terrible titles with sadly more bad Die Hard games than good ones.

I’m still waiting for the definitive Die Hard game experience. I think a mix of that first part of Die Hard Trilogy melded with elements of Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza along with a pinch of the first Die Hard game on DOS and we could have an amazing game. But things seem to be drying up when it comes to Die Hard games. The latest film is in production as I type this but I doubt that will garner enough interest for someone to develop a full-blown game, I think the best we can hope is another Android/iOS free to play game. I don’t think we will ever see that definitive Die Hard game, I’m pretty sure we can say happy trials to that idea.

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Games To Play Over Christmas

Its that time of year once more – time for websites and blogs to do their obligatory top ten Christmas movies list. The same old movies getting mentioned over and over – year after year. And the debate over whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not continues…

I thought I’d try to avoid all of that this year and go a different route. I’m going to take a look at some Christmas games instead. Now, pretty much all of these games are linked to Christmas. But one of them just feels right to play around the festive season even if it has nothing to do with Christmas directly. Anyway, lets crack on with it.

Christmas Lemmings

Christmas Lemmings

Or Holiday Lemmings is from DMA Design (who would later become Rockstar Games) comes this charming action/puzzle game that I remember losing hundreds of hours on. Lemmings was a great franchise with multiple titles in the series.

The goal was simple, guide you lemmings to the exit… that’s it. While to goal may have been simple, the journey was fraught with obstacles you would have to avoid or get through using the many talents of your lemmings. With skills such as building, bashing, mining, blocking and even exploding. As you progress, the levels get harder and harder while your lemming controlling skills are pushed to the limit.

This Christmas spin-off maintains the classic, simple and addictive gameplay of the franchise and just gives it a Christmas paint job. The lemmings now wear little Santa suits complete with hats, the levels are also Christmasy with open fires, multi-coloured lights and snow… lots and lots of snow. A great little game that will have you hooked after playing a handful of levels and soon have you pulling your hair out in frustration – only for you to have ‘one more go’.

Christmas Nights into Dreams

Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams

I think this one is required by law to be included on any Christmas gaming list. This is one of Sega’s most beloved gamed released for its Saturn console. Paying as Claris or Elliot who can transform into the titular Nights with his/her flying ability which can be used around levels to collect orbs. Grab enough orbs in the given time limit and move onto the next level. The flying is really well done and gives a great sense of freedom despite being played on a 2D plane and while the game sounds rather dull – its incredibly addictive and fun once you get used to the flight controls.

The Christmas version was originally released as a two level add-on included in some Saturn bundles released in December of 1996, given away for free with copies of Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition and even on editions of Sega Saturn Magazine and Next Generation Magazine. The game is given a slightly altered story for Christmas and of course, a graphical makeover. The Christmas theme could be enjoyed at any time of the year – but if you played the game on specific dates, you’d unlock added bonuses as the console’s internal clock would be used to know when you were playing. Try playing on New Year’s Day, April Fool’s Day or even Christmas Day for example…

The game takes some getting used to but once you do – you’re in for a wonderful time with this ‘unusual’ action/platforming title. Well worth checking out.

Duke: Nuclear Winter

Duke Nuclear Winter

An expansion pack to one of the greatest FPS games ever made. I love me some Duke Nukem… mostly. Lets not mention ‘THAT‘ game on this blog. But the third game in the Duke franchise was fucking brilliant. Coming off the back of the success of Doom and the meteoric rise of the FPS genre. Duke Nukem 3D was loud, brash, misogynistic and damn funny to boot. Shooting literal police pigs in the face with a shotgun has never been so much fun. Duke’s quips and persona are stuff of gaming legend – even if he did ‘borrow’ some of his lines from other places.

There were several expansions released for the original Duke Nukem 3D and Duke: Nuclear Winter is just one of them. So in this one – Santa Claus has been captured and brainwashed aliens and its up to Duke to ‘kill those alien bastards’ and save Santa.

Not one of the better Duke Nukem 3D expansions I admit – in fact, lets be honest… it pretty bad. A lot of the levels are just re-dressed ones from the base game only with a Christmas theme. Though there are a few all new levels – just not enough of them.

Die Hard Trilogy

Die Hard Trilogy

Yes, Die Hard IS a Christmas movie (stop arguing about it) and so is this game… well two thirds of it is anyway. As the title suggests, this one is based on (what used to be) the Die Hard trilogy of moives. This one is actually three separate games in a single bundle and all three are different genres and gameplay styles. All three games are action packed and great fun.

Like the moives the game(s) are based on, only the first two are set around Christmas. Die Hard (obviously) based on the movie is a third person shooter where you make your way to the top of Nakatomi Plaza killing hundreds of terrorists and rescuing hostages – okay so the Christmas theme is non existent on this one… but its Die Hard ergo Christmas. Die Hard 2: Die Harder is an on-rails FPS that is set at Christmas. The opening level starts outside the airport and its snowing. It then moves inside and there are Christmas decorations up and even Christmas trees… its Christmas!

This is a great collection of games, all three of them. A must for any Die Hard fan and I’d suggest giving Die Hard 2: Die Harder a play around Christmas time as there is no better way to show ‘good will to all men’ than shooting a fuck-load of them at an airport at Christmas.

Batman Returns

Batman Returns SNES

One of the best scrolling beat em’ ups of the 16-bit era on the SNES. Sadly this is a dying genre – where it was once one of the biggest gaming trends of the 90s. These game were always simple fare, keep moving (usually) right while punching and kicking bad guys until they fall over. But this one offered a few nice surprises along the way to keep the formula fresh.

No prizes for guessing what this game is based on. Batman Returns was the distinctly dark and brooding sequel to the Tim Burton classic Batman. This game follows the movie pretty damn well sometimes exceptionally so, including the Christmas setting. Its the little touches and details that make this one so much fun from grabbing bad guys and throwing them into the background causing damage to that awesome detail at the end of the first level with the clown and the “you missed” scene taken directly from the flick.

The graphics are bold and capture Tim Burton’s style perfectly. The cut scenes throughout that use digitised images mixed with hand drawn graphics are very convincing. Plus the gameplay itself is top-notch stuff. Watch the film and enjoy the game afterwards. Always gets me in the Christmas mood.

Skyrim

Skyrim

So this is the game that not directly linked to Christmas… but it sure feels like it while you play it. A massive open world RPG that offers a ridiculous level of gameplay set in a fantasy Tolkien-esque world full of rich and varied detail.

As mentioned, Skyrim is not set at Christmas – nor does it have anything to do with Christmas at all. But it is the game’s setting that gives it a snowy/Christmas feeling. Just go walking around the city of Winterhold or Windhelm. Go and explore the many caves, towns, villages found around the northern part of the Skyrim map and get that Christmas feeling inside as you traverse through snowy mountains all while sitting in the comfort and warmth of your home.

There is just so damn much to do in Skyrim that you can spend hours and hours doing nothing but explore the vast map. And while it has no connection to Christmas itself – there is just something about it that gives off a festive feeling that makes me want to play the game around this time of year.

Saints Row IV: How The Saints Save Christmas

Saints Row IV How the Saints Save Christmas

A slice of DLC from a game that was as brilliant as it was disappointing. I loved and loathed Saints Row IV in equal measure as its not a bad game at all – but it is a bad Saints Row game. Yet it also featured some truly fun and enjoyable gameplay.

The main game has nothing to do with Christmas – but this piece of DLC is a short but fun mission pack where Santa has to be rescued from the in-game simulation. Full of nods and references to Christmas movies and literature plus it has that distinctive Saints Row humour that is as childish as it is brilliant.

It’ll only take a around and hour to get through this DLC, a little longer if you really want to explore and get the most out of it though. All the Christmas tropes are present here and played up to with great effect. Worth a go if you want a little fun and a few laughs with your Christmas.

James Pond II: Codename RoboCod

James Pond II - Codename Robocod

A.K.A Super James Pond. This charming platformer is a sequel to a game a lot of people didn’t know existed. What do you get when you cross a gill-bearing aquatic craniate with Robocop?

So you get to play as James Pond, super secret agent… that’s a fish. Picking up where the first game left off as Pond’s arch nemesis – Dr Maybe retreats to the North Pole and takes over Santa’s workshop. Dr Maybe holds Santa’s workers and the big guy himself hostage. Pond is equipped with a robotic suit that gives him strength, agility and the ability to stretch his midsection enabling him to reach higher areas which he’ll need to use as he makes his way through 50 platforming levels to save Santa and his workers.

Platforming games were everywhere in the early 90s and this was one of the better ones. This was basic stuff, make your way from the start of the level to the end, jump on enemies heads, collect items for points. Being set in the North Pole and saving Santa as your main mission makes this game heavy on the Christmas theme… oh and the remix/up-beat Robocop theme tune is pretty damn sweet too.

Cannon Soccer

Cannon Soccer

So this one was never a full game, but in fact a demo/promo for an up-coming game from developer Sensible Software – Cannon Fodder. Mixing their enormously popular Sensible Soccer with Cannon Fodder to create a one-off mash up.

For those not in the know Sensible Soccer was a (wait for it…) soccer game and Cannon Fodder was an OTT shooter so a prefect blend right? You control a small squad of soldiers and have to guide your men through the levels killing bad guys along the way. Using guns, grenades and missiles to take on enemy soldiers, buildings and helicopters. Cannon Fodder is a non-stop, darkly humorous action game. This demo for the main event had you controlling a small squad and starting in a snowy battle zone with a ‘Merry Christmas’ message, but when you move south through the map, you soon find yourself on a football pitch. Now you have to defend yourself against gun-toting football payers. Progress further into the map and you’ll find yourself in yet another Sensible Software game – Mega Lo Mania.

The Christmas theme in this one is pretty low. Aside from the snowy setting and initial ‘Merry Christmas’ message, it has nothing to do with Christmas at all. But its still, a fun little demo to play around the festive season. Almost forgot, Cannon Fodder is notoriously difficult. This may only be a two level demo, but you’ll be spending hours on it trying to finish them.

Batman: Arkham Origins

Batman Arkham Origins

Second time Batman is on this list and probably the least liked of the Batman: Arkham franchise… until Batman: Arkham Knight was released anyway. The only series of games that truly captured the feeling of being the Batman correctly.

An origin story exploring the relationship between Batman and Captain James Gordon… oh and some other character called the Joker. Its Christmas Eve and there’s a jailbreak at Blackgate Penitentiary led by Black Mask. Batman is left to fight Killer Croc and he learns that Black Mask has hired eight of the world’s deadliest assassins to kill Batman for a $50 million bounty. Along the way, Batman crosses paths with the Penguin, Deathstroke, Electrocutioner and the Riddler among others.

This one didn’t receive much love when it was originally released – but I personally found it massively enjoyable. The Christmas setting looks gorgeous and offers a great contrast with the gothic graphical style of Gotham City… really put me in mind of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns movie. The game also featured some of the best predator sections in the Batman: Arkham series as well as introducing the ‘detective vision’ crime scenes where you had to piece together clues to discover what happened. Really worth playing over the Christmas season.

Special Delivery: Santa’s Christmas Chaos

Special Delivery Santa_s Christmas Chaos

Okay so I’m going very obscure with my final pick. A mostly unknown game I played plenty of as a kid on my Commodore 64. I believe it also holds the distinction of being the very first game where you get to play as Santa.

Pretty simple stuff, the game is split into three different sections. First you control Santa and his sleigh as he tries to collect falling Christmas presents dropped by his helpers – you also have to avoid gifts dropped by the Devil… cos the Devil is Christmasy right? The second section has you climbing down the chimney having to doge fireballs and falling snow. The the third and final section is set in the house itself. Here you have to negotiate the rooms of the house and leave the presents under the Christmas tree, find the key and leave through the front door. You will fail if you wake any of the sleepwalking children. Rinse and repeat to get a high-score.

This is very basic and simple stuff compared to today’s games – but it really holds some fond memories for me. I loved this game when I was a kid and always played it around Christmas time. It was a fun little title and still good fun to play today too if you fancy a trip down nostalgia lane.


Well there you have it folks. A few games to get you in the Christmas mood worth having some fun with. And I think this will be the last article from me in 2017 (unless something big happens in the world of games or movies in the next few weeks) as I’ve written a lot this year and need to switch off my laptop and unplug until 2018.

I’d just like to finish up by saying thank you to any and all that have been reading my rants over through the year and wish you all a Merry Christmas. Have a good un’ folks and I’ll be writing more in 2018… see you then.

Merry Christmas.png