Christmas is a time of cheer,
Put yourself in a Christmas sphere,
Roll straight down a Christmas slope,
"Merry Christmas!" - from his maj' the Pope.
That's a well wicked poem. It's better than you could do - and no mistake!!!
Why aren't there more Christmas-themed games? Well, it's pretty obvious. Why would you ask such a stupid question? Obviously, it's because of their limited shelf-life, and because they would melt on January 1st.
Consequently, most appearances from Christmas in games have been limited to single levels, or the Christmassing is pushed into the background - such as in Robocod - or are mini Christmas-themed instalments of otherwise popular games - such as Christmas Lemmings and Sega's Christmas NiGHTS Into Dreams.
Here are ten other examples of the non-phenom' that is "Christmas games".
Père Noël? More like "Pedo Hell!!!". Hmm... That's not very Christmassy. Oh well. Who cares?
This 1994 platformer was released for the Mega Drive and Super NES in the UK and Australia alone, for some reason. It was all quite standard fare - Santa saving his North Pole workshop from an evil snowman, who had imprisoned all the elves inside Christmas presents. Oddly, if Santa found and drank a cup of coffee, he would transform into his own "evil" alter-ego: the invincible Anti-Claus.
Please note: Santa's main form of attack was to swing his sack around.
Look, I'm just saying that the evidence is all there, and we probably shouldn't ignore it...
Other inappropriate imagery in Elf Bowling included the ability to murder passing reindeer, frogs and rabbits, and the sight of the elves baring their weirdly hairless anuses at Santa, should he fail in his attempt to bludgeon them to death.
Unfortunately, we were spared the sight of the children waking by screaming and never stopping - which, I am led to believe, is what happens if you wake a sleepwalker.
"Ssssh! Don't wake her."
"But she's got a knife..."
"You just have to let her murder you."
Inexplicably, Frosty's quest was made more dangerous by the presence of deadly Christmas puddings and sentient bottles of booze. Notably, it was a simultaneous, two-player game, implying there were two Frosty The Snowmans.
Depressingly, despite being a later Commodore 64 release, it looked as if it had been made at least seven years previously.
According to the song, Frosty the Snowman was "As alive as he could be". Do you think, when he came to life, that he had guts and stuff? Would he bleed if you cut him open? Did he have teeth, and a larynx, and all that shit? It annoys me that nobody ever goes into enough detail with these lyrics.
However, in The Polar Express, boarding dubious Christmas Eve night-trains is not only encouraged - but rewarded. The 2004 multi-format video game tie-in did little to dissuade players from this course of action. It was a surprisingly decent-looking interpretation of the film - albeit with a jarring grab-bag of playing styles, from platforming, racing, and rhythm-action, which rendered it this: appalling.
Success could be obtained by removing the evidence of bloodstains, elf and reindeer body parts, and whiskey bottles. Disturbingly, it was revealed that Santa himself was responsible for the slaughter, having snapped under the pressure of distributing Christmas gifts.
After all, nothing says "Christmas" like a mental breakdown!
Remember when Arthur Fowler had his "Christmas troubles" in EastEnders, because he'd stolen the Christmas club money? No? Well, it was 25 years ago. But there was this bit where he was carving the Fowler family turkey, and it was twenty or thirty times more disturbing than anything in Santa's Rampage.
Die Hard Trilogy waters down the pointless conversation even further, by including levels based around the distinctly non-Christmassy Die Hard With A Vengeance.
In the UK, though, the lurch between gothic horror and Christmas cheer is more jarring, and thus I am happy to declare - definitively - that The Nightmare Before Christmas is NOT a Christmas movie.
Oogie's Revenge was a direct sequel to the movie, set a year later - with a similar (albeit playable) mix of disturbing visionary, blended with Christmas niceness. Tim Burton's a weirdo, yeah?