Life isn’t easy being a pixelated Santa just trying to deliver your pixelated gifts to all of the homes across the pixelated land, and it only gets worse when a cantankerous fiend — whom may or may not be the Grinch — begins tossing an onslaught of fireballs at you! Thus goes the premise to Droppin’ Santa (out now, free), yet another game — similar to releases such as Jumpy Jester (our review), Amazing Beat (our review), or City on Fire (our review) — where free means powered by in-game ads, rather than coercive IAPs. Those of you out there whom unswervingly demand that your games contain a hefty deal of meat should probably just stop reading this review right now, whereas those of you whom prefer a lighter fare — such as Flappy Bird — should keep pushing forward instead.
Anyways — preference matters aside — players may command Santa’s Sleigh to rise upwards by holding the screen’s lower left, and toss out presents by tapping the screen’s lower right. It should also be noted that holding the ascent button doesn’t immediately make Santa rise upwards, nor does letting it go cause him to instantly descend either, all due to there be a sense of inertia within Droppin’ Santa for players to tackle. Additionally, the gifts that Santa keeps dropping — which are also affected by inertia, and thus land slightly ahead of where they’re tossed from — can’t be hurled en masse either (new ones will overwrite the old ones, thus stopping Santa from using carpet bombing).
Your goal is to simultaneously avoid crashing into any of the Grinch’s green hadoukens — as well as the scenery below — all while you attempt to successfully hit houses with your presents, with your final score reflecting the number of homes that you dropped gifts at. Each time you get hit — either by a fireball, or by a house — Santa’s Sleigh will lose one of the three reindeer hitched up, with the player encountering a Game Over when all of them are finally lost. Unfortunately that’s really both the beginning and ending to the range of depth found within Droppin’ Santa, which entirely boils down to chucking presents at houses while avoiding fireballs (which are even shot with extremely predictable aiming).
Still — limited game play matters aside — should you happen to enjoy apps in the vein of Flappy Bird, and are additionally seeking something festive for the holidays, then you really can’t go wrong with this game (especially since it’s 100% free, sans any IAPs). There’s furthermore the fact that Droppin’ Santa’s oddly compelling main song — which itself seems to be a remix of We Wish You a Merry Christmas combined with Jingle Bells — will additionally keep you willfully coming back just to hear it again and again. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that — regardless of whether or not you enjoyed Flappy Bird — Droppin’ Santa is probably worth checking out purely on the virtue of just this one song.
iFanzine Verdict: Droppin’ Santa is a rather simplistic game, yet also one that will probably please Flappy Bird fans looking for something a bit more festive (or possibly also those whom endlessly played through Robot Unicorn Attack just for the music). With a price tag currently set at 100% free — supported by in game ads, rather than coercive IAPs — it certainly wouldn’t hurt to at least give this app a whirl, even if only to hear the amazing We Wish You a Merry Christmas meets Jingle Bells remix song.