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Review: Santaman and his iced muffins
The game Santaman 2 is delivered as a sweet little game that deserves more credit than one would first imagine a yule-themed game would demand. The game is light hearted and the idea of rescuing iced muffins made me laugh. The whole game forms a single, concise application and is internally consitent, from the menus to the levels themselves. This consistency in combination with the extremely high standard of graphics make this game an all-round winner.
Unfortunately the style of this game seems to be easily misunderstood, and the game fails to keep the fast paced sonic-loving gamers interested. Expecting or suggesting any modification towards a platform style game would be absurd. The brilliance of this game can only be appreciated if you can get to grips with the idea that it's not a platform game, but it is indeed a grid based puzzle game, and your patience is needed if you're going to make it through. Play this game in a hurry and you will surely fail. Play it slow and it will give you the chance to think about the problems and it's the only way this game can really be enjoyed. On the negative side, despite the consistency of the game I did find that death does greet you in unexpected ways sometimes. Take, for instance the use of the iceblocks. We determine that these blocks are to be used to kill your enemies with, and your enemies can use these blocks to their advantage also, but they can also kill you by falling on you, which (although it makes sense) was unexpected. I would hope these blocks could kill my enemies in the same way. However, this game is varied enough to keep the player interested throughout the duration of the game. I didn't think at any point this game is boring or monotonous and I was pleasantly surprised by what seems to be a lot of effort for something so small. The game is quite difficult in places, so if you're going to get bored of seeing the same thing again it's because it literally is the same thing. Fortunately a password system rectifies this and makes the experience slightly more pleasant for the short-tempered.
The graphics are absolutely stunning. Completely consistent throughout and the game is brought to life with a modest amount of animation and some pretty lighting effects that stay true to the pixel art style of the game. These graphics are vibrant and buzzing with life and they help to submerse the player into the game. The graphics are truly complimenting to the gameplay and this unique style represents some of the best work Hayo has produced to date.
The music is well suited to the game. The additional samples such as footsteps when walking help to bring the game to life. In reference to a comment, this music sounds a lot better to me than the Bernard and Hank music.
I don't expect I will play this game very often, and given that it's a themed game it's a surprise I played it at all, but it is really worth playing through at least once.
Overall this is a sweet game cursed with a Christmas theme. Despite this it's very playable if the player understands the style of the game, and it will leave the impatient somewhat frustrated. If you aren't playing this game with the idea that you can run and jump at the same time then you have probably grasped the idea by now and you are fully enjoying the vibrant graphics and puzzles. Overall I score this game a highly respectable 7/10
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