Unusual games for New Year’s holidays
Has it ever happened that you are looking for games for the New Year holidays, and all the lists of Christmas and New Year titles are more or less the same? I will try to dilute all these boring lists with something not so banal. I tried to add to this list both old but good games and modern ones that are worth playing.
- 1 ▍ Kuzya Saves Christmas (PC)
- 2 ▍ Alto’s Collection (iOS, Android, PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
- 3 ▍ Duke Nukem: Nuclear Winter (PC)
- 4 ▍ Year Walk (iOS, PC, Wii U)
- 5 ▍ The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge (PS2, Xbox Original)
- 6 ▍ The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King (GBA)
- 7 ▍ Lake — Season’s Greetings (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5)
- 8 ▍ Santa Claus Junior (Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance)
- 9 ▍ NiGHTS in Dreams (PC, Sega Saturn, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360), Christmas NiGHTS in Dreams (Saturn)
- 10 ▍ Animal Crossing
▍ Kuzya Saves Christmas (PC)
Do you remember Kuzya? Well, the same one who should have been called? A lot of games were released about this troll, and it was impossible to do without thematic New Year’s games. For example, “Kuzya saves Christmas”. Of course, these are simple games, mostly intended for children – so Kuzi’s New Year’s adventures are perfect for leaving the children at the computer while you cut salads for the table. Or maybe you’ll join in to indulge in nostalgia. As an option, you can try playing the Kuzya: New Year mini-game sets.
If the games will not work correctly on modern systems, use dgVoodoo2.
▍ Alto’s Collection (iOS, Android, PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey are possibly the most beautiful runners I know. They don’t set difficult tasks for the player, but because of their meditative gameplay, you keep coming back to games about Alto. You just ride the mountain slopes, catch llamas and collect coins – what else do you need after work? The games even have a Zen mode, where there are no obstacles – just to relax and ride as much as possible. And there is a photo mode on all platforms to make beautiful desktop wallpapers. Although the game looks best precisely in dynamics. It’s best to play with headphones – the time of day and weather are constantly changing, and the music is progressing. It all sounds great, of course!
▍ Duke Nukem: Nuclear Winter (PC)
An application for Duke Nukem 3D, released back in 1997, but just as funny! Despite the fact that, in fact, this is a mod in which the locations of the original have just been changed, it is still fun to play. Evil snowmen and elves appeared as enemies, and opponents from the original now wear Christmas hats! All in all, full of jinglebells. The expansion was included in the re-release of Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour. It’s a pity that all this fun is over in just an hour.
▍ Year Walk (iOS, PC, Wii U)
Another good game on the list – this time from the Swedish studio Simogo, which makes very unusual games. Year Walk is dedicated to the Swedish tradition of Årsgång (year walk) – a ritual during which, according to legend, you can see a vision of the future. The ritual is rather gloomy, as is the game itself, in which we make this walk. And all this – to a melancholic soundtrack, which only emphasizes the melancholy of Swedish folklore.
And it’s a shame that Simogo didn’t re-release the game on Switch, where it belongs: the touch controls are very suitable for Year Walk. Therefore, if you have an Apple device, it is better to pass on it. A small spoiler: if you will still play on iOS, you will have to download an additional application, which is an encyclopedia of local folklore.
▍ The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge (PS2, Xbox Original)
If you haven’t watched Tim Burton’s cartoon of the same name, you’ve definitely heard about it. However, the fact that two very good games were made based on the cartoon is not so well known. And both Japanese did. And in the case of Oogie’s Revenge, the PlayStation 2 version was released in Japan in October 2004 and remained a Japanese and PS2 exclusive for a year, until the game made its way to the West in September 2005, with an Xbox Original release as well. Yes, the Japanese never liked the Xbox.
Oogie’s Revenge is a very decent action game with nice graphics. The Japanese did not forget that they are making a game adaptation of a musical, and therefore there are elements of a rhythm game. The soundtrack is generally beautiful though! So, if you like good slushers and Tim Burton’s work, it’s definitely worth a try.
▍ The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King (GBA)
As I said, the Japanese made as many as two Nightmare Before Christmas games. The Pumpkin King was released exclusively for the Game Boy Advance. This time – a two-dimensional metro-view platformer. The atmosphere is not as gloomy as in the game for “older” platforms due to the two-dimensional graphics – but there is something unusual in this cartoonishness! Well, the soundtrack is amazing, but even for the GBA they managed to make it very worthy.
And yes, this game feels a lot more like something to recommend for Halloween, but in my opinion, not mentioning The Pumpkin King in the context of this franchise would be a bad idea.
▍ Lake — Season’s Greetings (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5)
And again additions. Although the original Lake was a low-budget indie game, it turned out to be extremely cozy and atmospheric. The main character returned to her hometown to replace her father, who left for a while, who works as a postman. Yes, this is a simple simulator of a postman in the atmosphere of America in the eighties – with video rentals, diners and no mobile phones. In the DLC Season’s Greetings, you have to play as the father of the heroine of the main game, who is back in action.
▍ Santa Claus Junior (Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance)
It should be said right away that these are two different games, in which the only similarity is the Christmas theme and the main character is a little Santa. Each of the versions is good in its own way: these are decent platformers that have not gained popularity. And all because they were released only in Europe. And even now, when you can easily find roms with these rare games, only the rare Christmas game tops mention Santa Claus Junior. But no top is complete without the average Daze Before Christmas. It’s certainly not bad, but the SNES and Mega Drive can produce a more pleasant picture. But both games for gameboys give a decent picture of their hardware. In any case, there are not many games about Santa, it is worth trying each one.
▍ NiGHTS in Dreams (PC, Sega Saturn, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360), Christmas NiGHTS in Dreams (Saturn)
And this is the strangest series from Sega, which is why most players do not understand it. Bright, fast – NiGHTS was supposed to be an alternative to Sonic. But, unfortunately, it didn’t work out. The gameplay is really very unusual, and people who were waiting for a new Sonic for the Sega Saturn clearly did not appreciate the new arcade. But believe me, the game is worth giving a chance! What is worth is its connection to real time: depending on the day and season, the environment changes. Well, for Christmas and New Year, appropriate decorations appear. NiGHTS was so hyped that they even released a separate Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams demo in 1996 for the Saturn. A distinctive feature of the demo was 25 unlockable “gifts”, which are new game modes. In one of them they will let you play as Sonic. In fact, this is the first appearance of the blue hedgehog in 3D (if you do not take into account the arcade Sonic the Fighters of the same year, 96).
▍ Animal Crossing
And, of course, it is impossible not to say about the Animal Crossing series, which is released exclusively on consoles from Nintendo.
The season in these games changes depending on the actual date. The last game in the series,
, even in Russia it sells quite well – for the first time in the series, the Russian language appeared, and Switch is well distributed in our region. It is very difficult to explain the phenomenon of games, where the entire gameplay, in fact, is reduced to routine tasks, with mini-games and small activities related to contacting local residents, arranging the island and your house. They say it’s very addictive! So, if you like games like the Sims, it’s worth a try. Online isn’t required, but it speeds up gameplay by adding the ability to interact with real people on your friends list (provided they also have New Horizons, of course).
New Year is a good, cozy holiday. Be sure to celebrate it in the circle of close friends, create a festive mood for yourself (I hope you have already decorated the house with garlands and a Christmas tree?). Give each other gifts – even the cheapest ones – any attention to friends and family will be nice! The upcoming!
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