Santa’s Run: Throwing Gifts Around the World

Price: $0.99    Score: 8/10    By Michelle SchustermanSanta's Run - Tossing Christmas Presents Around the World

It’s that time of year again…decorating trees, stuffing stockings, and throwing Christmas presents down chimneys and into penguin’s nets. And if you need some target practice with that last one, then Santa’s Run is a holiday app game to check out.

Designed by BrokenThumbsApps, Santa’s Run is like playing a game of ring-toss, only with a present for a ring and a chimney for a peg. Just “toss” the gift (using touch and drag) into chimneys in Europe and America, doorways in Asia, and penguin’s nets in the Islands. Easy enough? This is definitely a case of simple concept, difficult execution.

Each level shows three rows of houses with the number of presents to be delivered next to the chimney (or doorway, or net). The gift is at the bottom of the screen inside a blue arc. Toss from the blue arc for the closer houses, move up to the yellow arc for the second row, and toss from the red arc to get to those houses in the very back.

The most important thing to remember is the wind factor – I mean, Santa does have to deal with windy nights, after all. An anemometer in the top right corner will let you know which way and how strong the wind is blowing, anywhere from 0 mph to the sixties (or possibly higher). If you don’t notice the wind, it’s easy to get frustrated right from the start, because your tosses seem highly inconsistent.

Even when you take the wind into account, it’s not an easy game from the start. The wind changes with each toss, so it’s hard to get into a pattern. But after awhile, I figured out a few tricks; really strong winds, for example, are a good opportunity to throw the present hard and into the opposite direction of the wind, which helps it curve and (hopefully) land right in the chimney of one of those far-off houses.

The graphics are very cute, and I appreciate how the music changes with each level – the Christmas jingle song stays the same, but the instruments change to accommodate the setting (I like the steel drums in the Islands in particular!). There’s also two game play options; Around the World and Endless Delivery. Around the World starts off in Europe and takes you around the globe, and you can only reach the next level once the current one is complete. Endless Delivery allows you to choose a setting, then practice tossing the gift into selected houses.

Your accuracy percentage is continually tracked at the top left, with your average saved once all four levels are completed. Let’s just say there would be a lot of disappointed kids around the world if I were Santa – my first time through I averaged 18% accuracy.

Overall, this is a fun game that will help get you in the holiday spirit!

Santa’s Run requires the iPhone OS 2.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch.

-1-4-3-2

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