iPad App Review: Elves Inc: Christmas Mission HD

Whenever I think of Christmas apps I think back to what was one of the absolute worst games ever – Elf Bowling! But when G5 Entertainment offered me their new holiday themed game I was fairly certain it wouldn’t be a Christmas nightmare, so I gave it a shot.

The Hype:
Plunge yourself into the shining world of a winter fairy tale! Control and master the logistics of Christmas! Help magic elves deliver and load gifts to Santa’s sledge before Christmas comes. Make sure they don’t run into each other or they will drop the gifts and children won’t get their Christmas presents. This isn’t just another line drawing game – the spirit of Christmas is at stake!

The Reality:

Fortunately the reality is that Christmas Mission bears no resemblance to Elf Bowling. Whew! Indeed, if I had to draw a comparison the obvious one is Flight Control.

Gameplay in Christmas Mission involves you creating paths for Elves to load gifts on sleighs. There are four different Elf types distinguished by appearance and color, each of whom comes out of a different house and then needs your help to get their presents loaded on to the correct sleight – which just so happens to be the same color as their outfit!

Creating paths is as simple as drawing a line, but you have to be careful to not have any two Elves crash into each other or it is Game Over! Each of the Elves behaves a bit differently, moves at a different rate, and carries a different number of gifts. Naturally the game starts easy but gets progressively harder as you proceed.

There are thirty levels spread over three locations – Laplandia, USA, and France. Each level of an area is similar in appearance to the others but gets progressively more difficult. When you complete a level you get a reward in your control room for that area. You are also required to find a certain number of secrets on various levels, but finding more stuff and bonus items leads to even more rewards – though many times you’ll be happy just to finish successfully!

Each area has a distinct musical theme and gorgeously detailed graphics – particularly in the control room! Technically the game is flawless: everything is tailored to delivering a fun gameplay experience in a package that wraps you up with the Christmas spirit, and it succeeds completely.

Elves Inc: Christmas Mission HD makes no pretense about being anything other than a fun Holiday-themed game. This game is a blast, but come the first of the year most people will remove it from their iPad and never play again – unless it is updated next year. But for a $1.99 game it offers enough deviation and variation from the Flight Control formula to be a great value and an absolute blast to play … and it keeps you in the holiday spirit!

Here is a trailer showing off some of the features:

Review: Elves Inc: Christmas Mission HD

Where to Buy: iTunes App Store

Price: $1.99

What I Like: Excellent visuals, music and sound effects; controls work perfectly; fun holiday game with excellent rewarding gameplay

What Needs Improvement: Will you ever touch this game again after December 31st?

Source: Review code provided by publisher

Categories: Gaming, Reviews