December has arrived at last, and most people's thoughts are inevitably turning towards Christmas. However, for some people, Christmas is a burden which somehow seems to arrive earlier and earlier each year... Thus, Mini Gamers has compiled a list of festive video games and accesories that will make even the most grumpiest, die-hard Scrooge feel Christmassy!
Nintendo DS/DSi Christmas Games
1. Disney's A Christmas Carol
This game puts a very interactive twist on one of the oldest and most-loved Christmas stories. Players must help move the plot along by using the stylus and DS microphone to aid Ebenezer Scrooge as he learns about the true meaning of Christmas.
The game has a really festive feel to it and contains several Christmas-themed mini games including snowball fights, building a snowman, cooking a traditional Christmas dinner, decorating Christmas trees and even singing Christmas Carols.
As well as the main storyline, each scene in the game contains festive items such as snowflakes, bells, angels and presents to collect. All the collected items can be placed on a big animated Christmas Tree at the end of the game.
The game is quite short, which makes it perfect for younger gamers, but adult gamers can't fail to be charmed by this little Christmas adventure either. This is the perfect family game.
2. Enchanted Folk and the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
This game is a life simulation which is played in real-time. That means that when it is Christmas in real life, the inhabitants of this magical little town are also busy 'Decking the halls' and preparing for a visit from that cheerful little guy in the red suit.
As well as finding festive items such as Christmas Stockings, Christmas Cards, Presents and Christmas Trees appearing in the local shops around the town, players will also be asked to take part in several Christmas-Themed Mysteries whereby they will meet winter magical beings including faries, and even get to lend a hand to Father Christmas himself!
Furthermore, a special Winter festival gets underway in early December each year. Players must collect several different coloured snowflakes that fall on the ground around the main town, forest and beach areas. Players who manage to collect one snowflake of each colour before the deadline will get a special prize.
This is a great game for fans of Life Simulations all year round, and the festive preparations of the virtual inhabitants will instantly make the December evenings feel even more Christmassy.
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
To be honest, this is more of an anti-Christmas game, which of course makes it perfect for anyone who wishes that Christmas would go and bury itself in a very large pit and never come out again. Nevertheless, fans of the festive season will also enjoy this simple strategy game in which The Grinch must try and steal all the Christmas presents and Decorations from unsuspecting human families.
Players must utilise The Grinch's arsenal of Christmas stealing tricks such as sneaks, slithers, dodgy and whacks in order to complete tasks. Each of these techniques will open up their own mini-game where you will have to use skill and timing to succeed.
Adapted from the best-selling children's story written by Dr. Suess, this game features simple cartoon graphics and plenty of Christmas items and festive fun. The game also features several levels of difficulty, which makes it a perfect Christmas game for all the family.
PSP Christmas UMD Movies and Festive Film Downloads
Unfortunately, the PSP does not really have any Christmas-themed video games of its own (bah, humbug), but that does not mean that PSP owners cannot use their PSP to get themselves into the Christmas mood this year. Instead of festive games, why not treat yourself to a selection of Christmas UMDs or downloads instead?
Mini Gamers has cherry-picked our festive favourites from the host of new and traditional Christmas UMDs and downloads on offer. These are the films which made our top five:
Jim Carrey stars as the cantankerous old Mr. Scrooge in this imaginative re-telling of the yuletide classic. The film features lots of spectacular C.G.I action sequences and plenty of recognisable Christmas characters and festive fun. This film is both heart-warming and enjoyable for both adults and children alike.
The film is DOWNLOAD ONLY and is available to either rent or buy from the Playstation Network Store now. Please note that a PSN Store Account will be necessary to allow purchase of downloaded movies or games.
2. Fred Claus
This film takes a whole new look at the legend of Father Christmas and chooses instead to focus on his elder brother, Fred. Fred is tired of being the brother of a worldwide figure of giving and selflessness and is highly disenchanted with the whole Christmas tradition.
Nevertheless, when Fred requests that his brother (who, let's not forget, is Father Christmas) send him £5000 in bail money, St. Nick's patience finally wears thin and he demands that if Fred wants his money he must agree to come to the North Pole and work over the Christmas period. Fred reluctantly agrees, which is when a whole host of Christmas hilarity ensues...
This film is a refreshing change from traditional Christmas stories and even though it has a PG certificate, it still contains plenty of inferred adult humour which is sure to entertain. This UMD film can be purchased from stores such as Play.com or HMV or directly downloaded from the PSN store.
3. Santa Claus: The Movie
This film has been digitally restored from the original 1985 version and stars the late Dudley Moore as an ambitious and imaginitive Elf known as Patch. When Patch loses his position as 'Head Elf' at the North Pole he decides to leave and finds himself in New York City where he meets a greedy toymaker who is keen to exploit the naive elf's creative ideas.
However, Patch's toys are poorly made and soon children from all over the world are suffering from the effects of Patch's shoddy workmanship. Can Santa Claus locate his missing elf and create a new batch of toys in time for Christmas Eve?
This film is a true Christmas classic. It tells the story of how Santa Claus became the figure that everyone knows and even attempts to explain how Santa's reindeer can fly and how a fat man can somehow fit down the chimney. It might be over twenty-five years old now, but this film is as ageless as the legend of Father Christmas himself.
The film is DOWNLOAD ONLY and is available to buy from the Playstation Network Store now.
4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Join Clark Griswold and his family as they prepare to celebrate the Christmas season with each other. Packed full of hillarious slapstick and witty dialogue, this film will have all the family roaring with laughter.This UMD film can be purchased from stores such as Play.com or HMV or directly downloaded from the PSN store.
5. Bad Santa
Billy Bob Thornton is Willie T. Stokes, a wise-cracking Department Store Santa who can't help but be more naughty than nice. Underneath his ill-fitting red suit, Willie is actually a safecracker who makes one big score every year - on Christmas Eve.
As shoppers head home from the mall, this Santa and his ingenious Elf - Willie's midget partner-incrime Marcus - crack the store safe and make off with their own holiday stash. But then comes Phoenix.
Here Santa and his Elf find their annual heist endangered by a store manager, a mall detective, a sexy Santa fan and an innocent but beleaguered 8 year-old misfit who decides to believe that Willie - as intoxicated, acid-tongued and felonious as he seems to be - is the real Santa he's been seeking?
This film is a very clever anti-Christmas movie which somehow still manages to make people feel festive. The dialogue is sharp and the action is brilliant - full of twists and turns. Nevertheless, with its 15 certificate, this is a Christmas film that will not be suitable for very young children.
This UMD film can be purchased from stores such as Play.com or HMV or directly downloaded from the PSN store. This title can be downloaded as a rental only from the PSN store as well.
So there you have it - games and films which are sure to make you feel in the mood for Christmas. The Mini Gamers blogsite will be here throughout December and we will be bringing you tips for all the top gaming Christmas presents for every different kind of gamer, as well as continuing to bring you all the latest news and reviews in the world of handheld gaming.