Escape From Santaland

A cheerful little puzzler, inoccuous and inoffensive. The heart of the game is its puzzles, and it makes no bones about it; that said, the "story" component is consistent and humorous enough to knock it a notch above the level of mere window dressing. We know who the hero is and why he's in this situation, and that much of the story is plausible and capably written. This does wonders in encouraging a sense of trust in the player, and in creating an atmosphere conducive to poking around in the game.

Knowing straight off that it's an old-fashioned puzzler changes one's approach, I suppose. There are a few actions which one takes only because they are possible and there are no other options. In a more story-oriented game, this would be somewhat annoying, but, as it is, one accepts that this is what must be done to move the game along. I'm referring mostly to the puzzle involving the train: there is no reason to think that messing around with it would bring one closer to one's goal. However, I should also note that one need not actually solve that puzzle to proceed. Or, to be more precise, one need not solve both of the "find the model reindeer" puzzles to proceed. Having identified two of the reindeer, the third can be brute-forced. And this is something that the author has indeed considered, judging by the response to the brute-force solution. That's a little something extra that I can very much appreciate.

I suppose my main gripe is with the map. I could do with fewer "corridor" spaces, rooms that exist only to expand the map.

As a breakfast, this is waffles with cinnamon butter -- heavy on the cinnamon -- and sweet, sweet honey, accompanied by hot apple cider.