It’s Holidays Week here at Android.Appstorm! We will dedicate our time this week to bring you the best apps for the year-end festivities. From gift shopping to games, cooking and hosting, managing your to-dos, decorating your phone, it will all be about spreading the cheer and reducing the stress of the Holidays season.
Christmas is a time for fun and games when everyone comes together to join in with the holiday cheer. Thanks to your Android device and the Play Store, there is a wealth of Christmas themed games for you to enjoy alone or with your kids and loved ones.
Today, I’ll be looking at Santa’s Village, a free game that allows you to build the town in preparation for Christmas. With elves, snowman and Santa at your disposal you’ll soon be embracing the Holiday spirit with open arms.
How To Play
Starting up the game you’re brought to an empty patch of snow with a snowman in the middle. He will hand you your first quests and allow you to get quickly associated with the controls. These include adding buildings, creating toys and completing quests — the three main structures of the game. After completing the tutorial you’ll be able to talk to Santa to receive quests.
After building your first “Ice Castle” you will get access to a mini-game. You are allowed to compete in these daily to earn better rewards depending on difficulty level. As you advance throughout the game, more mini-games will become available.
The currency on Santa’s Village is worked out as Bells and Stars. Bells are needed to purchase items and are collected as rewards from buildings and toys. Stars are gained when you level-up, they quicken building work — allowing tasks to finish instantly.
Throughout the game after completing quests you will advance through different levels. Each level will give you access to different buildings and quests, each expanding your town further and further in preparation for Christmas day. After reaching level twenty you will be able to purchase everything and be close to a complete town.
At first, creating toys will take around thirty seconds to complete — which makes everything fast and exciting. However, once you advance and try to make buildings and better toys you’ll need to wait hours before they’re done and before you can reep your rewards from them. This means that you won’t be playing Santa’s Village constantly, you’ll have to set it away occasionally then come back to it later.
One gripe I have found with this process is that if you don’t return quickly, Grumpkins will destroy everything you’ve crafted and waste the last few hours of building. If you would like to undo the destruction, you’ll have to use one of your precious Stars, which you don’t really want to lose. The app does give you notifications though, so this can be avoided in some cases.
Interface And Functionality
The developers of Santa’s Village haven’t put a lot of time and effort into creating a masterful design for the game, but it still works. And what it lacks in aesthetics, it more than makes up for in functionality. The game uses a simple yet easy to navigate design, which is perfect for its structure and allows users to get quickly acquainted with the gameplay.
Santa’s Village is also available and appropriate for all ages. Christmas is a time for the whole family and this game would have been pretty pointless had it been only suited for five year olds. Personally, I could see anyone playing and enjoying this game, from kids to adults and grandparents — definitely one of its major assets.
What Can Real Money Get You?
Like nearly every free game out there, there are in-game purchases that make it easier to level up. 100 stars will cost you $4.99, and you can buy as much as 2000 stars for $49.99. These stars will allow you to buy 11 extra buildings that aren’t available for purchase with the regular Bells currency. The prices are certainly on the high scale for such a simple game — other games usually offer a $1 option to get you started. Personally, I won’t be purchasing any stars, but should you want to, the option is there.
Whenever you try a game for the first time, it’s the “fun” element that will set it apart deciding whether you’ll uninstall it within five minutes or play it for the next few weeks non-stop. Games such as Temple Run or Angry Birds have aced this, captivating audiences within the first few minutes. By comparison, Santa’s Village is a niche app for December. I doubt anyone will play it during the summer so that is the first thing which cuts its appeal.
The second problem that Santa’s Village faces is the non-continuous aspect — you’ll need to keep leaving the game and coming back to check building progress. That game style can be a bit of a hit and miss with different players. In this case, the game is one of the most solid ones and will will encourage you to keep playing. I know I’m still playing it after two weeks and I’m sure it’ll keep me entertained throughout the coming month.
All in all, Santa’s Village captures the Christmas spirit and allows you to be creative at the same time. The interface is weak in certain places and the in-game purchases are over-priced but the developers have created a game which is clever, fun and exciting all at the same time — a great download for anyone!