Casual Cravers: Holiday Havoc App Review – Bursting With Holiday Spirit and Pixels

Since the holiday season is approaching fast and is technically around the corner, developers are taking the cue to start and release holiday-themed applications in light of Christmas and New Years. Certainly not the first of these, but one very worthy of a review is newbie developer, Underground Pixel’s first official iOS endeavor: Holiday Havoc.

Note: This game has not been released yet. It will be out on the US App Store tonight at 11 PM EST for $0.99. You can click on the links when it’s available to purchase.

Holiday Havoc offers the casual gaming that most iOS gamers like to see, made evident by past and current App Store hits. Rather than the norm, the game takes a sharp turn away from ideal casual games by presenting iOS a new concept. You’ll play as Santa, of course, and have defend your large stash of presents from personified nutcrackers and blue teddy bears; quite a nice premise, huh?

As you sit atop the thousands of presents, enemies will flood in from either side of the screen and will attempt to steal one present at a time. You need to shoot each and every one using the snowball launcher provided, which takes one tap on the screen to fire and has a 6-snowball mag which will require reloading after depleted. Similarly, there are also elves that will occasionally come in to augment the amount of presents you have one by one.

You have to get past me first!

Both by shooting an elf and by letting enemies escape back out the side of the screen they entered from, you will lose one of your three lives. Upon losing all three, the game will end displaying your total score compared to your best as well as along with options to view Game Center.

Artwork in this game yet again is rendered pixel by pixel. Reflective of the indie development outlet’s name, the game revolves around retro artwork and greatly-composed chiptunes to bring out a wave of nostalgia within you, while the game also manages to keep a clean, crisp look.

Everything together coalesces to make an addicting, quick fix that can be played whenever: the rush you feel as you notice the game’s speed increase rapidly, the constant burden of having to load your gun every six shot and the distress caused by shooting an elf come together beautifully that turns out to be both an attractive and wonderfully-executed casual game. While the initial excitement lasts, the game is tons of fun. There’s no real incentive to keep on playing other than the ten achievements that you’ll most likely blow through rapidly and the leaderboards to compete with other players. Even so, the pixel artwork and the gameplay concept themselves are enough to recommend the game; the low price of $0.99 is just some extra icing.

Note: This game has not been released yet. It will be out on the US App Store tonight at 11 PM EST for $0.99. You can click on the links when it’s available to purchase.


iPhoneAlley rates Holiday Havoc 4/5 stars. It’s down our alley!

Note: This video was filmed awhile ago so may not show everything included in the game like powerups, reloading, etc.