Quiet Christmas Review

Title: Quiet Christmas
Developer: Nostatic Software
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download:  8 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download, Direct Download
EU Availability: Currently Unavailable

We wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas on this 25th of December.  We surely hope you will be spending some time with your loved ones today, but for those of you who are not, and for after everyone’s Christmas times are over, we have something special and appropriate for you guys to read over today.  We have a Christmas-themed review that we’ve written for you to enjoy on Christmas Day.

Every Christmas, we have much preparations to do, especially for young children.  Cookies and Milk need to be made and left for Santa.  Everyone needs to get in bed.  The water needs to be turned off, food needs to be in the fridge, and presents should be wrapped and under the tree.  So many things need to be done and kids always have fun doing all of those things.

PlayStation Mobile has a fun, little title that lets you revisit all of those things and relive all the things you needed to do to prepare for Christmas and Santa Clause, taking the role of a young girl who is preparing her home for Christmas.  If you’re a fan of side-scrolling and puzzle games, here is our official review for the PlayStation Mobile title, Quiet Christmas.

Story

The plotline of this game is something that a lot of people may be able to relate to.  We aren’t having a huge Christmas Fantasy Story about riding Rudolph to the North pole or helping Santa save Christmas.  This happens in the household of a very ordinary young girl, along with her little brother and parents.  It is Christmas Eve and there are many preparations to do for Christmas.  Santa needs Milk and Cookies.  The annoying neighbor needs to be dealt with.

There isn’t a whole lot to plot to this, other than that.  You are a young girl who is finding items and assisting her family members will preparing for Christmas and falling asleep before Santa arrives.  I think this is unique as this is a game that any of us can relate to from our childhood.  There aren’t many games that have a realistic scenario that we can relate to in such a way we can with this around Christmas time.

The scenario really has a cute, funny atmosphere to it.  Everyone is so enthusiastic about everything, and when you get things ready, your little brother nearly gives himself a heart attack from being so excited about Christmas.  We found ourselves feeling happy and smiling as we played and saw these people so excited about the holiday season.

Gameplay

At its very base, this game is a side-scrolling adventure game.  It is also a puzzle game, in a way.  You are pitted in this young girl’s bedroom, with much excitement with the fact that Christmas has almost arrived.  However, this responsible young lady has much preparations to do.  Your goal is help get everyone to bed and everything set up for Christmas.

You can run from room to room, and floor to floor, and your goal is to get everything where it needs to be.  There are several tasks to do, and several items around the house that you must collect to complete these tasks.  For example, to bake cookies, you need all of your ingredients.  The ingredients are on a shelf you are too short to reach, so you have to find a mixing bowl and a ladder, so you can climb to the shelf and put the correct ingredients for the cookies and mix them before baking them.

For nearly every task involved in this game, you will find yourself combing the house and interacting with everything you find, to find hidden items.  You will need to look absolutely everywhere, for some items are hidden well, such as being part of a Snowman or hidden in the trunk of the car in the garage  The game is very simple, but it had me thinking a lot and ultimately, I got lost several times.  So, don’t let the game fool you.  There is a bit of challenge to it, despite its cutesy design.

One thing to remember is that you can only carry one item at a time.  So, if there are two items on opposite ends of the house that go for the same task, you need to get them and return them to the task’s person or object separately.  You cannot grab one, then the other, and bring both of them back.  So, as you play, you should interact with everything and remember where everything is.

Another aspect of challenge is your little brother, running around the house.  He is a mischievously little child.  He follows you around the house and opens and closes doors, and grabs the items you need and runs off with them.  This can get a little frustrating, especially when the butter you need for the cookies is right in front of you and he nabs them and runs off with them, only to leave them who-knows-where.

Time-wise, the game can easily be finished in less than an hour.  It wasn’t meant to be long, but just a fun, little game to play around the Christmas Season.  While it is short, it’s a very cute game.

Controls

As a simple game, Quiet Christmas has simple controls.  There isn’t a huge multitude of things to do in the game, so not too many of the PlayStation Vita’s buttons are used as the game is played.  Of course, the buttons are not the only option.  Being a PlayStation Mobile game, there is also a set of controls there for use of the touch screen.  As you may or may not know, PlayStation Mobile is also available on Sony tablets and phones, which do not have physical buttons.

If you wish to use the physical buttons on the PlayStation Vita, controls are pretty simple.  Not as simple as with the touch screen, but still simple.  Moving the protagonist around the house is used by either using the Left Analog Stick or the D-Pad’s left and right buttons.  Since the game has no exploration that moves up, there is no use for the Up and Down buttons.  You also cannot jump in the game, so the only ways you can go are left and right.

Interacting with objects and people is done with the Square and Circle buttons.  When you stop in front of an item, you will get a prompt with what you can do, along with a button.  These interactions can range from opening a door, taking an item, tickling your brother, or giving something to someone.  Note that to get the prompt you have to be completely stopped.  Other than these, you can open the Menu with the Start button, and Circle selects an option in the Menu.

The Touch Controls are little simpler to use than the button controls.  To move in the touch screen, you can either slide your finger across the screen in the direction you wish to move, or you can hold your finger down against where you want to do.  Either one works pretty well.  Interacting with objects is done by double-tapping the screen over the objects.  This is a little trickier to get it to work than simply pressing the Square or Circle buttons, but it works once you use it for a while.  This is one game where while the buttons add a little more precision to the game, it’s not drastically better than the touch controls.  You don’t need quick response times for Quiet Christmas.

Presentation

Pixels.  That one word is a good way of describing the presentation of this game.  The graphical design is vibrant with colors, but there is a very basic, retro style of graphics.  Everything is in very basic pixels.  You can tell that each Christmas present looks like an oversized pixel, as do many parts of the character models.  This is so much to the point that I couldn’t tell the protagonist is a female until her little brother ran by and said “Merry Christmas, Sis!”.

Now I’m not saying this is bad, but I wouldn’t call it great, either.  For what it is, it looks cutesy, colorful, and bright, which is good with the Christmas Season.  However, it could have used more polish.  It’s not such a great thing when you play a game and cannot tell what gender your character is until someone calls them “Sis”.

As far as sound goes, it also goes with the Retro style.  It plays and sounds like a game from the NES era, which goes with its design.  It works well with the rest of the game, though fails to bring any memorable music.  As I wrote this review, I had to reboot the game again to remember what the music sounded like.

Overall

Quiet Christmas is a peaceful and cute game themed around Christmas.  While the presentation and complexity of the gameplay are nothing special, this is a fun game that anyone can remember their childhood and relate to with Christmas time.  It’s a short, fun game to help you get into the Christmas Spirit.

The PlayStation Vita Review Network rates Quiet Christmas a 6/10

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