There’s no denying that Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year. If it’s not a case of running around shopping for presents, half of the family is frantically preparing whether it’s making sure the house is ready, dealing with arguments over who gets to decorate the tree, making sure there’s enough food in for the festive period – it never ends. But it can be a tough time for the kids as well, especially as excitement builds waiting for Santa to arrive…
This is where Quiet Christmas comes in. Following on from Mike Oliphant’s previous game in the series, Quiet Please!, this time we see our unnamed heroine on Christmas Eve and wanting desperately to settle down for the night in preparation for the man in the red suit to arrive. But the rest of her family have other ideas as always. It’s up to you to do everything possible to help the household settle for the night, stop making the noise they usually do (and surprisingly there never seem to be any complaints from the neighbours!) so you can finally manage to get a good night’s rest.
Quiet Christmas was originally released a short while after Quiet Please! and while it’s the third game released in the series on the PS Vita, it’s actually the second in the series having originally made its debut for Android and iOS devices in 2012. As with both the other games in the series, it’s incredibly simple to control and play. You move around using the d-pad, joystick or touch screen, use the on-screen buttons or square to pick up objects and on-screen controls or X to interact with the environment or other objects. As with the other games, you are only able to carry one object at a time so you have to think about what you carry and how you use it to solve the puzzles, especially as your kid brother has an annoying habit of grabbing items that you leave on the floor and running off with them!
If you’ve played the other games in the series, you’ll be familiar with the retro 8-bit look and feel of the game and the limited sound effects but as I have said before, considering the nature of the game, I genuinely believe that this adds to it’s charm. If, like me, you’re old enough to remember the 8-bit era well enough then the best way to describe the visuals is to imaging a more colourful but lower resolution Commodore 64 game. The animation of all the characters and backgrounds are limited to just a couple of frames each, but strangely after playing for just a short while it’s not something that you seem to think is a big deal and it doesn’t stop the characters in the game being full of personality. There are some out there that do want to see PlayStation Mobile take advantage of the full resolution and colour palette that the PS Vita has to offer but I don’t think a more contemporary look would suit this type of game particularly well.
As with Nostatic’s other adventures, the puzzles are logical without being frustrating but the biggest setback with Quiet Christmas is that it is far too short. I know that this was my main complaint with Quiet Please! but this game is even shorter. The first time I played the Android version of the game, I completed it within about 30 minutes and the same again for the PSM version. Even a novice adventurer will have no problem completing this in under an hour taking things at a relaxed pace, with most gamers finishing the game in around 30 minutes at most. Unlike the latest in the series, there’s no save game option but to be honest there’s no need for one.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad game. It’s fun to play, it’s engaging and has the same humour and engaging characters as the others in the series but there’s no repeat play value unless you want to challenge yourself to see how quickly you can run through the whole game again. It’s one of the cheaper PlayStation Mobile games available and pound for pound it’s still far cheaper than going to the cinema or renting a movie so it’s well worth the asking price even just to play it through once, but it’s not the best in the series. For that, I’d have to go for Vacation Vexation.
At A Glance
- Title: Quiet Christmas
- Publisher: Nostatic Software
- System: PlayStation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Cross Play: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 7Mb