It’s December so this time of year will usually see an influx of festive titles – similar to the Halloween season, just not as scary – usually family focused, featuring a lovable Santa Claus and his cheerful elf companions. Some developers like Firstborn Games like to take a different approach to the holiday season, creating a darker experience that not quite suited for kids, enter Nick.
Nick is a tower defence style title for HTC Vive where players take on the role of Santa, who must fight off waves of evil robotic elves using various tools to build defenses and weapons to kill them.
While Firstborn Games could’ve just created a simple wave shooter the studio has built a sizable back story: “The year is 2027. Civil unrest grips the North Pole. Santa Claus, a Rockefeller-ian captain of industry and a figure of hope and progress, has fallen on hard times. His once insurmountable manufacturing empire has given up massive ground to the dual-pronged threat of overseas production and digital distribution.
“In order to keep up with a changing manufacturing landscape, Santa decided to automate his workshop by installing a mechanized, robotic production system led by an Artificial Intelligence named P.A.L. (Polar Algorithmic Computer). For the first few months, everything seemed copacetic. Then came an efficiency test… that Santa, by dint of being flesh and blood as opposed to mechanical marvel, inevitably failed. P.A.L. repurposed the once-peaceful robo-elf manufacturing arm into an army bent on assassination, and set out to wipe Santa from the face of the Earth. Why? To maximize profits, of course!”
The videogame originally launched last holiday season via Steam Early Access and has now been updated for official release. This sees three gameplay modes added: Chilled Out, Snow Problem, Elfmageddon, a new tutorial where players can master their weaponry skills prior to playing, and challenges like maintaining the workshop’s energy source by collecting battery cells dropped by defeated elves to power the generator.