RetroCollect's Top 5 Festive Christmas Retro Games

Christmas-Nights-Sega-Saturn-ArtworkChristmas wouldn't be the same without the unwrapping of games, new consoles arriving under the tree and the long break from work to sit back and enjoy your backlog of games. So today we will cover the best Xmas themed retro games around.

Sadly there are very few Christmas games out there. Understandably there is little shelf life for games aimed at a single month of the year, yet a small selection have slipped into stores over the years or via cover discs on magazines. Now of all times is perfect to dust off these Christmas games and get playing without getting funny looks from those around you.

5 - Santa's Xmas Caper

For Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum)

Santa's Xmas Caper was released in 1990 by Zepplin Games. Developed by Reflective Dreams, it has everything you'd expect from a budget home computers platformer released across a wide range of platforms. This game was also featured as one of the gaming challenges in the second season of the popular British TV show Gamesmaster, festive episode #13 in the series.

Featuring your standard jumping action, collecting presents, throwing snowballs, riding crackers, you can't really fault this little game. Apart from the fact it can be completed in as little as 11 minutes featuring a very abrupt "You Won, Game Over" single screen ending. Never mind that though, this leaves plenty of time for the next game on the list.

4 - Jazz Jackrabbit 2: Holiday Hare 98

For Windows PCs

Jazz Jackrabbit 2 is arguably one of the greatest PC platform games to ever come out. It features a fantastic soundtrack, impressive visuals for it's time and a very tight control scheme. So it should come as no surprise that it got the Christmas treatment in 1998.

Jazz Jackrabbit 2: Holiday Hare 98 is a repackaged, re-branded Jazz Jackrabbit 2 featuring a whole array of new levels in a festive theme with a few new enemies. If you haven't already played the classic Jazz Jackrabbit 2, we suggest you do before you get all festive with this Xmas outing. This version features ten specially themed levels, enough to keep you going over the holiday.

3 - Daze Before Christmas

For Super Nintendo and Sega Megadrive

Lets face it, no Christmas retro game list would be complete without the addition of the game of Christmas past. Daze Before Christmas is yet again, another festive platform game featuring Santa as the main character. Daze Before Christmas however features a much darker side to the winter antics by featuring evil elves, angry presents and snow monsters. Not your average Christmas game!

On a collecting note, it is worth noting that Daze Before Christmas for the Sega Megadrive is an Australian exclusive title in high demand from the collectors. Daze Before Christmas for the Super Nintendo also fetches a hefty price tag and yet again is exclusive to a single country, Germany. Snap it up before it's too late!

2 - Holiday Lemmings

For Commodore Amiga, MS-DOS and Macintosh

Holiday Lemmings (Also known as Xmas Lemmings) was released in 1993, just in time for the Christmas holidays. Those cute little critters made a come back, sporting adorable red santa outfits as they fell into a snowy environment with nothing but their usual tools of escape. Holiday Lemmings also replaced all the existing music from the game with specially prepared Xmas songs to get you feeling rather jolly, hunched over your computer.

The first version of Holiday Lemmings was released in 1991 as a two level bonus disk to those who bought Oh No! More Lemmings. It then saw release on a four level demo disk in 1992 before its real commercial release in 1993. The festive update of Lemmings proved rather popular that a sequel featuring another 32 levels titled Holiday Lemmings 1994 was released a year later. Lots of Lemmings fun to be had this Christmas, that's for sure.

1 - Christmas Nights

For Sega Saturn

Was there ever any doubt that this game would not be at the top of any Christmas game list? Nights already holds up as one of the best releases in the 90's hands down, any additional levels will come as a welcome addition to both the gamer and collectors libraries. Christmas Nights for the Sega Saturn was a re-branded version of the game, which was given away free in the UK on the front of Sega Saturn magazine in December 1997.

While this version of Nights only featured a single level which could be played by either character (offering different paths), it actually held a few Easter eggs hidden presents deep within. The most memorable of these, was Sonic Team adding in a hidden playable character you may also know as (the one and only) Sonic The Hedgehog. Not bad for a magazine freebie and well worth picking up on eBay should you get the chance.

Last Updated ( 10 December 2010 )  


Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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(Link to this comment) Tepid Snake 2010-12-10 23:54
Nice article, should've expected Christmas Nights at the top! Those hidden presents take ages to unlock, but they're worth it- some very interesting goodies in there, like the art galleries and of course the Sonic level.
(Link to this comment) JoeMD 2010-12-12 05:23
You know, when I owned my original Mega Drive alllll those years ago I actually had a copy of Daze Before Christmas. I slap myself in the head constantly for ever selling it.
(Link to this comment) Cauterize 2010-12-14 12:33
*gulp* Dare we ask what price your copy was sold for!?
(Link to this comment) JoeMD 2010-12-14 12:35
No, don't. It's heart breaking.

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