Rocket Santa 2
A great flash game will mimic a person’s desire for maximum reward for minimum effort by being easy to pick up but extremely fun and difficult to put down, and the Rocket Santa series fits this criteria somewhat. The original Rocket Santa was definitely a game worth feeling some Christmas cheer over, and Rocket Santa 2 is a sequel that hopes to expand on this cheer, upgrading it if you will with extra features and inclusions to make the whole thing generally more enticing to play.
There are no radical gameplay changes from the original, with the aim still being to launch Santa as far as you can into space (preferably to the moon) by using a makeshift rocket. To launch Santa you must first consult the power gauge on your cannon that initially provides the first jolt of force to Santa to get things going; clicking the left mouse button when the rapidly-fluctuating needle reaches green on the gauge (green is the maximum level of launch power you can achieve) shoots Santa into the air with a good amount of force and is the best start you can hope for. Once airborne, you must use the mouse to control Santa’s lateral movement across the screen, paying particular attention to the amount of fuel you have left, the quantity of which is split into two types: primary booster fuel and secondary booster fuel. Your primary boosters are always firing automatically whereas your booster can be activated by clicking the left mouse button.
Aside from travelling into outer space and reaching as high of an altitude as you can manage, your secondary purpose when airborne is to collect coins in order to spend them on upgrades, the purchasing of which allows you to improve your rocket and other tools in order to make Santa travel further next time. You are able to make improvements to your jet pack, helmet, and booster cannon in order to increase boost time, decrease resistance and get a more powerful initial launch respectively.
Other upgrades can also be purchased such as magnet power which draws money in towards you, extra boost time so that you can last longer in the air, and also various upgrades that result in you earning more money per round. The upgrade system is initially restricted and requires you to complete a certain number of launches before you can access some of the items, making the process a little slow and frustrating, but this only serves to increase the satisfaction when you manage to unlock them.
Rocket Santa 2 is packed full of style with Berzerk Studios’ classic polished look that can be beaten only by an improved game engine, the likes of which used by fellow launch game Satellite Launch. Rocket Santa 2’s soundtrack is unique since it takes traditional Christmas songs and twists them into a heavier style more akin to rock or metal. The soundtrack certainly helps to alleviate some of the monotony that can develop as you launch repeatedly, but the main problem with the game is with the upgrade system, which simply feels too slow and requires too much grinding to make any real progress. This is still an extremely well-designed launch title however, and is beaten only more refined casual titles such as Into Space 2. While this game is less Christmas-oriented, it still involves a good mixture of skill, patience, and spare time, the latter of these things being pretty much all you have in the holiday season.