Christmas is a holiday dusted with innocence and filled with hot chocolate. The idea of Santa brings joy to children around the globe. This magicaltime has been recreated by a plethora of movies, television shows and video games however, none of them have captured Christmas in such a way that brings out the child in me. That is, until I played Watch Over Christmas.
Watch Over Christmas is a point and click adventure game about a 12-year-old boy named Cisco. The night before Christmas, he climbed into bed eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival when his radio starts omitting strange sounds. The voice urges him to head to the attic and help save Christmas! After obtaining a few items, he makes his way to the attic only to find a strange glow dart out and all around the house! All Cisco knows is that he is the boy that must save Christmas.
When I was perusing through itch.io, I stumbled upon WatchOver Christmas and was amazed with the 2D hand drawn graphics. They radiate a playfulness you don’t often see in video games today. This alone was the driving force behind me downloading it and giving it a go. The game starts with the shadow of an evil hooded figure talking down to jolly old St. Nick,implying that Christmas wouldn’t be happening this year. The scene quickly turns to Cisco speaking with his mom, begging to stay up later however, after reminding him that is indeed Christmas Eve, he simply decides to go to bed.
As Cisco is about to turn in, a voice starts speaking to him through his radio, telling him that he must go to the attic and save him. This is where players begin their journey and let me tell you, it’s a tough one. With no directions, it took me awhile to figure out what I was doing. While this gave me time to appreciate the upbeat music, I found myself eventually getting annoyed. After I was able to get out of Cisco’s room, I found that the attic was locked, and I had to find a new way in. With no hints, tips, tricks, ordirection I found myself blindly clicking on things hoping for something to happen. This is how I would eventually finish the demo and earn two out of the three achievements. The game is beautiful,and the plot is awesome, I just feel that it needs a tutorial level in the finished product.
Overall, I loved the aesthetic of Watch Over Christmas and after completing the game I need have a sense of pride. However, this was after a good half hour of furiously Googling walkthroughs and YouTube tutorials. Thankfully, a kind blogger posted their walkthrough right in the comments section on the itch page. In the end, the kid in me was equal parts frustrated and amazed.