Ho, ho, ho! Well, it’s only bloody Christmas again! As you enjoy your time with your families and relax in a desperate attempt to help your digestive system process that mean meal you recently force-fed it, perhaps you’d like to keep that festive spirit alive a little bit longer by kicking back and celebrating the way we all really want to: with appropriately themed video games. Free games, nonetheless!
So sit back, munch on some After Eight mints (seriously, those only get eaten at Christmas time) and enjoy this selection of some of the best free Christmas-themed indie games available. Think of it as the video games version of that Quality Street tin your relative gave you earlier.
Garden Gnome Carnage
When I think of Christmas games, the first that always comes to mind is Garden Gnome Carnage from Daniel Remar (the guy behind Iji). In what is undoubtedly the best game in which you control a building on wheels, you must stop all of the little Santas from entering your chimney because presents are bad… or something.
Swing your gnome, throw bricks and generally just go all-out crazy in an attempt to stop this awful Christmas menace. The cat’s cool though, so make sure you let him climb on up your fine building self. This game’s still one of the finest arcade indie titles around, so download the game here!
Pen-Pen Xmas Olympics
Cutesy graphics and catchy music is exactly what you want from a Christmas game and thankfully that’s exactly what you’ll get from Black Cat’s charming Christmas-themed game. Play through three skiing games as a cute little penguin and feel the Christmas charm smack you right in the face as you rack up your score and try to qualify for the next round. Even Santa’s rooting for you, so download the game here.
Christmas Eve Crisis
Although a bit on the short and simple side, Christmas Eve Crisis is still filled with Christmas spirit and will have you finding presents that have become lost when your sleigh crashes. Due to its simplicity, it may be better suited to delight young ones in the family whilst you buzz around picking up endless bits of Christmas wrapping paper from the floor. Unless you’re just in it for the Christmas cheer of course, in which case this game will certainly suffice. Download the game here!
Christmas Island/Christmas Island 2
For whatever reason, cutesy platformers and the Christmas theme go hand-in-hand, and Chris Street’s Christmas Island games make that very apparently so with their bold graphics and charm. Although the controls are a little unorthodox, it doesn’t take much getting used to and these are two generally enjoyable little games. If Christmas and short platformers/Metroidvanias are your kinda deal, then definitely download the first game here and its sequel here.
Merry Gear Solid: Secret Santa
Metal Gear Solid meets Santa in this genius top-down stealth game. Playing as Solid Santa, you must use the tools at your disposal to sneakily deliver presents after the U.S. government closes down on unknown aerial objects. With voice-acting, original music, lovely graphics as well as hilarious nudges at the series it’s spoofing, there’s really no better way to top off Christmas for a gamer other than with this (and perhaps its equally fantastic sequel.) Download the game here!
Santaman and His Iced Muffins
Santaman’s lost his iced muffins and you’ve got to get them back because… uh, I don’t know, let’s pretend they fuel his sleigh or something. It’s another grid-based platformer and acts as the sequel to Santaman Got the Blues, but again it is filled with charm and Christmas spirit and still stands up years on as one of the strongest Christmas-themed indie games available. Download it here.
The above image is of your character, Tom, tossing snowballs at a snowman that’s spitting yellow snowballs at you. Yellow snowballs, folks. It doesn’t get much more Christmassy than that! This run-and-gun-esque platformer is moderately difficult but follows the Christmas theme without being another standard cheery platformer, so if urine-stained snow and Mega Man is your kinda thing, then download the game here.
Christmas Time Heroes
Christmas Time Heroes by GalaxyTrail Games is a surprisingly deep and enjoyable run-and-gun/platformer game for an unknown Christmas-themed indie game. Playing as a peacekeeper of the Spectrum Force, your aim is to stop the Rednoses and their leader Lord Sled, who are starting war against the normal reindeer. With bosses, power-ups and enough interesting levels and enemies to keep you entertained, this is perhaps one of the only Christmas games that you’ll sit and play for a few hours until you’ve completed it. Download the game here!