Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you can’t spread some good cheer. SantaCorp 2: Starlit Waltz is a fast-paced game about helping Saint Nick and getting the highest score while doing it. If you’re looking for a neon rush that could make F-Zero jealous, this is the perfect place to find it.
Created by Ethan Redd and Virtuoso Neomedia, SantaCorp 2: Starlit Waltz is an arcade game about helping spread holiday spirit. Santa’s magic is getting weaker and he’s hired an elite group of pilots and jolly-makers to brings gifts to the world. You play as a random member of the Santa Corps and fly around from building to building, making the world a nicer place.
Ethan Redd is one of the best designers that you may not know of. He has a knack for capturing speed in games. The original SantaCorps, released in December 2017, moved at a blistering pace and upcoming projects like Killer Auto and the mech-battler Blazing Legion look similarly hectic. Redd’s games are a neon-blast of energy, capturing arcade wonderment with a mixture of enthusiasm and wild spectacle. SantaCorps 2 ends up feeling like a holiday-themed rave.
The goal is simple: fly around a randomised city, leap down chimneys, and festoon each house with as much cheeriness as possible. Stuffing stockings, eating cookies, and hanging lights all happen instantly when you touch the right parts of the environment. It turns each foray into a new house into a feverish rush to just interact with everything as fast as you can. It’s Santa Claus by way of Sonic the Hedgehog. Act fast enough and you’ll earn points and extra seconds on your time. You play until you run out of time and then can set out again.
What helps set SantaCorps 2 apart from the first game is the inclusion of a small hub world, where you can wander and complete a handful of quests before setting out. It can mean finding a battery to power up one of the north pole’s bridges or carrying a tired elf to the reindeer stables. It breaks up the pace and allows a comfortable reset before you run. It also implies a larger world, with the sort of light video-game lore that accompanied early console games.
SantaCorps 2 is a small project. You go out, spread cheer, and repeat. But it’s made by a developer that injects style and flash into everything they do. It might be a little late for Santa but there’s always time for excitement, and SantaCorp 2 delivers.