(WiiWare)

Christmas Clix (WiiWare)

Game Review

Christmas Clix Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Will Clix click with puzzler fans?

With the holidays fast approaching, we always seem to see at least a handful of aptly-themed games to go along with them. This year is no different on the WiiWare service with the release of JV Games' new puzzler Christmas Clix. Christmas Clix takes the classic "falling blocks" idea and combines it with a few new play control twists to form one of the more unique holiday puzzle releases to date and a game with a surprising amount of strategy and depth. But is this single-player experience really solid enough to warrant its slightly steep 1,000 Wii Point price tag, not to mention your valuable holiday gaming time?

If you've ever played any of the many falling block variety of puzzlers, you're likely to immediately feel at home with Christmas Clix. Your goal is to eliminate all of the Christmas presents and ornaments as they begin to build up on the playing field. As you take presents and ornaments out, decorations will be added to the Christmas tree next to the playing field. Once you've completely filled the tree with decorations, the tree top star will fall into the playing field, which you can click on to end the level.

To take out the presents and ornaments, you must match a present or ornament of one color with another that's directly next to it. With presents you can even take out more than two by selecting the first present in a line and then the present at the end of the line or even take out blocks of presents if you manage to have them all line up properly. As you eliminate presents and ornaments, candy canes will be dropped to the bottom of the screen that you can scoop up. If you can accumulate enough candy canes, you'll get a Special Event Star to drop down with a group of presents that will offer you up a power-up that can be useful for taking out large groups of presents and ornaments.

The game uses several power-ups ranging from a snowman that will allow you to toss snowballs at the presents to take them out quickly or even a tiny race car that you can drive over presents and ornaments with. You'll need these power-ups later on in the game when the presents and ornaments begin falling quicker. This will require you to find a good balance between taking out the presents and ornaments and scooping up candy canes to acquire power-ups. It adds a fun yet frantic pace to the later levels that makes the game quite challenging.

Another unique aspect of Clix are the mini-games. There are ten mini-games to unlock; these include everything from a Hit the Snowman snowball throwing contest to a Breakout-style one of taking out shards of ice for extra points. As you collect coins in the game, you'll eventually see a Toy Soldier pop up on the playing field. If you click on the soldier, you'll be taken to one of the mini-games. You can even go back on the main menu and play only the mini-games if you choose to. Of course, only the mini-games you've unlocked will be available for play.

The play control in Christmas Clix is quite easy to pick up and play and the added gameplay twists add plenty of depth and strategy to the experience. The mini-games are a nice diversion, but most of them are a tad on the easy side, so they're not likely to appeal as much to more experienced gamers. With 100 levels to play through, there's plenty of puzzle action to keep even the most ardent fan of the genre happy. Couple all of this with a smooth increase in difficulty and what you have is easily one of the better WiiWare puzzle experiences.

Visually Christmas Clix is solid. Not only does it have a very smooth look to it, but there's quite a bit of detail in the backdrops. There's also a lot of variety between the playing fields as each new Christmas tree is not only a different color but the backdrop itself is unique and matches as well. Even the presents and ornaments that fill up the playing field are very well drawn and animated as you roll over them with your pointer. While the mini-games themselves look a bit drab in places, the rest of the game shows a surprising amount of polish for a simple WiiWare puzzler.

As you'd expect from a Christmas-themed release, there are some really catchy Christmas tunes to be heard. You might even recognize a couple of them, like "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Even the tracks that don't seem all that familiar have plenty of Christmasy charm to them. The sound effects are equally well executed, although the lack of a "Ho-Ho-Ho" when Santa shoots the presents and ornaments from his bag is a bit disappointing. About the only complaint that could be leveled against the audio package might be that given the games huge number of levels, it might have been nice to have had a couple of more musical tracks to mix things up a little bit more. Other than that, it's a solid musical effort and compliments the game's Christmas theme quite well.

Conclusion

There's absolutely no denying that Christmas Clix is a fun and engaging puzzler that should appeal to many fans of the genre. Not only does the game sport a very easy control system, it has plenty of gameplay variety to keep things interesting. Of course, as enjoyable as the single-player experience is, you can't help but come away from it with a nagging feeling that the game could have been so much more had it featured a 2-player competitive mode of play, especially given the game's frantic pace and variety of ways to score points. But if you can overlook this glaring omission and just enjoy the title as a solo experience, you're likely to find a game your entire family can enjoy during the holidays. Just not at the same time.

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User Comments (58)

WolfRamHeart

#3

WolfRamHeart said:

Wow, what a surprise! JV Games finally made a good game! I'm shocked! It still isn't my cup of tea but for those out there hankering for a good festive Christmas game, this looks like it will hit the spot. Great review Corbie and Merry Christmas to you!:)

KnucklesSonic8

#5

KnucklesSonic8 said:

Well covered, Corbs. The lack of multiplayer is shocking. And it would be an easier recommendation if it were 500 points. 1,000 is gonna turn away a lot of people.

Noire

#9

Noire said:

Bwahahaha, so she'll still be speaking to you, huh Corbs? ;)

On-topic: Pass. I don't like puzzlers, so a seven doesn't do it for me. Also, I don't like the fact it's themed for a holiday...like I'll only be able to play it for a month before it goes out of style.

SilentJ

#10

SilentJ said:

Not bad. I was hoping this wouldn't suck. It would be cool if the theme was updated to suit each holiday.

DazzaAdmin

#11

Dazza said:

Wow this is a bit of a turn-up for the books! Well done JV Games, so long as your next game isn't WD-40: The Revenge then all is forgiven :-p

JayArr

#12

JayArr said:

Wow, I was really expecting this to be a lump of coal. Good review, Corbie.

Egg_miester

#14

Egg_miester said:

holy steel-toed boots did jv games make a good game that can't be true i may have to get it

Sneaker13

#16

Sneaker13 said:

Glad too read it isn't a bad game. I love Christmas, but no multiplayer makes it a no go for me.

Djungelurban

#17

Djungelurban said:

While I'm far from prepared to call this one "good" (wouldn't be the first time NL flubbed up one of their reviews), it is nice to see that JV is capable of doing something other than broken piece of crap...

vakama94

#18

vakama94 said:

well, since i have no one in my house to play with, i think i might get this, altough multiplayer would have been a really good idea

CorbsAdmin

#19

Corbs said:

(wouldn't be the first time NL flubbed up one of their reviews)

Wouldn't be the first time I banned someone today either. :D

warioswoods

#21

warioswoods said:

It looks absolutely horrible. It's not that I'm even opposed to a Christmas-saturated game, it's just that the visuals don't even succeed from a holiday standpoint by any stretch of the imagination. They look almost as aimlessly gaudy and color inept as that Oscar in Toyland mess.

I'll get more Christmas spirit by breaking out Batman Returns on the SNES.

Percentful

#22

Percentful said:

@warioswoods I was going to say that exactly but there's no point since you just said it.
I will not get this game, and I think it was a bad choice to make this themed after a holiday. They could interperet it two ways, I guess.
1) It's holiday season, so people will want to buy holiday games! People will want to play this during the season so lots will buy it!
2)people will think it's good for the season, but it wouldn't be as fun when it's not Christmas time. People will not want to get it if they can only play it for a month untill it's out of style.
I think they should have looked at it the second way and not added a holiday theme. Also, 1000 points is a lot. You could get such better games for cheaper! Totally a pass for me.

WiiCool

#23

WiiCool said:

"It looks absolutely horrible." - Sorry...that's simply a crock of poo. Too sugar coated? Maybe....horrible? Not even close.

Rawk_Hawk

#25

Rawk_Hawk said:

Very nice JV games:) A major step up from the abysmal Pong Toss. Maybe I will consider downloading this. I have to say I still think 1,000 points is a bit steep but congrats anyway.

Bigby

#26

Bigby said:

Why is everyone so focused on the fact that it's holiday themed. It's a fun game no matter what theme.

warioswoods

#28

warioswoods said:

They just clearly didn't have a single decent visual designer on staff, and it shows in the hideous colors and layouts.

Again, I could take a gushing holiday game, and even one filled to the brim with Christmas imagery (I actually like that kind of thing when done well)... but this one is simply ugly through and through.

IMO, etc.

CorbsAdmin

#30

Corbs said:

I thought it looked quite good. Very smooth and HD-like. But perhaps a little too sugary sweet for some. :)

Digiki

#31

Digiki said:

Opinions aren't wrong. I think it looks horrible as well

Opinions can be wrong, you know.

y2josh

#32

y2josh said:

You're right, but if someone's opinion is it looks horrible then that is what they think. It's not a fact.

y2josh

#34

y2josh said:

It's not that its christmasy or kiddy looking. It just looks like something I could get free legally on my PC instead of giving up 10 dollars for.

warioswoods

#35

warioswoods said:

@35

That pretty well sums it up; it isn't the kiddy-ness or the Christmas-overload that bothers me, nor are the graphics blocky or lacking detail from a technical perspective, but they sure are ugly and cheap looking. It looks like a dime-a-dozen freeware game thrown together without a single staffer who understands visual art or layout.

But for those that enjoy it: I won't judge you, I enjoy plenty of ugly games. ;)

WiiCool

#36

WiiCool said:

"It looks like a dime-a-dozen freeware game thrown together without a single staffer who understands visual art or layout."
Hilarious.....ly.....wrong. I've taken the plunge and will voice my honest feedback soon enough.

Viper6391

#37

Viper6391 said:

Well, I guess it was third time's the charm for JV Games. Now if only they could keep it up although I do agree with wariowoods and y2josh about the visual style. If you look back at their game Incoming, the tank's eyes look like balls and the missiles....... well use your imagination. I do think JV Games needs to get a better visual designer, but then some of you think the visual style is good, so to each his own. I also agree about the steep price of $10 and having a lack of multiplayer. For $8 you can get Dr. Mario that has both online and offline multiplayer. If you don't want to pay any money, you got Bejewled on Facebook that you can play and it records your scores so you can try to beat your friend's best score. Does the game record your high scores by the way? Anyway, it's good that JV Games has finally made a decent game. However, I feel that this isn't going to sell very well due to their previous two games, the $10 price tag, lack of multiplayer, and the Christmas theme. If it makes the Top 20 well then good for them.

VGM

#38

VGM said:

Thanks alot Corbie.I made a bet that if you gave this game a 7/10 I'd have to purchase a game for someone here.:( So yeah thanks Mr.Magic number Seve......I mean Corbie the great reviewer.:P

Jeff2805

#43

Jeff2805 said:

@Ren - You gotta love a know it all who probably hasn't even played the game spouting off on the internetz. Real credibility there. :|

odd69

#44

odd69 said:

I was too harsh on this game i admit it, i know better than flame a game without trying it.But I'm still going to pass regardless.It's not my type of game and something still tells me that this is just a cash in. Then again my opinion could be wrong I'll never know because i will never spend my hard earned cash on something that i wouldn't enjoy. I much rather put up my christmas tree than play this.

Djungelurban

#45

Djungelurban said:

@Corbie
Haha! :D That would be one weak reason for banning someone... Can't handle criticism now can you? That's rather Stalinistic of you... :P (points towards Gradius and Niki reviews)... You know, I'm never gonna let you forget about that Gradius score... ;)

CorbsAdmin

#46

Corbs said:

I've had far weaker reasons for banning. My abuse of power knows no bounds. :D As for the Gradius review, I'd be disappointed if you did let me forget it. What fun would that be? :P

Sean_Aaron

#48

Sean_Aaron said:

"Yule love it?" What a missed opportunity. I luv it! I do like the visuals on this one, but 1000 for a puzzler now seems a bit high. I was happy to drop 1000 on Dr. Mario and Tetris Party (actually wasn't that one 1200?) because there just wasn't much WiiWare at the time and they had online play and multiple play modes. Despite not caring much about Xmas if it was cheaper I'd be more willing to drop the dough...maybe later.

Crunc

#49

Crunc said:

Who is going to play this after Christmas? It's bad enough hearing Christmas music in November.... Given that inherently short life-span, the price is especially outrageous.

Ryuuga

#50

Ryuuga said:

There's a PC demo version of this game on the website. I tried it and it was pretty fun, but not enough to justify the 1000 points price. I would gladly buy it for 500 or 600 pts, but without 2 player mode and with only one puzzle mode, it's no way worth 1000 pts.

Ren

#51

Ren said:

@jeff2805; after the video and a demo download from the site I think it was enough to judge quality. Seems like they spent a full two weeks on this one probably a week more than the others.

JeanLuc_Vaycard

#52

JeanLuc_Vaycard said:

I'm shocked. Many of us joked about this game before it was even out. I thought there was no way this would get more than a 2. You fooled me again corbs.

moomoo

#53

moomoo said:

I'm glad the game is decent. Considering it's a match three puzzler with no appeal in my eyes, I will not buy it. There's too many other things out there more worth my time.

WiiCool

#55

WiiCool said:

I've had the game for a while now, check out my comments in the Christmas Clix impressions thread.

Capt_N

#57

Capt_N said:

I may try the pc demo, but there are already things I want to d/l from both WW, & VC, & on top of that, 1000 pts is indeed steep for me/as far as I'm concerned.

@Sean Aaron: Yes, Tetris Party is 1200 pts. I thought that was pretty steep too, when I d/led it last January. But I d/led it specifically for family party/get-together purposes.

Rawk_Hawk

#58

Rawk_Hawk said:

I played the demo on PC and I must admit it was fun and very addictive. The overall presentation was very well done.

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