If you're looking for something to help get you in the festive mood, then Cave Story's Secret Santa might be just the ticket.

Developed by Nicalis in cooperation with Cave Story creator Studio Pixel, Cave Story's Secret Santa is “a bite-sized side story of stealth and puzzle-solving, with familiar characters and settings from Studio Pixel’s classic adventure.” You play as a “cowardly Mimiga named Santa” who is tasked with entered homes and returning stolen presents.

There's a stealth element at play here; upon entering each house, you need to make your way to the Christmas tree and return the present, all while avoiding the attention of patrolling Gaudi. Along the way, you can collect cookies for bonuses. There are 20 homes to infiltrate, each packed with secrets to find.

Here's some PR:

In Cave Story's Secret Santa, players take control of Santa, the Mimiga from Cave Story who lives in the Bushlands. His task is to return all the Christmas presents that were stolen by Chaba. As he tiptoes past the beds of sleeping residents and avoids being seen by patrolling Gaudi, Santa finds useful items, eats delicious cookies and places the gifts under the Christmas trees where they belong.

Santa can push or pull obstacles, turn light switches on and off, pry open ventilator shafts and more. But he'll have to watch out for hazards and avoid making any noises that might attract attention.

Cave Story's Secret Santa was developed by Nicalis with the cooperation of Daisuke Amaya of Studio Pixel, continuing a collaboration that began in 2010 with the console release of the original Cave Story. It will evoke pleasant memories of the video games that players enjoyed for the first time on Christmas day.

Cave Story's Secret Santa is currently available for free on PC (via Steam, GOG and Epic Games Store), with support for both English and Japanese, and is billed by Nicalis as a 'limited' release. It's also on for Switch, but only in Japan – and it will cost you 100 Yen:

You can, of course, easily download the game using this guide, if you so wish.

Cave Story's Secret Santa's similarity to another game hasn't gone unnoticed by those on Twitter, however:


Merry Gear Solid: Secret Santa was produced by Arthur Lee for The Daily Click’s Grid-Based X-mas Game Competition, where it won the Grand Prize. One individual on the social media platform claims that Lee was working with Nicalis on a Cave Story sequel before parting company following claims that Nicalis had mistreated its employees and 'ghosted' potential development partners.

We've approached Nicalis for comment and will update this story if we hear back.