Christmas Stories: A Christmas Carol Collector’s Edition (Big Fish Games)
Your uncle Scrooge writes you a letter, asking you for help. In order to grant his request, you must work with his good conscience and the ghosts of Christmas to save him from himself. Careful, because Scrooge’s evil alter ego seeks to undermine you at every opportunity.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure that you’re familiar with the classic story, A Christmas Carol. It is the tale of a rich old miser who must change his ways for the good of the world and himself. This game chose to take a different turn by having you take the role of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred. I’ll admit that this change is not one I’m crazy about at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against change and I do love the story Zombie Christmas Carol. The only difference is that the zombie version managed to stick to the original theme of the story with an extra plot about the undead walking among them. This version undermines the moral of the classic story. In the original Christmas Carol, the three ghosts of Christmas visit Scrooge to scare him into changing his ways. The Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge his past, forcing him to observe memories from his traumatic childhood and demonstrating how it made him the man he became. It also forces Scrooge to see the mistakes he’s made, such as choosing money over Belle, and showing the few bright spots in his life to make him see that he’s wrong. Scrooge is helpless to change his past and the bad decisions he made, showing a deep regret for some of his choices. The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the life he’s missing, such as taking him to Fred’s house, and the depravity of the world he refuses to face. It also demonstrates to Scrooge how he has the power to do something about this depravity. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come takes the appearance of the grim reaper and never speaks. This is to demonstrate how scary and unknown the future can be. Its job is to show Scrooge the future he will have if he doesn’t change his ways. Let me tell you, said future is not a good one.
In this game, the ghosts each make an appearance. However, spoiler alert, you get to change Scrooge’s past. I’m sure you remember the scene in the original story, when Belle didn’t like the man Scrooge became and broke off her engagement. Well, in this version, Scrooge tried to propose to Belle but the evil alter ego steals the ring and Belle gets angry, thinking Scrooge played a cruel joke on her.
Don’t worry, you can get the ring and change Scrooge’s present so that he and Belle not only marry, but also get to have children of their own. As I said earlier, the whole point of the Ghost of Christmas Past is to show Scrooge how bitterness and greed consumed him. While Scrooge is helpless to change his past, he can still learn from it.
The Ghost of Christmas Present asks you to take a letter to Scrooge from Bob Cratchit asking him to get medicine for Tiny Tim. Unfortunately, said alter ego took the letter and tries to destroy the medicine. That’s right, Scrooge’s current misery isn’t because he let greed and bitterness consume him. It’s because a little demon goes out of his way to sabotage him at every opportunity. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come makes its appearance and it talks. The whole point of this spirit is that it doesn’t talk. You also get to see Scrooge’s miserable present, which doesn’t make sense considering that you changed his past. He’s not the same man anymore, so he wouldn’t have a bitter future. There are also two other plot issues, such as Fred saying that he misses Fan. Since she died giving birth to him, he wouldn’t remember enough about her to miss her. Another one is that, when you first get to Scrooge’s house, he has a Christmas tree. The whole point of the story is that Scrooge hates Christmas. Why would he put up a tree in his house?
The Collector’s Edition comes with an extra story line where you explore kitty cat world and help Sherlock Cat find Santa Cat. It’s An American Tail with felines.
I’ll admit, this story is adorable but it really has no point other than to get you to shell out more money.
The game play is actually quite fun, with you going around and collecting objects to add to your inventory. You can use them to advance throughout the story. Some items require you to take place in a hidden object scene for you to collect.
You also play mini games that you have the option of skipping. If you’re stuck, use a hint.
While this game seems like the typical hidden object formula, it also has one extra addition. Remember Scrooge’s good conscience, who comes with you? He can animate objects in order to help you with your quest. In the extra storyline, this feature changes into a magnifying glass so you can collect paw prints.
This game is fun, but undermines the original story. I give it 5 out of 10; making an adaptation that completely ignores the message severely damages the game. However, the addictive game play makes up for it.