You can create and maintain a festive mood not only by eating Olivier salads and driving round dances around the Christmas tree, but also thanks to the Friv games. One example is Cthulhu Saves Christmas from Y8 Games.

In due time (namely, in 2010), we, of course, in vain missed Cthulhu Saves the World - the ironic JRPG, which joked not only about Cthulhu’s myths, but also about the cliché of “roles”, films, books, other Friv games and much more yet. And at the same time, she remained strong, sometimes very difficult RPG, stylized as a classic of the 90s - with turn-based battles, quests, pumping, selection of equipment and so on.

The game became popular despite the fact that mechanically it was almost a complete tracing-paper from a previous work by Y8 Games - Breath of Death VII, the same parody of JRPG. This studio, I must say, generally ate a dog (and not one) on such a humorous field - it is she who is responsible for the third and fourth parts of Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. Although more serious works are not alien to these people - for example, Cosmic Star Heroine , which we did not miss at one time.

And almost 10 years later, a prequel came to Cthulhu Saves the World , in which the legendary Lovecraft monster again loses its destructive power. Last time, he had to save the world in order to regain his strength and enslave the same world. Now the only way to regain strength and forever spoil the festive mood for people is to save Santa Claus, who was kidnapped by villains from the League of Christmas villains. The irony of fate, of course, is what Cthulhu jokes sadly, but nowhere to go.

In the process of saving Christmas, Santa’s granddaughter, similar to our Snow Maiden, Baba Yaga, resembling a pretty anime girl, and Belsnikel join the protagonist and his tentacles. The latter, according to some folkloric traditions, surrounded by Santa is responsible for discipline, so Belsnikel scared the kids so that they behaved well and obeyed adults.

Together they have to fight with many folklore (and not only) figures - Krampus, the Gray Horse, the mouse king, who controls the huge walking fur, and even with Snow White and the seven dwarfs, where ... the dragon acts as Snow White. That is, about no spirit of Lovecraft(Howard Lovecraft) and there can be no question, the maximum here is mentioned familiar to fans of the words, names, names, and Cthulhu periodically says Fhtagn! But this is the concept of a purely parody game.

All this, of course, is accompanied by various more or less successful jokes about video game standards. “We are not just sources of experience for you! We are Family!" - enemies shout to us. “I will not save the useless NPC simply because I supposedly have nothing more to do and it’s customary to do this before the party goes to bed at the hotel. Let's go to sleep right away!” - indignant Cthulhu. Characters also often turn directly to the narrator, trying to break through the “fourth wall”.

But at Cthulhu Saves Christmasnot only joking about video Friv games. In the cemetery you can see the inscription: "If I saw you again, it was only to ask for a password for Wi-Fi." Cthulhu continually finds himself in amusing situations - for example, he dresses up as Santa Claus and tries to play with the kids. Naturally, nothing good comes of this. “You are the worst Santa in my memory. The number of hysterical calls from parents increased by 15% compared to last year. And last year was very bad, ”they say to our hero at the agency for organizing children's parties. He also buys sweets and goes to the society of anonymous villains, where all participants introduce themselves, talk about themselves and try to get rid of their malignity.

By mechanics, Cthulhu Saves Christmas is still the same odnokulnaya (both externally and gameplay) JRPG, where the characters are pumped automatically and mainly fight. Fights, however, are no longer framed as classic fights with a first-person view, but with a top view, but the essence of this does not change much. In their turn, the characters attack using unique skills, or use consumables from the inventory.

In place, the familiar mechanics of Hyper Mode, when the heroes accumulate, charge energy to enter a special mode and use modified, more powerful versions of their abilities. You can also put your enemies in a state of insanity, making them more vulnerable. In general, all opponents are vulnerable to certain types of elemental damage, and this must be taken into account when choosing who and what to attack. Moreover, if you designate some simple “skills” as active, then the stronger ones will appear “randomly” in the fight - this freshens the battles and introduces an element of unpredictability into them.

This is important, because cleaning the locations by itself is a fairly uniform process. On each map, we need to consecutively defeat all enemies (unless, of course, you want to get an additional “exp”) and get to the local boss, on the way we are also engaged in finding chests with useful loot. At an average level of difficulty, battles are won without any special problems and without the need to study combat mechanics in detail, to charge and combine something there. But with the bosses you have to sweat even at an average level of difficulty - not to mention the highest.

In between fights, we visit different places in the city to receive a particular item of equipment as a reward. You can go to the aforementioned cemetery, to the post office where the sect of "mailofilov" works, go to the beach, to the city council and so on. And it is especially important that we are free to spend time with one of our partners - to go to the cinema with the Snow Maiden, to the confectionery store with Belsnikel. Or visit the pretty Baba Yaga, who talks about her plans to create a living hut with built-in chicken brains (she cooks herself and moves to the right place!) And asks where to get her chicken legs.

So here the system of relationships (R'lyehtionships) with partners works. The more often we spend time with one of them, the more cool equipment we get for them. That is, by our choice, with whom to communicate more, we actually influence the leveling of partners.

So the little heroes here beat, get themselves, but get up and defeat the big ones.

Cthulhu Saves Christmas is not a very burdensome, complex, and lengthy game. And not too diverse in gameplay. But really funny, ironic and about Christmas - just what you need to create a festive mood.

Pros: funny plot and characters; An interesting system of relationships with partners; challenging boss fights.

Cons: the uniform process of cleaning locations; many battles even on an average difficulty level seem too easy; the music quickly palls and begins to annoy.