IGN Preview of Disney's A Christmas Carol
When I walked up to the Disney Interactve Studios booth here at E3 2009 and saw a Christmas Carol game, I thought I might have to play some sort of platformer starring old-ass Ebenezer Scrooge. Thank god that's not what this game is. It's actually some sort of polarized adventure game, if you can figure that out.
Basically you play everything but Scrooge. I shouldn't have to explain the plot of A Christmas Carol. There are ghosts, there's a tiny boy, Scrooge learns his lesson. What you do, as a player, is make those events happen.
So this means you go through the game and influence the environment to affect Scrooge. Take one of the first levels for example. Scrooge walks home from work, and along the way he sees lots of signs of good cheer and Christmas Spirit, so he gets all cranky like Craig Harris without coffee. In order to do this players use the stylus to influence things. Tapping some carolers will make them sing, resulting in an angry fist shake from Scrooge. You can make icicles drop, get kids to throw snowballs at him, and other things.
Much of the game seems to be set inside, and players will act as sort of a ghost. Rattling drawers, knocking books off the shelf, or even directly summoning Marley's spirit set the events of the classic story in motion.
I can't say whether this will be fun, it's kind of weird and might be totally boring, but from what I've seen it's a neat idea. There are some minigames like tile puzzles, and a snowball fight to, so there is actually gameplay in here.
Oh, and to top it off, the game includes the entire Charles Dickens novel that you can read on the DS, Kindle-style. Books are back, kids! Which means you can read lines like:
"If I could work my will every idiot who goes about with Merry Christmas on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"
A Christmas Carol hits store shelves November 3.
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