By Iman Ahsan
Puppet Combo, the creator of Stay Out of the House and Feed Me Billy, starts off the new year with a festive slasher horror called Christmas Massacre.
Christmas Massacre is yet another classic horror game, except this time, you’re the killer.
Around the time of Christmas, people have unfortunately been naughty, and it’s up to Larry (the protagonist) to punish them. With the aid of a talking Christmas tree, Larry sets out on an adventure to rid the world of evil just in time for the holidays.
The game first takes place in a Catholic school during the year of December 1959. It starts with Larry being scolded by a nun, who tells him that he is prohibited from going to the Christmas party for reasons unspecified. However, with the player’s help, Larry manages to sneak into the lobby where the party is being held. Sneaking past the nun and the partying children, Larry obtains a knife from the kitchen and then proceeds to murder the nun who had scolded him earlier. Once killing the nun, Larry goes after the partying children and kills them as well.
Twenty years later, Larry now lives alone in a small house in a remote area. As Christmas Day is approaching, Larry’s christmas tree informs him about the large number of naughty people this year. His tree then instructs him to go out and kill every person who has been naughty. Once Larry leaves the house, the game officially starts.
There are a total of four missions, with each mission being more difficult than the last. With each mission, the player must pay close attention to the status box, which has a noise and a shadow meter. Larry must keep both of these meters relatively low in order to go unnoticed. However, once he gets spotted, he must be quick in his mission to rid the naughty people otherwise they’ll escape or he’ll get caught by the police, which ends the game.
The game requires strategic planning and a lot of crouching around the corners in order to help Larry succeed in his tasks. At the end of each mission, there is a rank about the player’s performance. The rank depends on how much time the player spent on the mission, the bodycount, and their score. However, whether the rank is high or low, it doesn’t impact the ending of the game.
Moreover, the game contains interesting details. For one, this game takes place in the same Puppet Combo universe as the Nun’s Massacre. The nun who had scolded Larry in the beginning of the game has the same model as Janie, the titular killer from the Nun’s Massacre. In addition, the Catholic school in the beginning is the very same school from Nun’s Massacre. It’s possible that the prologue of this game could be a prequel to the Nun’s Massacre.
While Puppet Combo games are generally terrifying, this game isn’t as scary since you’re the killer. However, this game is definitely one of Puppet Combo’s more stranger games like Feed Me Billy and Samhain. This game is quite similar to Feed Me Billy as both protagonists in those games are instructed to kill by something inanimate/non-existent. However, unlike Feed Me Billy, there is no human sacrifice going on. If anything, this game is more like a killer simulator, rather than a horror game.
Despite the overall disturbing atmosphere, the game is quite enjoyable. It may not be a classic survival horror game, but it’s a relatively enjoyable, fast-paced game that engages the audience and rewards them with a humorous ending. The graphics of this game are similar to what you expect in a PS1 game, which makes the violence and gore highly disturbing. I would like to warn all the potential players who are sensitive to violence and gore not to try this game as it may be upsetting. However, if you’re a fan of cat-and-mouse types of games and can tolerate gore and violence, then Christmas Massacre is for you.