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In the Service of Mrs. Claus

by Mathbrush profile

Fantasy, Holiday

Web Site

(based on 5 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Let me tell you the true secret of Christmas: Santa Claus died centuries ago. You see, in ancient times, as the Gods began to die, Santa Claus married a goddess. She was worshiped as Bast in Egypt, as Artemis in Greece, Diana in Rome. She's been called a witch, a hero, an assassin. You call her Mrs. Claus.

In the Service of Mrs. Claus is a 167,000-word interactive fantasy thriller by Brian Rushton, where your choices control the story. It's entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

When Santa died, Mrs. Claus invested the power of Christmas in Santa's Heart, which she buried with Santa in a top-security tomb beneath Claus Castle. But now, someone has stolen the Heart. As Mrs. Claus' top secret agent--her most trusted elf--you must go undercover to recover the Heart and take back Christmas from the forces of darkness.

As you unveil the dark secrets of the Fae, you’ll magic up giant marshmallows and deadly candy canes, romance sweet friends and roguish villains, and vie with the mysterious Krinkle Corporation to save Christmas from ruin. But in the final battles you must decide whether to blast the armies of darkness with your winter elf magic, or join them and betray your mistress.

-Play as a shape-shifting elf who flows between gender, species, and form at will.
-Clash with cults, gods, and giant corporations as they strive to overthrow Mrs. Claus's empire.
-Use magic to complete clandestine missions as Mrs. Claus's secret agent.
-Visit earthly children to determine their naughty or nice designations...and presents, if any.
-Decide the fate of Christmas and the Fae world itself.
-Discover the truth about Santa's death.
-Play nice with your enemies or put them on your naughty list.
-Restore Mrs. Claus to power, betray her, or marry her.

Christmas is coming. You'd better watch out.

Game Details


Expanded Customization:

-First chapter expanded by 60% and reorganized to make timeline clearer
-More options to increase stats and customize your character
-Fixed a few situations where characters with certain stat choices could never succeed
-Added more depth and usefulness to the trickery skill and the temperate trait
-Expanded the ending where you are a fugitive

Improved Romantic Options

-Two romantic partners (Candid and Flame) now have selectable gender, as does the player
-A new unique date for each RO
-Flickering Flame made a more sympathetic villain and a completely faithful romantic partner
-Happier endings for all romances.
-Players now have the option to have kids with their ROs

More Active Player Options

-Players have more agency in the world and more freedom at how to react to events
-Players can now save the List in Chapter 6 and the mysterious toy in Chapter 4
-Players now experience less existential despair (unless they want to)
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Editorial Reviews

In the Service of Mrs. Claus: Another long review nobody asked for
In the Service of Mrs Claus is the author‘s first game. As such, it does suffer from some typical beginner problems (locking the players‘ path in too early, being too inflexible with the stats in late game, having a controversial main character and not explaining this choice). Nonetheless, I enjoyed it a lot. It‘s fast paced and fun without being superficial and it has a high replay value. I had a hard time putting this book down again after having picked it up. I definitely would buy other games by this author in the future and I wholeheartedly recommend this title.
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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Fun game about mythology and Christmas, October 2, 2021
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: 2-3 hours

IFDB helpfully informed me recently that this is the only game that I've rated, but not reviewed. Time to remedy that, though apologies as, even though I've played this game three times, it has been at least a year since my last playthrough and my memory has faded a bit. This will be a shorter review than normal.

In this game you play an elf "In the Service of Mrs. Claus" who runs things at the North Pole (really another dimension populated by gods, dreams and things that go bump in the night), now that Santa himself is dead. You have a wide range of options in selecting your characters appearance and personality, and indeed a pretty wide range of options at almost every junction. I'm not familiar with the general Choice of Games style that much (though I hope to be more in the future), but I actually could have done with less choices. It seemed to me like they were coming at me pretty fast, and that the choices, especially at minor moments, where myriad and long. Thus, of all the words I read in this story perhaps a good 10% were not actually part of the story I chose.

The plot is wide ranging and deals with both magic and tech, with humans and your fellow extra-dimensional beings. There a bit each of mystery, romance, intrigue, combat, along with a heavy dose of magic. The game is very well implemented and even when choosing a wildly divergent path on the second playthrough I could see where the author had both incorporated my changes into pivotal scenes that I'd played through before, as well as providing new whole new scenes to enjoy.

In the end the plot just didn't quite grab me and I didn't feel as attached to the characters as I have in some other CYOA-type stories. It was fun with lots of variety, but didn't feel that deep to me. I hope the author tries his hand at choice-based work again though (he is better known for puzzle-centric parser games which are usually great). I think this game was a solid first effort and I'm eager to see what he comes up with next.

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In the Service of Mrs. Claus on IFDB


The following polls include votes for In the Service of Mrs. Claus:

IF that centers around holidays by Molly
I'm looking for IF that centers around specific real-world holidays, e.g. Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Passover, the Fourth of July, Guy Fawkes Day, Halloween, etc.

This is version 3 of this page, edited by MathBrush on 18 December 2020 at 4:53pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page