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Day of the Sleigh

by Dee Cooke profile

2020

Web Site

(based on 3 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

It's Christmas Eve, and 17-year-old Eilidh has taken her young neighbour, Deirdre, shopping in town.  But when the department store suffers a power cut and Deirdre goes missing, Eilidh must help not only her babysitting charge but also the big man himself - Santa Claus!


Game Details

Language: English (en-GB)
First Publication Date: December 22, 2020
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Adventuron
IFID: Unknown
TUID: qxummxabvljj9mm

Sequel to Hallowe'en: Night of the Misty Manor, by Dee Cooke

Awards

5th place - Adventuron Christmas Jam

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Number of Reviews: 2
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Stuck with Santa and your little sister, January 10, 2023
by Andrew Schultz (Chicago)
Related reviews: Adventuron 2020 Christmas Comp

Day of the Sleigh hits several holiday notes for nostalgia and hits them well: it's the 80s, and you are a teen with a babysitting job. Today, you're taking Deirdre, who is more excited about Christmas than you, shopping. (I'm not sure where her parents are. All the same, this potential plot hole wasn't worth scrapping the game over. I actually played in to sessions and assumed you, Elidih, were her older sister.) Deirdre's so excited, she runs off in a department store when the lights go out and gets lost and trapped.

Thus begins the fun. Deirdre's not hard to find, but you can't get to her right away. While it's not a huge emotional moment, I still don't want to spoil it. You can't blame a young kid for getting lost the way she did, and you can't blame Elidih for being exasperated, even when you get Deirdre to cooperate for something important. Elidih understands certain things aren't fun for teens but were for seven-year-olds, and that's good enough.

DotS is not a very big game at four rooms, and there isn't a ton to do, but it's more fulfilling than many bigger games. Your first task is to find a key that opens a door to the south. Tutorial mode works very well here. It establishes you'll need to look under or behind or in a few items, which would get exhausting in too many rooms, but they set the mood well for the treasure hunt. It also establishes its size early. There are stairs up, but you can't go without Dierdre.

This was comforting when I had trouble finding what Santa wanted. What he wants is randomized across games, and a few quick replays suggest there are four treasures, one in each room. So you may get lucky and find what you want right away. Then, once the sleigh is full, you need to get it running and open an exit. This requires a few steps that include contacting the shop workers without, you know, letting them know Santa is nearby. They also have an item you need, but they're not going to give it to some teen.

Despite having only four locations, DotS's room graphics are very colorful, and when you need to move scenery around, the graphics change, though Deirdre keeps her teddy bear and Fischer-Price radio even after escaping. So it feels very full. The variations on LOOK worked for me. They aren't the only puzzle, as there are some guess-the-verbs that also feel eminently fair. A couple need prepositions. And there's funny stuff to try, like giving Deirdre sweets. (She also seems to blame you for the whole situation, and seven-year-olds can get away with that! Given her name's similarity to the author, I wonder if this is a slight mea culpa to a babysitter they liked but they knew they got on their nerves a bit, because being that young, you can't help it. I've been there.)

In the end, Deirdre gets rescued, and I don't want to spoil precisely what happens, though I was glad I saved near the end. It's not earth-shattering, as high drama would ruin the humorous tone, though I do recommend restarting, as there are a few callbacks to the beginning text. I may have missed a few achievements, and that would make DotS well worth replaying to check on, but right now I, in the Deirdre school of thought, am running and grabbing all the Adventuron games in this jam that I can, because I can.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Compact christmas puzzler with hidden achievments, December 26, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is a smaller game with about 4 rooms but a lot of tiny puzzles.

The girl you're baby sitting has gone missing and you have to find her. On the way, you find that Christmas needs your help! But just for a second.

The puzzles are fairly small and mostly well-clued. The game makes it clear that searching things in various ways is the path to success.

The achievements are perhaps the best feature, basically puzzles that would otherwise be unfair are not part of the main story, instead giving you achievements to reward your curiosity.


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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Dee Cooke on 23 December 2020 at 2:25pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item