Developer: Seltmann Systems, LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
There is nothing to get you into the Christmas spirit quite like a shotgun-wielding Santa gunning down some zombie elves. That is what you get in Shotgun Santa, a clever game that has promise but ultimately lacks depth.
The storyline is pretty simple. As St. Nick, you are packing heat because your trusted helpers have joined the ranks of the undead. While it sounds like fun, the gameplay dissolves into mindless tapping on the screen to shoot the elves who charge you with ever-increasing speed and in larger numbers.
To shoot, you tap the screen at where you want Santa to discharge and he unloads his ammo. The game usually responds quite well to the tapping, however at times some of the taps don't take. The issue is how trigger-happy one must be. The faster the tapping, the more likely there may not be enough contact on the screen for it to register as a shot. You will have to remember to give a firm tap for each shot to fire correctly. It only became a problem in the later rounds when the North Pole really turned into Night of the Living Dead.
There are three levels: normal, hard, and extreme. The difference between them is the speed and amount of zombies that attack you. This is where the game starts to falter. There are no different environments to move through. And while you can earn additional shotgun weapons, a revolver, or add additional hand grenades, it would have been cool to add some automatic weapons. And after a few rounds the action starts to get bland and repetitive. Blasting zombie-elves starts to lose its original charm.
For a bit of mindless fun, the game is not bad. But it is not as addicting as some of the other App Store offerings. It is a unique, but of course twisted, take on the holiday season.