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"A fairly middling collection of games to celebrate Christmas of 1987."
Electron User Group


Don your beard and costume and play Anthony Houghton's brilliant Christmas game

SANTA ON THE TILES It's Christmas Eve once more and time for Santa Claus to do the rounds.

The presents are wrapped, the candles are lit and Rudolf and the rest of the reindeer are ready to go. Then disaster strikes, someone has pinched the sleigh!

There's no time to lose. The culprits must have been two evil pixies. Santa will have to do the job on foot. As he climbs nimbly on to the first rooftop he discovers the pixies have been up to even more mischief.

The place is littered with holes, moving platforms and pine trees that will make your eyes water. To cap it all, they're trying to knock him off the roof by throwing snowballs.

Can you get Santa across each of the eleven different rooftops? What will happen if you do? Only you will know as you play this excellent Christmas special.

When entering the program and checking for typing errors it is recommended that you save the game before running it and omit line 40 (which disables the ESCAPE key) until the listing is correct. These comments apply especially to owners of the Plus 3, since the program downloads itself before running and corrupts the ADFS workspace.

The data for each screen in line 420 consists of a string of eight characters, split into six parts as follows:

  • Hole type - 0 means no holes, 1 means three empty holes and 2 is three holes containing trees.
  • High snowball direction - 0 means no high snowball, L means a high snowball travelling left, R is a high snowball travelling right.
  • High snowball delay - a two digit number expressed in hexadecimal, from 00 to FF where 00 is the shortest delay, FF is the longest.
  • Low snowball direction - one character in the same format as the high snowball.
  • Low snowball delay - two chracters in the same format as the high snowball.
  • Platform flag - 0 indicates no moving platform while 1 is a moving platform crossing a large gap.

The length of data for each screen must always be eight characters long. The data for your own screens should be inserted into line 420. Remember there must always be enough data for eleven screens.

A further point to bear in mind when designing screens is that certain items are not compatible. For example, the holes are not compatible with the moving platform.

An error of this type in the data will not crash the program, but will not give the expected result.


Guide Santa back to his grotto in Joanne Stevens' intriguing game

SANTA'S DILEMMA It is early Christmas morning, Santa has delivered all his presents and is now making his way home. He's put his sleigh away till next year and tucked Rudolf up with a pile of sweet hay to munch in the barn.

His work is done for this year and he can now relax with his feet up in front of the blazing log fire in the living room.

Outside his grotto at the North Pole nine magic snowmen are guarding the entrance - only his gnomes are allowed in to help at his toy factory.

x,y Santa's coordinates
m%() The maze
dir% Santa's direction
maze Number of current maze
quit TRUE if you have quit
exits% Exits from the current junction
big Double-height print routine
maze Read the current maze
screen Set up the screen display
game Play the game
move Move Santa

The snowmen use their powers to create an invisible and intricate maze of one-way paths to the entrance. Only Santa knows the true direction to take to get to the front door and unauthorised visitors who don't know the devious route find their path blocked by invisible walls.

Santa is tired after a busy night visitng all the children and delivering their presents and heads from the barn to his grotto. Unfortunately, he is rather absent minded and has forgotten the correct route to take. Can you help him on his way?

You guide Santa round the snowmen using the A, Z, < and > keys. Remember, the route is devious and you'll soon feel the influence of the magic snowman as they block your progress and direct you up blind alleys and one-way paths in the invisible maze.

If you find yourself stuck you may have entered a section of the maze that doesn't have any exits. If you think this has happened, press Q to quit and try again, starting from the entrance.

There are three mazes. The first is fairly straight-forward, and if you stray from the route you are directed back on to the right path by the snowmen.

The second and third mazes are much more difficult and could take many hours to solve, so get cracking.

Game Controls:
< - Left, > - Right, A - Up, Z - Down, Q - Quit


Arthur Lindon presents a perplexing Christmas puzzle

SANTA'S TOUR SANTA'S TOUR is a superb variation of the game Knight's Tour, with the part of the knight replaced by Santa Claus.

The job of Santa Claus has never been easy at the best of times, having to cope with reindeer that don't like the cold, the elves going on strike, ridiculous deadlines and the appalling weather at the North Pole. Things aren't getting any easier either. With high-rise blocks that all look the same and central heating that doesn't need a chimney, the poor fellow just can't win.

The tiny village of Squareberry is a typical example, one of the worst in fact. In total it has 64 houses that all look alike and a one-way system that makes spaghetti junction look straight.

It's so bad that to get from any one place in the village to another Santa has to move in an L shape. That is - two houses up and one left, one up and two right and so on.

S% Array containing the visited status of each house
L% Ascii value of the letter entered, minus 64
N% Ascii value of the number entered, minus 48
CNT% Number of houses visited
X% Santa's X coordinate
Y% Santa's Y coordinate
graphics Define the characters
santa Display Santa at X, Y
blank Blank square at X, Y
demo Create the demonstration

While delivering the presents, Santa can only visit each house in the village once, because he only has 64 presents and some people would get more than one and some would get nothing.

Once a house, shown here as a coloured square, has been visited, its number vanishes and it may not be visited again.

Can you solve the puzzle and get Santa to deliver to all of the houses? It can be done, and just to prove it the program includes a demonstration, starting a square H1 and finishing at G3.

When the program is run you will be asked whether or not you would like a demonstration. Press the y key to enter demo mode or the N key to play the game.

At the start of the game, you can choose your starting position anywhere in the town. The four corners are most usual, but it is possible to solve the game from any of the 64 start positions.

To move Santa to a new house simply type the letter and number of the house you want to go to and he will move automatically, provided of course the move is allowed.

Illegal moves are flagged by a short beep.

If you find yourself stuck in such a way that movement is impossible press the X key for another try.

Cover Art Language(s): English
Compatibility: Acorn Electron
Release: Magazine available via High Street/Mail Order
Original Release Date: 1st Dec 1987
Links: Everygamegoing,

Cover Art