First off, I'm rather proud of how the game looks. I hope I don't offend anyone, but the original game I was sent to clone was UGLY! It was just sort of a weird hodgepodge of neon-colored hard-to-recognize characters and such that only had a passing reference to Christmas even though that was supposed to be the main theme of the game. First thing I did was change the walls (over 12 different kinds of walls!) to trees on gray-white snowy ground. The original point-getting prizes were diamonds, turkey legs, pears, and sombreros (yes, sombreros). I changed 'em to Christmas presents, ornaments, cookies, and candy canes. The only Christmas-themed monster was an evil tree. Since trees were already taken in my version, and I had some angry-looking snowmen in my clipart collection, I changed the enemies to evil snowmen.
Finally, there was the theme. You were this little girl with a purse (at least that's what it looked like) who was trying to collect up Santa Clauses in order to make it back home. Now don't bother reading that sentence again, because THAT THEME MAKES NO SENSE! Why does a person need to collect Santa Clauses to get home? Why are there multiple Santa Clauses? Isn't there just one Santa Claus? Well, I toyed with the idea of changing the theme to making the main character Santa who needs to collect up his reindeer and make it to his sled so he could fly away, but frankly I didn't want to get in an argument with the clients about the theme, so I left it as-is. Also, they wanted the main character to be one of the guys from their website (www.kidstation.de), so he's their mascot, bugfrog.
The music is by Jeremy Martin, and I like it. He composed five or six pieces of music for it --basically everything but the sound effects. The opening theme is my favorite. It is funky and silly and fits the game perfectly. Jeremy agreed with me that he wishes he could've re-done all the level themes in that style, but when you've got five days to get a game done and all the bugs out so that a million German kids can play it on the first day of the Christmas season, you've gotta make comprimises.
Anyway, I'm generally happy with the outcome. The levels are still a bit odd-looking, sometimes oddly proportioned or with areas that you can't enter, but that's because I used the levels as I was given 'em from the original game. If I had more time, I probably would've tweaked 'em up a bit or made my own level editor so kids could make and test their own levels. But the levels are pretty good, and a couple of 'em are downright clever and will take you a few tries to figure out. It's a bit on the easy side, but it's not meant to be something that will keep you occupied for days. I'm sending all of the code to the Germans, so maybe there'll be a part 2 eventually with more difficult levels.
Anyway, on to the game and the instructions. You're the little green bugfrog character. You need to collect up all of the Santas on the screen and make it to the house (enter the house from below to get in). Snowmen will kill you if they hit you. A spinning snowflake will teleport you randomly to another spinning snowflake. Skulls will take away one of your bugfrogs, and the faded-looking bugfrogs will give you one.
Oh, and if you are killed, don't press the "ende" button on the "Autch (Ouch)" screen, or that will end the game early. Also, when the game's over don't press the "Punkte Senden" button, or you'll be asked to log in to kidstation.de to submit your high score. Just press the other button to start over.
Enough talkin, try out the game. Enjoy!
Oh, and the "HO HO HO" sound effect is not my voice. I just searched for "hohoho.wav" on Google, and it was the best one I found :)