As has been discussed earlier in this very issue, the DS is establishing itself as a source of literary entertainment in addition to the traditional gaming genres. The likes of Nintendo’s 100 Classic Book Collection and EA FLIPS add a number of written delights to the DS’ software library, but this Christmas Disney provides a far more interactive story-based offering.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol is based on the upcoming film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless Yuletide tale. While its big screen companion is being driven by the talents of Robert Zemeckis and Jim Carrey, the game draws its inspiration from the author himself to provide a more classical experience for DS owners.
“Disney’s A Christmas Carol provides engaging Christmas-themed gameplay inspired by the new Walt Disney and Robert Zemeckis film,” says Disney’s marketing manager Steve Woodward.
“It offers exploration of Scrooge’s supernatural adventure and replayable festive mini-games. The film is Disney’s priority for the festive season and will be heavily promoted. Game messaging will feature alongside this to ensure all filmgoers are targeted.”
The game essentially takes on the form of a point-and-click adventure, similar to the hidden object, mystery and puzzle titles that have been a massive hit with casual gamers.
Players become the Hand Of Fate and progress through the story by exploring each scene, and interacting with the characters to trigger the next event.
An interesting touch is that all of the in-game dialogue and descriptions is written in the style of Charles Dickens, making players feel a part of the narrative.
On top of that, a variety of additional content – including the full Dickens novel in its original form – makes A Christmas Carol unlike any previous literary offering on the DS. Extra features such as an advent calendar, a sing-a-long collection of five Christmas carols and other themed activities also make it perfect for the upcoming holiday season.
“A Christmas Carol is Disney’s DS title for the festive season,” says Woodward. “The game features an advent calendar which we are promoting to push pre-Christmas sales. The game re-tells the classic story through cutscenes, interactive scenes and narrative voiceover.”
“The Hand Of Fate mechanic through environment interactions, feedback to the player and reactions from characters makes this a great game for all ages.
“It includes 14 unlockable mini-games, which are integrated into seamlessly into the story and a ‘pass the DS’ multiplayer feature encourages family play, which is perfect for Christmas.”
A Christmas Carol is being promoted as part of Disney’s ongoing campaign encompassing all of its family friendly titles released this quarter. The publisher is also focusing on gifters and families with a targeted above the line campaign.
“We are sponsoring key family entertainment programmes on housewife and children’s channels such as Living and Gold as part of a huge TV campaign running from launch through to December 23rd,” says Woodward.
“The online campaign includes a Christmas gift guide widget, which will be placed across key sites, and the title will be promoted via a blogging campaign aimed at gifters.
“Our celebrity ambassador Suzanne Shaw is promoting this title for us along with all of our new Christmas releases. She is hosting a story-telling event at Hamleys on October 25th reading A Christmas Carol from the DS.”