A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
Slide the elf back and forth with your finger to catch the presents. The "help" section says that you can also tilt the device back and forth to move the elf but that function didn't appear to be working. The later levels may be too challenging for younger children.
Products & Purchases
There is a link on the main menu for "Toys for Tots" that explains the fundraiser, and has links to the Toys for Tots website and the developer's website.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Saving Christmas is a simple arcade game with proceeds going toward Toys for Tots. Aside from two links to the Toys for Tots website and the developer's website, there are no other online connections and the game is safe for children. However, the difficulty of later levels may make the game too hard for very young children. For iPad users, there's also the high-definition Saving Christmas HD.
Is It Any Good?
In SAVING CHRISTMAS, Santa Claus has gone missing and it's up to two elves to load up the sleigh in time for Christmas. There's a cute little cartoon sequence introducing the game. However, the game itself consists of seven levels of catching the presents: The elf above tosses them down, and you slide the bag-holding elf left and right to catch the presents as they fall. You have three misses before the game is over, and you can occasionally get extra lives or bonus points by catching the slow-falling bubbles. Each successive level gets a little faster, but otherwise that's the entire game. If you complete all the levels, you're rewarded with a brief cartoon conclusion that looks like it may lead to more, but is in fact the end of the game.
Proceeds from Saving Christmas go toward the Toys for Tots program, which distributes toys to needy children at Christmas each year, so the app supports a good cause. But the game itself offers very little, so if you buy, you'll want to think of it more as a donation than as a purchase of a great app.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.