Game: Cthulhu Saves Christmas
Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, PlayStation 5 (upcoming)
Genre: turn-based RPG, parody
Style: directly based on Lovecraft’s work (as a parody)
Verdict: Recommended
Buy: Steam | eShop

Cthulhu Saves the World was an endearing parody that cast Cthulhu in the unlikely role of hero after his powers are sealed away. Cthulhu Saves Christmas is a prequel in which he once again loses his powers and sets out on a quest to save Santa Claus.

It’s another silly parody with a lot of funny dialogue, although to me the humor didn’t hit as well as the original’s.

And while the original referenced Lovecraftian themes beyond just the protagonist alone, Cthulhu Saves Christmas backs off from that in favor of focusing on Christmas, due to its premise. You’re fighting the League of Christmas Evil, so you can expect to see figures like Jack Frost, Krampus, etc. along with many other Christmas references.

The gameplay is possibly the most dramatic change, however. While it’s still a turn-based RPG, it follows a strict progression of life sim sections in town to build your “R’lyehtionships” followed by a dungeon to find the next villain.

There is little room for exploration due to this structure, although the life sim sections have a variety of scenes to see depending on who you choose to spend time with. The combat also makes use of new systems like “insanity” moves, where some of your available skills in each battle are chosen randomly from the ones you haven’t set in the fixed skill slots.

Battles become drawn-out and tedious after a while, so it isn’t the instant recommendation the original is. However, if you’re looking for a fun holiday Cthulhu story, Cthulhu Saves Christmas should give you some laughs.

Buy: Steam | eShop