Santa Is A Jerk: Time To Sleigh In Krampus Kills

I’ve spent my last few days playing Callisto Protocol. While coming to terms with how it has so many themes and beats that resonate with Silent Hill Downpour. I needed a break. It is something to take my mind off Jacob’s journey and how Downpour doesn’t deserve the hate it gets. With the holiday season inching its way closer, I’ve been in the mood for some winter season games. So I sent out to find a game that would suit the mid-December mood, and it was a lot easier to find a multitude of games that check this box than I initially thought it would be. Then while I was making my way through the steam new releases in horror, something immediately caught my attention with its name, Krampus Kills.

Krampus Kills has a very brief but interesting setup. We are a bratty kid who is making demands of Santa. So when we wake up on Christmas eve night, guess who’s coming to collect us and kill us? Krampus. Before I forget, yes, there is a key that is solely used for flipping off the demons.

The first quick level acts as a tutorial, showing us how to sneak and collect items, and we even get to see Krampus himself when we are learning to hide, and oh boy, does he look scary as hell. After this very brief tutorial of getting a taser and sawed-off shotgun, things quickly turn into a Doom-style shooter. With creepy-looking elves, evil snowmen, and Krampus himself, it is a great way to dive into the holiday spirit with some blood, gore, and viscera.

It’s more complex than it seems from the onset. You’ll be puzzling your way through levels, whether it be picking up keys to unlock doors or, in the later game territory, turning off steam valves to allow you access to lower levels in the maps. At first, I really thought this would just be a generic cash grab for the holidays. Fight some demons in a Christmas-themed game with half broken game design. However, I was thoroughly surprised to find a game that, while lite on the story side, actually felt good to play. 

Speed and running are essential here in Krampus Kills. While you have a dwindling stamina bar, each enemy you kill refills it. Allowing you to chain your movement to your kills here adds to the game’s momentum. While it is on the shorter side, I can see myself replaying it because there was some real thought put into the layouts of the levels and even the monster designs.

Speaking of enemy design, it’s fantastic. The elves here look more weird demonic imps in a good way, and the snowmen look right out of Jack Frost. Not the nineteen ninety-eight Micheal Keaton movie but the ninety-seven Christopher Allport slasher. You also see some skeletons, and the one besides Krampus that stood out most to me was the reindeer. This thing looks scary as hell, also like a hellbent woodland demon. Of course, the big man, Krampus, acts like a Nemesis or Mr.X from the Resident Evil games. Always stalking you, and if you get caught, it is game over. 

The first thing I think of when thinking of the newer Doom games is their soundtracks. I haven’t played Eternal, so I only have Doom twenty sixteen to go off, but it is metal and rad as hell. So with this game bringing that game and mixing it with Christmas spirit, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but if you love metal dubstep, you will enjoy the soundtrack here in spades.

While mostly blasting through Krampus and his demonic forces with a double-barreled shotgun and having mindless fun, I want to see more of these holiday games in the next few weeks. Now is the time for holiday horror to shine, and it started off great with indie dev DangerousBob Studios Krampus Kills. You can check out their website to see the other games they have released. Most importantly, check out Krampus Kills if you want a fun Christmas-themed horror romp.

For more interviews, features, and reviews, stay locked to DreadXP and check out Mirror Forge. I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this release as it looks to be hitting all those Silent Hill vibes I’ve been missing, and it’s here!



Sign up for The Harbinger a Dread Central Newsletter