Enjoy A Little Christmas Cheer With These Games' Holiday Updates

Plenty of games are doing something interesting with holiday updates including new modes and skins. Here are a few worth checking out.

Castle Empire (PC)

This update, which runs through January 5th, adds a new mission to the PC strategy game from Ubisoftt and Blue Byte Software and also adds a new map to the game.

The Christmas event in Castle Empire has officially started. This event is centered on Christmas presents and as you play, you will earn presents by playing each daily Christmas quest or by sending an explorer out on a treasure hunt. These quests are available for players of all levels. Celebrate with a new Castle Empire Adventure map in the shape of a very festive Christmas tree.

You must defeat Croaker, a nasty monster who has tried to ruin Christmas. If you listen closely, you may even hear him muttering ‘Bah humbug!’ under his breath. Save Christmas and don’t let Croaker ruin the holiday!

This new adventure contains new buffs (Christmas feast and cookies) as well as plenty of festive decorative items such as Christmas trees and snowmen.

Once you have lots of presents, feel free to trade them in at the merchant to get even more special Christmas items.

Plants vs. Zombies (iPhone)

The latest update for Popcap's game adds some new levels and achievements, as well as a new "I, Zombie" mode.

Here's what you get:

While your favourite PvZ characters deck the halls and don festive hats, the update also adds highly anticipated content such as the I, Zombie mode, which allows players to play on the zombie side of the garden. Boasting one free level (with 8 additional levels and Endless mode available for in-app purchase through Crazy Dave’s shop), I, Zombie has been hugely successful in the PC, Mac, XBLA and DS adaptations of the game and is sure to be a major holiday bonus for PvZ iPhone fans.

The update also introduces leader boards including GameCenter leader board support for the first time, so players can get even more social during the festive season and beyond by comparing their scores with friends and fans alike.

Also included are four new achievements – Better Off Dead, I,Win, Where the Sun don’t Shine, and Undead Space – as well as the introduction of Bronze, Silver and Gold Mystery Sprouts.

Jetpack Joyride (iPhone)

The update to the latest title from the Fruit Ninja developer mostly adds cosmetic changes and enhancements to the game. Nothing drastic or crazy like rampaging Santas or an onslaught of reindeer. Which would have been awesome.

  • Santa Hat - Watch out Santa...Barry wears this classic hat better than anyone!
  • Santa Suit - Dress like Santa and partake in a 'Very Joyride Christmas!'
  • Deck the Halls Jetpack - Buckle up with the latest jetpack -- a Christmas Tree -- all while raining down celebrations. Delicious and shiny!
  • Snow Machine Jetpack - Let it snow! Create a winter wonderland with the all-new Snow Machine jetpack. Snow problem!
  • New Scientists - Maneuver your way through the extra tall and pudgy scientists who ate a bit too much Christmas pudding. Help them trim down and meet their New Years resolution by forcing them to run around the lab.

Payday: The Heist (PSN, PC)

I was actually pretty partial to this team shooter riff on every recent gritty heist movie made. And apparently, developer Overkill Software think it's a perfect title for a holiday update, while also bundling in some patches for the game. Here's what's included:

In various levels of the multiplayer mode, players must find a wrapped present in order to gain the latest achievement. Once the present is discovered, they will be given the ultimate Santa mask -- which will equip them with a new identity specifically for the holiday season, as well as a chance to win a gift from Steam!

  • Player Drop-in: ?Join ongoing games and continue stealing those precious gems and dollars without being locked out
  • Improved Combat: Strategize, as fighting and acting have been heavily improved for enemies! The team and enemies now pick better cover and firing positions, and use more intelligent firing lanes for suppression and sniping
  • New Masks: Choose one of the four all-new masks that have been added in celebration of the recently released military shooters
  • Additional Updates: Improved AI, smoother combat, grouping and aim, and more

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