Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.
In Family Guy’s first Christmas episode, mother Lois snaps, “You all think Christmas just happens. You think all this goodwill just falls from the freakin’ sky. Well, it doesn’t! It falls out of my holly jolly butt!” Indeed, this time of year tends to breed hostility because “proper” festivity takes effort and forethought. Holiday merriment does not simply grow on trees. But, as Christmas Treevolution shows us, growing things on trees isn’t all that simple either.
Players are provided a sapling and a smattering of festive elements—a candy cane, a French hen, and Tiny Tim—and tasked with using their Yuletide alchemy to feed the tree, in hopes of blossoming even more seasonal baubles. Hen plus Magic equals Egg. Egg plus Sugar equals Eggnog. You combine ingredients and synthesize new elements until your Christmas is perfect enough for your mother-in-law to stop judging you. (Game does not include actual mother-in-law.)
Of course, alchemy is far from a perfect science. Mistakes will be made, but they are, as the late Bob Ross would say, “happy accidents,” and that man knew more about conjuring perfect winter wonderlands than any magical elves or cartoon housewives. Tiny Tim plus Egg equals Scrambled Orphan—equal parts adorable and horrifying. But don’t fret, an angry monster is there to eat and track your mistakes, of which there are 155 to be made. So begins that most sacred of seasonal traditions: Intentionally sabotaging holiday plans in order to see how horribly wrong everything can go, for your own smug sense of satisfaction.