'Tis the season for explosions, and SilenGames have put an even more Christmassy twist on their original chain-reaction arcade game with Icy Gifts 2. This time Santa's been trapped in ice underwater, and only detonating a number of massive explosions dangerously close to his face will save him! Just click to drop a bomb, but be careful since you only have a few per stage, and try to time it when there are enough frozen explosives floating by so you'll detonate them as well, causing their fragments to trigger still more kabooms. Freeing Santa wins the stage, but there are frozen presents drifting around too, and if you manage to break them free of the ice and pick them up with your cursor, you can spend them on upgrades between stages. This time around you can also earn coins from completing achievements you can trade in for more presents, single-use items, or even try your luck at winning big on the submarine slot machine!
Icy Gifts 2 is one of those weird, perfectly addictive little games that's as compulsive to play as it is cheery and colourful. With its bouncy seasonal soundtrack and constant bursts of sound and colour, it may be simple, but its not mindless. It may be frustrating watching presents slowly drift around, waiting for them to come into just the right cluster, especially on the more sparsely populated stages, but it adds a degree of planning and challenge. Of course, that's not to say the game is particularly difficult, and it isn't meant to be. Aside from the cathartic potential of blowing up dozens of different things with a wide variety of power-ups, it's just the perfect sort of pick-up-and-play gaming that fits easily into a midday break, or an evening wind-down. If only all life's problems could be solved with a well-placed explosion!... well... I mean... they can, but then there's all that tiresome jail time and psychological evaluation after.