Great to see you got your hands on this! I recommended this thinking that you would like the Christmas theme...I'm glad to see you liked the actual gameplay too. Since you enjoyed this, now you have no choice but to get Christmas Country for the CD-i, which is a similar Christmas game that came out a year after Christmas Crisis (I'm tempted to call it a sequel, because the two games are so similar, but the games have different developers, so I don't know if it's an actual sequel). One particular CD-i guy on Youtube ranks Christmas Country as his all-time favorite CD-i game, if that adds any intrigue for you... (personally, of the games I've played so far, I give that honor to Mutant Rampage).
Anyway, I just popped in the two games--Christmas Crisis and Christmas Country--for about 20 minutes each to see which I liked better. Crisis is a vertical platforming game. What I like best is the music in the background and the fact that you actually play as Santa (since surprisingly few games allow you to play as Santa...even other Christmas games usually have a different character). I like the short levels and the copious amount of collectibles for points too. Overall though, admittedly, I don't regard the game as highly as you did..in the CD-i library, it's more of a C-range game for me, with maybe a boost during Christmas time. I found Santa to be very sluggish (he chugs along slowly and the lack of run button is disappointing) and the snowballs were hard to target. And, outside of the Christmas theme, I didn't find myself having much fun. The production values are pretty poor too...I felt like I was playing an early-90s shareware game for the PC. Christmas Country is more of a traditional side-scrolling platformer. I definitely preferred this play style over Crisis. And there is a run button in this game, which is a huge improvement. There's no snowballs either, you just jump on enemy heads. The platforming action is very good by CD-i standards. On the downside, you play as an elf, which isn't as fun or cool as Santa. (Imagine a platformer with a speed-running Santa...it might automatically be the best game ever!....) Far worse--there is no background music during the game! How do you have no Christmas-y music during a Christmas game?? This is a huge error.
The Verdict??? As a core game, Christmas Country is better. Even without the theme, I'd give it an A or B by CD-i standards, versus a C or D for Crisis. BUT, Crisis exudes the Christmas theme much better. And not just playing as Santa and having background Christmas music---Crisis's level design and enemies also make better use of the Christmas theme. Boy, if someone took the gameplay of Country and combined it with the Christmas spirit of Crisis, you would have one legendary Christmas game! As it stands, though, they both have some head-scratching shortcomings. Then again, this is the CD-i we're talking about, so maybe we should just be happy to have two playable platformers... And what other system can boast that it has not one, but two
, decent Christmas platformers that were official releases on the system? I don't think there's another.
If you're interested, here's a gameplay video of Christmas Country, by the same guy that says it's his favorite game on the system:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ew381VXXlQ