The great thing about traditions is: you can just make them up. While some traditions feel more real because they're embedded deeper in our culture, you can start your own whenever you want, and jettison any you don't care for. Anything can be imbued with special meaning and, over time, grow into a tradition you cherish and come to anticipate. So here I am, approaching Christmas, so ready for my annual play of Skeal. Join me, reader dear.
As ever, Skeal is a small free game which expands a simple portmanteau into a snowy miracle which makes me laugh every time. And it's a Christmas game because I say so. If you haven't played it yet, I strongly recommend having a go before playing. And if your friends or family haven't had a go, make them play it!
While Skeal's downloadable version is no longer available, and nor is the VR version, you can still play the new-ish browser version. Alright, go on, play that.
No, go on. It'll only take you four minutes. We'll wait.
Ah it's grand, isn't it? A daft wee joke which surprises, escalates, then ends before it wears thin. And, turns out, it takes around 11 months before I start thinking "When's it time to play Skeal again?"
I wonder what's going on with those downloads, though. "Note: We're polishing our skis and preparing for the next ski season," says a cryptic message added to ye olde Itch page. Creator Nick "Whymog" Cummings doesn't explain any more. I think I shall choose to believe that he has received a £500 million grant from Seal himself to remake Skeal with full physics-simulated snow and all-new commissioned Lisa Frank artwork. Let's say that. Why not that. Why not that! You have to believe in Christmas.
Don't forget to crank up Christmas Pain In Christmas Town later too.
For nerks who'll refuse to try Skeal without me explaining more, LOOK, it's this, okay. And after watching that, you jolly well better surprise someone with Skeal to replace your own ruined surprise. Don't you know it's Christmas?
Cummings also makes games that aren't Skeal, mind. His latest was Trash The Planet, a clicker about raccoons gathering trash and eventually owning everything.