Old Saint Nick invades our Windows Phone
Windows Phone Central's Roundup of Santa Apps
It's the Holiday Season and in a few days, many will be helping their children track Santa Claus as he travels the globe delivery toys to all the good boys and girls. This week's Windows Phone Central App Roundup focuses on a handful of Windows Phone apps that are available that helps you and your children keep track of Santa's progress.
Along with these tracking apps, we're also throwing in a few Santa related games that will help you and your children pass the time as you track the jolly old elf. There's even one that will have Santa call your Windows Phone.
NORAD Tracks Santa (free): When NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, isn't scanning the skies for hostile forces they are helping children track Santa.
NORAD Tracks Santa has a countdown to the start of Santa's flight and will map his travels as he crosses North America. While you're waiting, the app also has links to Santa videos and Operation Good Will which is a collection of links to support those serving in the military over the holidays.
NORAD Tracks Santa is a free app that you can find here (opens in new tab) in the Windows Phone Store.
Run Santa Run (free version/$.99): Run Santa Run is a simple, yet entertaining game for your Windows Phone. Simple enough for a child to enjoy but challenging enough to keep a grown up interested.
The game has you guiding Santa Claus down an obstacle course of sorts, gathering gifts, candy canes, and other items. All the while avoiding barrel, trees and other dangers.
The multi-level game has two game views to choose from; an overhead camera and a race level camera. The overhead camera gives you enough of a view to see the dangers a little more in advance. The race level camera gives the game more of a 3D feel and dangers can sneak up on you quicker.
You can control Santa by tilting your Windows Phone left/right and have Santa jump by tapping the screen. There is also the option to use on-screen controls.
There are two versions of Run Santa Run available in the Windows Phone Store. There is Run Santa Run Free (opens in new tab) that has ten levels of play and Run Santa Run (opens in new tab) that is currently $.99 and has fifty-five levels of game play.
Santa Tracker (free): Santa Tracker is a free tracking app for your Windows Phone. It not only maps Santa's travels the app has a Countdown to Christmas and Letters to Santa features.
The map is a little odd in that it's currently placing Santa in random locations. Which is likely what happens on Christmas Eve but it would have been nice to show his location in the North Pole before then.
The Countdown to Christmas feature is a simply a countdown timer to December 25th. The Letters to Santa will let you send Santa a letter/wish list and a response will be generated in the app's Inbox.
Santa Tracker is a free app that you can find here (opens in new tab) at the Windows Phone Store.
Santa Calls (trial/$.99): Santa Calls is an interesting app for your Windows Phone that lets Santa Claus call your phone. Well sort of...
The app has two main actions from the main screen. One to have Santa call your phone and the other to pin a call to your Start Screen. You can pin a naughty or nice call to your Start Screen with the difference being the picture of Santa Claus on the Caller ID Screen.
Here's where Santa Calls falls a little shy of the mark. There's no recorded message to listen to. Just the Christmas ringtone and the picture of Santa. You can slide to answer and fake talking to Santa but your children will inevitably want to talk to Santa on their own. It's a nice novelty app, you'll just have to be a little tricky in using it.
Luckily, there's a trial version to let you try things out before buying. The full version of Santa Calls is running $.99 and you can find it here (opens in new tab) at the Windows Phone Store.
Sleigh (free): Sleigh is a Windows Phone slider game much like Penguin and Rainbow Rapture. Instead of a flightless bird or angry cloud, you control Santa Claus in his sleigh.
You guide Santa over hill and dale to see how far you can travel. You tap the screen to have Santa dive and use the slopes to catch air. The more air you catch, the longer you can travel. Need a speed boost? Collect some of the presents scattered about to give Santa a little push.
Sleigh has over sixteen stages that get a little more challenging the further you travel. When you run out of gas, you can submit your scores for braggin' rights on an online leaderboard.
Sleigh is a fun, addictive game to pass the time with and easy enough to play that all ages can enjoy the game. Sleigh is a free, ad-supported game for your Windows Phone and you can grab it here (opens in new tab) at the Windows Phone Store.
Windows Phone Central would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and maybe one of these apps in this week's roundup will help bring in the holiday spirit.
There are a lot of Holiday apps in the Windows Phone Store and if you have a favorite, feel free to toss it out in the comments below.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.
Man, I wish that fake Santa call was some recording to scare my kid to make him behave.
I want an Elf Bowling port!!!
How could you forget to mention the classic "Talking Santa Kitty?" :)
I really like this app. So beautiful and so cute. - Scott Sohr