A Detailed Look at Christmas in Social Games on Facebook

With Christmas just a few days away, the hype of the holiday is at its peak. Social game developers are making the most of it with a tremendous influx of specially themed goods, décor, and game mechanics. From snowmen to Santa, the Christmas theme is showing itself to be far greater than Halloween and completely dwarfing the holidays from 2009.

From big to small, we take a look below at what Facebook games have done for the holiday. We’ve split our review into two broad categories: virtual goods and new features.

Christmas Virtual Goods
Themed virtual goods are easily the most common Christmas addition across all social games. Here’s a compilation of social developers and which games are hosting what:

Lucky TrainA Bit Lucky Lucky Train has about six Christmas-themed houses such as Santa’s House, a Gingerbread House, Toy Factories, and so on. Additionally, players can change the entire theme of their train town to resemble a winter wonderland blanketed in snow.

Players can also gift special, limited time, holiday items such as candy canes, snowmen, and Christmas trees. This plays well into A Bit Lucky’s more interesting holiday contests, which we cover below.

North Pole DancerBooyah Nightclub City, with all of its glitz and glamor, has put in a variety of stylized Christmas club items. These include decorative club items such as snowflake dance floors and “North Pole Dancers”, as well as holiday clothing for avatars and entourages. Complete with Santa hats and tops, the game also takes a goofier approach with Rudolph, Frosty, and Christmas tree avatar outfits.

It Girl SantaCrowdStar As with both Halloween and Thanksgiving, the majority of themed elements to CrowdStar games are virtual items. Of all the titles within the CrowdStar repertoire, It Girl seems to have been most affected, with city streets covered in the sights and sounds of the season.

Yes, sounds. It Girl is the only title we have seen thus far that boasts Christmas songs playing in the background. Beyond the décor, players can also purchase holiday clothing, of the sexier variety, including a Santa and elf outfit.

It Girl aside, virtual Christmas goods can also be found in Happy Pets, Happy Island, and Happy Aquarium. Such items include Christmas colored pets, scuba diving reindeer, and the ever-coveted Santa fish.

Vegas City Ice HotelDigital Chocolate The folks over at Digital Chocolate have decided to focus on Christmas virtual goods. Across five games — Millionaire City, Vegas City, Epic Fighters, Ninjas Rising, and Island God — there are 20 plus virtual items for the season.

The two business-oriented apps (Millionaire and Vegas City) contain the most goods, while Epic Fighters and Ninjas Rising host a special Christmas helmet and Santa costume respectively. All, however, have new Christmas themed backgrounds and snowfall.

LOLapps In Ravenwood Fair, LOLapps is certainly in the holiday spirit with nearly 40 special holiday items. Igloos, snowy river banks, and holiday lights are only the tip of the iceberg. However, much more interesting mechanics are noted below.

Tiki ResortPlaydom A good number of Playdom titles are in the Christmas spirit, including Social City, City of Wonder, ESPNU College Town, Wild Ones, Tiki Resort, Tiki Farm, Mobsters, Mobsters 2, My Vineyard, Market Street, and Sorority Life. For the most part, the items are fairly basic, but some are slightly different.

In Tiki Resort, players are being given daily Christmas items until the end of December (players can also gift “Xmas Charm” and Champagne), while in ESPNU Santa randomly flies about from time to time. In fact, City of Wonder has a few visual surprises in this regard as well, with many older items blanketed in snow.