Take a timeout to try Tinsel Topple, a holiday video game made at NAIT
Words: Liz Pittman
| Images: Tracy Niven and Lara Alameddine
3 Dec, 2018
Holiday game is faster, never-ending and shareable
If the hustle and bustle of the holidays has you needing a break, NAIT has your back. Tinsel Topple, a free online video game is the perfect way to pause and have some festive fun.
The game has become a seasonal tradition at the polytechnic – created by staff in the marketing and communications department.
“We wanted it to be light-hearted,” explains graphic designer Tracy Niven. “We created the game for people to take a break and enjoy the festive season.”
Niven collaborated with web designer Lara Alameddine and web developer Kàren Vaganyan (Computer Engineering Technology ’13). The trio set out to one-up last year’s efforts, Ook Holiday Dash, by making the game load faster on all devices, with more ways to share on social media. The game is also never-ending – that is, if you’re good at it.
“That was one of the issues last year,” says Vaganyan. “You got to the end and that was it. There weren’t really any variables. We wanted to change that.”
In Tinsel Topple, players stack swinging presents as high as possible, earning points for each gift successfully placed. Players only get three chances to mess up, Alameddine says, or else it’s game over. At the end, players can share their scores through Facebook, Twitter or email.
Secret to a high score
Alameddine says taking care to align presents at the start of the game is one of the tricks to getting a high score.
“If you align them, your points double … by the time you have a high stack, you already have a thousand points.”
The game features some truly Edmonton landmarks. You’ll spot NAIT’s ‘We Are Essential to Alberta’ pedway and the Centre for Applied Technology, along with a silhouette of the Alberta Legislature. The game also features what Niven calls “Ook Easter eggs” – little animated Ooks popping up to cheer players on as they stack.
Last year’s game was played more than 2,600 times in several countries, including India, China and England. With increased social media sharing options, the group hopes even more people around the world will try the game this holiday season.