Famicom World

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Get Santa Claus no Takarabako because you can see what the system can do. Don't get it if you're expecting it to be fun.


Intro (Storyline) 1.0

When I first heard about Santa Claus no Takarabako I was buying games for the Disk System. I picked this because of how little people knew about it.

There's no storyline at all which is why I gave it the lowest score possible. All you can do is make animated Christmas cards and play party games.

Graphics 5.0

The graphics are terrific. They're bright and colorful, reminding you of Christmas.

All of the backgrounds that are available -- three -- for the Christmas cards are very well designed. A lot of detail and care was put into the graphics. The backgrounds are a Christmas cake, a Christmas tree with a night sky seen through a window, and a snowy white Christmas scene at night time.

Audio 5.0

The audio really shows what the Disk System’s synthesis chip is capable of doing.

During the Christmas card part of the game, there are wonderful 8-bit renditions of "Jingle Bells," "O' Christmas Tree," and "Silent Night."

The audio used in the party games aren't as great but are still good. I consider them typical or stock music because of how bland they sound.

The three renditions are really what it’s all about.

Gameplay 1.0

There isn’t much to the gameplay. All of the party games involve hitting buttons to make things happen on the screen. It's very boring.

Some of the party games aren't much better than the party game Roulette that was available on the Magnavox Odyssey. It’s only better because Santa Claus no Takarabako has music.

The bingo game is the most frustrating because I never understand what I have to do to get a bingo or what the special on-screen items do.

I have yet to win at the slot machine or get anything more than a pair in poker dice.

The only effort needed is to write the virtual Christmas card that later appears on the title screen the next time you turn on the game, depending on what you saved. That’s how the save function works. You write a Christmas card, you pick the background and song (just match the numbers: 1 and 1, 2 and 2, and 3 and 3), color in Santa, and save it. The card that's saved is what will appear on your television the next time you turn on the game, just before the title screen appears.

Controls 2.0

For the party games, you use A to make stuff happen.

You find yourself using unusual buttons to exit the game and choose the next. You use Select to exit the game, for example.

The Christmas card portion also has some awkward controls. You also use Select to exit the card game, and you hit Select to get to the title screen to start the “game” in the first place.

Frustrations 3.5

I found it frustrating trying to get used to the awkward control schemes. I was also frustrated knowing Santa Claus no Takarabako isn't much of a game at all.

Fun Factor 2.5

For me, the fun was in having a Japanese-exclusive title on a system that wasn't available in the United States. Also, there's some fun in watching the animation of Santa move in tempo to the song of choice. The music is great to listen to, which was fun for me.

For the general public, the game isn’t fun at all unless you're a Christmas card or party game fanatic.

Overall 1.5

Santa Claus no Takarabako isn't something I would ever advertise as a game. I would advertise this as a demo disk that can show people what the Disk System was capable of doing in terms of graphics and music.

This is one of the least fun games I have in my collection, and I intend to keep it that way.

It was an interesting decision to make this “demo disk” centered around Christmas. Data East did a wonderful job for the time, I guess. That being said, making a game that was easy to understand or fun seems to have been far from the agenda when Data East was coming up with ideas for this "game."

Santa Claus no Takarabako couldn't have sold well in Japan when it came out in 1987. There were better games to buy. It's mostly just a holiday-themed token that sells because it's holiday-themed.

If you have a Famicom and its Disk Drive and you have a little extra money to spend on an obscure japan-exclusive game, get Santa Claus no Takarabako because you can see what the system can do.

Don't get Santa Claus no Takarabako if you're expecting it to be fun.




Santa Claus no Takarabako 
Platform Famicom Disk System
Developer Musical Plan Ltd. 
Publisher Data East 
Players 1 player 
Genre Other 
Release Date 12/04/1987 
Retail Price  
Current Value  
Saving Option disk 

Disk-kun Ratings

Storyline [] 1.0 / 5.0
Graphics [][][][][] 5.0 / 5.0
Audio [][][][][] 5.0 / 5.0
Gameplay [] 1.0 / 5.0
Controls [][] 2.0 / 5.0
Frustrations [][][][ 3.5 / 5.0
Fun Factor [][][ 2.5 / 5.0
Overall [][ 1.5 / 5.0


Title Screen.
Title Screen.

A greeting card.
A greeting card.



Slot Machine.
Slot Machine.

Poker Dice.
Poker Dice.


Santa Claus no Takarabako.
Santa Claus no Takarabako.