It’s hard to believe that Rodeo Stampede is only six months old. The critter-collecting endless rider has received tons of updates in the short period of time since launch, adding multiple new environments packed with biome-specific animals, even weirder and rarer creatures to tame, and—most importantly—hats. Developer Featherweight went all out for Halloween, reskinning the entire game in a spooky, lightning-lit theme and dropping treat—or trick—bags throughout the levels. It’s no surprise then that they’ve decided to celebrate Christmas in similarly grand fashion, dotting the ever-hovering zooship with trimmed Christmas trees, dangling stockings, and a softly falling layer of snow as well as giving players a number of gifts to last beyond the holiday season.

Unlike the Halloween update, which turned the standard stages into spooky variations of themselves, the holiday update adds an entirely new and limited time area to run through: the North Pole. This environment can be accessed immediately from the sky zoo and does not have to be unlocked like the other stages. It’s filled with bounding reindeer decked out in festive finery, like santa costumes and angels’ wings. Although the only animals you’ll come across are reindeer, each one has a slightly different temperament, ranging from the charging attack of an elephant to the super-speed of an ostrich, which keeps the area from becoming repetitive.

While running through the North Pole you’ll pass bags of presents that can be picked up and reindeer pulling gift-filled sleighs that can be tamed. As you collect these gifts, you’ll unlock new hats and costumes, as well as expand the holiday decorations in your zoo. Since the gifts essentially replace coins—they can be doubled at the end of a run by watching an ad—these wearables are much easier to unlock than those earned for riding rare animals. The only downside is you won’t be able to add any reindeer to your zoo habitats: they are bound to the North Pole and their gift-sharing responsibilities.


The other big addition in this update is a new in-app purchase, the Revive Raven: this phoenix provides free revives without watching an ad, although we assume her powers are limited to one revive per run. There is also a special Winter Sale going on now with an in-app package that gives you the Revive Raven, Cash Cow, Mission Mule, and 37,000 coins for $9.99. This is a pretty great bundle if you don’t have any of the epic animal purchases yet, since they are usually $5.99 apiece. All of the in-apps are easily accessible from the newly added physical shop which is visible at the south end of the sky zoo (although it just shows the same items that you can access from the menu). More interesting is the fact that there’s an empty space next to the shop, indicating there may be more buildings to come in the future.

The holiday update is out now. Both it and the Winter Sale bundle will be available until the end of December.