Created for the Daily Click grid-based X-mas game competition, Merry Gear Sol!d: Secret Santa is a humourous freeware holiday take on the Metal Gear series. With numerous jabs at the original games, the player controls Saint Nick, code name Solid Santa, to deliver presents to the children. In wake of the 9/11 attacks, military surveillance crafts are circling the skies and a soaring sleigh will be branded a national threat, therefore Solid Santa has to find an alternative way to get the task done.
Shown through a top-down perspective, Solid Santa has to infiltrate a building and make it to the christmas tree on the tenth floor, while avoiding five-year-olds. He is not allowed to throw coal at the kids to take them out, so alternative means need to be used.
During the levels, you are contacted by Major Tim and the anonymous Santa's Little Helper who explain the sneak tactics. You can knock on walls to draw the kids' attention, turn televisions on from a distance (warning: low attention span!), disguise yourself as a present, blind them with a digital camera, or take them out with a nerf gun. As you progress, more items need to be used in a single area and speed becomes of the essence. Other difficulties include alarm systems and coal that leaves footsteps behind. The enemies AI is based on sight and hearing. When caught, Solid Santa has to restart the level.
The game comes with christmas music on endless repeat, and voice-acting for the different characters.