Nostalgia can be a tricky thing. Sometimes you’ll find something from long ago that gives you all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings, while other times you’ll kick yourself for buying that Transformers animated movie because your 10-year-old brain told you it was awesome. We’re hoping that nostalgia doesn’t cause anyone to overlook the problems with this massively flawed port of Snow Bros, a ‘classic’ arcade game from the ’90s that just doesn’t hold up.
In Snow Bros you play as one of the Snow Bros, although since there’s no multi-player, there’s really just a single Snow Bro. The Snow Bros are snowmen in overalls who must fight to get their princess back. Each of the game’s 50 levels is a single screen full of platforms on which the Bro has to fight against waves of different types of enemy creatures.
Like a fever dream.
You fight the monsters by throwing snow at them, thus turning them into giant snowballs, and then kicking the snowball– with a creamy, creature center– down to the bottom of the stage, knocking out any other monsters who might get in the way. You keep doing this until you’ve defeated all the monsters in the level, and at the end of every 10 levels there’s a boss monster you must kill before you can move on to the next world. Once you’ve finished the game, you can play through it again in hard mode, which might be fun if this weren’t a lazy port of what turns out to be a boring game.
First off, we had to go to the game’s Wikipedia page just to figure out what we doing, as this version doesn’t explain anything. Defeated enemies drop power-ups, but what effect the power-ups have is not apparent. We also fumbled around for a while trying to figure out what to do with the snowballs we created, since the game doesn’t tell you to kick them down to the bottom, or even how to do this. Not that having instructions in the game would necessarily make a difference, because the game’s broken English approaches an ‘All your bases…’ level of badness.
Sitting on an invisible chair.
Making matters worse, the controls are awful. The buttons for jumping and attacking are too small, the on-screen D-Pad is sticky and unresponsive, and your Bro moves way too slowly. The graphics have clearly just been ported from the original and haven’t been refined for iOS. They’re acceptable, but the levels all kind of look the same, the enemies aren’t very animated, and your Bros look more like Peeps wearing pants than actual snowmen.
For as much fun as we remember having with this game years ago at Chuck-E-Cheese, Snow Bros belongs in the past. Similar action-platform games have been done much better on iOS with the likes of Muffin Knight and Super Crate Box. Mix in an uninspired port with bad controls, and you have something that just isn’t much fun to play.