A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build is a thoroughly entertaining and charming puzzle title suitable for players of all ages. The beautiful 2D visuals and excellent audio complement the addictive puzzle-solving gameplay, which makes for a memorable experience. We would have liked to see a few more puzzles to solve because the ones on offer are so enjoyable. Overall, it is the perfect game for when you feel like something relaxing and non-violent.

Gameplay: The game is challenging and addictive without being frustrating or unfair.

Graphics: The game features charming visuals with plenty of great touches.

Sound: The soundtrack is great, as are the ambient sound effects

Summary 9.0 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build

Developer: Alan Hazelden, Benjamin Davis | Publisher: Draknek | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Indie / Puzzle / Casual | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam / itch.io

While we knew that a good snowman is hard to build, we didn’t realize that it was also an activity enjoyed by monsters. In this charming puzzle title, the process involves more thought than lumping together as much snow as you can find and then sticking a carrot and scarf on it. On the plus side, there is no risk of frostbite, and the activity isn’t dependent on the weather.

As the title of this game makes abundantly clear, your goals in A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build revolve entirely around building Snowmen. Your character might be a giant monster with stringy arms and legs, but his penchant for naming and hugging the snowmen means he is more adorable than creepy. As Alan Hazelden, one of the original creators of Sokobond, had a hand in the puzzle design, it should come as no surprise that finding the solutions involves a fair amount of head-scratching. Snowmen are comprised of three different-sized balls of snow. Your job is to create these snowballs and then move them into the correct position to create the snowman. It looks deceptively simple, but like any good puzzle game, looks can be deceiving.

Each puzzle is set in its own little area with snow and grass on the ground. Roll a snowball over the grass, and it will remain the same size. Roll it over snow, however, and it will grow larger. The large snowballs, which form the base of the snowmen, are the easiest as after they have come into contact with snowy ground three times, they cannot grow any larger. Medium snowballs can only touch snowy ground twice, and small snowballs can’t touch snowy ground at all if you want any hope of successfully creating your snowman. Luckily, rolling any snowball over the snowy ground will expose the grass underneath, which means most puzzles involve maneuvering the largest snowball in a manner that clears a path for the medium and small ones. You can only roll the snowballs in four directions, though. In addition to the puzzle areas being relatively small, they are usually cluttered with trees, benches, bird baths, and other bits of scenery as well. You can push smaller snowballs up and over larger ones, but not vice versa. Your monster also cannot pass through snowballs or the scenery, which means you might know precisely where to put the snowballs but not how to get them there.

Figuring out the puzzle solutions involves a fair bit of trial and error, but thankfully, you can reverse all your steps, one by one, at the tap of a button. This removes the tedium of restarting an entire area because you made one or two stupid mistakes or wanted to test a theory. Of course, if you mess things up irreparably, you can instantly reset everything to its default state and try again from scratch. As some rooms might require you to build up to three individual snowmen, things can get tricky very quickly, and that undo button comes in handy. The game is very relaxing since nothing can kill you, and you usually have a couple of puzzle rooms you can tackle at a time. New areas open up as you complete old ones, and everything is connected, which makes it look like a park hedge maze. It is pretty easy to make your way between the rooms, but there is also a unique “fast travel” system, accessed via the park benches you find everywhere.

Regarding the visuals, it is hard not to be charmed by the game. Benjamin Davis is responsible for the graphics and did a great job with the characters. Since the whole game takes place in the same park, there is little variety in the look of separate areas, but the snowmen more than make up for this. In addition to your monster naming every snowman, they all have a different look. From top hats and mustaches to beanies and sunglasses, half the fun is seeing how the snowman you are busy constructing will look when it is done. There is no need to interact with anything except the snowballs, but pressing toward any scenery objects will usually cause your monster to perform a short animation. This is nice, as apart from some butterflies flitting about, the game does look a bit motionless.

The audio in the game was handled by Ryan Roth, known for his work on several great indie titles, and he did an excellent job creating a soundscape that matches the somewhat melancholic feeling of the game. The music is atmospheric without becoming obtrusive, and when you complete a puzzle, the music in that area also stops. The sound effects are also great, with bird songs heard in the background, as well as the footsteps of your monster. Interacting with the game is as easy as moving your monster in one of four directions. If it comes into contact with a snowball, it will automatically start pushing it. Bear in mind that snowballs can only be pushed and not pulled, so if you shove one against the edges of the room, you might have no choice but to rewind a few steps. The grid-based movement felt fiddly when using an analog controller, but it didn’t bother us too much because it is so easy to rewind wrong moves. Playing with a keyboard felt more precise, though, as we made fewer accidental moves.

In total, it took us about two hours to complete all the puzzles in A Good Snowman is Hard To Build, and despite getting stuck a few times, we enjoyed every minute of the experience. You can also reset your progress in the game if you want to have another go at the puzzles after completing everything. The puzzles are tricky sometimes, but it always feels like a solution is just within your grasp. Experienced puzzle fans might find some early puzzles a bit too easy, but the gentle learning curve means anyone can enjoy this game.

<

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space

Related posts

Crimsonland

Crimsonland

If you played Crimsonland before, the updated version is definitely a nostalgic blast from the past. It still has enough to offer new players as well with a multitude of modes, weapons, perks and achievements to keep things interesting. As long as you don't expect a deep plot or anything beyond killing every monster in sight you will have fun with Crimsonland. Gameplay: A simple, yet addictive top down shooter which is enhanced with some great perks. Graphics: Improved over the original version, but still pretty basic. Sound: Suits the game nicely, but doesn't really stand out.

Rage Runner

Rage Runner

Rage Runner is quite a challenging title and, as the name implies, it can be frustrating at times. Having to weave your way through obstacles at high speeds while changing the orientation of your craft takes some practice and completing all nine of the levels is quite an achievement. If you are looking for a 3D runner that will really test your skills you should try Rage Runner. Gameplay: Quick reflexes and some trial-and-error is required, but overall this is an addictive and challenging title. Graphics: Good, but not too distracting. Sound: Depends on whether you like dubstep or not.

Monster Slayers

Monster Slayers

Plunder dungeons, dark forests and dank swamps in this addictive new rogue-like deck-building RPG adventure from Nerdook. Thanks to the charming visuals, stellar audio and fiendishly fun gameplay, this is a title you can easily lose yourself in for hours. It packs a ton of replay value and there is always another level of fame, a new deck strategy or better equipment waiting for you to draw you back in. While it might seem very simple at first, the game has plenty of depth without sacrificing accessibility. Fans of the genre will love every minute and even newcomers shouldn’t hesitate to grab this game. Gameplay: Deceptively simple, but extremely addictive, this is a game that can keep you busy for a long time. Graphics: Features the charming art-style that Nerdook titles are known for, but much more polished and detailed than previous titles. Sound: Great soundtrack and some unexpectedly nice sound effects as well as speech.

Game Type

Game Type

Game Type is clearly more of a spoof than a full-fledged game, but floating around and shooting the bizarre enemies while chasing a high score is surprisingly addictive. The co-op mode adds to the fun, but still can’t hide the fact that the game is very simple and quite repetitive. On its own it is hard to recommend, but it is still worth checking out as part of the Mommy’s Best Action Pack. Gameplay: Amusing, but loops very quickly and can be repetitive. Graphics: Very basic and with almost non-existent animations. Sound: The music is fitting, but the constant shouts of “Parkour” soon becomes annoying.

The Plague Doctor of Wippra

The Plague Doctor of Wippra

The Plague Doctor of Wippra is a brief point-and-click adventure with an interesting setting and characters. The game features neat pixel art visuals and a great soundtrack. The experience is very linear, though; veterans of the genre should have no trouble with the puzzles. However, it is refreshing to take on puzzles with real-life historical and medical context that isn't too esoteric. Gameplay: The game is short but engaging throughout and doesn't overstay its welcome. Graphics: The hand-drawn pixel art has a certain charm and is a good match for the game's tone. Sound: The game features a beautiful soundtrack with many wistful or melancholic tunes.

Aces Wild: Manic Brawling Action!

Aces Wild: Manic Brawling Action!

Aces Wild is a game that will test your skills and reflexes but keep you coming back for more. The Wild meter adds an interesting dynamic to fights, and the over-the-top action provides a rush like no other. If you want a brawler that tests your ability to react to attacks instead of memorizing combos, then Aces Wild is the game for you. Gameplay: Beat up everyone and everything in your way with stylish moves and combos. Graphics: Brilliant character designs and vibrant 2D visuals. Sound: Some fitting tunes to get the adrenaline pumping.

4 Comments

  1. Rummer82 February 25, 2015
    Reply

    The weather thing is a neat idea, but its cheaper now on Steam so im just going to grab it there. I also predict a lot of butthurt from previous buyers if there is a sudden headwave in London.

    • GAMERamble February 25, 2015
      Reply

      The price goes up with the temperature, so it will be a sudden cold flap that might upset early buyers!

  2. Britman February 25, 2015
    Reply

    Looks like it could be cool 😉

  3. WildheartX February 26, 2015
    Reply

    So the big question is, how often does the temp in London go below zero?

Leave a comment

2 × five =