Snowman Story is another story-driven 16-bit mobile game by the talented director Odencat.
The game is about many different snowmen who enter an existential crisis after learning that they will melt in the season of Spring, and you learn about what led them to run away by watching their last memories.
Unlike their previous mobile game Mousebusters – Snowman Story is almost entirely like watching an animated short film play out and occasionally it lets you do a few puzzles.
While the puzzles are not too difficult, the game still offers you the ability to skip all of them, so you can watch it entirely like a short film quite literally too.
With such little gameplay and a heart-touching premise, does Snowman Story live up to the developers’ general standard? Let's find out.
The gameplay is usually the first thing I get into when reviewing a game, but there’s not much gameplay
to talk about here.
Mousebusters was also a bit automated in terms of its gameplay but at least it still managed to throw in a lot of elements such as the shooting aspect and the choices between what you want to do in the game.
Snowman Story on the other hand is very limited and only lets you walk around and talk to the NPCs.
It has occasional puzzle segments but they become rather repetitive after the first two times and just begin feeling like unnecessary filler content.
The same goes for the endless flashbacks as well – I love the concept and I felt bad for several of the snowmen due to their stories, but it just continues on for too long and half of the stories are incredibly basic and feel like a way to increase the game’s time.
The repetitive elements also include things like long animations, such as the snowman walking through the woods while traveling to a different scene, which just adds up even more to the filler content.
Unfortunately, due to the game’s extremely automated design and lack of originality between its different moments as they practically replicate themselves or re-use animations, it ends up becoming repetitive and almost feels like a chore to get through at certain points.
That’s not to say it’s terrible though, because it does redeem itself every now and then with a nice moment.
The graphics of Snowman Story are pretty decent and have crisp 16-bit pixels that beautifully bring the story
The textures are great and both the characters and environments are detailed enough to be fun to look at as their stories unfold. The game saves its time by rendering some characters as silhouettes though, which isn’t the worst thing but it is quite obvious that proper sprites would have been preferred over that.
The UI and polish are pretty simple but that’s good enough for the type of game Snowman story is, and I did not run into any issues or confusing interfaces in my time with it.
The soundtrack is pretty relaxing and pleasant to listen to and does a good job of making you feel the emotions of the story, such as joy and melancholy. The sound effects are decent too although the game does not have many of them.
The game’s soundtrack is even available on Soundcloud, but while I think it’s good enough for the game – it’s not something I would listen to outside of it.
One important thing that I need to mention, though, is that the game’s free version is not a fun experience. Unlike Mousebusters which never made you watch ads in an annoying or persistent manner, things are different with Snowman Story.
In this game, you have to watch ads for important parts of the story to progress and the ads are quite long as well.
As I mentioned, the game lets you see memories of other snowmen to learn more about the story (which becomes quite repetitive at a later point due to a lack of variety) – and if you are playing the game for free you have to watch a long ad every single time.
It just feels too much of the same and having to watch ads on repeat for short story segments is just overkill and begins to feel boring.
So, if you do wish to play the game, consider buying the full story plus no ads package. Otherwise, the experience is just not worth it.
Snowman Story is a mobile game that definitely has a beautiful concept and some heart-touching moments every once in a while. But it’s not much of a video game and often feels repetitive due to filler content.