Genre: Platformer Developer: Toaplan Publisher: Tengen Players: 1-2 Released: 1993
Snow Bros.: Possibly one of the most bizarre yet unoriginal arcade style games to be ported from the arcade to the Mega Drive. Don’t get me wrong though just because this game isn’t original doesn’t mean that it is a travesty! In fact Snow Bros is possibly one the most addictive two player games on the Mega Drive, due to its insane length and extremely durable gameplay.
Although it contains an amalgam of previous styles seen in classic arcade games such as Donkey Kong, Ice Climbers, Bubble Bobble, and Mario Bros., Snow Bros. is reasonably fun to play. The basic premise asks you to control one of the Snow Bros, either Nick or Tom, and take him through level after level (or floors as this game calls them) until you either finish the game or you lose your temper and give it the finger due to its excessive length.
The game focuses on the crisis of two little snowmen. What is this crisis? A heat wave? A grocer? No, it seems that these snowmen have amazingly hot girlfriends (for snowmen anyway). A demon that resembles Shin from Fist of the North Star for some reason has a libido overdrive and kidnaps both of Nick and Tom’s babes. I don’t know why but I still haven’t grasped the fact that two anime chicks are hooked up with a pair of dungaree wearing snowmen. Sigh!
There are fifty floors here and they basically all have the same design with like two or three alterations every so often. All floors have their fair share of evil insane creatures that will obviously try to stop your progress in their own special way. You’ll fight rambling devils, fire breathing dwarf-lizards, spinning hobos, and a constipated sumo wrestler – possibly the entire roster of major bad guys . Nick or Tom kick some ass by throwing snowballs at them. This will freeze the enemy for literally a second and if you keep throwing snowballs at the frozen cretin you will turn them into a giant snowball, which will clear out any enemy it touches when kicked down. One more thing is this evil Pumpkin ghost that appears when you fail to finish a stage in a certain time. This guy is immortal so when he shows up you better get the hell out of there before he gets you.
Lather, rinse and repeat! That’s the entire context of gameplay for Snow Bros. but you will get thrown into a bizarre boss battle every ten floors. You’ll battle a fierce looking goblin that fires out monsters in a Lakitu style, two goliaths that fly around after you like demented morons, and the last boss, which is something out of hell itself. The majority of the bosses are very odd to say the least and they are pretty original to boot. They all seem to shoot out things that you can snow up and kick them back. The problem with the bosses is that they all need to be killed in the same way and there is little variation between them, although arcade games tend to be like this, Snow Bros. seemed to trigger this response more than any.
The main problems with the game are that the control is a immoral pain to grasp. Nick or Tom walk like zombies and get nowhere fast. When you jump you won’t go far but you’ll go high into a bad guy. Also when you throw a snowball at an enemy be prepared to press B rapidly due to the fact that enemies take almost half a second to wriggle free. The game’s 50 levels are too many in my view, though even if that amount had been cut down the game would still be just as much fun. Last but definitely not least is the fact that the game can be a terrible bore for a single player. If you bring a friend along with you it becomes a much better game and lasts a hell of a lot longer.
I enjoyed playing through Snow Bros. with a friend, but by my lonesome I could barely get past level one because of boredom. This game is one of those arcade games that you would play only once and I wouldn’t recommend spending money on it unless it is dirt-cheap (chances of this happening: -10%) and you have a partner to play it with. When you finish it though, you’ll probably leave it to gather dust in your closet for months before you pick it up again mainly because I doubt you’ll be bothered to play it again. Truthfully, it isn’t a bad game but just lacks a lot of inspiration and replay value to be considered anything more than kitsch arcade action and collector’s item.
SCORE: 7 out of 10