Published on December 29th, 2015 | by Patrick Garde0
A Good Snowman is Hard to Build Review
A Good Snowman is Hard to Build is a light and cheerful puzzle game developed by Alan Hazelden and Benjamin Davis. The latter being the artist behind the art-style, and the former behind the puzzle designs. The original soundtrack was covered by Ryan Roth.
This iOS and Android game has little story woven within it as possible. Simplicity of the story is as follows: you’re a monster, and you build snowmen. There is nothing more to it than that which results in the story being non-existent. It’s not that bad as the player can focus solely on the puzzles that are given on hand.
The gameplay in A Good Snowman is Hard to Build literally revolves around you building yourself a snowman, but it will all be down to you figuring out exactly how, for that particular puzzle. The way the puzzle work is that whenever your start a new one, you’re given access to three snowballs. These snowballs can either vary in size from small, medium, and large, or you could even start off with three small snowballs, at which point it then becomes your job to get yourself one of each size of snowball.
The reason behind getting one of each size is because that is how you build a snowman. You start off with a large snowball, and then you push the medium snowball onto it, and then you complete your snowy masterpiece by placing the small snowball on top, and you will be rewarded with a little animation of the snowman being given a few little extra touches, like a hat, scarf, and other little details.
Building a snowman isn’t all that easy (hence, the title, A Good Snowman is Hard to Build) since with each new snowman you need to build, you will come across a number of obstacles that will make building your snow-filled friend a struggle. Thankfully, there are a couple of mechanics in play to help make that dream snowman of yours. One of these mechanics is where you can place a smaller snowball on top of a larger one, and then you can push it in any direction available to you. At first, it isn’t a mechanic you’ll make much use of, but trust me, the time will come where that becomes a necessity.
Along with that, there’s a mechanic where whenever you roll a snowball along snow, it increases in size, from small to medium to large. Once the snowball has reached the largest size it can go, it will simply clear that square of snow, so you can roll a smaller snowball along it, without the worry of increasing its size. That right there is a mechanic you want to master as soon as possible.
When it comes to controls, the iPhone game opts for the more simplified approach. For instance, you will move your character by tapping on the screen for the destination you would like the monster to go. To make a snowman, you need to roll snowballs, you will have to swipe in the desired direction for the ball to be rolled, providing it can be pushed, since your character can’t pull back on a snowball.
Instead of the traditional puzzle game for iPad where completing a level and then moving on, you have it all open to you instead, and can just walk into the next little area for the new puzzle. With each puzzle you solve, the world you’re playing in will open up a little passageway, allowing you into the succeeding puzzle.
In terms of aesthetics, the Android game has a cute graphics style that anyone can enjoy. Visually, the game looks gorgeous, and the overall cute design it has in every single aspect of the game only improves it as a whole.
Original soundtrack for the iPhone game is beautifully done, and I didn’t notice that at first, but once I used the telescope in the game for the first time, which slowly zooms out to show you how well you’ve done, the game plays this beautiful piece of music along with it. I can’t deny that I proceeded to redo that particular action, just for that piece of music, all from a composer who certainly did one darn good job on this one.
The only real problem I can find with the iPad game is that it does seem a little short, even more so if you’re an individual who really enjoys their puzzle games. To extend the length of the game, you can try to get the optional achievements and there are a set of bonus puzzles as well.
Overall, A Good Snowman is Hard to Build ($4.99) is one solid game, that does so little wrong. Graphically, it’s gorgeous, and so is the soundtrack. Puzzles are fun and satisfying to finish, and yet they’re not too challenging to the point where it gets frustrating. Only crux of the Android game that I can think of is how short it is, which does include the lack of replay-value, due to the fact that doing the same puzzles all over again don’t provide the same challenge as they first did.
Summary: A Good Snowman is Hard to Build is a great puzzle game, and one you shouldn’t pass up at all, especially with those gorgeous graphics and that beautiful soundtrack. But once you beat the game, you probably won’t find yourself coming back to it except for the optional achievements and bonus puzzles, if you want to extend the game.