Game: A Good Snowman is Hard to Build
Genre: Puzzle, Arcade
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, App Store, Google Play)
Developers | Publishers: Draknek | Future Friends
Age Rating: US E| EU 3+
Price: US $9.99 | UK £7.39 | EU € 8,19
Release Date: September 2nd, 2021
Review code used, with many thanks to Future Friends PR
A Good Snowman is Hard to Build is the second game to feature the monster from A Monster’s Expedition that I had the pleasure of reviewing last month. This is actually the first game to feature the monster and it was developed and released on Steam a few years ago.
The little monster is lonely and wants some friends, but in this snow-covered land, friends are hard to come by. So the little monster sets out to build some friends from the crisp snow on the ground. But of course, since this is a puzzle game it’s not just as simple as rolling some snowballs together.
Each level requires one to three snowmen to be built. A snowman consists of three snowballs of different sizes which are large, medium, and small. Since there is snow on the ground in certain areas that increases the size of your snowball as you roll the snowball through it. So you have to be careful how big the snowball grows as once they are too big, you can’t build a snowman.
The challenge comes from how to position your snowballs to the right size. It’s a simple premise that is challenging in execution. Luckily you can rewind a step or restart the level in an instant which you will need as there is a lot of trial and error as you figure out the proper order of the steps you need to take.
It might not sound that difficult to make a snowman, but in practice, there’s a lot more going on. Rolling balls on areas of snow causes them to grow. They can’t get bigger than the largest ball, take it from me, if you don’t plan ahead you’ll end up with multiple balls of the same size. There are restrictions on each level as well. You can’t pull the balls, only push them, so you need to figure a way around the hedged-in space so you can build your snowman.
Short but Sweet
A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build at its core is a nice easy-going game. With intuitive and easy to moderately difficult puzzle to complete. The main game is fun, with really relaxing puzzling that can easily be finished in 1-2 hours. However, this game is a lot shorter than A Monster’s Expedition, though that is reflected in the price of the game.
How short the game is, is really the only niggle I have with A Good Snowman is Hard to Build. Once you have built roughly 30 snowmen the campaign is over. There is a bonus mini-campaign that opens after you complete the main campaign.
The mini-campaign is similar to a dream-like world where you can create snowmen with snowballs that become smaller as you roll them. That’s mind-bending the first time you try it after playing the main campaign and making snowmen the proper way. It is also more challenging to do, though not to the point of frustration.
Visuals and Controls
The game looks adorable, it is dripping in charm. The music to accompany the snowman making is delightful and easy for the ears to listen to. Controlling the monster is done by using either the touchscreen controls or the joy-cons and both perform equally well.
A Good Snowman is Hard to Build is a sweet take on the Sokoban style block-pushing puzzle. It is relaxing to play, funny, and while it’s tough, it rarely descends into frustration. It made me smile every time I completed a snowman, though I’m disappointed it is so short.
If you are a fan of this type of puzzle game you should definitely check out A Good Snowman is Hard to Build and its counterpart A Monster’s Expedition.
Final Verdict: I Like It A Lot