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Snow Bros review (iOS / Universal)

April 19, 2012

“Like a ball of snow, like a snowball grows”

10 word description: iOS port of Toaplan’s classic (1990) snowball-rolling arcade game.

Eliminate all enemies with a single snowball and you will be showered with cash

10 word review: Great port with less than perfect use of screen area.

You will like this if you enjoy: Snow Bros, or Bubble Bobble if you’ve never heard of Snow Bros.

Cool – they added a level select screen

The good news: The port is pretty much perfect, as far as gameplay, graphics and audio are concerned. Good performance on 1st gen iPad and 4th gen Touch. Individual levels can be selected (as a start point) once they have been reached/unlocked. The gameplay is very good, as anyone who has played Snow Bros in an arcade or on MAME will know.

The stage 1 boss fight

The bad news: The game doesn’t make the best use of the available screen area on either device. Orientation is selected by tapping a “View mode” button and resets to portrait before every new game while you’re playing. Although the virtual d-pad and buttons do actually work very well, I’d like to see other options and less intrusive on-screen controls. There’s no 2-player mode, so your Snow Bro has no bro; sorry about that!

Arcadelife verdict: Everything I used to love about Snow Bros is here in this version, plus a level select that means you don’t have to play from the start every time. In addition, each level has a 3-star rating based on your score, with a special “All Kill” rating if you manage to wipe out all the enemies with one snowball. The screen size of the iOS devices could have been used more effectively, the controls could be improved, the bizarre method of constantly changing orientation at the start of every game could definitely do with being sorted out, and some kind of 2-player mode would be nice.

Gotta kill ’em all

However, in spite of those gripes, this is still a great single-screen action platformer in the same style as Bubble Bobble and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in a solid, enhanced port of a classic arcade game.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8/10
Audio – 8.5/10
Controls – 7/10
Content – 9/10
Fun – 9/10
Final rating – 83/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.0
iTunes link
Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.0.1)
iPad (OS 5.0.1)
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