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Android  header logo

Snow Bros

For: Android

Snow joke

Product: Snow Bros | Developer: Isac Entertainment Corp | Format: Android | Genre: Arcade, Retro | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Snow Bros Android, thumbnail 1
If you’re a fan of collecting obscure Japanese video games, then you may wish to look away now.

The original arcade version of Snow Bros was converted to the Sega Mega Drive way back in 1993, but in ridiculously limited quantities. The Japanese version now changes hands for more than £200.

In contrast, this Android port of the same game can be downloaded for the far more reasonable sum of approximately 60 English pence. You don’t need to be a mathematics genius to work out that that’s quite a saving, and may make a few hardcore collectors very grumpy indeed.

But for most of us, this resurrection of a long-forgotten classic is a cause for celebration.

Coded by the now-defunct Toaplan - a studio famous for its shooters and made up of staff who would later go on to establish Cave (Bug Princess, DeathSmiles, DoDonPachi Resurrection) - Snow Bros is a fairly blatant clone of Taito’s Bubble Bobble, with snowmen in place of bubble-blowing dinosaurs.

Cold as ice

Although the title alludes to co-op gameplay - something which was indeed present in the coin-op version - this mobile offering is limited to single-player. Thrust into a series of platform-based levels, you’re expected to eradicate all of the monsters using your character’s snow-chucking powers.

Hurl enough snow at an enemy and it'll eventually become encased in the stuff, creating a rather neat snowball that you can kick and use as a weapon against other foes. Rebound the snowball off a wall and it scoops you up, carrying you down to the bottom of the screen and cleaning up any other hapless beasts that happen to be in the way.

Snow Bros is divided into several worlds, each comprising ten levels. The first nine feature multiple monsters, while the tenth is reserved for the boss of that particular world. These challenges require a fair amount of skill and tenacity. Thankfully, even when all your lives are expended you can retry as many times as you wish.

Balls to the lot of you

The developers have done an excellent job of upgrading the visuals of Snow Bros for high-resolution mobile phone displays. All of the sprites and backgrounds have been totally redrawn, yet they retain the same colourful charm of the arcade original. The music has also been given a make-over, and sounds even more up-tempo and compelling.

But there are some blemishes. The controls can often be a little iffy, with some inputs repeating until you tap another button. Xperia Play optimisation would have worked wonders here, but sadly the game doesn’t support Sony Ericsson’s gaming-focused phone - at least not yet, anyway.

Despite its minor ailments, Snow Bros is an engaging and appealing slice of retro fun. If you liked Bubble Bobble back in the day and fancy the idea of trying something similar but slightly different then Toaplan’s reborn classic is worth 60-odd pence of your cash - especially if you’ve ever even considered the insane prospect of selling a kidney for the super-rare Mega Drive version.
Snow Bros
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 10 May 2012
It may be a Bubble Bobble copycat, but Snow Bros offers old skool entertainment in spades, and has been lovingly upgraded to boot. If the controls can be tightened up and Xperia Play support added, it will become even better
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