App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Snow Kids is the kind of game you want to root for. It’s charming, colorful, and faithfully retro. It even has a unique snowball attack mechanic in it. The only problem is the platforming and level design in Snow Kids is not as interesting as it looks. What’s here is a pretty bland retro platformer with a nice coat of paint on it.
When you boot up Snow Kids for the first time, you’re greeted with some bright, Super Nintendo-era sprite graphics and a bouncing chiptune soundtrack. There’s character and charm in the game’s opening cinematic that's enticing and irresistable.
Once you dive into actually playing Snow Kids though, what's there is a very simple platformer where you can also throw snowballs at enemies to freeze them. Once frozen, touching the enemies sends them sliding away from you until they hit an obstacle and die. The goal of each level is to use your jumping and snowball throwing abilities to get through levels while collecting as many little purple jewels as you can find.
A cold world
There’s nothing wrong with simple platformers. In fact, keeping things simple in mobile platformers is generally good practice. Unfortunately though, there’s a lot of levels in Snow Kids, and it takes a long time for the game to ramp up to a difficulty that poses even a remote challenge. As a result, a lot of the start of Snow Kids is a lot of colorful, though mechanically bland and easy platforming.
As things get more challenging, I wish I could say that Snow Kids also gets more interesting. Instead, the game's challenge ends up coming from obstacles and level setups common to many other platformers, which is disappointing considering the game has its own unique style and snowball attack mechanics.
Snow Kids is a free-to-play game, which in this case means it’s ad-supported, though you can make a one-time purchase of $3.99 to unlock the premium version of the game. This premium version gets rid of ads entirely and allows you to use checkpoints in the game with no sort of penalty or payment.
The premium version of the game is definitely the way to play Snow Kids, but that doesn’t mean the game suddenly becomes more interesting once you pay for it. Checkpointing is nice, but you rarely use them until the game gets annoyingly challenging, and then the checkpointing doesn’t feel frequent enough to feel as valuable as it could be while trying to get through the game.
The bottom line
Snow Kids has its own sense of personality and a unique attack mechanic, but the game somehow still manages to feel pretty generic. There aren’t a lot of new ideas as it pertains to enemies or levels here, and the game’s difficulty feels like it ramps up about as quickly as glaciers move. There’s a case to be made for Snow Kids presenting a bright and colorful yet shallow platforming experience that you might like to bust out occasionally, but the App Store has so many other, better platforming options for filling this niche at this point that it you’re better served by skipping it.