Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
What if Crossy Road were a stealth game? That seems to be the question that Winter Fugitives tries to answer. As a Frogger-ish free-to-play game featuring an escaped prisoner avoiding guards, finding companions, and unlocking stockpiles, this game's a bit of a twist on Hipster Whale's smash hit. Unfortunately for Winter Fugitives though, it doesn't quite have enough to it to make it as compelling or as much of a standout.
For anyone who has played Crossy Road, Winter Fugitives feels very familiar. Players tap on the screen to make their escaped prisoner move forward while swiping left, right, and down can make him move in those directions, respectively. Instead of avoiding cars and trains though, Winter Fugitive is all about staying out of sight of guards that are patrolling the wintery landscape. In order to do this players can either avoid guards altogether, or sneak up on them and render them unconscious with a sleeper hold maneuver.
As players progress past waves of guards they'll come across coins, keys, stockpiles, trap doors, and even other prisoners. Coins act as in-game currency, and can be used to bribe guards when players get caught or to pay for shortcuts, while keys can be used to unlock stockpiles for coins or trap doors to jump further up the map. When players come across additional inmates, they'll get a little piece of dialogue along with some coins or keys.
This is more or less all of what Winter Fugitives has to offer. While it has some neat touches, like a "raised alert" system for when guards come across incapacitated compatriots, it's largely an endless hopper with very few persistent hooks. If it at least had additional unlockable characters, costumes, or something, playing it might feel a little more compelling. But in lieu of having anything like that, itfeels pretty shallow.
Winter Fugitives is a bit disappointing. The stealth mechanics, while present, don't do much to shake up the Crossy Road formula and the relative lack of unlockables makes it feel way less compelling. I don't think the idea of having a sneaky-style endless hopper is necessarily a bad one, but Winter Fugitives ultimately fails to prove otherwise.