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Super Snow Fight

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Deck13 Interactive
Release Date: Nov. 24, 2015

About Brian Dumlao

After spending several years doing QA for games, I took the next logical step: critiquing them. Even though the Xbox One is my preferred weapon of choice, I'll play and review just about any game from any genre on any system.


PC Review - 'Super Snow Fight'

by Brian Dumlao on Jan. 7, 2016 @ 1:00 a.m. PST

Super Snow Fight is a local multiplayer action-brawler for up to four players. Fight snowball battles against or with your friends, foes or the AI. Throw snowballs, lure people into dynamite traps, summon friendly snowmen or find other ways to win the battle.

Sometimes, simplicity is best. Games with epic stories and a ton of mechanics can be enjoyable and are what we have come to expect from many modern titles. Tutorials are almost always expected, and some concepts can take a few games before you can fully understand what's going on. Super Snow Fight isn't that kind of game. It embraces simplicity from concept to gameplay, for better or worse.

You and three other players, either controlled locally by other human players or by AI, are set up in a top-down arena and have to knock each other out with snowballs until time expires or the score limit is reached, whichever comes first. The game obeys twin-stick shooter rules in that you can move in any direction while shooting in another, though you can power your shots to make the snowballs travel a greater distance and deliver more damage. What you don't have is infinite shots, as you're limited to five snowballs in hand before you have to reload. Then again, ammo is infinite since you're simply picking it up from the ground.

Aside from standard snowballs, you have a number of extra items that can be used both offensively and defensively. You can toss grenades at opponents and use missiles, both the heat-seeking and dumb varieties. Later on, you'll be able to pick up dynamite, freeze bombs and giant snowman turrets, just to name a few. On the defensive side of things, you can pick up a giant shield or temporary invincibility. You can also grab a damage reflector, so you can hurt those who try to hurt you. There are also health pick-ups to boost your health when you're running low.

The wide variety of weaponry certainly makes up for the lack of arenas. There are a total of four locations for your skirmishes: a snowy backyard, castle grounds, a crystal mine and a graveyard. There are obstacles in each locale that block shots, and the layout of each arena is much more than a simple square; you'll have to watch out for hazards, such as moats. However, the layout for each level is the same, and with nothing like random generation in place, the arenas can get pretty old rather quickly.

The same can be said for the modes, since there are only two available. Deathmatch is exactly what you'd think it would be, while Team Deathmatch is simply a two-on-two variation. Oddly, Team Deathmatch doesn't feature any means of figuring out who belongs on which team. The only indicators are on the scoreboard, but the characters have nothing on them. With friendly fire always on, unless you choose some very distinct characters with teams sporting similar color schemes, you'll have a high chance of unintentionally scoring for the other side. Also, none of the modes feature an online version, and while the developer did say that it was possibly in the works, you'll have to go local for now.

At the very least, Super Snow Fight has plenty of characters in the roster. There are no physical or stat changes between them, so you're really choosing your favorite skin for the match, but there's enough variety that it'll take a while for repeats to appear if you choose randomly. Both these and the weapons are locked, but at least the unlock process is as simple as playing lots of matches in each level. It is a slog, but enough are initially available that the unlocks feel like bonuses instead of a way to artificially lengthen the game.

The inherent fun in throwing snowballs in real life is translated decently in game form. Even without power-ups in play, you can see how to squeeze some basic enjoyment from pelting one another with snowballs. The top-down viewpoint and inclusion of power-ups give it a pick-up-and-play feel of Bomberman, and without that series readily available on PC, this makes for a decent alternative. The speed of a character's movement, though, is slow enough that you wish some speed power-ups were available. Also, given how squirrelly the auto-aim can get and how badly it chooses which opponents to hit, players should opt for manual aiming.

As for the presentation, the character models look pretty crude and angular, much like an early PlayStation-era piece of work but with higher resolution. It animates fine, but there aren't loads of different animations it can really do. Particle effects are basic enough, and environments are pretty bland, though a few cool-looking elements seem to have physics on them, like crates and pumpkins. Things fare better in the sound department; the music, while generic, fits an action game fine, and the effects have a similar vibe. The announcer's baritone seems a little out of place for something so lighthearted, but it isn't bothersome otherwise.

Super Snow Fight is a fun but shallow experience. By their very nature, snowball fights are fun, and the addition of power-ups adds a nice twist. The arenas don't do much since there are so few of them, and with no differences in characters, the game can quickly get tedious. Still, it is enjoyable for quick sessions, more so if you haven't unlocked everything the game has to offer. It makes for quick holiday-themed fun, but it won't overthrow other heavy-hitting local multiplayer games anytime soon.

Score: 6.0/10

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