June 11, 2013

2 Minute Drill: Snow Bros. for the NES

Snow Bros. is a platform game made for the NES back in 1990. The NES version of this game is very rare; and I’ve heard similar for the Famicom version. This is a standard platformer, but it does the genre a service. The object of the game, and I didn’t really care for the story anyways- is to rescue the damsel in distress. Common stuff. So you ascend a couple of levels of this weird mix of Buddhist/Hindu levels to fight bosses and free the princess. This game is a lot like a mix of Dig Dug and Bubble Bobble- both very good games in their respective genres and generations.

There are a certain amount of enemies on each floor, and the objective is to snowball them to death. Yeah, snow ball ‘em. You can then push the snow ball or ride it back to the bottom. You can even knock other monsters out, and when you do, a potion appears. These are different powerups, and sometimes you will get candy pieces for additional points.

The music gets redundant after a while, but they do change the theme up on you across the board, which is nice. The controls are solid for an NES title- very rarely do you see an NES game master the controls of the basic pad- dare I say better than Super Mario Bros. I cheated and used a turbo controller, but it’s just as easy to use the normal controls. What sets this game apart is not only the good variety of enemies with special abilities, but the layout of each level. The ramps and platforms are different slants and shapes along with the art.

The enemies…. Look weird. If you’ve ever seen the medieval Latin pictures of Satan and his minions… yeah they look like something out of that. They are slightly creepy, but the tone of the game is light. The bosses are somewhat challenging, to my surprise. In a quick run through of the game I was able to get through about 40 floors. You get only 2 lives, but 9 credits- so about 18 lives or so. The annoying resets, or we can just call them resets- are tolerable; something rare for an average NES title, but this game is far from average.

As said before, this game is rare. In the box it can command up to $400 US dollars. Loose, around $150-$200. It’s expensive; so pick it up if you find it in a bargain bin somewhere. I give Snow Bros. an 84/100. Good job guys- it’s too bad this game was under the radar for a while.

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