Snow Bros. Special Review thumbnail

Snow Bros. Special Review

Nick & Tom return

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on

Snow Bros. Special is rated Teen by the ESRB

Old-school gamers have been blessed with a wealth of recent retro revivals so here's a recreation of the arcade classic Snow Bros.

Snow Bros. Special screenshot 1
That sumo fellow has the powers of a god

An arcade obscurity

Not many gamers are aware of Snow Bros. as it's quite an obscure title from 1990. For the unfamiliar, it's a single-screen stage-based arcade game just like classics such as Bubble Bobble and Rod Land as well as modern interpretations of the formula like Tamiku. Personally, I'm only familiar with the NES release as it was one of my favourite games to rent from the local pet store / game rental place when I was a wee lad. I loved building snowmen so being able to play as one as you try to rescue the princesses Puripuri and Puchipuchi really sparked my imagination. Anyway, Snow Bros. Special faithfully recreates the arcade release and it's quite a throwback for better and for worse. v1d30chumz 18-232-59-38

Gameplay

Considering Snow Bros. Special remains faithful to the arcade release, it plays identically as you throw snowballs at enemies then push them to hopefully mow down other enemies in its path. The challenge is all about timing and predicting where the snowball will roll because if you can get a bunch of enemies in one go, you'll earn a substantial score as a result. Meanwhile, there's a decent variety of enemy types that you'll have to keep a careful eye on as well as fun power-ups that may make you faster, throw further, and even inflate so you can float around the stage invincibly. How weird is that? Although all of this is enjoyable stuff, I kind of wish Snow Bros. Special took the same route as Bubble Bobble 4 Friends by offering a completely modern take on the classic as it hasn't held up all that well.

Snow Bros. Special screenshot 2
Hey, this isn't fair...

Presentation

The most substantial upgrade for Snow Bros. Special is its visuals which are cartoonish complete with well-animated sprites that really come to life. In fact, I actually much prefer these modern graphics to the classic arcade game as everything stands out perfectly and watching the enemies pace around as you launch snowballs at them is a treat, especially when you get caught up in a snowball which looks very silly indeed. Meanwhile, the music is charming and matches the gameplay but what's even cooler is that you can select the modern soundtrack or the classic one which should make long-time fans of the arcade original quite nostalgic. 🎵

Stage designs

Even though Snow Bros. Special is a pretty fun game, its most annoying aspect by far is its stage designs. Yes, they're simply copied from the original but guess what? They were pretty frustrating back in the day, too, so I wish that they smoothed over the more annoying stages by adding some gameplay mechanics and such. Specifically, there are levels where you can get trapped with no means of jumping out of a pit and some enemy formations are downright brutal. Thankfully, you can play cooperatively with a chum which makes these moments much easier to deal with and it is a lot more fun in general to play via co-op anyway. 😊

Extras

Lastly, let's discuss the extras in Snow Bros. Special. Right now, there isn't much: the classic 50 or 80 stage arcade campaign (depending on the difficulty), a mode where you only have 1 life, and a time attack mode. There is also paid DLC in the form of Monster Challenge Mode where you can unlock and play as each enemy type but it doesn't seem worth it. In fact, they should have included it as part of the main game because there simply isn't enough content as it is. Speaking of which, I wish they added the classic versions of Snow Bros. as I would have loved to play the original arcade game and relive some memories of the NES cart that I continuously rented as a kid.

Snow Bros. Special screenshot 3
These goblins kind of creep me out

Snow Bros. Special is a faithful remake of the arcade classic that's sure to bring back memories for those who played it back in the day. The disappointing part is that the original really isn't all that good which pains me to say because I remember it fondly.

  • + Faithful recreation of the arcade original with charming new graphics
  • + Fun to play cooperatively
  • + Enjoyable modern and classic music
  • - Many annoying stage designs from the original could have been modernized
  • - Could use more modes right off the bat
  • - I wish the classic versions were included
6.6 out of 10
Gameplay video for Snow Bros. Special thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Snow Bros. Special
Namco Arcade Games Trivia

Comments for Snow Bros. Special Review

© Video Chums 2014-2022. All rights reserved. Latest article published . Privacy Policy - Video Index - Category Index - Rapid Fire Review Index