Adventure Corner ~ Snowman Story
Welcome to Adventure Corner, a column where members of the RPGamer staff can give their thoughts, impressions, and pseudo-reviews for various adventure titles that don’t come under our usual coverage. Adventure Corner is aimed at delivering opinions on a wide range of titles including visual novels, point-and-click adventures, investigative mysteries, and so forth.
In this edition of the column, we take a look at Snowman Story on PC.
My mother was an avid collector of snowman figurines. We probably had well over a hundred unique snowmen who made their appearance during the holiday seasons, each with their own distinct personality. While my mother has been gone seven years now, I kept a few of the snowmen she owned, which are a lovely reminder of her. Odencat’s Snowman Story is a sincere two-hour romp that looks at family, relationships, and the importance of empathy.
Our story begins with a sweet and lonely little boy who puts together a snowman named Chris. Chris is brought to life on one cold winter evening and is happy to live a simple existence. However, a crow perches himself on top of Chris’ head and says that Chris should be fearful of the spring to come. When Chris asks why, the crow laughs at him, stating that snow melts and Chris’ existence is limited. Frightened, Chris runs away in hopes of finding the North Pole, where he’d be able to live forever in “paradise.” Along the way, he finds other animals, and relics of snowmen past, each with a special story of how they came to be and when they melted.
Those expecting a wholesome experience should be warned that many of the subject matters that Snowman Story tackles are surprisingly heavy. The game has a large focus on grief, commitment issues, and loneliness. Many of the objects Chris finds give snapshots of an earlier snowman’s life and many of the stories are heartbreaking. From a man who loves to make snow art being told that his creations are too scary, to an overworked father whose promises to play with his son end in an argument, there is a lot to emotionally digest in Snowman Story‘s short run time. That isn’t to say it’s all darkness here, as there is just as much hope and light to balance the tough subject matters.
The story is also beautifully presented thanks to the gorgeous pixel artwork done by Odencat. The amount of details on each of the snowmen feels so unique and distinctive, providing each one with so much life and personality. The environments are simple but effective and charming to peruse. While the game only has a small handful of tracks, each one is lovely to listen to and accompanies the story beats very well.
Outside of the story, sliding puzzles are a huge component of Snowman Story. Each puzzle ramps up in difficulty as the game goes on, and for the most part, they are quite enjoyable, though they do lack variety. If players get stuck, there is the option for hints, which when selected clearly label the direction the player needs to go. Players can also restart puzzles if they feel frustrated, or skip them entirely if sliding puzzles are not their jam. There is a good handful of puzzles throughout the game, but they don’t add anything substantial other than to pad the time.
Playing Snowman Story made my heart feel very full. I was pleasantly surprised by how emotional of an experience it was, and more importantly that its story had a lot of deeper feelings than how the game presents itself on the surface. Odencat has made such a wonderful game full of magic and empathy and has packed it into a very tight two-hour experience. While the puzzles might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they add something else beyond just a simple story of a boy and his snowman. For the price of a cup of coffee, Snowman Story is a holiday treat for anyone who loves short and sweet gaming experiences.
Disclosure: This article is based on a free copy of the game provided by the publisher.