Coming off the back of a rare 0.5 out of 5 for Mini Hockey Battle, one of those sub-£1, no-achievement titles you sometimes see on the Xbox Store, you can imagine how thrilled we were that there was another sub-£1, no-achievement title out this week. Lightning couldn’t strike twice, could it?

snowland adventure review 1

As with most sub-£1 games, you could fit the premise onto a mini cheddar. The main character is a dude in his winter coat, auto-walking in one direction. They will merrily lemming themselves off a cliff without your help, so you have a single button to stop that from happening: a jump. With this jump, you can leap over gaps and reach a door that signifies the end of the level, which is often locked by a key. 

So, it’s an endless runner with an end (endy runner?). Mixing it up a little bit is a couple of collectibles – a mouse and a chick, perhaps to signify the coming of spring, or simply because the artist had those assets available – and some obstacles. The most common is an Uno-like ‘reverse’ block, which has you bouncing back the way you came, and allows for more intricate level designs. But there are also the customary spikes and falling blocks, as well as some blocking-blocks, which let you grab a breath before you hurtle through the level again.

Settling down to play Snowland Adventure, having played every sub-£1 game from the past year or so, we can say that this is one of the better ones. That’s not saying all that much, as the quality bar is low enough that an ant couldn’t limbo beneath it, but Snowland Adventure does have some redeeming features.

It’s attractive in a kind of early CD-ROM way. The graphics are simple and primary-coloured, but they didn’t make us wince or vomit. And the level designs are genuinely varied. Some will have you back-and-forthing your way up or down a tower, while others will be more sprawling in a single direction. The difficulty, too, is reasonably well-pitched, sitting snugly in the sweet-spot of ‘challenging’. 

snowland adventure review 2

But, be under no illusions, this is not a game that will be nudging Elden Ring off your playlist. It comes festooned with flaws, and they’re more dominant than the positives.

Most prominent of all, it doesn’t feel right. There’s something amiss with the controls and the way the world reacts to you that makes for an infuriating play. Miss a platform, and you will often glitch onto an invisible, parallel platform that’s a centimetre or two beneath it, as if the game felt sorry for you and pinned up a safety net. There are gaps between supposedly continuous platforms that will cause you to disappear off the screen, even though you felt safe as houses.

Jump out from behind a block, and you’ll sometimes catapult off wildly, as if the snow-dude has been sitting there powering up to 9000 while he’s been waiting.

 It’s hard to know where the odd game design ends and the bugs begin. There’s certainly something wrong, but it’s not obvious whether it’s intentional or not. We died plenty of times, but – if we were to sort them into two piles – we’d say that roughly half would be down to some weirdo game behaviour, rather than our own mistakes.

The level design doesn’t get away scott-free either. Snowland Adventure’s love for moving platforms is a bad mix with the auto-movement. You can be joyfully strolling towards a gap, only to realise that you haven’t timed it well with a moving platform – it’s now too far away to land on – and your only option is death. Occasionally, Snowland Adventure knows it’s a problem and dunks down a block that you can wait behind, but it’s inconsistently placed, and the feeling of impending doom is frequent and naff.

snowland adventure review 3

Then there’s the magically appearing exit door. Once you pick up the key for a level, that is when the door will appear, which is often too late. There’s a panicked ‘where am I meant to go?’ at this point, and a simple fly-over or an arrow in the right direction would have helped no-end. We had a few moments of tumbling to our doom as we scanned the screen for a doorway.

Last of all, Snowland Adventure can only offer up twenty levels. They’re not long, either: we’d estimate twenty to thirty minutes from start to finish. The difficulty escalates, but never to a point that you’re ramming a controller into the TV, so they’re gone in a couple of flicks of a lamb’s tail. Whether those flicks are worth 89p is largely subjective, but – for our part – the frustrations and game length mean it’s a reasonably confident ‘no’.

Snowland Adventure gets points for trying. It’s better than the average sub-£1 game on the Xbox Store, in that it’s colourful and knows its way around a puzzle. But it mostly gets melted away by bugs and a runtime that wouldn’t get you through an episode of Ice Road Truckers. 

As with most of the 79p and 89p games on the Xbox Store, you’re far better off putting a pound in the kitty for every one that you don’t buy. Treat yourself, buy something pretty.

You can buy Snowland Adventure from the Xbox Store for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Coming off the back of a rare 0.5 out of 5 for Mini Hockey Battle, one of those sub-£1, no-achievement titles you sometimes see on the Xbox Store, you can imagine how thrilled we were that there was another sub-£1, no-achievement title out this week. Lightning couldn’t strike twice, could it? As with most sub-£1 games, you could fit the premise onto a mini cheddar. The main character is a dude in his winter coat, auto-walking in one direction. They will merrily lemming themselves off a cliff without your help, so you have a single button to stop that from…

Pros:

  • Looks jolly enough
  • Some levels are well designed, using the limited tools on offer

Cons:

  • Only amounts to twenty minutes of gaming
  • Manages to pack in plenty of bugs
  • Moving platforms and auto-walk don’t mix
  • Lacks features and replayability
  • No.

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
  • Version reviewed - Xbox One on Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 9 Mar 2022
  • Launch price from - £4.19
TXH Score

1.5/5

Pros:

  • Looks jolly enough
  • Some levels are well designed, using the limited tools on offer

Cons:

  • Only amounts to twenty minutes of gaming
  • Manages to pack in plenty of bugs
  • Moving platforms and auto-walk don’t mix
  • Lacks features and replayability
  • No.

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
  • Version reviewed - Xbox One on Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 9 Mar 2022
  • Launch price from - £4.19

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