Snow Bros
For years after the release of Taito's magnificent Bubble Bobble, many arcade manafacturers copied it's basic two-simultaneous-players-cutesy-platform formula in the hope of cashing in on the game's success. Taito, of course produced their own brilliant sequels - Rainbow Islands and Parasol Stars - and in 1990 Romstar/Toaplan created Snow Bros.

For those poor unfortunates who have never played any of the aforementioned classics, the concept behind these games and others like them is simple - platform action where the aim is to dispose of a handful of baddies on each screen using whatever outlandish method dreamt up by the manafacturer. In Bubble Bobble our dinosaur heroes blew - yup, you guessed it - bubbles, Rainbow Islands had it's rainbows, Parasol Stars - umbrellas and Snow Bros has it's characters chucking snow about like nobody's business.

Here's how the game works: each stage is set on a single platform-littered screen. Enemies appear which must all be destroyed before the player can progress to the next, more challenging level. Players must throw snow at the baddies to turn them into giant snowballs which can then be kicked to final destruction. Other baddies hit by a snowballed enemy are also destroyed and this is where the game's bonus features come into play. Destroying several enemies at once leads to some nice bonuses and also reveals power-ups including larger shots, longer shots and speed-ups. The game is set over 50 levels and each 10th screen contains a big, bad, boss.

Kill huge green ogres with ... er ... snow

It would be easy to dismiss Snow Bros as a second-rate clone of Taito's masterpiece, and to be honest, on first playing this bastard son of Bobble that is exactly what I did. However, a few levels later I had to admit that at worst Snow Bros is a first-rate copy of the classic. The five bosses are a welcome addition and all are well-designed - in particular the birds at the end of stage three have a brilliant humourous look about them and are accompanied by some great sound effects. There are some annoying parts to the game, including sections where you'll find yourself unable to reach a baddie and have to wait ages for it to make it's way to your part of the screen. Also, more bonuses would help keep interest levels up. Overall though, Snow Bros is well worth investigating, especially for fans of Bubble Bobble and its ilk.

Graphics: 82%

Sound: 68%

Gameplay: 84%

Overall: 82%
Nicely detailed, 'cartoony' graphics. Humourous in places and the bosses look good. Catchy but annoying music and above average sound effects. As good as Bubble Bobble? Not quite but still a very playable game - especially with a human partner. Could do with more levels and more bonuses. Where are the huge melons?!? Completely unoriginal but highly playable. If you are looking for another Bubble Bobble-type cutesy-platformer, you could do a lot worse than Snow Bros.
R E C O M M E N D E D   A L T E R N A T I V E S
Bubble Bobble • Parasol Stars • Rainbow Islands

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