|Publisher: Mumbo Jumbo Genre: Arcade|
|Min OS X: 10.1 CPU: G3 @ 450 MHz RAM: 128 MB|
GraphicsThe graphics in Snowball Run are pretty undemanding 3D OpenGL fare with relatively simple polygonal shapes, but they look very nice indeed. The amusement park initially is done up in pastel colors and whites, but the shading gives good depth and texture. Later on in the game the park moves to a darker color scheme with the same nice shading work. Did I mention that the penguin is cute?
Animation in the game is also well used. The google-eyed bonus fish rotate above the track, and a good number of the tracks themselves also have moving platforms. The background amusement rides are animated, which ties the background in with the activity on the tracks themselves without being at all distracting. This also lends a bit more flavor to the otherwise fairly static level score screens. There are also some minor particle effects when the snowball is close to the track's edge and at the track goalposts.
I only have minor complaints about Snowball Run's graphics. The snowball, although nicely translucent, is also a bit featureless. An indicator on the snowball as to where it actually contacts the track could also have been helpful. I could also have done without the visible JPEG compression on little pengy guy's parachute, but I'm just picking nits here.
SoundThe music is a tuba and glockenspiel parade march not often heard in gaming today, but it definitely works considering the game's theme park setting. It's also perfectly appropriate to the gameplay - it's penguin driving music that really makes you want to put miles on a snowball. Too bad the music will sometimes cut out altogether leaving just the sound effects.
Sound plays a big part in the appeal of little pengy guy in that he's very high pitched and very into his work. His verbal reaction to reaching the goal is what really makes the penguin victory dance endlessly entertaining, and the poor little guy actually seems to cry if the level times out or he runs out of lives. The kitten shriek of impending penguin doom when little pengy guy falls off the track is hard to describe, but it's cute. He also gulps down fish with gusto.
ConclusionSnowball Run's icky-cutesy packaging may throw prospective buyers off; but underneath all the pink and sprinkles is a compulsively playable game of interest to all ages and experience levels that everyone within earshot of your computer is probably going to want to try at least once. It's a solid game that's well worth purchasing, especially considering the amount of entertainment you'll get at the price point.
Pros- Kind to mobile gamers
- Good entertainment value for the price
- So very cute
Cons- Camera and control flakiness
- Maybe too cute