I’ve played many games this weekend. Too many, in fact. Some big, some small, some on my phone, some on my handhelds, some on my consoles. Even managed to get a round of Awesomenauts in on the PC, too.
From the bunch of games I’ve played over the weekend, one in particular stood out: Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight. It’s a free-to-play game that’s more or less identical to Bejeweled Blitz. You have a board of different gems that you need to align to make a row of three or more. Every time you match three or more, they disappear and the board shuffles downwards.
The reason this one stood out for me is because I typically can’t stand free-to-play game. After having witnessed my better half descend into the madness that is Candy Crush Saga, I couldn’t see the appeal of a limited amount of play time and waiting for a new day to roll around to get the free stock of ‘lives,’ which you run out of and can replenish with real money.
I’m ashamed to say I got rather addicted. The game is, as the title implies, based (at least artistically) on the ridiculously popular Frozen movie. What does the theme add to the game? For me, nothing. I’ve never seen the film, but I’ve heard the annoying chimes of “let it go, let it goooo” up and down the high street for what seems like an eternity. So while I’m familiar with the franchise, it didn’t really add anything to my opinion of the core gameplay.
Characters from the movie make an appearance by standing next to the board and offering a thumbs up of encouragement and the like, but that’s just to keep the screen interesting. It’s probably more for the kids, too. The game starts off rather easy by handing out power-ups and setting low score targets which you’ll smash without effort. The difficulty quickly ramps up. A lot.
I’d gone through around 15 of the game’s levels before I’d failed a task and lost a life. No matter, I still had some power-ups which I’d not yet used, so I gave them a shot. Sure enough, the power-ups (an ice-pick to knock away single blocks, a snowball to add a few seconds to the timer, and a snowflake to clear all of any given colour) got me right back on track.
The next level was even more difficult, though I managed to scrape by thanks to the Mrs.’ expert knowledge of these kinds of games. Eventually, I surrendered the controller to the self-declared “Frozen Princess” and took on a secondary role of, well, just sort of sitting there. We finally got to a point where we’d run out of lives and were offered the opportunity to buy more. Here comes the kicker…
The prices are outrageous. You can buy 15 seconds of additional time for £0.79. That’s for 15 seconds. Of course, you can buy in bulk – and that’s true with all items – but what you pay for isn’t really, at least in my opinion, worth anything. I’m all for developers making a bit of money from free-to-play games, but perhaps a better pricing model would help sell the idea a little better.
Even with the eye-watering prices, I still found myself having a good bit of silly fun with the game. It’s got a nice charm to it, and even though it’s not a graphical showcase, it’s still got some pretty visuals that I can’t help but admire. What can I say, I’m a sucker for pretty colours. It’s a simple game that we’ve all played before at one point, but it’s harmless and perhaps it’s not really intended for a 25-year-old male whose favourite games are shooters, action-adventures, and racers.
Disclaimer: This review was conducted using the PS4 code of the game.