Snowflake’s Chance [Steam Store Page] is aptly named and hard as hell.
Snowflake, the small, powerless bunny you’ll be controlling throughout the game, had a destiny: eat 4 pieces of delicious corn. But one of these pieces of corn made Snowball sick, and he died, falling down the 21 layers of the Pit. But Snowball still needs to fulfill his destiny, so he’ll need to climb the daunting and volatile abyss to get back to the surface.
Snowball’s Chance is a 2D platformer that asks a lot of the player, all while continuously mocking and poking fun at the player’s inevitable failures. Careful calculation is a necessity in order to conquer the hells of Snowflake’s Chance. But planning alone won’t get you out of the Pit, climbing the gauntlet-like and treacherous abyss also takes patience, skill and even more patience.
The game is unforgiving, and Snowball is “ineffectual.” You only have 99 lives to climb the Pit, so every decision matters. Dying doesn’t just get rid of a life, either, you’ll also lose all previously collected power-ups and keys. Level design in Snowball’s Chance is deliberate; there isn’t just one way to get to the top. When you’re dropped at the bottom of the Pit, it’s daunting, as it rightfully should be. Dropping to the bottom of the Pit doesn’t happen just the beginning, either. The entirety of the game is interconnected, so it’s possible to fall to the very bottom of the Pit from the top of it.
There’s an enormous amount of strategy and decision making involved to make it to the top of the pit. There are little animals that Snowball can swallow then use later. For example, Snowball can swallow puppies that are trapped in the Pit. Other monsters are more likely to attack puppies than Snowball, but puppies can also be used as a trampoline to reach areas easier, or previously inaccessible platforms. Even falling down takes strategy. Do you risk climbing the level again, or will you kill yourself to respawn at a checkpoint?
Snowball’s Chance’s music is amazing. Catchy, yet disturbing tones carry throughout the climb, and even stuck with me after. The art-style is haunting, but incredibly fitting. The entire game is hand-drawn. Small subtleties and nuances become easily apparent to any watchful eye. Snowball is easily the best animated aspect in the game, with his frightened reactions and frantic scurries, he truly is a pleasure to watch.
However, for how strangely appealing Snowball looks, he is a pain to control. It took a good while to get over some of the strange design choices, like having to press up near a ledge in order to climb it, rather than doing so automatically. Scurrying up the walls didn’t always work, either. At it’s best, this mechanic made for some intense, heart-pounding escapes. At it’s worst, it unnecessarily killed me, wasting precious lives.
Snowball’s Chance is hard, yet rewarding. It establishes rules, yet has no problem breaking them. These injustices, although unfair, aren’t out of place. The game keeps you on your toes through the tense playthrough. You will die. You’ll probably rage quit, but it’s a solid journey through-and-through.