Jack Frost


PsychotronicJack FrostThe years have been unkind to Q*Bert. Known in early 80s video arcades as a pyramid-conquering hero, the lovable foul-mouthed trunk-beast has now been relegated to a memory. Thankfully, Nitrome has not forgotten the little guy, and he finds a new home in their latest game, along with dozens of his weird nerfy brethren. The spring in his step is gone. He trudges now, with a resigned look in his eyes and a persistent sneeze. The land of Jack Frost is no place for a creature who is 50% nose.

Jack Frost, scowling star of the final game in Nitrome's informal 2007 winter trilogy (after Thin Ice and Snow Drift), is happiest when he is cold. Your job is to turn 40 levels of autumn-colored blocks and ladders into an arctic wonderland. Control Jack with the arrow keys: [up] to jump, [left] and [right] to walk, [up] and [down] to climb. Simply step on blocks or climb ladders to freeze them. (Don't be fooled by the help sign on the first level. You have to freeze all the floors AND the ladders to finish a level.) Q*Bert will try to stop you, along with about a dozen other types of critter, but you can fight most of them by bouncing on their heads to temporarily encase them in a solid cube of ice.

Park a friend on the WASD keys, and the two of you can spread wintry devastation simultaneously. The 2-player mode is staged on the same set of levels as 1-player is, and you both work towards the same goal, but there is a competition aspect to it. At the end of a level, whoever has turned more blocks to his/her own color wins the round, and the game keeps track of who is in the lead as you progress. Co-op play is rare in the video game world, and even rarer in free online games, so Nitrome gets major points for including this option.

Analysis: Jack Frost's sluggish pace and occasional collision bugs are the price of admission to a Nitrome party, but there's not much else to complain about. If the character sprites are small, it is only so that more of the level can be shown on screen at once. The chirpy music can be turned off if it isn't to your taste, and the graphics are up to Nitrome's usual high standard. I would have appreciated another background or two over the course of 40 levels, but Mat Annal's enemy designs are colorful and distinct, and there are tons of winning animation details. You have to love it when a tongue creature gets stuck on an icy patch or when a nose creature sneezes.

What really sells this game, though, is the interactivity. Jack can use frozen enemies as stepping stones to reach higher areas. When you change a block to ice, enemies will behave differently towards it. Some will skate on it, some will breathe fire to melt it, some will merely pause to sneeze and suck back up a booger. But they react to the change you've made, and that makes you feel like an active participant in the game world. Jack is more difficult to control on the ice, and while that can be frustrating (and confusing - isn't Jack made of ice already?), it eventually just becomes part of your strategy as you try to solve levels without backtracking over the slippery patches.

If only Mr. Frost would smile once in a while. That grimace seems permanent. Let's hope his game can get a smile out of you.

Play Jack Frost

Jack Frost is also playable at MTV Arcade.

Note: The nod to Q*Bert is more than a throw-away gag - Nitrome is giving oblique credit to the block-changing mechanic that was popularized by Gottlieb's character back in the day.

46 Comments

The game is very fun but i feel evil playing it... It would probably make me feel like a heroic bringer of white christmases if it wasn't for Jacks' everlasting frumpled ice head.

Nooooo, not another one! I need to get some serious work done before christmas!

Is it just me or is nitrome making one game after another with nearly no break? I think that the singleplayer is boring but with a friend with skills equal to yours it gets intresting. It's more challenging and winning becomes fun.

The help screens in the first level say to cover the entire "floor" with ice. However, it appears that you also have to cover all the ladders with ice as well before you can move onto the next level.

That's true. I mentioned the ladders briefly, but neglected to point out the misleading signs at the beginning of the game. Do you think it would help folks if I put an extra line in the review about it?

I assume you just added that blurb about "Don't be fooled..." because I think that's perfect as it is. :)

Nice job, and very nice review, Psychotronic!

Thanks, Jay! Nice website! It's great to be here! Nice game, Nitrome! Thanks for playing, everybody! Martinis and apple cider all round!

Argh, I haven't even finished Snow Drift yet! That was a whole trilogy at a lightning quick pace!

My only complaint is one of confusion: if this game's about turning autumn into winter, and the other two games are wholly winter-based, why did this one come first? Did the Nitromites finish this one last?

...Maybe I'll just finish this one first, then play backwards.

Yeah, the two-player implementation is pretty cool.

Hey Jay,
when you come up with the games of the year 2007 edition, you should consider having a best Nitrome game category. Although, this year Hot Air 2 would be an obvious blowout. Never mind.

I love the atmosphere! Totally makes me in the mood for some snow. That was some fun pixel art - I just wish there was more of it in some changing level design, new props and different backgrounds. Maybe I didn't get far enough?

The gameplay was great fun too. It was smooth and felt accurate for the most part - I just wish it were easier to hit the bad guys on the head: I often found myself missing the top hitbox and getting a heart taken away.

Too slow and unoriginal. Reminds me of Loderunner where instead of collecting gold and digging holes I have to painfully and tediously trace every part of the level. Perhaps with 2 players this thing can get fun but a single player "campaign" gets very boring very quickly.

Bonus points for great graphics and Q*bert reference, though.

I dont think saying this is unoriginal game is justified. All platform games are somewhat similar, you move and jump and avoid enemies. Yet, this game is different because you need to visit all the pieces in the level. You also turn enemies into ice cubes which act like extra platforms.

Of course it is still platform game, but I feel it brings enough fresh ideas to genre. Great graphics and turn off button for that ugliest piece of music are also plus.

Ok, perhaps I was too harsh on the "originality" complaint.

In truth, I don't really mind if the game offers nothing new, if the gameplay is actually challenging, rewarding or at least entertaining in some way. I actually love platform games - Jay has lately reviewed quite a few of which I've found great (Tall Stump, Banana Nanaba, Untitled Story, Fancy Pants or even Once in Space to name just a few). But this one feels too much like "going through the motions" then anything else - I can appreciate the effort which went into making it but simply do not find it engaging or entertaining enough to merit a positive reaction.

This game is pretty cool, but the whole "touch everything" lacks interesting-ness after some time. The most annoying thing is, that when you jump on a ladder you can't climb it, you have to climb it from the bottom every time you attempt. :/

I can not get this game to work.

I click play, then I click one player mode, it sends me to select level but the first level is locked.

When I click on the first level nothing happens.

It won't open to let me play.

Anyone else have this problem or know what could be wrong?

Tehe only game site i ave ever payed at is nitrome. This game has a great atmostphere but I feel nitome should stop dishing out quick games and begin working on a big project. Perhaps a great, colorful RPG for he new-year. Too soon? I suppose they could come out with a nice firework time waister for new-year too.

Nitrome is coming out with a new backround in january to fit the new year mood. Along with any backround, look for charaters in the backrounds that are unfamilar, the Nitrome company is planing something big... I can feel it!
_
My sources are sealed

hooray 2 out of 3 games and one more to go! the new christmas trilogy has finally given me games in nitrome that i can actually beat again. but ever since ying yan( or the game after ying yang) i haven't been able to beat any games until the trilogy! this game isn't that complicated except for those levels where all the enemies are enemies that destroy ice. If you ever get the congratulation screen it says congratulations you have turned the whole world into a winter wonderland!

Now the only game left for me to finish is thin ice. I'm on level 19 already :)

I really enjoy this one. Q*Bert was one of my favorite games as a kid, on my lovely Atari 5200. My dad and I used to hook up two joysticks and I would always loose.
Going over each and every block in this game is no different than having to touch each block in Q*Bert. And anytime the ice is melted is like the times when certain enemies would jump on your block turning it back. But it would have been cool if you had to turn all the blocks to ice, and then to snow or something - like those lovely high levels in Q*Bert.
This game is great for nostalia purposes - and fun to play. :)

I don't get how to do level 27.
OKay the first top rows of frozen blocks i froze without the horse guy burning it but then the second row, you can because this is what its like.
The x is a monster and . is blocks.Okay?
.... .... ... ..x.
.x.. .... ... .... Now look at the exclam.! mark
!
If you freeze the first three blocks, how do you get the last one on the inside? I mean the monster is guardding it and if you jump you just go the platform above you.
Help!!

I'm only up to level 34, but here are the enemies so far:

Q*Bert: weakest enemy; no abilities; can't even climb.
Armed Q*Bert: Q*Bert that can climb.
Frogman: Attacks with long tounge, eats ice.
Dragon: Breathes fire when unfrozen, damages and melts ice.
Birdbat: Flies horizontally, can only be frozen when walking, can't climb.
Devil Frogman: Unfreezable Frogman (Because of the horns).
Purple Dragon: Unfreezable; breathes fireballs upward (Damages and melts).

glitch in this game! :o

you want to see it?

are you sure?

are you DEFINITE?

ok then.

this may only work if you have a slow computer like mine, but while you're waiting for the next level to load, right click and click play, then you will be on the same level with the same monsters etc, but it will count as the next level!

Two more enemies left I think:

Pink Dragon: Unfreezable; breathes fireballs downwards which melt snow.
Alien Lizard thing: Freezable; skates on snow.

CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME WITH LEVEL 31?? I NEED A SPOILER!!!

stuck on level 30

need help on lev35.

I BEAT THE GAME!!!! Lewis you helped my cousins. Ill tell them this weekend. They have a slow computer

me and my friend are stuck on level 37, it's like basically impossible, does anyone know any tips?

Pouneh + Parisa for level37 get half the bottom part then half the top and then go back and do the other halves.

I beat the game so here is all the enemies.

Q*Bert: weakest enemy; no abilities; can't even climb.
Armed Q*Bert: Q*Bert that can climb.
Frogman: Attacks with long tounge, eats ice.
Dragon: Breathes fire when unfrozen, damages and melts ice.
Alien:Freezable;skates on ice
Birdbat: Flies horizontally, can only be frozen when walking, can't climb.
Devil Frogman: Unfreezable Frogman (Because of the horns).
Purple Dragon: Unfreezable; breathes fireballs upward (Damages and melts).
Pink Dragon:Unfreezable; breathes fireballs downward.

I stuck on level 36. When it loads there's no block or ladder and I die soon after it loads. But there's no enemy anywhere. Can anyone help me??? Thanks

ooo it's Lewis here, im glad it helped your cousins, zmaster!

=)

how i found it:

the game just simply WOULDN'T load so I right-clicked and pressed play - that works on some games - and it played the same level. I was thinking, "what the-" so i went into level select i think and I found I'd unlocked lvl 2, I HADN'T!

I need help on 37!

={

can some one help me beat level 37 please!!

I beat level 37!!

I need help on 38 now

ANY ONE HELP ME PLEASE


[Edit: Please don't spam the comments. If you're looking for a more real-time help, try the JIG Chat room (select Chat from the menu above). -Jay]

I`m STUCK on lv.27

I need help on 27

Help!!! Level 35!!! Soon!!!

Response to the enemy list: isn't that purple guy that crawls over the blocks also a enemy? You know, those guys who step on ice so jack frost can't freeze them?

Fighting through forty frosty levels of tedious block-freezing isn't exactly appealing in a game, but Nitrome does their best to make Jack Frost a not-so-monotonous platformer. And their best is actually not bad (as we have come to expect from Nitrome). The music was puke-worthy and that background got a extremely dull after about ten levels, but Jack is worth the play nonetheless. There was a wretched bug, too... whenever you jump on an enemy, and there's another one directly above, Jack gets hit by it. Quite annoying, yes.

The sound to this game is really good. Jack's spiky grimace is also priceless. Unfortunately the gameplay controls are a little too slippery even for being on ice, given that you only get three lives for a level. I'll bet the two-player mode makes this twice as fun, but the single player gets a bit tedious.

How do you beat 27???
help please!

for 37,


never walk directly underneath the purple dragons that breathe fire down, or directly over the dragons that breathe fire up. it all has to do with timing and doing one platform in a couple times (within the same game, like you do the left side, then you avoid the dragons, and then you go over and do the right side.)
for the dragons breathing fire down, it's a bit harder because for the ones on top, they won't breathe fire if you jump over them (when you're on the uppermost platform, and the lowest up-breathing dragon is approaching you, jump 'over' them. this doesn't work all the time for me, but it mostly does.)

one thing that is poorly though out is ladders. for example in level 37, with all the adjoining ladders, is that you can be on one ladder and a green lizard on the ladder directly next to yours, and Jack will still get hit, which doesn't make any sense, and is really annoying.

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