Paul Croft sends word of his brand new seasonal viral game to help promote the launching of MediaTonic, a new media company in the UK.
Snowman Salvage is a fast-action Flash game in which you are tasked with maintaining a number of snowmen against increasingly heavy odds.
The first problem about snow is that it falls. So, being the good-natured beings that most of us are, we look to the bright side and make snowmen as a means of escape from our discomfort. However, the second problem is that snow will eventually melt and therefore a snowman requires maintenance to survive, accomplished by simply adding more snow.
And that is the basic premise to the game that starts you out easy by requiring a single snowman, and then ramps up in difficulty with each new level. To succeed and move on to the next level, you must build and maintain the required number of snowmen for 30 seconds. Later levels require you to maintain a minimum number of complete snowmen, or it's game over.
Control is with the mouse. Click drag and drop a clump of snow onto another clump to make an even larger clump. Eventually the clump will take shape into a snowman, but a clump left unattended will melt away to nothing. Drag and drop clumps quickly to build as many snowmen as needed, and then continue adding snow to each to prevent them from melting away.
Later levels introduce hazards to avoid and combat, such as snow plows, fires, and alien abductors. Snow plows and alien spaceships can simply be clicked on to attack. Fires must be put out with snow.
In between levels you are given an upgrade point to spend on any of four (4) variables that influence game play: carry more snow; more snow falling; bigger snow falling; do more damage. The first three affect the amount and handling of snow, the last affects combat with hazards.
Analysis: Overall, the nicely designed and well-produced game is a fun seasonal romp in the snow. Paul has done an excellent job of keeping the game play interesting while gradually ramping up the difficulty of each level. The upgrade system provides the player with a sense of agency and is a nice touch to the game that adds depth. However, the drag-and-drop gameplay mechanic becomes tiresome quickly, an annoying trait that may have been lessened a bit with a simple click to pick-up snow and then another click to drop. A smallish complaint to an otherwise fun little game.
If the link isn't working above, you can also play this game at Shockwave.com (warning: lots of ads that may interrupt your gameplay.)