A Good Snowman Is Especially Hard To Build

Yesterday I bought A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build, which is probably one of the rare occasions I actually bought a game. When I’m going this far to write a blog post about it, it’s either very good or very bad; A Good Snowman is undoubtedly the former.

On the other hand, because I cannot write a review (and not that this post is supposed to be a review anyway), I’ll just recommend everyone reading this blog for its puzzle contents to go buy it. Or not right away; it is sold according to the temperature for the first two weeks, and I got it when it was $7 yesterday. (Now it’s $10, so hope for London’s temperature, where the price is taken, goes down soon. After two weeks, it seems like the price becomes a flat $12.) Stock market kind-of thingy yay. If you’ve bought it and don’t think a 1.5-hour game (I completed the first thirty puzzles in 1.5 hours) doesn’t worth the price, then you haven’t found the second half of the game…

The rules of the game are unfortunately not explained explicitly (but you can actually figure them out pretty easily). But because this blog is mostly for deductive puzzle enthusiasts, which loathe MIT Mystery Hunt-style puzzles with absolutely no instructions, the rules of the first part follows. The rules for the second half of the game won’t be written here, because they are just so amazing.

You’re in a room with various walls, Sokoban-style, as some sort of featureless monster thingy. You can move in four cardinal directions. There are several snowballs on the grid, as well as some snow on the ground. You can push snowballs around on the ground, but cannot pull them, just like in Sokoban. You also cannot push snowballs to the wall.

Snowballs come in three distinct sizes: small, medium, and large. Rolling a snowball over a snow on the ground increases its size and removes the snow from the ground; a large snowball simply “absorbs” the snow, remaining a large snowball. A smaller snowball can be rolled on top of a larger snowball, Tower of Hanoi-style, and can be also pushed down. You cannot roll a larger snowball to a smaller (or equal-sized) snowball.

To win, use all snowballs to form snowman(s): a stack of three snowballs (which must necessarily be large, medium, and small from the bottom to the top). In case there are multiple snowmen to be built, once you form a snowman it cannot be disassembled any more. Example follows.


Sample puzzle follows. Solution is right beneath, so be careful.

A Good Snowman sample puzzle, by me so there's no spoilers

A Good Snowman sample puzzle

In the above, the black circle is you. The green squares are normal ground, without snow, while the white squares have snow. The gray squares are walls. The part to the right is a reference for snowball sizes, and what you’re aiming for. This puzzle is created by me, so you won’t be spoiled with any of the puzzles in the game, although you might be spoiled on some of the tricks.

……

………

One possible solution: LULURRLDDRRRUULRDDLURUULLRDDLURULDDLLLUUR

Diagrams after select steps:

After LU

After LU
Snowball increases from small to medium

After LULUR

After LULUR
Snowball increases from medium to large

After LULURR

After LULURR
Snowball remains large

After LULURRLDDRRRUUL

After LULURRLDDRRRUUL
Switching places

After LULURRLDDRRRUULRDDLU

After LULURRLDDRRRUULRDDLU
Dropping small snowball; note that latest move didn’t move player

After LULURRLDDRRRUULRDDLURUUL

After LULURRLDDRRRUULRDDLURUUL
Small snowball pushed above large snowball, player moved

After LULURRLDDRRRUULRDDLURUULLRDDLURULDDRRRUUL

After LULURRLDDRRRUULRDDLURUULLRDDLURULDDRRRUUL
Pushed small to the left, pushed medium up above the large, pushed small above the medium, completed snowman

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5 thoughts on “A Good Snowman Is Especially Hard To Build

  1. The solution I found for this one was RURULLRRDDLURULLRDDLLU. Much shorter.

    Yeah, I’ve been playing this game too much.

    Reply
    • Yes, I’m contemplating on using the other small snowball to be the large one, but better to separate dropping a snowball from growing a snowball. That solution uses both (drop the snowball to the ground, which makes it to grow), which is not exactly good as an example.

      Reply
      • Understandable, but that should really be noted, as it’s a very important part of the all-snow levels; avoiding snowballs dropping onto snowed-on ground lest they become too large.

        One really annoying mechanic I’ve found, by the way, is that you can’t drop a snowball from one snowball onto another, which caused me to have to find a different way of doing a good number of these levels.

        Reply
        • Well, I intend to show an example of how the rules work, not show the tricks required for the whole game. The latter spoils the game.

          And yes, I also got that mechanic; I wasn’t sure how to phrase that, so I didn’t include it in the listing of the rules.

          Reply
          • I wouldn’t consider it “spoiling the game” when this is very quickly discovered by most people on the levels that require it.

            “Snowballs may not be pushed from on top of one snowball onto another snowball” is quite clear, I should think.

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