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
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.