And so to The Snowman and the Snowdog, a spanking new app based on Channel 4’s 2012 animated short – yes – The Snowman and the Snowdog, which was in turn a sequel to the original Snowman film from 1982. # We’re walking in the air #
There was actually a similar app this time last year, but it’s essentially been replaced by The Snowman and the Snowdog 2013. Is that a good thing?
Well, to be perfectly honest, last year’s app passed me by entirely, but the consensus from the App Store Customer Reviews section seems to be that we’re taking a step back.
The Snowman and the Snowdog is an endless runner, in a nutshell, though it’s split into various stages equating to locations throughout the UK, from Brighton to Edinburgh, with the ultimate goal of the North Pole. Which is just a quick hop from John O’Groats here. Handy.
That might sound pretty cool, and there are neat touches here and there with airborne views of landmarks like the Angel of the North and Edinburgh Castle, but for the most part the playing area is woefully generic.
Like so many endless runners before it, The Snowman and the Snowdog sees the camera sitting behind our protagonist (a Snowman who’s kidnapped a little kid… or something), with a three-lane system. There’s even a magnet power-up. You know how this works.
For the most part, we’re veeeeery slooooowly floating through fairly nondescript streets, moving left and right as required in order to avoid obstacles such as cars and, er, road-based phone boxes.
I appreciate that The Snowman and the Snowdog has probably been developed with kids in mind, but my niece will quite happily sit and play stuff like Temple Run and Subway Surfers, which are comparatively frantic. This feels like endless running in slow motion.
Being a free app, and being an endless runner, The Snowman and the Snowdog of course invites you to collect currency (snowflakes, here) to spend in the virtual store.
Furthermore, you can pay real money to speed things along, but to be fair, this is probably the least in-your-face freemium outing I’ve experienced to date.
Anyway, in the store you can invest in power-ups, while kids will inevitably get a kick out of the various costumes, including hats, scarves, and bits and bobs for the eponymous Snowman’s face.
The Ilan Eshkeri score does lift things a little, but on the whole, The Snowman and the Snowdog is a relatively uninspiring affair, and one that even kids might struggle to enjoy.
- Looks pretty good
- The airborne view stuff
- It’s free
- It’s very slow
- It’s very easy
- It’s very short
Summary: The Snowman and the Snowdog is a rather bland endless runner. Even my abundant Christmas spirit can’t convince me otherwise.
Developer: Channel 4
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini Wi-Fi, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPod touch (4th generation), and iPod touch (5th generation). This app is optimized for iPhone 5.