Deep Snow is a minuscule adventure game that takes place on a very snowy mountaintop, and you are tasked with finding a way home. The only way to do this is making performing a ritual that will allow you to teleport back home. The experience has some backtracking issues that are increased by the lack of movement, and its lack of guidance and experimentation hinders its gameplay. Since it is a small and free adventure game, it is definitely worth checking out, especially for the pixel art.
Adventure games are known for their experimentation. No, your crowbar does not work on the door, or the vending machine, or the fireplace, no, do not hit that cat with a crowbar, what the heck were you thinking? The types of adventure games where you frantically search for the use of one of the various weapons you picked up on your journey has almost vanished from the games industry. This is pretty sad, but some indie developers create them and they still have some qualities that I would love to see more of.
Deep Snow lacks some of this experimentation, though. Items are meant to only be used at certain locations, and you don’t have the opportunity to attempt to use items on any items that are not solutions. It was quite sad to discover this, but the straight-forward gameplay could be helpful for people who are new to the genre and do not want to deal with the confusion that adventure games can create.
The items can also be used on other items that make no sense if you do not examine the book in the main room of the house. This is a major issue, as I had no clue why filling a bucket with my blood was even part of the ritual before I read the book. So I just cut my body opened, dumped my blood in a bucket and continued to wander through the house like this was just a normal day.
The main item is the book so you definitely need to look at the book, and then maybe look at it again, and then pick it up again before the end of the game. This backtracking is common in adventure games, but the cold temperature makes you pretty slow, so it becomes an issue when you have to walk around a lot instead of just picking up the book when you examined it the first time.
Other issues Deep Snow faces is that it isn’t that deep mechanics wise. For the first build of the game, three meters are shown with titles of “Cold” “Instability” and “Time”. These meters do not seem to mean much, as the time didn’t seem limited, and there were no signs of damage from the freezing temperatures. I assume these meters will be used in future builds, though.
One fantastic aspect of Deep Snow is the pixel art. Although there is not much detail, the developer chose to show the visible water vapor from exhaling in the cold temperatures, and that was a nice little touch to the art! The house looks fine, and there aren’t any major problems with the way anything is set up, but there is a small portion of darkness in the snow outside that looks like it could be an item, but it is not. Due to the slow walking speed, everything needs to be clear so we don’t make some unnecessary movements.
Although Deep Snow’s first build has some glaring issues, it is a first build and problems are common in first builds. Since it is small and free, I think everyone should give it a try and see how they like it. I thought parts of it had their charm, but that its gameplay issues made the experience tedious at times. I hope that the problems are solved because Deep Snow can turn into something great and bring a fantastically fresh adventure experience to players.
Download Deep Snow here!