Gameplay Screenshot from Snow Brothers
Retro Game Consultant

Game Consultant: Snow Brothers

NES Title Screen Snow Brothers

Arcade game turned into an 8-bit ported NES game. Find out if this Bubble Bobble genre game is worth your collection or if it will just melt into obscurity.

Snow Brothers Memories

Snow Brothers was another cheap Gamestop or Game Crazy purchase back when I first started collecting retro video games. It was during my phase of when I first started to become obsessed with arcade games. Metal Slug, Simpsons Arcade Game, Alien vs Predator, and all of those beat em up games that were never released on consoles at the time. Snow Brothers was definitely one that caught my eye when I was getting into arcade emulation. These weird baby like faces that had an uncanny value look to them if you played the arcade game. When I saw that they made a NES version of the game I had to get it. I always like to play the game with original hardware rather than emulation so I thought this would be a great addition to my collection.

Character Select Snow Brothers

How’s the Gameplay?

Have you played Bubble Bobble before? It’s sorta like that. Nick and Tom are princes who have been turned into snowmen by the evil Scorch who also kidnapped the princesses and it’s up to you to rescue them. To be honest I never knew this game even had a story. I just jumped into it like I did with the arcade version.

In Snow Brothers each level is a static screen and in order to beat a level, you have to kill all of the enemies on screen. You do this by throwing your body at them (snow) repeatedly at the enemies until they become one big snowball. From there you push the snowball and have it fire off down the stage hitting other enemies in your bath. It’s very satisfying to clear a stage by having one Snowball run over six enemies. If you want to compete with your friends, even better because the game keeps score is traditional arcade style.

Gameplay Screenshot from Snow Brothers
Graphically, it’s nowhere near what the arcade version looks like but what can you expect when you’re going from the arcade down to an 8-bit port. From an 8-bit NES game perspective the stages are colorful and the enemies are detailed enough to understand that they’re some type of goblin. It not exactly pretty but it gets the job done. There is some slow down when there is a lot of action happening on screen. Mainly this occurs when you’re launching a snowball down the stage at the enemies below. It ends up looking like an epic slow-mo bullet time. I tell ya, NES games were ahead of their time.

Final Verdict

Currently the game goes for $100+ on ebay and while the charm of the game matches the arcade version, it’s not worth the high price point for an arcade port. If you’re looking to scratch that Bubble Bobble itch and overplayed those two games to death then this is perfect for your collection. Just keep in mind that the price point is closer to Bubble Bobble 2 than the first one. I personally cannot justify the high cost when I can emulate the game on MAME with better graphics. For the casual game collector, I’d be out on the lookout for it but don’t go breaking the bank if you want to add it to your collection.

Rarity: Cart 6/10, Box 6/10, Manual 6/10
Retail Price: Loose $190, Complete $375
Max Spend: $20-$30
Buy or Emulate: Emulate the Arcade Version

Do you agree with my recommendation for Snow Brothers or want to suggest a different game for the Game Consultant? I want to hear from you about it. Please leave a comment below.

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