Mission in Snowdriftland is a very unusual website. First released in December 2006, then once again in 2010, this site is two things in one. First of all, it's an Advent calendar. A new panel opens up every day, and behind them lie various video game-themed goodies—originally related to the Nintendo DS in 2006, and Indie Games in 2010. However, obtaining those goodies is a matter of more than just waiting for the appropriate day—
Secondly, Mission in Snowdriftland is a slick, pixelated retro-style platformer with old-fashioned graphics, hop-'n'-bop action, and a sweet chiptune soundtrack.
In Video Game World, there lives a snowman named Chubby Snow. He's snowbody special—he's just an ordinary snowman, like you see in the background of every Slippy-Slidey Ice World ever. And, in fact, he's getting a little tired of being used as a prop. He doesn't want much—just a developer who will put him in a proper place in some level. He heads off to United Pixel Heroes (UPIXO) headquarters to look for a better job.
As it happens, he wanders in just as the UPIXO staff find themselves in a very big mess. The nefarious El Pix has entered the secret teleport station, gone to Human World, and stolen a number of critical game-files. Without them, who knows what El Pix could do to Video Game World! The company head orders their best men be sent out to stop him!
The only problem, however—El Pix is a penguin. An evil, spiteful one, but a penguin nonetheless. His home is in Snowdriftland, one of the very coldest corners of Video Game Land. An ordinary hero would freeze to death! You'd need someone like a—a polar bear, or another penguin, or a snow... man...
Hey, guys? Why Are You Looking at Chubby Like That?
Every panel of the game represents a new level. A new one opens up each day, and is related to a different game. Completing the panels unlocks things like avatars, icons, and wallpaper for each featured game.
This game contains examples of:
- Adorable Evil Minions: The colorful penguins! The donation screen even lampshades it by encouraging you to donate to help find better work for them. Ultimately, the Cave Ur-Penguins get a new job at the Pixel Circus and the Mama Penguin gets married to Professor Schwabbel.
- Big Bad: Fear the wrath of... EL PIX!
- Boss Battle: There's only one in the game, but you need to get all the game files in order to face off against El Pix.
- Breather Level: Level 13. After the nail-biter that is the second world, with its huge assortment of Goddamned Bats and labyrinthine pathways, it's a straightforward hop-a-bout with easy-to-find snowflakes.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: The second world has some aspects of this mixed in with those Lost Woods.
- Cartoon Creature:
- The boss of UPIXO is... some kind of elephant? Maybe?
- Professor Schwabbel somewhat resembles an octopus.
- Convection Schmonvection: Chubby has proven problems with melting, if the intro is anything to go by. So how is it he survives the Lethal Lava Land again?
- Cranium Ride: The mammoths in world 3.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: El Pix's minions. He is a penguin himself, but he's definitely not bettering the situation!
- Floating Limbs: Chubby's hands aren't connected to his body. His feet seem to be, though.
- Floating Platforms: The clouds in World 3.
- Giant Mook: The "Mother Penguins" in some levels, which appear with groups of smaller penguins and charge you to keep you away.
- Giant Spider: In the second, forest world. No, we don't know how they survive the extreme cold; stop asking us!
- Goomba Stomp: Naturally, as part of the retro vibe.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All:
- Snowflakes. In the original release, collecting more snowflakes allowed you to unlock better goodies at level end. In the 2010 re-release, it just gives you a nice little snowflake icon next to the panel. (However, it's teased they will unlock something.)
- You also need to recover all the stolen files (i.e. clear every level) in order to have your showdown with El Pix.
- Grimy Water: The forest is full of it. It seems to be mud, which Chubby can no more swim in than he can water.
- Happy Dance: Chubby does one upon completion of a level. He does a different one for beating El Pix.
- Hailfire Peaks: Every world, more or less, is some other world-type crossed with Slippy-Slidey Ice World.
- Heart Container: Every world has a hidden heart in it which can be used to increase Chubby's health.
- HeelFace Turn: At the end of the game, El Pix gets a graphics patch, correcting some pixels in his head, and is now one of the most requested UPIXO heroes alongside Chubby.
- Lethal Lava Land: The final parts of the fourth world. ...Wait, what happened to that "coldest corner of Video Game Land" bit?
- Lost Woods: The second world.
- Mama Bear: One of the enemy types is a Mama Penguin.
- Playing a Tree: Chubby was a bit fed up with being used as the most ignoble props.
- The Professor: Professor Schwabbel, natch.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Look at the title, and you tell us.
- Snowlems: Chubby himself, a living snowman.
- Spikes of Doom: The fourth world is full of them in stalactite/mite form.
- Super Drowning Skills: Somewhat understabably—ever seen what happens to snow that falls into water?
- That One Level: Level 24. Good luck trying to collect all the snowflakes and the health expansion in one go, since backtracking is required for that.
- Underground Monkey: The blue penguins walk faster than the other colors.
- Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: Chubby, in the intro. Even the painting in the UPIXO lobby looks at him!