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Video Game / Snow Bros

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Snow Bros. - Nick & Tom is a 1990 Arcade Game by Toaplan, starring the eponymous guys made of snow, who trap enemies in big snowballs that are then used to crush other wandering enemies with. The game is divided into 5 stages made of 10 floors each, with a boss every 10th floor which can be damaged either by pelting it with snow (but it takes a long time) or by bashing it with the snowballs made with its minions.

There's nothing more to be said, it's an Elimination Platformer with simple but addictive gameplay that received a few ports, a couple of obscure sequels and that gets often compared to Bubble Bobble, even if it's not really the case.

The rights and patents for Snow Bros was sold to a company called Hanafram when Toaplan filed for bankruptcy, who created a sequel.

In 2022, a remake was released for the Nintendo Switch under the name of Snow Bros. Special

The game and its sequels provide examples of:

  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: For Snow Bros 2, Hanafram seems to think Americans would dig a more uncanny valley character select screen compared to the Asians. Case in point: With the Country Switch set to Japan, Korea and Asia, you get cutesy drawings. However, with it set to US or Europe, you get deformed photoshopped babies.
  • Big Red Devil: Well, more like Small Red Devil (for the Mooks) and Big Green Devil (for the bosses).
  • Boss Arena Urgency: The final boss of the original arcade is a very interesting example. There are two giant stone heads on each side of the screen, a small platform surrounded by flames in the middle and a descending ceiling full of spikes right above that. The heads continuously blow bubbles which can have enemies or power-ups inside, and these pop if they touch the spikes. The player has very little space to move, and the more the ceiling goes down, the faster the enemies can get him... of course, this also means that he can throw many more snowballs against the heads, but he is forced to think and act much more frantically.
  • Breath Weapon: Some enemies breathe fire.
  • Cue the Sun: The ending of the first arcade.
  • Damsels in Distress: The princesses Nick and Tom have to rescue. In a funny twist, after you defeat the final boss in the Genesis version, Nick and Tom get kidnapped and the girls (who have the same snow-based powers as them!) have to go through another 20 floors (present only in this version) to reach and defeat the true Final Boss.
  • Dual Boss: The birds on floor 30, the devils in stage 40, and the last boss. Chameleons in SB2.
  • Edible Collectible: The bonus items are various kinds of sushi rolls.
  • Evil Overlord: King Artich serves as the main antagonist in Snow Bros. Special
  • I'm Melting!: What happens to the bros if they touch fire (it goes without saying).
  • An Ice Person: The Snow Bros.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: A sumo fighter that appears in stage 3 in unreachable parts of the floor, shoots some fireballs from his hands, and disappears when all the other monsters on the floor are defeated. It's difficult to hit: you must use a frozen enemy to allow yourself to reach the unreachable platform and hit the sumo enemy a few times. It will then disappear and leave behind a Japanese card that can be collected for points.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: The intro of the Amiga version shows that the Snow Bros were regular snowmen brought to life by a bolt of lightning.
  • Name and Name: Nick & Tom, Love & Bomb (which is how the twin lizard bosses' names are shown in the Japanese Snow Bros 2)
  • Player Mooks: The Monster Challenge DLC of Snow Bros. Special allows the player to play the game as one of the regular enemies.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Nick and Tom are this on the ports where they're established as cursed princes.
    • The princesses become this in the Genesis version as the player takes control of them after Nick and Tom were kidnapped after defeating the level 50's boss until the end of the game. They are unlockable characters in the Monster Challenge DLC of Snow Bros. Special
  • Rise to the Challenge: A couple of stages in Snow Bros 2, making it even shorter.
  • Shows Damage: Every boss in the first game starts to spurt blood (!) after having been damaged enough.
  • Snowlems: In the end, that's what the bros are. Apart from the NES version of the first game, as explained below.
  • Stalked by the Bell: If you take too long to complete a floor, a jack-o'lantern will appear. If you still don't kill all enemies, the evil pumpkin will spawn an invincible ghost relentlessly tracking you.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: In the English Snow Bros 2, the bosses are just referred to as "BOSS". They each have a name in the original Japanese in an appropriate color and font (Fever #1, Bullet Train, Love & Bomb, Usachin, and Attsuu the Great).
  • Was Once a Man: The NES version of the first game and Snow Bros. Special claims that Nick and Tom are human princes who were cursed to turn into snowmen.
  • Wedding Finale: Nick and Princess Puchi Puchi marry at the end of Snow Bros. Special
  • A Winner Is You: The game spells "Thank You : Game End", and then cues to the same shot of laughing enemies you get after having lost all lives.