With another Disney movie comes the inevitable onslaught of tie-ins and merchandise. The avalanche of plush things is incomplete without an iOS title in the mix, so I've checked out the the latest game to come with a movie attached. Let's check it out and see if it will give you a satisfied smile like the best of Disney always does.
Frozen is the newest animated film by Disney and the creative minds behind Wreck-It-Ralph. From the looks of it, the film seems to be another hilarious addition to the Disney canon. But I wish I could say the same for Frozen Free Fall.
Tie-in games have a bad habit of borrowing gameplay ideas and wrapping them in a think silk outer layer of whatever other media they're trying to promote. The result is a game you've probably played before, with nothing to offer but a new set of graphical clothing.
Frozen Free Fall is no different. It is essentially Bejeweled with the aesthetic of the film Frozen over top of the gemstones. The rocks have been replaced with colored bits of ice, but the gameplay remains the same of just about any matching game. Swap two different looking frozen bits to match up in a row of three or some other required pattern, and they disappear in a flurry of glistening shards. There are also the occasional special ice blocks that offer more destructive power and power ups, like the ice pick, that help you weed out problematic bits of frozen water. Other than that, it is your standard bit of puzzle fare.
I do have to commend Frozen Free Fall on its design though. It does look very pretty. Well, as pretty as a matching puzzle game can look. The chunks of ice are all well detailed and the characters from the film are rendered in adorable high-fidelity. The animations for when you make a proper match are smooth and the particles of exploded ice glisten and fall away in a very satisfying manner.
Frozen Free Fall is, at its core, a very functional and enjoyable game for fans of the genre and maybe even the film. But it doesn't shake things up too much. With such reputable source material as Disney has, a Frozen themed game could have been so much more than a Bejeweled knock-off.
Frozen Free Fall could have been a beautiful ice sculpture with light reflecting through its many facets, but instead it is a lukewarm puddle with nothing going through it other than muddy boots. It is a fun little puzzle game, but it doesn't do anything to shake up the familiar formula. Considering the Disney source material, it could do with an injection of magic, originality, and amazement. But, it did make me want to check out the movie, so in that sense, I might consider it a success.