If you’ve seen our reviews of City on Fire (our review), PigeonMan (our review), Jumpy Jester (our review), or even Droppin’ Santa (our review), then you already know that we here at iFanzine generally tend to approve of the ad supported free game movement. Although they’re rarely the tip-top best games out there, one can hardly argue with something that is being offered for absolutely free (with no strings attached whatsoever). I can’t help but feel — however — that SquareHead Games completely missed what exactly it was that gamers heavily enjoyed about these apps so much, since their recent Winter Games 2: The Snow Must Go On! (out now, free) is chock full of both pop-ups and IAPs.
The game itself is a collection of five decently made mini-games: a crane game where you attempt to see how high you can stack a snowman; a memory game where you try to match all of the sweets within the time limit; an obstacle dodging game where you tilt your device to safely steer a snowball going downhill; a game where you tilt your device to grab candy, while avoiding puddles and icicles; and finally a game where you tap the screen in order to throw snowballs at kids, while tilting to avoid their incoming attacks.
Although each of these are rather simple in nature, they’re all — at least — suitably fun enough to be a valid means of amusing yourself should you happen to have some time to kill (especially the snowman building game, which was definitely a cut above the rest). Or rather they would be if Winter Games 2 wasn’t nearly always being choked to death by pop-up ads, which sometimes open in such quantities as to actually begin generating slowdown lag. My absolute favorite moment would have to be when I got hit by a water puddle in the icicle game that was being hidden by a pop-up ad, an ad which — by the way — I couldn’t even read because it was also being covered up by yet another pop-up ad.
Oh, but they’ll let you disable these deleterious ads for a nominal fee of just $0.99! You know what else Winter Games 2 will let you buy, despite it not being mentioned on their iTunes page? Snowflakes! These snowflakes are essentially the game’s method for buying continues — sans a score reset — so as to ensure that only those whom pay the most can ever truly place on Winter Games 2’s high score lists (especially as time marches on). Although a few of these can be earned via completing in-game achievements; these achievements are A) a resource that isn’t replenishable, and B) generally are rewarded for activities that are hard to accomplish without making use of these selfsame snowflakes.
The end result is a final package that — despise containing some rather amusing mini-games — simply isn’t worth your time yet; at least not until the pay-to-win IAPs leave, and the overly aggressive pop-up ads get toned down a notch.
iFanzine Verdict: Winter Games 2: The Snow Must Go On! is a mini-game collection that would actually be amusing — at least for time wasting purposes — if it wasn’t bogged down with pop-ups that actively block the game play, as well as pay-to-win based IAPs.