Frozen: Olaf’s Quest 3DS Review
Based on the hit Disney film of 2013, Frozen: Olaf’s Quest is a 2D platforming game cantering around the anthropomorphic comic relief snowman Olaf, who despite being a snowman, yearns to experience the summer. However, his game makes for a very fleeting and substandard experience; not only compared to other games based on existing popular licenses, but also compared to the film itself.
Although the game is set mainly in snowy environments, there is a small basis in level design diversity, since the settings do sometimes alternate between those and summery settings like beaches, and two levels are even set on a boat in the ocean. However, apart from that, there isn’t a great deal to marvel at in terms of conceptual design, and I think it would only work fractionally better for fans of the film.
The object of the game is to clear 60 short levels whilst gathering as many collectible items as possible. But although I prefer easier and more accessible games as opposed to more challenging ones such as Mega Man or Castlevania, I found this title pathetically easy; even for a kid’s game. There is no true basis in either legitimate challenge or enjoyable gameplay, and I have played many other games aged 3+ that are infinitely more engrossing; Luigi’s Mansion and Super Mario 3D World, to name but a few.
The best thing I can say about this title is at that there are no problems with the controls at least. There is actually some small basis in innovation with the ability to throw Olaf’s head to collect certain items that are otherwise unobtainable. It could be said that the player-character moves too slowly, but in a game that takes an average of one minute to clear each level, that this has little bearing on the overall control scheme.
To complete all 60 levels, even to 100%, will take an average of a mere hour, since completing the game to 100% is incredibly easy. But since there’s no viable incentive for doing so, I wouldn’t advocate even playing it for that long. A lot of platformers, especially today, can be made to last far longer, but since there’s very little enjoyment to be had in terms of gameplay, and absolutely no replay value, it feels like that much more of a fleeting experience.
Presumably following the events of the film, after the character Elsa grants him an immunity to melting past the point of winter, Olaf sets out on a quest across the winter and summer with no apparent goal other than to collect a bouquet of flowers for the main character Anna. The game was apparently heavily criticised for its lack of story by most mainstream review sites; and after playing it, it’s easy to see why. Though I had an idea of how empty the game was in terms of story, I was still sat on the fence about it, since it has found its way into the top 40 UK sales charts on multiple occasions this year (despite that it was released last year), and that games based on licenses don’t generally tend to sell as well unless they’re particularly good; especially following the release of ET back in 1982, which contributed to the video game crash of 1983. But unfortunately, on this occasion I was disappointed with this title, not only in terms of gameplay, but because of its lack of story too.
As far as I could deduce whilst playing this game, the only vague sense of uniqueness did indeed come from that one aforementioned gameplay mechanic of throwing Olaf’s head to reach distant items. But apart from that, it does play out like a bog standard 2D platformer with a small Angry Birds influence behind it. There was nothing present to truly make it stand out among the many games of its kind that had come before it.
In summation, Frozen: Olaf’s Quest is a boring atrocity of a game, and I can’t figure out for the life of me why it is currently selling better than many huge hits and excellent games of 2014, such as InFamous: Second Son and Child of Light. To me, it does indicate that although there have been great games released based on existing licenses in recent years, there are also some dreadful ones made from time to time that undeservedly hog away attention from games that are due more recognition.