From Facebook to mobile to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Disney’s Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight is the first free-to-play match-three game on consoles. It probably won;t be the last.
Despite being plagued by the genre on our social networks and phones for years, console gamers have largely dodged the colorful and likely delicious Candy Crush bullet. There are free-to-play console games, but they’re generally larger scale affairs—multiplayer shooters like Planetside 2 or DUST514, fighting games trying out new pay models, that sort of thing.
But now Disney, harnessing the power of its most popular in-house animated film in decades, has erected an icy bridge between mobile, social and console with Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight.
As match-three games go it’s not too shabby. While definitely formulaic, the inclusion of character specific spells and power-ups affecting the board is something Disney’s been playing with across its mobile line for awhile now.
Along with the 195 free single-player levels, which should be familiar to anyone who has played the original on their phone, Frozen Free Fall for consoles (also Steam) adds a two player versus mode—that’s the Snowball Fight part. It’s a small addition that makes a big difference—it’s actually quite nice to have a free game the whole family can play.
And really I see nothing wrong with free-to-play match-three titles hitting consoles, as long as its in moderation. They can be a fast and cheap way to get folks who wouldn’t normally pick up a game controller sitting on the couch eating chips and hogging TV time.
Maybe that’s bad.
Good or bad, the door has been opened. Depending on how well Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight’s in-app purchases fare on consoles, it could be only a matter of time before the Candy Crush army starts to march console-ward.
Contact the author, who nearly did a First Five of this game while singing “Let It Go”, at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @bunnyspatial