Dirty confession time. Snow and I are not friends. I think snow is lovely in Christmas movies, for Rebel bases, and outdoors only on days when I have to go nowhere, so when the Snow Plowing Simulator popped up on my radar, I was a bit unconvinced. However, since taking over Modern Gamer, I’ve come to learn that simulators like running a gas station, a transit system, and a bakery can be far more entertaining than I would have expected, so I opted to give Snow Plowing Simulator a go. It was pretty much exactly what I expected, and if you’re a fan of the genre and developer Freemind S.A.’s take on it, you’ll find Snow Plowing Simulator a solid entry.
As with most simulators, the basic outline is the same. You’re creating a snow-removal business, and you start with just a shovel and some small requests from your neighbors. As you earn capital, you expand your business by purchasing more advanced tools such as actual plows and some vehicle-mounted tools. Your business grows from clearing yards and driveways to plowing public roads and commercial alleys and parking lots. However, as in real life, you do have to monitor your character’s temperature and bodily functions such as food intake because your character can and will get sick if you don’t take care of their physical body. I suppose there’s a lesson to be learned there.
You do have the option to play in one of three different modes: your standard leveling mode, a sandbox mode, and an RPG mode, which is as strange as it sounds. Obviously, your choice of mode will determine the kind of play-experience you get.
Snow Plowing Simulator comes from developer Freemind S.A., who also gave us Forest Ranger Simulator, so I imagine your character is meant to be a forest ranger during the off-season for snow plowing. Kidding aside, Snow Plowing Simulator manifests some of the same problems I noted with Forest Ranger Simulator. Gameplay can become a touch repetitive, though there is something to be said for how rewarding it can feel to find the most efficient path by which to clear the snow.
The title’s biggest challenge actually isn’t removing the snow; it’s keeping your character alive and functional while they’re working in the cold of winter. Snow Plowing Simulator offers you options to purchase outfits that provide different bonuses that make them better or worse for certain types of jobs. Obviously, if you’re shoveling, you probably want something a little more waterproof. However, you’ll need to take factors such as aeration and breathability into consideration when choosing the attire for a given job.
Snow Plowing Simulator also wants to make certain your character has the actual energy to do the job they’ve been hired to do. You have access to an online shop that sells power-ups in the form of food ranging from cookies to chicken buckets, but be aware that the food offerings do change based on the time of day. The title seems to have a slightly unbelievable concept of how much your character should be eating in order to sustain their snowplowing gig, so keep that in mind.
You’ll also need to keep a supply of medicine on hand. Yes, your character will get sick while doing all of this, and the handy dandy online store does sell over the counter remedies. Snow Plowing Simulator will tell you which one you’ll need. If your character is coughing, you’ll clearly need the cough syrup. If your character has a fever, they should pop an aspirin. When you can’t find the medicines that you just purchased, they’ll be in the medicine cabinet mounted to the wall in the office.
The actual gameplay experience is about what you’d expect it to be. As with Forest Ranger Simulator, the visuals were solid, and the music, while not earth shattering, was fine. I will note that when you start getting into the truck, you’ll be able to flip between different styles of music, so you aren’t stuck with the same background music forever. That said, I couldn’t really pay much attention to the music because the sound-effects were incredibly loud. Snow makes a tremendous amount of noise, and Freemind S.A. has definitely tried to replicate that faithfully in-game. My other complaint is that the static display of your stats is written in a white font, which I found difficult to read on a background of mostly snow.
I didn’t encounter any glitches or questionable physics, so I have no complaints from a technical standpoint. The title itself has pretty easily met requirements, so it should be playable on a broad range of hardware options.
Snow Plowing Simulator does exactly what you think it would do in that it has you remove snow. While there are some aspects of the title that make it more interesting, such as the mechanics surrounding keeping your character alive and fed, by and large, you can expect to remove a lot of snow. There is the RPG mode, which offers you a greater story, but again, you’re going to be spending a lot of time plowing in rows.
I confess that I can see the appeal. It’s nice to clear away snow and feel accomplished looking over the now snow-free digital landscape. If that’s the kind of reward you’re seeking, then Snow Plowing Simulator will grant it to you in spades. Just remember that it’s going to take you a while to finish your work.
Snow Plowing Simulator is currently available as a demo on Steam with a release date of sometime in 2023.
Stray Thoughts From Behind the Keyboard
- Snow is heavy, and that weight ramps up quickly.
- Yes, there is Bigfoot.
Platforms: PC, Steam