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Flake: The Legend of Snowblind review

Flake: The Legend of Snowblind review

Abrupt ending partly clouds an otherwise charming point-and-click fantasy adventure

Flake: The Legend of Snowblind opens with a flash of light in the night sky, and a mysterious object crashing down into the side of a wintry mountain. From the ice of the impact crater emerges a squat, person-shaped creature with a lovable face, a soft, friendly voice, and no memories aside from his name: Flake, he’s called, after the snow that makes up his body. Certain he’s here for a reason, but lacking any immediate direction, Flake sets about exploring his surroundings. He might not know who he is, but he can probably make some progress on where. Off he goes, then, with the player in tow, on a captivating cartoon journey through an original fantasy setting that’s sure to leave players wanting more—for better and worse.

Flake first discovers that he’s landed on Nesca, a remote island beset by a neverending blizzard. Once, nearly a thousand years ago, Nesca was the site of a cataclysmic war, and while the two sides—the sentient animals and the humanoid “Solids”—have been at peace ever since, the land remains forever scarred: Nesca is all that remains of a vast continent that sank beneath the sea. Now the Endless Winter threatens what little is left, as rumors spread that the Heart Gem that keeps the world in balance has gone missing.

Flake learns all this by chatting up some of the locals, most notably a family of polar bears. The Endless Winter is a polar bear’s dream, of course, but the rest of the island isn’t faring so well. On top of that, they have to contend with the prowling ghost of the sorcerer Leonide, who conducts ghastly experiments on unwilling subjects in his subterranean castle. Flake is unsure how he fits into any of this, but his well-meaning nature and irrepressible curiosity put him on a collision course with Leonide and his fiendish plots.

You explore using a classic point-and-click control scheme: clicking a hotspot produces traditional verbs (Look, Use/Take, Talk) beneath corresponding icons of a hand, eye, or mouth. Your inventory materializes at the top of the screen when you hover your cursor there, allowing you to drag an item out for use in the gameworld. Speaking to a character brings up a LucasArts-style dialogue menu, letting you choose what Flake will say. It’s very much a “don’t fix what ain’t broke” approach, and it serves the game well. The only quibble is a lack of fast-travel between screens, which frequent backtracking renders somewhat irritating, though Flake does speed up a bit if you double-click.

Puzzles are mainly traditional inventory-based affairs, with most making just enough sense within the game’s cartoony setting to keep you from pulling your hair out. An elaborate late-game sequence in which you navigate a maze using a map and colored gems is a standout for the creative lateral thinking it requires, and for the way it rewards each successful step with new knowledge. A few puzzles could have been better clued—I spent far too long trying to figure out how to get past an inconveniently placed shed, and a sequence where Flake has to distract a pair of guards suffers from acute “try your new item on everything until something happens” syndrome—but while I got stuck from time to time, it never felt hopeless.

Flake: The Legend of Snowblind

Flake: The Legend of Snowblind
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Presentation: 2D or 2.5D
Perspective: Third-Person
Graphic Style: Stylized
Gameplay: Puzzle, Quest
Control: Point-and-click
Game Length: Medium (5-10 hours)
Difficulty: Medium

The puzzles, though, feel secondary to simply exploring, getting to know the characters, and learning more about the intricately crafted setting. The Legend of Snowblind is, quite simply, a game that runs on charm, and what it sometimes lacks in polish it makes up for in personality and earnest ambition. It’s clear on every screen that this game was a labor of love, handcrafted with great effort by developer Duje Segvic, who not only wrote, designed, and programmed the game himself, but also handled the art, animation, and sound design—all while voicing many of its characters. The only thing he seems not to have had a hand in is the score, with various tracks credited to different artists. Regardless, the music fits perfectly with the game’s atmosphere of playful mystery.

The visual aspects aren’t always elaborate—supporting characters tend to have simple, repetitive animations—but they’re effective and colorful, bringing the setting to life and making it feel like a world worth exploring. The characters and their designs are packed full of personality, with their rounded, just-slightly-inhuman features putting me in mind of the Edna & Harvey games, Jeff Smith’s Bone, or Evan Dahm’s Overside comics. Flake himself is the natural standout: everything about him, from his soft, curious line delivery to his bouncy, wobbling idle animation, speaks to his goodhearted, happy-go-lucky nature. 

The dialogue is rarely laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s hard to play for long without a smile on your face. The sinister Leonide, for instance, is a cruel, spectral tyrant with glowing, spite-filled eyes, but his henchmen dread his penchant for retelling the same stupid joke about mad cow disease more than any of his punishments. Flake is a fun-loving soul who tries to be helpful wherever he goes, but he has a mischievous streak and takes joy in pranks or needling gently at the self-serious—especially Skye, the famed Solid adventurer, who earned his reputation for boldness by running faster than the companions who could prove him otherwise. While the humor occasionally leans too hard on pop-culture references—including tired but apparently inescapable shoutouts to Monkey Island and Simon the Sorcerer—this is mercifully confined to a few brief scenes, and the game spends most of its energy establishing its own identity. 

While you don’t actually get to explore the majority of Nesca—the Endless Winter means all paths down from the mountain are snowed over—Segvic clearly put a lot of work into developing what’s here. In alluding to its wider history and such unseen areas as a haunted forest and the town of Bayego, he creates a sense of scale beyond what’s visible. You’ll learn a lot about the island and its history through conversation, especially about the legacy of the Great War and both Solid and animal society from before the Winter. There’s a wealth of ruins to explore, too, which hint at developments over the past millennium. Equally evocative are the game’s creative use of vast, scrolling screens and a dynamic camera, which zooms in and out to help emphasize the scale of Flake’s surroundings.

The sheer energy and enthusiasm infusing everything goes a long way toward making the rough edges forgivable. That said, those edges are impossible to miss: the sound quality on most of the dialogue ranges from mediocre to poor, for instance, and while the voice cast isn’t bad by any means—with Segvic doing an impressive job of disguising his own voice across many roles—the performances clearly aren’t the work of seasoned professionals. There are also frequent spelling errors in the dialogue and interface, and awkward lines like “Tell me about ghost,” and “Just by chance they have fallen in love and got married” make it clear that English isn’t the developer’s first language. (There’s also occasional profanity, which seems out of place in what otherwise feels like a game for all ages.)

It’s hard, too, given all the work that’s gone into the setting, not to feel disappointed at getting to explore so little of it. Multiple vistas overlooking the island allow Flake to look out and see what lies below: lights indicating a village; a forest half-sunken beneath the ocean; a rock formation that looks like a huge skull. You can look at all of these and hear Flake’s thoughts about them, which sets them up as if he might eventually visit them … but the roads stay snowed over through the end of the game, and the majority of Nesca is teased but never opened. There’s also a strange and underexplored mechanic that seems as if it should be significant, wherein Flake’s snowy body turns briefly to water or ice based on the morality of certain actions, but which winds up having no effect whatsoever.

And this gets to The Legend of Snowblind’s biggest problem: it promises a full game at the outset and instead delivers what feels like the introductory chapter of an episodic release. What’s here is fun, to be sure, and certainly worth playing in its own right—but it ends so abruptly, and with so little closure, that it’s hard to consider it “complete.” There’s nothing in its title, marketing or documentation that indicates it’s meant to be just the first chunk of a larger experience, and for 90% of the game you wouldn’t suspect that it was—but after six or so hours, just as the story proper seems to be kicking into gear with Flake steeling himself to enter a foreboding new location, the game suddenly tells us it’s over. There’s no teaser for another game, no “Thank you for joining us on the first part of our journey,” no acknowledgement at all of how unfinished it feels. It’s just done, and you’re left to intuit for yourself that the developer must have plans for further entries.

Such a lack of closure isn’t just disappointing—it’s downright strange, and the feeling is compounded by a bizarre non sequitur at the very end centered on a previously unintroduced character. There are some oblique indications of where the story might go next, but no acknowledgement at all that what we’ve just played was not, on a fundamental level, the complete experience we expected.

Final Verdict

It’s hard, then, to full-throatedly endorse Flake: The Legend of Snowblind without the serious caveat that the game ends long before its story has. Key art depicts a gaggle of characters who never appear in-game, indicating that more has at least been planned, but that’s hardly a comfort when you go in expecting the full package now. None of which, of course, is to diminish the many pluses here, or the potential for further entries to deliver a rollicking story told on an impressive scale in this interesting and well-developed setting. There’s no doubt that what we do get is a solid first course—I just wish someone had told me when I sat down not to expect a full meal.

Hot take


Flake: The Legend of Snowblind is a captivating cartoon adventure in a fun, intricately crafted setting, though its considerable charms are complicated by the fact that it feels more like a substantial first chapter than a full game in its own right.


  • Charming characters in an elaborate, well-developed fantasy setting
  • Fun, playful cartoon atmosphere
  • Puzzles are mostly satisfying, with only a few duds


  • Fails to communicate until it’s too late that it’s just the first episode in an unfinished story
  • Voice recordings aren’t of very high quality, with some poorly translated English dialogue
  • Lots of backtracking with no fast-travel option

Will played Flake: The Legend of Snowblind on PC using a review code provided by the game's publisher. 

1 Comment

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  1. I just finished Flake, this was a fun game … Flake was a cute character… I also got stuck at the shed…. I had a good time til I came to the MAZE! I am not a maze lover and this one had colors that had to be placed in certain ways to go to different areas only to be confronted with more doors and colors ……. Other than that it was fun. I look forward to the 2nd…. I will be checking and asking if it has a maze 😜


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