Into the Vault: Frozen: Olaf’s Quest (3DS)
Granted by the year 2013 when the first Frozen movie launched, even cheap tie-in shovelware on portable consoles wasn’t super common anymore. But given the massive success of the franchise, you’d think there’d be more than one 3DS game starring a goofy sidekick, an appearance in Kingdom Hearts 3, and a couple of forgettable mobile games. Frozen 2 is the top-grossing animated film of all time (technically it’s The Lion King remake but if Disney is calling that live-action, then it’s live-action, they can’t call it that and then have it categorized as animated). But yeah, the only console game based on the massively successful Frozen franchise is starring dimwit immortal snowman Olaf. Is it a hidden treasure that’s been slept on for years or just one of the last remnants of traditionally bad movie tie-ins?
Despite being titled Olaf’s Quest, you are never really sure just what your quest in this game is. There’s no text, only a couple of repeated soundbites, and the interstitials of stills between levels don’t really set up any kind of story and sometimes don’t even have anything in common with the level you are playing. Some have a Winter theme, some have a more Summer/Spring thing going, but it’s all still basically the same deal. You collect flowers and whatever the other collectible is in the level and how much you collect affects how fast you unlock accessories for Olaf. That’s it. Sixty extremely short levels of collecting stuff and unlocking fashion choices for your animated snow buddy. Maybe the “quest” is to make Olaf look as fashionable as possible? There’s a slightly creative mechanic where you can take Olaf’s head and throw it and you need to use that to reach certain collectibles but it’s rarely used.
And you know what, if this was a game where the ultimate goal was unlocking a lot of fun outfits for Olaf to wear, I might be more on board. It’s fun to put him in a silly hat and the collecting isn’t horribly frustrating or taxing it’s just a little dull, I could easily listen to music or a podcast or watch a show while collecting snowflakes or iced tea or whatever and unlock silly things for my snowman to wear, that actually sounds kinda great.
But aside from a couple of fun hats, the accessories are incredibly uninspired. You can unlock different colored scarves, gloves, and buttons, but that’s all they are, different colors. Like they could’ve gone really wild with this idea, maybe even used outfits or bits from the first movie, but this is just like, an idea that seemed full of potential and just wasn’t really explored as well as it should be.
Frozen: Olaf’s Adventure isn’t a reprehensible game by any means, just one that’s really short (I beat it in an afternoon) and has a couple of ideas that might be neat if they were really leaned into but only given surface attention. Now that we are in an age where licensed games at least try to be more than just a cheap tie-in most of the time, I’d love to see a game based on the Frozen franchise that really explores the characters more and gets creative with their abilities (maybe even have cool unlockable outfits too!).
That’s all for today, see ya real soon!