Life’s tough when you’re a monster, and especially when you’re a nondescript black blob on legs. Chances are your monster bosses are expecting you to go out and scare a bunch of people from the shadows, but really all you want is to be loved.

Besides, when you look goofy and lack terrifying teeth and eyes, how much scaring are you going to do anyway?

Fortunately for the monster in A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build, it’s possible to make friends — quite literally — from the crisp white snow on the ground. Unfortunately, as the game’s title handily points out, it really is quite hard to build a good snowman.

Give us a hug

The hard bit is down to the rules of the monster’s universe. Snowmen must comprise precisely three balls of gradually decreasing size. But rolling the balls you’re provided with in more snow quickly makes them larger.

Additionally, each area the monster finds itself in is a claustrophobic tiny section of ground, surrounded by hedges and peppered with annoyingly static bird tables, potted shrubs and benches.

You must therefore figure out how to carefully manipulate the balls in such a way that a successful snowman can be formed, at which point the monster can give it a hug. Or if you’re too tough for such shenanigans, ignore the hug bit and just imagine the monster giving each snow-being a hearty handshake.

The results come across like a mix of Soko-Ban and Towers of Hanoi, along with, towards the end, outright sadism when the puzzles become brain-bendingly difficult.

It's the most miserable time of the year

But you won’t give up. When you crack a puzzle — especially one of the harder ones — it’s hugely rewarding.

And, besides, leaving a little monster miserable and friendless at this time of year would just be heartless. You know who’s the monster? You are, if you don’t buy this game, that’s who.

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build is available on Android and iOS, priced £3.99. It was first released on Steam (Windows, Mac and Linux), for £6.99.

Stuff says... 

App of the week: A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build review

One of the best puzzlers of 2015 finds its natural home on mobile
Good Stuff 
Lovely visuals and soundtrack
Smartly designed tap-and-swipe controls
Generous undo and restart options
Bad Stuff 
Liable to tear down your tough exterior