Snow Spin: Snowboard Adventure Review

Snow Spin: Snowboard Adventure Review

Dec 20, 2013

A disintegrating plane. Scattered luggage. Iced up animals. A snowboard.

Such is the world of Snow Spin: Snowboard Adventure from Android development vet

To understand the gameplay, one must understand the backstory. It revolves around a successful explorer (Professor Headwind), who, in his travels to exotic locations, has accumulated a veritable horde of exciting items. On the way home, an ill-fated shortcut has dire consequences; his plane breaks apart, strewing his property and plane parts on snow covered mountains.

The recovery effort plays out like a downward running game, but on a snowboard. Headwind is controlled downhill, withsnow1 gesture swipes ruling the roost with regards to manipulating direction. Swipes to the left, right and up make him swoosh in either direction, or jump in the air. Such movements are key, because the gameplay calls for various actions to be performed my swiping on a dime to make contact with an object.

The objects that need to be made contact with are essentially tasks, and they run the gamut. Penguins suspended in ice cubes, fish procured from ice fishing locals, luggage, igloo blocks for shelter, and more; usually, there is a set number of pieces that needed to be collected within the allotted time. It is also necessary to avoid the occasional boulder and/or tree that are the perfect run enders. As the game progresses, the reaction time needed to traverse the obstacles and collect items or free things becomes tangibly smaller, as does the margin for error.

For folks looking for an extended playing experience, this game is rated to work with Nvidia Shield console, and also with Moga Controller (though this review did not include these peripherals).

For the extended playing options and free nature, it’s hard not to look at this game favorably, but the gameplay should take care of any misgivings anyway. Well worth a look, and it reflects the season admirably.

SnowJinks Review

SnowJinks Review

Sep 5, 2013

SNOW FIGHT! In the summer? Yes, thanks to SnowJinks from Uppercut Games.

My first instinct is that the developer does a good job with perspective in increasing the visual depth of the game. The snow-laden play area makes use of angles and animations to stimulate things like distance and lateral movement. Obviously, white makes up a lot of the coloring, but a lot of other hues make an appearance, with especially bright explosions and flying objects.

If one find similarities between this game and Epoch, they’d be valid. It it’s basically a snow ball fight, snow1with our protagonist set up in the foreground, like the front fence of a two-story and a continual stream well armed combatants popping up in the background. The bullies lined up in different areas, on top of houses to, the side and other vantage points. At the base level, the game involves pelting the enemy with projectiles, while avoiding snow balls, ice cubes, skew streams and all the other atypical skew weapons the opposition can come up with.

Our thrower starts in a defensive position in every level, which is nice; it lets one survey the area. The enemy lob snow balls continuously; tapping the bullies makes my snowball go at them. Hitting each enemy with enough shot knocks them out, at which point, they are generally replaced with new opponents, or, if the entire swarm has been beaten, the round is successfully passed. All the while, specials and coinage pop up. Some can be tapped to be redeemed, but others have to be targeted b the weaponry in my possession.

What is interesting is the progression of the opposing weaponry. Snow balls morph into more unique weapons, and it becomes more important to avoid the incoming shots. Thankfully, our snowballer is very athletic; swiping to the side invokes an evasive leap and tumble. In later levels, a lot of the gameplay involves continuous dodging and attacking. The collected coins allow for upgrading attributes, like recovery, and weapons. The specials collected in-game also facilitate the gameplay. In-app purchasing is available, but I did not find it necessary.

Yes, the game might feel a bit repetitive. I thought the graphic environments could have been more varied, too. Still, it’s a fun game that is simple to understand, natural-feeling and full of surprises.

Crazy Snowboard Pro Review

Crazy Snowboard Pro Review

May 9, 2011

It must be difficult enough trying to capture the sheer, unadulterated thrill of sliding down a mountain on a board, without then trying to fit that thrill into a device that’s small enough to fit into the average person’s pocket. Still, that’s what have tried with Crazy Snowboarding, and they’ve nearly pulled it off as well.

You control your boarder by tilting your phone left and right, with context sensitive on-screen buttons letting you perform jumps, flips and grabs. The system works well and means anyone picking up the game can be performing ridiculous tricks in a matter of minutes.

Rather than try and create a free roaming snowboarding experience, Crazy Snowboarding is split up into different trials, with completion of one unlocking the next. These trials range from collecting letters and knocking over snowmen, to slalom courses and racking up high scores.

For those who prefer a little less restriction, there’s a free ride option. You’re still constrained to a pretty narrow downhill run, but instead of completing tasks, you can pull off tricks and slide around to your heart’s content. It’s a decent place to practice your skills, as well as try out some more ridiculous trick combinations before trying them out on a proper run.

The overall ambiance can be a little overpowering, full of terminology and visuals that are about ten years out of date, but the game’s still decent looking and it plays well enough to forgive most of its faults. There’s plenty to unlock as well, including new boarders and boards, meaning there’s always a reason for one more go.

Crazy Snowboarding is a fine try at capturing the essence of a sport that, quite possibly, can’t be captured. It’s by no means a sim, but it finds the right balance between bombastic, gravity defying leaps and the simple joy of sliding down a mountain. If you’re looking for some arcadey, snow bound thrills, then this is the game for you.