Capsule Review: Snowboarding The Next Phase

A solid but very simple snowboarding game with a score multiplier system that obscures your actual improvement as a player.

A basic snowboarding game. There are many levels, each featuring a short and mostly-linear descent, though many of them have wide portions where there are effectively multiple paths. There are ramps and hills to jump and do tricks off of for points and collectibles that also award points, and generally the collectibles that are harder to reach are worth more points. Each descent also has a few associated missions - a target number of points to reach and then two others that are things like landing a certain trick a certain number of times or collecting a certain number of a certain class of collectible.

As you complete missions, you unlock more gear - mostly outfits and boards. These allow for some cosmetic customization (though you unlock them frequently and new ones are automatically equipped so there’s little point in actually setting one yourself because it will soon be overridden) but each one also adds permanently to your score multiplier. This is necessary because as you go through the levels, the score targets get higher and higher and skill alone isn’t enough to make up the difference.

This appears to be done to give the player a sense of progression and improvement that isn’t otherwise present. While it certainly is possible to get better at doing tricks, the game doesn’t really motivate the player to do so nor give them any guidance or tips for improvement. And the descents don’t really seem to get more difficult or complex or add any new mechanics. The snowboarding itself works fine and is enjoyable enough moment-to-moment, but the longer-term progression is hollow and hard to stay engaged with. You get higher scores, but it clearly doesn’t mean anything.

I Stopped Playing When: The game entertained me for something like an hour as I got the hang of the controls and enjoyed the scenery. After that I started wanting more, and naturally looked to increasing my mastery of the mechanics, but the way the score multipliers worked made it hard to tell whether I was making progress and I lost interest.

Docprof's Rating:

Two Stars: Meh. The game has some merit - it probably held my attention for at least an hour or I came back to it for more than one play session. But there wasn't enough draw for me to stick with it for the long haul.

You can get it or learn more here.