I tried snowboarding once and it was a mix of excitement and fear that created an unbelievable rush of adrenalin. It made me feel as though I can jump over anything or even fly. However, I was a kid and on the beginners trail so that can make you feel as though you have wings. Since then, I never really had a chance to try it again and now I think I’d break every bone in my body trying to stay in balance and not fall after a couple of feet.
With Snow Racer – Mountain Rush you will be able to feel part of that adrenalin when an obstacle is rushing towards you or you want to get some power-ups and avoid plastering yourself to the train at the same time. The game was developed and published by German studio BusyBytes which created some interesting apps before this game like Simply North, a functional digital compass. Snow Racer is available for both iOS and Android devices as free to play title although there are some microtransactions in the game, as is to be expected.
When it comes to narrative, there isn’t any big storyline but the game offers a rather straightforward concept: ride your snowboard over various obstacles in order to earn rewards that will help you level up and climb up the leaderboard. Only one character and one snowboard are available from the start and that’s Joey, an adrenalin junkie who really looks like the average snowboarder you can find on any mountain.
Every few hours, there is a challenge which if you take and complete successfully you will earn a certain number of ski passes which you will use to upgrade your board or to get a new player, like Yeti. You can also earn these ski passes by watching ad videos and this option is available every four hours. For about 30 seconds of commercial you will get 10 ski passes which is a good bargain really. Additionally, you can collect ski passes during playing or exchange coins for them in the store.
Regarding these coins, they are always present on the trail and with certain power-ups, you can double their number. Another cool power-up is the magnet which lasts for a limited time and during that it will make all the coins come to you, so you can pay more attention to where you are going than running to collect them. Angel wings power-up is also pretty cool since it will restart the same position on the trail immediately after you hit an obstacle and “died.” Also, you can resume your position by watching a video ad which lasts from 15 to 30 second, or you can pay it with ski passes.
Controls are really simple and after a short tutorial, you will get the hangs of things. It all comes down to swiping left, right, up and down to avoid obstacles. Sometimes you will have to combine up and left or right but you will get there pretty fast. However, occasionally, I would have a problem with swiping coming from my hand getting tired or screen being too greasy. It didn’t happen often and always after a while of playing, which I regarded as a nice incentive to take a break from the game.
However, Snow Racer – Mountain Rush is not flawless. First off, it doesn’t have any difficulty levels which I believe is the biggest flaw. Every time you restart the game, you will get a different trail and they differ in difficulty. Also, coins can sometimes be in your way to see what kind of obstacle is before you especially when they double their numbers and everything becomes yellow. When it comes to graphics, there are certain points when you can’t make out the ramp from an obstacle and so you easily get splashed on it. You get a hang of things which is what after hours of gameplay, but still, on occasion, you forget or get distracted.
I would have really liked if the game offered two characters: male and female from the start. This way, you had to collect a considerable number of ski passes to get one of the three female snowboarders. Of course, Yeti is the ultimate goal for almost everyone and it’s a really cool touch for the game. New board will cost you a considerably less than a new character, but you will still have to be patient and wait until you collect them during the gameplay, by watching video ads or completing the daily challenge.
While you snowboard, try to add some interesting features to your ride since that can increase your score. Do some cool tricks while on the half-pipe or upper platforms for the higher score, but also pay attention to obstacles at the same time. I made some foolish moves and ended up splattered on boards, and even on a moose once. Just make sure that you make it grab angel wings when they show up since that will make your game somewhat easier, at least for a short while. Also, as you progress down the trail, the game will speed up so be prepared for some truly crazy moves to avoid obstacles that are hurtling towards you.
The great thing about Snow Racer is that if you fail, you will get to start again with all the coins and ski passes you already collected. There is no restart for your rewards, so that makes everything better in the end after you die for like a dozen times. You can also buy the ski passes for 50.000 coins which are not so hard to get if you play regularly and for a few days. Or you can always use real money to buy some additions or ski passes that will help you level up faster if you lack patience.
In the end, Snow Racer – Mountain Rush is quite an enjoyable game that you can play casually or competitively. It’s fun, gives quite an adrenalin boost especially when the game speeds up and you can even play with a Yeti. I wouldn’t mind seeing some various difficulty modes and multiplayer where you face off another player, but I don’t doubt that developer will come to that eventually.