A staple of Windows 3.1 computers the world over, the venerable classic Ski Free is updated for a new generation with So-So-Games’ Endless Ski. This is one title that certainly did not need updating – does this release manage to do this arcade classic justice?
Endless Ski Review
An arcade game at its core, Endless Ski has players (what else) endlessly ski. The run goes on as long as you can survive, but the conditions are less than stellar. In what could be considered the ultimate double black diamond run, there are ramps, dogs, spires of ice, snowboarders trees, and a persistent yeti that’s got a hunger for flesh.
It’s just a shame that most runs are over sooner rather than later due to the poor design of the title. The laws of physics do not apply here – snowboarders go uphill, fences can be skated through, and random spots will transport players into the ether. It can be incredibly difficult to figure out what can be interacted with and what can be plowed through – there’s absolutely no rhyme or reason with this title.
There are some cheap shots as well – the aforementioned yeti is next to impossible to escape, even when going at the ludicrous top speed of 5,000 meters a second. Some may claim that the original title had the same mechanic, but runs are over within a minute due to how determined this creature really is. There is a warning symbol that pops up when the creature is near (seen below), but it comes far too late for players to react in a timely manner.
This is exacerbated when the shoddy framerate and controls comes into the mix. Despite our fairly powerful setup, the sub-15 frames per second we experienced turned the title into a slideshow. The WASD controls are fairly easy to understand, but they are also finicky to a fault. There’s no subtlety to its handling – it’s far too easy to go to an extreme direction when one is trying to navigate around an area. Though there is a braking feature, the sheer speed makes it tough to react to certain elements. Finally, the poor graphics make everything into a washed out mess – the lack of detail was most certainly not a design choice.
Don’t expect to play this one for the long term, however. Players can try and go through as many flags as possible and can net points through jumps, but the game is overly basic to a fault. There are also a handful of achievements, but most can be unlocked fairly easily. There’s not much else to encourage players to jump right back in, and the punctuation issues in the menus show that the development team simply does not care about this game in the slightest.
Endless Ski’s poor attempt to cash in on the Ski Free nostalgia wave has created a title that encapsulates none of the qualities that make the original such a classic.
This review of Endless Ski was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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