Snowboard Xtreme Review (DSiWare): “Snowboard Basics”

Through the Nintendo eShop, consumers get a chance to nab some neat miniature titles for their DSi and 3DS. In the meantime, smaller developers from around the world also get the chance to try and get themselves out there. EnjoyUp Games is an example of a small developer out to make a name for themselves, providing bite-sized, arcade-style experiences on-the-go. You may recognize the developer for their DSiWare titles such as 99Seconds, Abyss and Gaia’s Moon if you’ve ever played those. With their latest title, Snowboard Xtreme, the developers aimed to give players a quick, pickup-and-play title for only the small price of $1.99. However, does the low price point mean you should immediately pick the game up?

To be blunt, there isn’t anything “xtreme” about Snowboard Xtreme, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my time with it. The object of the game has you slaloming down a treacherous mountain and trying to beat the time as you progress through each “Etape” (stage). When you start, you’ll only have the Normal Course available to tackle, which consists of four stages. As you race the terrain, you’ll have to pass flags on their proper sides to add three seconds to the clock. Naturally, the further you progress in the game, the more difficult your navigation will be due to obstacles that will obstruct your path. Should you fail to reach the finish line at any stage, it’s game over and you’ll have to start over from the first stage. Luckily, each stage takes about a minute to complete so frustration rarely kicks in. Upon completing the Normal Course, you’ll unlock the Xtreme Course, which consists of eight stages. While you’ll have a higher starting time limit, the stages will be a bit more demanding, meaning that passing every flag is crucial to adding time on your clock. Early on, certain obstacles will block your path but are low enough to jump over, while others may be tall rocks and trees that you need to dodge. Later levels will have builders coming down at you, while some of them will stop right in your path to prevent you from maintaining your speed. Speaking of speed, you won’t be zipping down the trails at breakneck speeds.

When it comes to controlling your snowboarder, you’ll use the D-Pad or Circle Pad (3DS) to make your boarder sway left and right. You can’t go faster, nor slow down at all. Pressing practically any button will do the same action, jump. There’s nothing more that you’ll really do other than dodge and jump over obstacles as you progress your way to the finish line of each stage. Don’t expect to be going off of huge jumps and pulling off insane tricks. Also, there’s no other boarder you can choose from other than the default one. There’s leaderboard support but only sports for local play. There’s no online leaderboard support to speak of. Visually, the game looks ok, with windy snow effects and all. The boarder’s animations are simple but get the job done. The framerate holds up well until the final level of the Xtreme Course, which really dropped for some reason. The soundtrack is appropriate, if somewhat catchy, but a bit repetitious due to only three track being replayed over and over.

While Snowboard Xtreme is a very basic game and shows nothing “Xtreme” that the title insinuates, the game is still mildly fun. While I wish there was more to do and see, the game is only $1.99 and the content more or less justifies the price tag. You can see the entire game in just under 30 minutes but I found myself replaying it a few times over. EnjoyUp Games has a decent base here to build something more “xtreme” and would like to see a bit more depth in future titles from the developers.

Overall Score: 5.5 out of 10 = Reconsider the immediate purchase…

A special thank you to EnjoyUp Games for providing us a review code for Snowboard Xtreme!

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