Slope Rider Review: Hittin’ the Slopes

Slope Rider gives gamers an opportunity to hit the slopes and pull off tricks on the iPhone for $2.99.  Between the two characters, you can tackle each of the thirteen tracks in either alpine (race) mode, or a freestyle mode where the goal is to accumulate points by landing tricks.  But does the game pull off big air or land flat?

Likes

Track variation: The thirteen tracks offer a nice change of pace each time you play.  Some are more trick focused with lots of pipes to grind and half-pipes.  Others have you careening down the track and trying to avoid trees in the middle of the race.  While each track lasts between one to two minutes, you’ll have fun replaying them once all have been played through.

Trick system: Tricks help to keep each run down the slope fresh; you can perform rail slides by tilting the iPhone, turn and flip with tilting as well, and do grabs by touching with your finger.  Pulling off tricks in Alpine mode gives you a speed boost and a nice incentive to take the risk.

Dislikes

Camera: Often times when hitting a tree or getting stuck, the camera would zoom in at odd angles and make it difficult to see where I was supposed to continue onwards.  It became frustrating and would take quite a bit of time to recover from some crashes for this reason.

Losing momentum: Part of the fun of racing down a hill is the feeling of speed.  But when hitting the boundaries, landing improperly, or crashing into an object, your speed grinds to a halt and it takes time to build back up.  For a sensitive system where it’s easy to crash, I felt I lost my speed too often and this took away from the fun.

Slope Rider is a good start to snowboarding on the iPhone.  If you’re not a snowboarding fan, at its present state, I think the dislikes mentioned above should be ironed out before you buy the game.

The developer, Monte Boyd, has mentioned he’s working on an update to the camera issue above, and looking to expand the depth of the game through new additions.  The future of the game looks promising.

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Slope Rider was developed by Monte Boyd and is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch for $2.99.  The version reviewed was 1.0.  Played through all tracks, switching characters and gameplay modes.  Some tracks were played through multiple times.  Game was played on an iPod Touch 2G.

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