Day 933: A Snowy Slalom

Posted: 2013/05/31 in Indie Games

This game is a bit of a throwback. It’s essentially a 3D version of classic 2D skiing games. Games like this:

And this.

Those games had inspired names like “Skiing” (Intellivision, 1980) and “Ski” (Commodore 64, 1983). And they were fun as hell for their day (or, at least, we thought we were having fun).

Of course there’s a lot more speed here than there ever was in those 8-bit games (well… believe it or not, the Intellivision was actually a 16-bit system… probably the weakest 16-bit CPU ever created, but a legitimate 16-bit system). “A Snowy Slalom” reminds me more of those classic games than, say, SSX because it’s about the pure speed and joy of carving down a mountain, rather than tricks and over the top characters. And that resonates with me. It’s also worth noting that there was a brief attempt to revive this genre of (non-tricks-based) skiing games. I present to you, the little known (but I played it in the mid-90s when it was a hot new release) Val D’Isere:

I suppose “A Snowy Slalom” was a bit like the gameplay of Intellivision’s “Skiing” with the speed of Val D’Isere. And what could be better than something that invokes an obscure ’80s game with an even more obscure ’90s game? 80 Microsoft Points easily spent if you’re into the joy of skiing for its own sake (in the same way that some people loved “Flight Simulator”, or even Sega’s NiGHTS which embraced the joy of flight, and had very little actual gameplay).

Here’s what the developer (Tarh Ik) has to say about the game:

“What to do when Winter hits? “Snowy Slalom” brings home the excitement of this Winter sport, remarking the thrill of gliding downhill through the middle of a gentle snowstorm. Tracks are generated randomly, ensuring a bumpy ride. Tons of fun – weather permitting.”

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