Blazing down hills on some super fly skies has never been part of my life, as I live in the flattest area in Sweden. Winter sports were always about snowball fights instead of graciously navigating between gates, or finding fresh snow to freestyle in.
If however I would ever given downhill skiing a go I would probably have looked a bit like Dudeski [$1.99]. No knees, and very stiff movements from side to side. No pastel quick knee movements, as seen in the eighties and nineties.
Dudeski is a combination of endless skiing down randomized sections, and level based high score hunting. At times this combo can get confusing, and personally I don´t really care for the score. I just try to get to the next level, and seeing that there are only four levels and some bonus ones to find the game can become quite repetitive. The randomization is done in quite large sections that further enhance the sensation of doing the same thing over and over. Compared to games like Canabalt where every section is completely random.
To unlock the levels you have to collect pinecones, and hand them to a penguin found in the slope. You can of course opt to invest the pinecones in armor, or speed. I found this to be a bad idea compared to getting a new level. It takes quite a lot of runs to get enough pinecones to unlock levels, and if you crash any pinecones you are carrying are lost.
The controls are quite loose, but most of the time they work well enough to traverse the obstacles. Touch on the left side to turn left, and right to turn right. Touching, and releasing both sides makes Dudeski jump. At times I would have liked a one-fingered control option, as seen in most bullet-hell shooters. This is especially needed in the bonus levels where an extreme level of precision is needed.
The presentation is fun, and it sets the mood of the game instantly. The soundtrack is enjoyable chiptunes taking me back to the first skiing games I played back on my first PC with a whopping 640KB RAM.
Dudeski is a fun arcade game, but it has some issues with identity. Is it an endless skier, or is it a level based game? That question doesn’t really matter much for the first couple of hours though, and once you start to ponder it you have already gotten your money´s worth of arcade skiing.
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