Skiing Yeti Mountain (Free) is the kind of game that’s best in a bunch of small doses over time. The gameplay is solid, the controls excellent, and the structure of this skiing game is great for mobile. But in trying ot be this experience that you play over a long time, it doesn’t do a great job at being a game that you’d want to play a lot of in one sitting. It’s a blessing and a curse for Featherweight’s otherwise fun title.
This is a slalom skiing game, where you must ski past each gate on the inidcated side of the gate, or at least hitting the prescribed pole of the gate that the arrow is on. This is a great idea if you’re trying to save time by taking the tightest turns possible, as you’re trying to ski down the mountain as quickly as possible through several hundred levels, each providing a quick challenge. You can just play for completion, or go for the gold on each level.
The controls work great, to such a degree that I think it’s better than a joystick. The degree of motion you get from swiping and dragging across the screen really lets you quickly carve with ease. You can make subtle movements and sudden ones with the same degree of control. It’s a great system, and one that feels very intuitive.
The art is basic and blocky pixel art done in Unity, that looks a bit like the main character might be a 3D model based on their movement. I’ve heard this game described as programmer art, and others describe the reason for the popularity of pixel art because developers can make it cheaper and easier than other art forms. But still, espcially as a fan of pixel art, I like games that use it and look good while doing so. The art is effective and the game’s colorful, doing a great job at showing off the skiier’s duds that get unlocked. It’s not an ugly game, though, maybe we won’t put it in the Louvre.
I like Skiing Yeti Mountain‘s progression system. If you beat a level, you can go to the next one, and you can skip levels if you fail too many of them. But if you don’t get the gold time on a level, then you get less experience. Why does that matter? You won’t unlock as much of the custom duds over time. The game does helpfully provide you the ability to jump back to the earliest level you haven’t gotten gold on, and then back to the latest level you haven’t completed, without scrolling through the hundreds of levels on the map. There are also challenge levels that periodically unlock, which give you other things to do, and the skull medals to unlock. Skull medals! Level 89 was the first level I didn’t get gold on. This is the kind of game where once you understand the mechanic, you’ll likely do well at it for a while. Later levels start to pick up the challenge to a certain degree, but it’s best to play this game in short bursts. It can feel repetitive playing level after level in a row, but in short bursts? This game is great.
Skiing Yeti Mountain, like many other mobile games, has decided to go with a free-with-ads business model. You can pay $2.99 to get rid of them, but the ads have been implemented in a clever way. An in-game character is selling billboard space, and every time you run across one, you see an ad in the game itself. Plus, the ad-shilling character doesn’t quite pop up until you’re a short way into the game, allowing you to enjoy the game with limited ads for a while until you get a chance to jump in and enjoy the game for a bit. Well done. And yes, if you buy the ad-removal IAP, there’s a meta-reference in the game to there being no more ads. And if you pay attention, poor ad guru Larry may have been eaten by a yeti…
This really is an ideal mobile game, structurally. It’s something that can last a long time if you want it to. It’s a game that can be played one-handed, and in short bursts, with levels lasting 10-30 seconds or so. But its a game I strugle to play for more than a few minutes at a time as I get bored, but want to come back. At least it’s fun enough to come back to again and again, provides plenty of reason to do so, and does it without using any sort of timer system. And I do appreciate the humor within the game. There’s a number of characters that serve as occasional comic relief, and do spruce up the experience from just being about skiing down a mountain for hundreds of levels. They at least provide goofy markers to remember the game by.
I think Skiing Yeti Mountain is a game that is best in short doses, but those doses are quite potent. This is just a solid little skiing game with a lot to do. It’s not the kind of game you’ll be playing for hours on end, but for a few minutes at a time over a long time.